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No Regrets For Our Youth Jordan Sullivan

I grew up in a small town in Ohio and went to a catholic school with all the other bad kids - many of them went on to pursue successful careers as drug dealers, armed robbers, meth heads, and murderers. My best friend in class was a kid named Curtis. When we were 11 we’d would to go over to his house every Friday after school. We spent most afternoons in the basement, eating these huge plates of gross french fries his mom would make and watching Top Gun, Bloodsport, or whatever ninja movie we’d found at Boxcar Video. Boxcar was one of our favorite places. It was a real boxcar converted into a video store that sat out near the train tracks in this sort of bleak field with nothing around. It was always autumn in that field. The dirt road leading to Boxcar was dangerous between 2 and 3PM when the highschool let out. The older kids would drive their cars real fast up and down that road, and if you were out in the open you were history. They’d throw anything at you, and some of the stuff was heavy and really hurt. In the evenings, Curtis and I would ride our bikes around the neighborhood and do a lot of cussing. We cussed so much back then. We went out of our way to cuss even when we didn’t have to. We also spent a lot of time in Curtis’ backyard where Curtis kept this old porno magazine buried under a rock. The first naked women I ever saw were covered in mold and dirt and maggots. Curtis also had an orange Honda dirt bike that we’d take out to his grandpa’s field. I crashed that bike real bad once and screwed up my knee. I liked hanging around with Curtis because he cussed and showed me dirty pictures and had a dirt bike and was really hilarious, but also because he had public school friends. Most public school kids made fun of me because I went to catholic school and didn’t have any clothes aside my school uniform (navy pants and a white turtleneck), The public school kids Curtis knew were nice to me though - probably because Curtis vouched for me. It’s important to have someone vouching for you, I’ve learned that over and over. The public school kids cussed a lot too. They taught me cuss words I didn’t even know. We’d all hang out by the river spray painting cuss words under the old railroad bridge. Sometimes Curtis would bring his bow and arrow and we’d shoot at the trees. We also hung around the concrete plant, slashing semi tires and throwing rocks at the forklift drivers. One afternoon, this kid nobody knew came around. He was wearing these big horn-rimmed glasses that magnified his eyeballs. and he had a pistol. He said it was broken, but he was waving it around and pointing it at all of us. I thought of all those stories I’d heard on the evening news about kids playing around with guns and accidentally killing each other. I thought about how much I’d miss everyone if I died. I wondered if the dead could miss people. I still wonder about that. But the gun never went off, I’m still alive, and I never saw the kid with the magnified eyeballs again. A couple years later, after I moved away, I lost touch with Curtis too. But those Fridays seemed to go on forever. The days seemed so long back when we had nothing to do, before we found out how fast life disappears. Most of the photographs in this collection were shot on road trips through North America and Europe between 2005 and 2010. These pictures mean a lot to me. The people and places in them mean a lot. They mean everything. This is evidence that we existed.

Photographs by Jordan Sullivan No Regrets For Our Youth, First Edition, 2011 Š 2011 Jordan Sullivan

No Regrets For Our Youth by Jordan Sullivan