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We lived on Spruce Street at the top of the hill with all the mailboxes aligned in a row outside our house. Through the kitchen window you could see the long, tall evergreen trees shadowing our house.
I was the youngest of three brothers. Preston, the middle brother with hair as blonde as sand, was always wrestling me in the living room. Kevin was the oldest. The three of us were like peas in a pod, chasing and tripping through the trials of life.
It’s hard to remember back to my first years as a troublemaker, but I do remember the day my mother busted out the front door, down the driveway, and chucked my milk bottle into the garbage truck. I was about four years old and I suppose she concluded that I’d exceeded my allotted bottle period, if there was such a thing.
But she had to wait until the garbage man came. She attempted to throw it away in the evening, but I snuck out and stole it out of the garbage can late that rainy night. That created a dramatic situation in the morning: mom furiously yanking the bottle from my grip upon discovering she’d been defied and outsmarted by her four-year-old, waiting until she heard the garbage truck growl up the hill, running out the front door and down the front steps to the end of the driveway, and flinging the bottle at the back of the garbage truck as I howled in protest.