There’s one last alley I’ll bring up. One weekend, some older dudes from my high school threw me into a car and said, “We’re going to the Alley of Death.” No further explanation was offered. My reaction was fear, mixed with “Oh, sweet, I get to hang out with these cool older dudes.”
We sped through the night until we reached The Alley, at which point the driver turned off his lights, revved his engine and blurred through the dark until we hit a precipitous dip that dropped your stomach like the Conquistador ride at Six Flags. Everyone screamed, and then we pulled out of it and returned to our usual demeanor of too-cool-for-screaming, but knowing in our hearts that the best rites of passage are rides of passage.
You can’t go creeping through alleys as an adult -- even if I still lived in Texas, in a sense, they’d still be something I missed. But like so many other parts of my suburban Dallas childhood, they remain something that defines me. Probably a bit too much, but hey, what can I say? I’m a tortoise.