Honey Holes

It occurred to my friends and while the conversation turned to our various childhoods that every town, be it large or small contained off-the-map locations that held a certain treasure. On the outskirts of one of their towns sat a crumbling hospital the feral boys on bicycles referred to as “The Insane Asylum”, given the name because of the heebie jeebies it gave to those brave enough to crawl through a broken window. Once inside, the unlit maze of dilapidated offices and exam rooms littered with broken furniture, animal droppings, and littered beer cans sent their imaginations doing summersaults.

Another friend recalled an abandoned house being slowly eaten by termites complete with overgrown landscape and boarded windows. In my nearest town, there sat a WWII era military truck slowly returning to earth, tucked between two equally shabby industrial barns. Behind the cab was a spacious armored compartment complete with a rusty steel hatch just begging to give us tetanus. In all of these hidden, off-limits locations held a small yet spicy trove of dirty magazines. Crumpled from years of curious fingers flipping through the faded pages. Where they came from we could only speculate. They could have been stashed there by a kid whose father’s collection wouldn’t miss an issue or two, or a very “lucky” kid who had his own subscription and a duty to share with us less fortunate, or perhaps an unlucky bastard who got caught with them under his mattress and needed a place to hide them from mom.

As we went around the table we couldn’t believe that each of our towns was graced with such a place. We assumed every town in America, nay, the world, had these adolescent hiding places. There also seemed to be an unspoken rule about these places we all had in common. Nobody told anyone about the stash and it was only to be visited on extremely rare occasion. We also agreed that this was a genius idea. If an adult ever found this place with it’s heinous trove of erotic nudity, the blame would land on literally not one soul, barring a fingerprint kit. And even that would have been inconclusive, and would have incriminated every teenage boy within a mile radius.

Much is the same with discrete fishing holes. Those bodies of water that sometimes are unnamed, unmapped, unspoken. Under a busy inner city overpass, a farm pond with easy access and cover, or even an unassuming puddle in the middle of a very public park. At first, there seems to be nothing to blink at, but once investigated such places can reveal the presence of other fishermen. A discarded Styrofoam cup with dirt and worm remnants. A Y-shaped stick poking out of the sand. Or even a few beer cans and cigarette butts surrounding a knocked down patch of weeds next to the bank. These are the hiding places that tell the right set of eyes something more is going on here.

I’ve yet to find a discarded Playboy in such locations, but I’m keeping my eyes open. If anything, it will be a back issue of The Drake.

Published by willbarch78

I grew up in the middle of nowhere Texas. The nearest Walmart was a full two hours away. My family still runs a ranch back home that I grew up on, but at some point in my treasured youth I hung up the idea of becoming a cowboy, and pursued my passion for architecture. Today I still find myself trying to fit in to a life that has treated me with the average ups and downs one can expect after a certain number of years. My wife and I moved to Denver after attending Texas Tech School of Architecture in Lubbock as we needed a grade change from the Llano Estacado. We camp with our three growing girls all summer and into the fall while I write and create and fly fish to maintain sanity. Life is moving fast as our careers and children progress in all areas, so being outdoors with each other keeps us mostly grounded.

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