I watched the three kids in the alley Saturday night, cell phone in hand, my dialing finger having already pressed 9 – 1…
Yeah, that’s me. The super-tough one squinting at you behind the curtain from the second-floor window. It’s 11:30. What’re you doing in my alley, making all that noise?
Give me a reason to press the other “1”, punk.
My mind shimmies from side to side with the possibilities. My eyeballs spin counter-clockwise as I consider a variety of crimes against nature and man involving people I can envision lurking in an alley. What are they doing out there? Meth lab? Puppy mill? Bachmann for President rally?
Good God. This could be serious.
I squint through the blinds. Man, I wish I had a cigarette.
Having had the privilege of paying for the installation of a new service door on the garage (after some reprobate kicked it in), the kids in the alley, their bikes next to them as they talk, look more like pending bills than people to me, some city-dweller tax that no one talks about.
Well, I’m on to ‘em. Little buggers. Go play in your own alley!
This all goes through my head in roughly the same amount of time it takes to, say, get the chain back on your bike properly; and I watch as one of them spins his back wheel with an air of satisfaction. The one standing next to him punches him in the arm while the third one hops his bike up and down, up and down, the two-wheeled equivalent of a tapping foot.
They look like children. Like hormonal, mostly-grown, restless children.
I let the curtain fall and close my phone without hitting the final “1” in the 911 equation.
There will be time for that another day.