I’m guessing that I was 7 or 8, which would mean that Chris was 13 or 14. Chris & next door neighbor friend Robert were messing around with Robert’s motorcycle & had ridden out on the dirt roads that weave around in the grape vine fields. I hunted them down & was bothering them, asking them to take me for a spin. Robert said he was out of gas & that he’d let me ride if I went to a nearby house & asked them for a little cup of gas. I didn’t believe that he was out of gas, so I asked him to take the gas cap off & show me. He did & there was clearly still some gas in the tank. Robert insisted that it was oil, which goes in the gas tank as well. I didn’t buy it & bugged them for a while longer before heading back home, mad. Soon after I’d gotten out of their line of site, I heard the engine start & a couple of minutes later Robert & Chris rounded the corner on the motorcycle & passed by me, laughing. I continued stomping my way home. At some point they came back to me or they stopped & let me catch up with them. Robert let me get on the back & ride until we were just out of site of the house. I got off the motorcycle, so that mom wouldn’t see. Chris & I got home; and my mom was furious, somehow she knew that they’d given me ride.
Two cacti, each less than half an inch tall, growing behind the tree in a deeply shaded corner on the street side of the fence. They get a narrow sunbeam for an hour, maybe, from under the fence in the afternoon. I find them while cutting out a rose bush that’s been lost under the tree’s canopy. I scratch the ground to dig out their roots. They’re in sand that spilled over from the brick landscaping on the lawn side of the fence. I push my fingers in and feel for the roots’ ends. The roots curl back and grow into a crack in the brick. I cut them off there and and bring them around front, plant them next to the front gate.