Elle Severe Presents

Digging For The Devil

In Life, Random on October 31, 2011 by Elle Severe
In 1983 my neighborhood was the place to be. Nestled on a tiny street in the Fields Corner section of Dorchester, my street was the epitome of an inner-city neighborhood: diverse, angry, fun, Catholic, Baptist, Jehovah’s Witness, Irish, Italian, Hispanic and most importantly, unified. In 1983 the violence was minimal – usually a purse snatching or a mugging here and there, but there were no guns to be fired or shots to be heard;  the local ruffians consisted of a faux gang of Irish white boys who liked to pee on people’s lawns in a show of angry rebellion.

We enjoyed our street and our neighbors. We fought like brothers and sisters and loved each other just as fiercely. Every single house on the street had kids. The minimum number of children to be found in each house was three; this meant that you always had a best friend, no matter what. There was always someone your age to be with and even better, we all went to the same parochial school down the street. We wore the same uniforms had the same teachers and pulled the same ridiculous stunts on those poor teachers. We were the Vinson Street mafia and we rolled deep. God help the interloper that messed with one of us. We began each weekday morning by trooping to school together as one unit. It would start at the top of the street with Henry and Charlotte. Henry had bright flaming orange hair while Charlotte had dark brown hair thick as a horse’s tail. She also had a permanent sneer on her face and was the first person, and the last, to ever say to me “Beggars can’t be choosers”. When I peeked out my window every morning and saw them at the top of the street I knew I had precisely seven minutes to be ready. Their next stop was immediately next door to their house to grab Fat Shirl. Fat Shirl was a very round, very unattractive chubby little girl with a single mom and a bad fucking attitude. Fat Shirl would inevitably spend at least 6 minutes scraping and scratching the remnants of her breakfast off of her jumper while standing on the porch whining before allowing Henry and Charlotte to move forward to the next house. Fat Shirl was named after her mother who was also named Shirley. To differentiate between the two Shirleys, they were dubbed “Big Shirl” and “Little Shirl”. As you can already figure out, there was nothing little about Fat Shirl and while she may have been called “Little Shirl” in her home, she was “Fat Shirl” to the rest of the world.  From Fat Shirl’s house it was a march down the street: Nolan’s, Frank’s, mine, Timmy,  Lisa’s,  Paul’s and so on down the line. By the end of the street we were 20 deep and already wound up.

Timmy and Paul were the closest. They were in the designated “younger group” because they were 10. I was 12 so I was starting to be in the big kids group. Being in the “big kids” group meant you could sneak a cigarette on the way to school and it was understood that no one would tell any parents so as to not ruin it for themselves when it was their turn to be a badass secret smokers.  I personally was not a smoker, but clearly wanted the option left open.

Paul and Timmy were 10 when they began digging for the devil. On one random, sunny Saturday morning the two of them got together as they always did, over a bowl of Cap’n Crunch and a glass of Hawaiian Punch. They set about deciding how to spend their weekend. It was Timmy who always came up with the plan. Paul was more than happy to play the role of the hapless sidekick. He felt like that somehow always exonerated him from any guilt he might feel as a result of their actions. Timmy’s antics were legendary. He was that kid who threw rocks at the windows of the passing trains. He was that kid who fashioned a homemade Molotov cocktail in the 7th grade and tossed out of his second floor bedroom window into the middle of the street. He was that kid who locked his very own mother out of the house one rainy evening while she stood there screaming “TIMMY, I’m GONNA FUCKIN KILL YOU, LET ME IN”, to which Timmy calmly replied, “Not until you promise to lend me $20 so I can buy that gun I saw in that magazine”. Timmy was our neighborhood nutjob. We were afraid of Timmy and in awe of him. The one thing about Timmy to remember though is this: he was never malicious, never evil; well, not all the time, but there was an incident wherein which he doused my little brother with lighter fluid and then chased him around the house with a lighter, but for the most part Timmy was harmless. Sort of. Anyway, he decided that beautiful Saturday morning that he and Paul would be digging for the devil that day.

They ate their their Cap’n Crunch and hashed out their Saturday plans: they were going to dig until they got to Hell at which point they would immediately turn the hose on the Devil and obliterate him with cold water thus saving the entire world from evil. The plan was solid and execution was begun a short 2 minutes later after they finished up their Cap’n Crunch.

They headed to the back yard to begin digging and just to ensure their safety, they kept  a garden hose right by them just in case the devil reared his ugly head well before they got deep and agreed that at the first sign of anything, they would set the hose on it, Devil or not, didn’t matter, they had to play it safe. They also agreed that if that didn’t work out they would give their tunnel to Hell a left turn somewhere that would lead them to China. So either way, it was a good solid plan and they immediately began preparation.

Pages: 1 2 3 4

Leave a Reply