Oxford Square

You go to Oxford Square, the eight by six square foot of trampled and terrorized grass; thick with cigarette butts and malt liquor. That poor grass withstood piss, vomit, raw liquor and human remains, and kept stubbornly pushing forward, to the world. No one really saw any metaphor in that, to the way our lives kept turning out, or to how we should have been feeling, which was good. None of us were feeling very much, and what kept turning up was a lot of cursing and sweating. Lots of disillusion and boredom. Mostly boredom—not so much from the sense of being mistreated directly, but rather from every direction life throws at you.

Some of the other kids had been kicked out at 15, 16 for being too erratic; some had left to find chaos in their own lives. There were you girls who were the walking torpedo caskets, violated somehow.

Most of you got hit around as kids, some of you still do. A girl you will eventually fall in love with was, at 16, living out of hotels with her mom in Vegas, her brother and herself stealing small appliances from chain stores, to return them and get cash back. This was when stores still did this, and they are part of the reason stores stopped. Her boyfriend used to make her hold her eyelid open, and let him lick the ball of her eye, to prove that she trusted him. This is was when he wasn’t drunk and shoving her girl body around. Some kids, like you, had poor ass, exhausted families who couldn’t provide any answers about the changes in society, and tried to convert you to theirs.

You collided at this square, because it was in the centre of the universe. To one side you had a scuzzy sports bar, Godiva’s Vintage Clothing, a pizza shop, and a ravers’ store. To the other was a parking lot, then Aaron’s Alley, the hippie clothing and accessory emporium; Wild Side, a piercing and tattoo parlour, then a cool music store, where hunky Band Guy and his Vintage Girlfriend were, then a used bookstore. You met there because that was downtown; that was the Queen West or St. Marks of Rochester. And the kids went there.

By the kids, I mean Nikke, yr best friend who is bored and about to graduate high school, Ethen, yr goth/industrial boyfriend, his best friend Lens, and maybe Rob, the drum and bass dj who you will unfortunately sleep with, and his pixie cyber punk best friend Tomcat, and yourself, jail bait in a 1960’s slip.

To meet Ozzy.

To meet Sam and Chad, bros in a convertible

To hang out with your boyfriend.