Monday, January 2, 2012
We would quietly run down the hill, past the trees separating the yards, pause, then scurry behind the garage. Between the garage and the fence was a narrow space where we would stealthily walk down. This is where we had to be really quiet, we were close to our subjects now. The Bakers lived behind us and there were three girls, a couple of parents, and some older step brothers who would occasionally stop by. Dusty and I would peer around the corner and watch. That’s the extent of it. We liked to do this sort of thing a lot. We called it spying. On this day, after the spying got boring, we decided it would be fun to see how close we could be to the edge and pee toward the fence without being seen.
When you’re six and you’re hiding, you are often overconfident that you’re not seen, but six year olds tend to ignore the giggling sounds they make. So, there we were just peeing our little hearts out when we were busted. In mid-stream, Dennis, the oldest, biggest step brother must have spotted us because he came out of the back door with a stern, “Hey!” All I remember is running, I don’t remember the logistics of if we stopped our business, or how our shorts made their way back up. In our minds he was chasing us and we had to escape against all odds. As a man myself now, I’m sure he said, “Hey!” and walked back inside without giving it a second thought.
I don’t know what it was about spying when I was a kid. There was something about the thrill of seeing without being seen, or the potential of hearing something that wasn’t meant for kids’ ears, or just the challenge of it, but I loved it. It was a fairly common occurrence, I would say, mostly at family get togethers. I suppose it’s the same principle of building forts. My brothers and our friends built a lot of makeshift forts over the years in the yard and we were thrilled at the idea that someone could be walking down the sidewalk and not know we’re even there, draped in the shade of the bushes. Although, I will admit that there was the moment of doubt when we would all assemble in the fort and quietly realize that it would be a rare occurrence that anyone would spot us, care to spot us, or want to do some sort of battle.
For Christmas one year I even got a little listening device that had an antennae. I would hide it near my aunt and uncles, then run to the other room and turn the radio on. I would try to find the frequency on the radio and listen to the salacious details about traffic and whatnot. I was a good spy, and a prolific spy in my day.
Now, I guess I’ve grown out of it.
I don’t hide behind couches, or under blankets, or under tables.
You can’t do that when you’re an adult.
Nope. Now, I just use Facebook.