Buzznet Storytellers Group #18: Fun With Google Maps

I don’t really have a lot of photos from when I was young. Growing up, I was super awks around the lens and taking photos of me was like trying to photograph a cat. If you did get me in the frame, I was usually looking off into the middle distance to where I was going to run once you took your picture that was siphoning my soul.

I have a few photos of me growing up that I stole from my family when I was 18 because I knew I was leaving and I thought they were going to hate me and crap for being a gay and what not. It’s not like I stole giant albums of me or anything like that because I think there were 5 photos of me in existence at the time.

That being said, there aren’t many photos that I kept of the place where I grew up. I know I had a roll of film that I took full of pictures the morning that I came out to my family because I was being all dramatic and I was all “OMG I WILL NEVER COME BACK HERE EVER.” I don’t know what happened to that roll of film and my family still likes me so YAY!

~ Back to the old house ~

Anymews, I grew up in a wooden shack that had two rooms, a kitchen, bathroom, and a living room. It wasn’t that big. I think at one time there were like 6 people living there and it was awful. My grandma was a hoarder so my sisters and I used to go into her room when she left to sell Avon. We’d look through all her crap and it was like Indiana Jones pretty much.

The yard was really big and full of trees that bore fruit. We had a lot of nopales in the back yard that all the other brown people that lived near us would come and take. They would just show up with full on sets of knives and plastic bags. Us Mexicans love nopales. They would trade stuff with us too, like whatever fruit they were growing.

There used to be a giant empty lot across the street that had wild raspberries growing but then someone built a house there and we all got mad because we had nothing to pick in summer. We blew up their mailbox a bunch with fireworks. We were the worst neighbors.

The Italian couple that lived next door used to make us these figs that were soaked with rum and stuffed with nuts that were mega tasty. They also had all these confetti sprinkles on them and they didn’t think twice about getting me drunk on the wine they made from the grapes they grew. They used to let us take their lemons from their yard too. They were nice.

Lots of people in the neighborhood had chickens and that got kind of annoying at times when I was trying to sleep. Our one friends had peacocks and that was just out of control but they were pretty so no one really cared. A few people had goats and sometimes I would get up in the morning and there would be goats and chickens in the yard eating all the grass and stuff and they would let me pet them and it was cool.

I think I’ve only gone back once to that house because it’s far from where I live now and I’m lazy. I went on my bike and a bunch of dogs chased me and the hills were really small even though I remember them being all massive and stuff.

~ Oppenheim, Germany ~

I also grew up in Germany for a spell. I lived on a military base in Dexheim. I tried to get a street view but when I tried it, Google Maps took me to a photo of a ROCK. Yup. A ROCK. The base is really drab and boring so here is the next town over, Oppenheim.

The other Army brats and I used to ride our bikes to this town and run all over this place like little asshole monsters and demand things like candy and breads. No wonder why everyone hates Americans. We also used to go to the Rhine River and throw rocks at people sailing and then run into the brush when we’d get direct hits.

On my way to school, I would talk to the bus driver in German and she would teach me stuff. She thought it was awesome that I was trying to learn the language. I don’t know what it is about buses that makes children act like bungholes but they would call her names and she DGAF. She would talk shit to them and then they would get scared because she totally would rage out and she was a bad ass. That only happened a few times. Anyway, when I was in Germany, I got to be the translator for my family which was really weird because I was tiny and brown and most German people were all LOL WTF THIS BB KNOWS GERMAN LOL and then they were nice to me and they would pat my hed.

The Army base was the worst but in this total O WE ARE TRYING TO MAKE YOU COMFORTABLE kind of way that just didn’t work. We used to go to the bowling alley a lot to eat fries and play Street Fighter and I was a bad ass. We had a tiny PX/Commissary thing that my sister stole stuff from and got caught.

I used to wander around the base by myself a lot (which was probably a bad idea) in the wee hours of the morning on the weekends to pick flowers for my wicked step mother. I was always meandering to and fro and would wind up REALLY far from everything. I would take pictures with my super janky 35 mm camera but my step mom kept all the pics because she’s evil.

I used to go to the town of Dexheim to buy bread that had little pieces of bacon in it and get sandwiches from the deli. It was tasty. I also used to play my french horn in the stairwell to get this weird reverb effect going and no one seemed to mind. Good times.

It’s funny how the base pretty much wanted you to stay on the base. Same with my step mom. She never let us go out much. I managed to though because I was crafty in my youth. I got to see castles, rivers, towers, old churches, and all types of other stuff I would’ve never been allowed to see because my step mom was a paranoid weirdo that hated life. It was neat.

One day I will go back to Germany. I say that a lot, but it’s going to happen. 😛

Anyway, thanks for reading! TTFN!