The landscape to this piece reminds me of Houses of the Holy, and was an influence on me even before I heard the band. There was this high school neighborhood bully that lived across the street, and all the local kids were afraid of and would do crazy shit. One time when he was younger (about 10) and forming his identity, he was playing with my sister at our house while my parents were out. Upon their return they found him in our garage by the door trying to light a pile of combustible trash on fire. My dad, furious, scolded him and asked where my sister was. Billy told him that she was locked inside the bathroom because she didn’t want to help light our house on fire. Another time when he was perhaps 17, he was out shoveling snow after a huge snowstorm. One of my mom’s friends was driving down the street and as she drove past him, he tried hailing her down, probably to ask if he could shovel her driveway for money. She knew Billy and wanted nothing to do with him, so she kept driving. He responded by slamming his snow shovel down on her back windshield, shattering it. She kept driving and didn’t say a word about it to her husband because she was so afraid of him. I was friends with his little brother Sandy, and one time when we were about 8, we were at their large house playing hide and seek. No one else was home and I was trying to find a place to hide, going from room to room and stumbling into Billy’s room, I was overcome with posters of nude women, tapestries, dirty clothes, bongs, and the album Houses of the Holy upon it which sat a pipe and scattered buds of weed.
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