Twelve years old is an incredible time in anyone’s life. It’s the time when you realize that you can hear more than one melody in your head at the same time. It’s the time when fantasies start to connect to the real world and they blossom into creativity. For many, it is the finale of a lifetime in the carefully shepherded world of grade school and the prospect of independence in high school. Most of all, it is the launch pad for adventure.
I would guess that my time as a twelve year old was similar to most as I now was faced with decisions that had consequences outside the home. Prior to that, my parents were responsible and shared my guilt as I tested the boundaries. Now, my friends became “peers”, my persona was nearly fully developed, and I would carry it with me throughout my lifetime. I was an adult, although the celebration wouldn’t happen until I was a year older. Yet childlike feelings of invulnerability urged me to do crazy things.
Twelve is an amazing time. I became aware of my parents as people with real life problems, not gods impenetrable by the social forces that tossed me around. It was exciting to dive back into the memory of my thirteenth year with all its adventures and dangers and to write TROUBLE IN FLATBUSH. I escaped just in time.