Friday, September 14, 2007

Transcribed From Last Night

Here I sit, writing by flashlight. I can't sleep; it's too early. The whole neighborhood is dark because the power company is upgrading lines.

It's amazing how red the sky over the valley looks with the reflected light of the city. When the lights around the house are working, it's not as noticeable.

When I was a kid, I loved the dark. (I still do.) My bedroom had french doors out onto a balcony that had a pair of iron pipes supporting one corner. Some nights, when the weather was good and all was still, I would quietly exit through the french doors and slide down the pipes to escape.

Getting back in was a little more challenging for me, I couldn't shin back up the pipes. I would park my bike next to the garage window and climb from the seat of my bike onto the window sill. From there I could reach the edge of the balcony and scramble up.

When I was in high school, Dad bought a big car (we called it "The PimpMobile" because it was so overly plush.) Mom's car was parked in the garage and Dad's under the balcony/carport. The PimpMobile as so big the back third of it poked out from under the balcony. My brother's bedroom windows opened over the balcony. He would climb out his window to escape on night adventures and slide down the pipes. On his return, he would walk up the trunk and roof of Dad's car to get back in.

My brother was not in the habit of using his brain when he was in high school. He never seemed to realize that Dad knew about his midnight excursions by the footprints on the car.

My sister wasn't as lucky as my brother and me. Her room was on the far corner of the house from the balcony. When she wanted to sneak out, she would have to creep, ever so silently -- Mom had ears like a bat -- down the stairs and into the half-bath by the kitchen. She'd stand on the toilet and squirm out through the window.

None of us ever thought of going through a regular door. I'm not sure if it was the fear that Mom would hear us or the frisson of adrenaline our clandestine modes of egress brought.

In my early autumn prowling, I would head for the peach tree. Down three blocks, across the street, hang a right, then slip between two houses and into the back yard where the peach tree grew.

The lady who owned the peach tree had given the neighborhood kids permission to pick peaches. There were more than she could ever use. During daylight hours, we did.

But, somehow, legitimate peaches never tasted as sweet as those pilfered by the light of the moon.

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