this is the backyard of the house i grew up in. the photo was taken in 2006. it doesn’t look much different now.
there used to be a barn there. it would’ve been to the right of the frame, maybe covering that house with the turquoise step. a friend of the family used to have this really nice antique car—something from the 60s, maybe, i think red—and he kept it in our barn in the offseason. it was a funny juxtaposition of olds: the decrepit barn holding this gleaming, immaculately preserved relic. they tore the barn down, i’d guess maybe the summer before this was taken, and it took me quite a while to adjust to that big empty space.
that big field you see there, that was officially part of our yard. i’m not sure if it ever had a purpose, but by the time i remember it was all dead grass and elephant ears. local kids used to come and play in it and one time some went in with a candle and nearly set the whole thing ablaze. i have one of those phantom memories, the kind that you’re not sure if you’re really remembering or if you’ve just heard the story enough times, of stepping out into the yard, my mother was hanging laundry, and there was smoke billowing out from the field. everything ended up being okay, but afterwards somebody was talking to the kids’ mother and she said she knew they were doing that and just told them to bring a glass of water just in case. after that we tried to keep kids out mostly. some of them were real pricks about it. they always left a bunch of litter around.