Even though there’s been no need to fear it for years, kids in The Villages at Parkside still move pretty quickly past 2227 Indiana Avenue,. Mrs. Yearts still lives there, but DJ got shipped off to a military boarding school years ago, and he graduated a little before me. He stuck with that lifestyle and enlisted, or so my parents told me. DJ and I didn’t keep in touch.
DJ once ruled our neighborhood with an iron fist, at least in terms of the children. Ruled actually seems a little benevolent, a more proper term is terrorized. Terrorized with an iron fist. Built a little bigger and stronger than his peer group, he unfortunately coupled this with an almost sadistic mean streak. My father used to say that his mother treated him terribly, and DJ’s father either left or died, I never found out which. Either way he seemed determined to take it out on the world.
DJ and I actually shared something in common in that we two didn’t go to the local Catholic school just up the street from me. Nearly all the kids in the neighborhood did, and I still played on its church soccer team, so I knew most of the guys that way. But that left DJ as the real odd man out. I don’t want to provide any excuses, because I still hate the kid that he was, but now I can empathize a little better, just due to age and experience.