Hashtag Throwback Thursday, circa 1980 to the sweet streets of Buffalo's east side. Here I am smoking a cigarette I had pilfered from the purse of my lovely Aunt Laura who kept a canary that was yellower than the turtleneck I relentlessly wore. My Aunt lived above her sister in a spotless apartment. She smoked several packs of non-filtered Lucky Strikes a day and she kept a yellow canary, that sang sweetly, in a cage. She also kept a covered glass dish on her coffee table full of Hershey’s Kisses. There was something about lifting the lid to grab a kiss that made the chocolate seem finer than the mass produced piece it was. But enough of that. Though I didn’t know it at the time, in regard to love, I was some lesser, but no less important, Antoine Doinel. I am with my gaggle of goons. We had been wandering around the neighborhood as we were wont to do in those days, laughing, riding handmade skateboards, playing stickball, gambling, and lighting small things on fire, generally before the street lights came on. This was in the time of tube socks, banana seats, and pay telephones. I was clearly delighted with myself, having just held the sweaty hand of my first love who momentously took her hand from mine to wipe the sweat onto her Jordache jeans before entwining her fingers into mine again. It was then that I realized all things were possible. We broke up a day later via a note passed in music class where my joy of being next in line to play the xylophone was greatly diminished by the words "i’m sorry” with a broken heart in place of the dot over the lowercase i on a sheet of snow white paper folded into eighths. She had found another. The first of many such experiences in my young life. But this was before that note. We were walking our familiar streets. There the barber. There the butcher. There the lot where we played hockey. We were untamed, bodily, and brutal. We laughed with our mouths open, we spit and swore, stumbling towards the things of adulthood. The holding of hands, the kissing and touching. The overwhelming beating of our hearts in our fine, thin, chests that we ignored by making sarcastic remarks or setting small things on fire that belied our true feelings. Those feelings that we felt when we held the hand of the girl in the perfectly blue jeans or when we heard the sound of that bright bird cut through the silence, or lifted the lid of a glass bowl to reveal the treasure of a tinfoil wrapped kiss.