Monday, March 12, 2007

Somewhere along the way

WARNING: Sad musings below.

This week Anthony and I went to see Zodiac. Few people know that I love mysteries. Unfortunately, the mystery of the Zodiac killer is a true one. And because the killings happened so close to home, the killings changed us.

Growing up in the seventies in the Sunset District in San Francisco, my childhood was, I suppose, just like any other. We joyfully rode our bikes, had soapbox races on the hill in front of my house and sat on the street curbs chatting about which way to wear our hair or what we would say to that cute boy. I spent endless hours on the radio listener lines waiting to make a heart-felt song request to the top AM stations, KYA and KFRC.

We spent our days outdoors, laughing and giggling behind fanned fingers to hide our heavy metal braces. We walked everywhere. 10 blocks to the beach and ice skating rink. 3 blocks to the playground. 4 blocks to the 5 and dime. 10 blocks to Beach Chalet in Golden Gate Park to watch the boys play soccer in the swirling fog.

Then somewhere along the way it changed.

On our TV, the six o'clock news, a staple for dinnertime viewing, was now tuned to a game show, and then eventually turned off. There were whisperings of the "Zodiac Killer" and somehow I knew to be afraid. I wasn't allowed out after 4:00. And then sometimes not at all. The soapboxes no longer clunked their way down my street and slowly the bikes stopped coming around. The street curbs were empty.

I would hear my mother warning my license wielding sister not to do this and not to do that. And then it was my brother's and my turn to hear what to do and what not to do. We were taught to be wary of anyone and everyone.

Eventually, it got better, but it was never the same. We were never the same. Somewhere along the way we had lost a part of our youth and innocence. We could never have them back again.


toners said...

Alma, what a well-written (although very sad) blog entry. It is heartbreaking how such incidents can change our viewpoints on life so suddenly. Iain and I often recall how we just used to "go out and play" as kids, for hours on end outside...unfortunately it's not that way for our own kids.

Thanks for sharing your memory.

jess said...

i agree, so well written. it's so different now. kids can't have the freedom we used to have as kids. things have changed. very thought provoking post!


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