Later my brother and friend were seen tinkering with several other bikes. One was a bigger bike. My brother was making me nervous with this one that he decided to take down the hill that we lived on and into the curve of our driveway as fast as possible. He made a bunch of attempts, why, I don't know. The best I could imagine was that he wanted to burn some rubber and tear tire around the curve. What he did instead was get a big huge scar that he still has on his shin, and give me a scare.
On one of his attempts, he leaned hard and tried to push the rear end of the bike hard through the turn, expecting it to skid. What it did instead was maintained traction, and flung him off the bike sideways, and his shin caught on one of the footpegs on the way over. I thought he was head, but he got up and exclaimed, "Shit!" and we observed his bloody shin and the deep wound. I was relieved.
In time, I got to ride a moped with success. I didn't jump it up the ditch like my brother and his friends did, or like I did on my BMX bike. I began to write stories about kids my age who posed as 13-year-olds in order to ride their mopeds around, and they rode all over, hopping up the mopeds, running into trouble, and getting out of it, making time to find abandoned houses, treasure, and junkyards to source parts for their bikes. I wrote the story all down on big paper. I was going to have my 4th grade teacher bind it in a book I had gutted, and read it aloud in class. He was a cool teacher and painted the solar system on the back of the classroom with paints he had mixed at the hardware store, gave us enough time to do our homework in class, told us the truth about facts of life "You will be offered drugs in high school", told us gripping stories about his coming of age, and read a little of a novel to us each day.
I submitted my story to him, which included apart about the boys on mopeds that was apparently controversial. See, i got so much into my writing that I forgot that a teacher was going to read over it. I gave him the story on my big sheets of paper to be later rewritten in a book that he was going to help me bind. My mom used to work at a bindery. He called me to the back of the class in a stern voice that made me nervous. It made me feel like I had done something wrong and I was in trouble. All I was doing was writing my little book. He said, "Joel, do you think this is appropriate for class?", in a voice that indicated that it clearly was not. "Umm, No?" I answered by default. He didn't really tell me if it was just a part of the story or the whole thing that was not appropriate for class, so I just clammed up. He handed it back to me and told me I needed to rewrite it and then he could bind it into a book and read it to the class like he said hw would. I was shocked and confused. What had I written that was so bad? I later read over it and I remembered that the boys were in the forest in one scene. They had just spotted an abandoned house, and were on the trail to it when an old man emerged from the forest. He asked "what are you little brats ding out here?", to shich the little boys replied, "shut up, you sack of crap!", and pelted the old man with rocks and peeled away on their mopeds. "That must have been what was so bad", I thought, "I used the word 'crap'". I never wrote any more to the story since I was so shy, and I was afraid of what Mr. Dewhurst might say, or what my punishment might be for writing stuff I wasn't supposed to write again.