While I was growing up my family used to move every four years. Like Stephanie and Thelma, I read a lot and learned to rely on my own company as a result of this. I had an odd view of other people, too. Four years isn't long enough for people to change very much, so I had a sort of flat view of what other people were all about. When I think of my sixth grade teacher, for example, I see him as he was when I was in sixth grade, handsome, charming, fresh out of the Navy, with his cleft chin and sparkling eyes. We left town at the end of that year, so I never had a chance to see him grow old.
There was a little girl living down the street when we first moved here, a thin, waif-like little creature who came over to visit sometimes to play with John's toys, one of those little girls who makes you want to take a hairbrush and get the tangles out of her hair. I didn't think much of her mother, who used to stand in the street making out with strange men. They left town about the time that real estate values got so high. A lot of the locals couldn't afford to stay here.
In yesterday's paper we read that a man had tried to snatch some woman's purse on Bridge Street, in broad daylight, and when he failed, jumped into a car, driven by some woman, and sped away. Since there were plenty of witnesses the police had no trouble apprehending the pair on Route 29, headed for Trenton. Their eighteen-month old baby was in the car. Drugs were involved. The moll was my old neighbor, the little waif. That makes me feel really sad.