Comiskey Park.

Not a privileged life. Not a hard life.

A happy life.

We grew up on the South Side in the dimming blocks east of Comiskey. Mom was a paralegal, and Dad was a manager down at the local fish market. We knew what it meant to work hard for what we had. But, all in all, we were living the Chicago dream.

Nothing ever got handed to us on a silver platter, but I don’t think we ever wanted it that way.

I knew some kids. Spoiled rotten.

Of course, I remember that time in eighth grade when I really wanted rollerblades. Like really, really wanted them. In the way I had never wanted anything before. All the other kids had them, so why couldn’t I? I learned my lesson. The hard way. And didn’t get my rollerblades until the next summer–when they weren’t really “cool” anymore. But I couldn’t tell my parents that.

My brother, Zachary, was three years younger than me. We called him Zackie and he hated that, but I know deep down he liked it.

Brotherly love.

We were a funny kind of family. The kind you could always count on to be dysfunctional.

Because every family has their bullshit to endure, right?

Well, I didn’t think that was the case growing up.

I tried running away a few times. And after the first two times, my parents, as concerned as they were, began leaving the doors unlocked.

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