Erin, T, and I were sitting on Erin’s front steps a couple nights ago, a break from scraping painted wallpaper from walls. Another cool night. If you’ve had the pleasure of living in an area with four distinct seasons, you know that you can smell when Fall is here. Something about the leaves that are turning. Maybe it’s the way the annual plants are no long growing; or maybe it’s that the perennials are pulling back, their roots already getting sleepy, their little root-minds looking forward to the Spring thaw after Winter’s nap.
And maybe I’ve been sitting on these concrete steps too long. Sleepy roots indeed. Gaw!
Anyway, Erin and T are guzzling Diet Cokes and making clever remarks regarding my earlier assertion that I had willed myself into seeing a ghost the night before.
“Ooh! Look out, T! Another ghost! No, wait – that’s a parked car.”
“Oh, wait! There’s one! Nope. Sorry, Erin. It’s a tree stump.”
It was about that time that the front door of the house to Erin’s south opened; and, in a display that defies conventional wisdom and has not been seen since Barnum and Bailey’s clowns came piling, one after another, out of a tiny car in the middle of the Big Top, 400 teenagers came out of a two-bedroom house much in outward appearance to Erin’s. That’s right. Four hundred teenagers. Like sugar ants to a melting Popsicle – only louder and less organized than sugar ants – they poured in a seemingly unending stream from the front door to the minivan on the street, where they piled in. At one point – and I may be exaggerating here, ever so slightly – there were sugar ants – uh, teenagers – still coming out of the house while there were teenagers stepping up into the minivan.
Erin, T, and I watched silently until there were no more, watched 400 (or so) jostling, yelping teenagers go from the house to the awaiting vehicle, whereupon they left, off to do whatever The Kids These Days are doing.
We looked at each other. What could be said about such a spectacle?
“Cigarette?” Erin said, holding out her pack.
“Don’t mind if I do,” I said.
2 hours ago