like living on an island

He used to call it Small Town Entertainment, following sirens, standing out front the house to watch police dogs search the neighborhood, grabbing our coats whenever the sound of a firetruck stopped nearby. He transformed us into voyeurs searching for burning houses, lucky that our neighborhood was so fraught with crime. I have particular memory of the shooting up the street, a gangster hit, old fashioned in a barbershop, towel still wrapped around what was left of his head. Standing on the sidewalk, barefoot, I felt we should always be in housecoats, that I should learn how to have my hair in curlers or wear something green that cracked as it dried upon my face. What were we really looking for, I wondered, with no television, hardly any internet. Were our avenues to knowledge really so slim? He threw me down the stairs once, but we still called it love.