Mark J. Rose

Writing Matt Miller in the Colonies – Blog Entry 10

Aerial Pittsburgh Skyline

AUGUST 2, 2022 – BLOG ENTRY 10

I don’t want to give you the impression that I was locked in my room reading as a child. Most times, I was going off alone or with older kids. I lived in the city of Pittsburgh, and there was no end to the mischief an intelligent child could get into when his twenty-something parents said, “Go out and play.” I explored the world and did my best to bring it back home with me. All sorts of junk piled up in my room. As an aside, I recognized a few of the machines and tools I had collected, still in my father’s garage when he died last year. They had survived his moves to four different houses.

Back then, no dumpster was safe from me or my compadres as we wandered about the city streets. It wasn’t all legit, either. I remember stealing money, arson, and vandalism, and I even spent a month recovering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. I wasn’t a malicious or evil child at all. Every act of theft or vandalism had some constructive purpose. Even then, the world was my laboratory. What would it take to convince a vending machine to keep spitting out coins? Why did some glass shatter into pieces and other glass did not, no matter how hard you threw the rock? Why did lightbulbs make a popping sound when you smashed them against a wall? Why was it impossible to keep a whole telephone book burning when the single pages lit up like a flare. I’ll tell a detailed story of the gunshot wound at some point. I can laugh about it now, but at the time, it was really terrible.

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Writing Matt Miller in the Colonies – Blog Entry 9

My father eventually started putting more challenging books in my room. At an early age, I was reading Jules Verne and HG Wells. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Time Machine, and War of the Worlds captivated me. Something profound leaked from my psyche when the alien ships in War, so close to destroying humanity, began to crash as they succumbed to the common cold.

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