My wife teases me, because I’m a “nosy neighborhood busy-body.” I prefer to think of myself as a dog-walking man who notices things.
“The people in the gray house on the middle of the block got a new motorcycle!”
“Young couple with a poodle did some nice front landscaping.”
“The Garske’s replaced their landscape timber with bricks; it looks great!”
(I know the Garske’s name because they have a sign that says “The Garske’s”; I also know we have similar political preferences; I spoke to them one time – when our dogs were barking at each other).
So. It’s not surprise that over the last couple of years I watched an empty house a block away get an extreme “flip” makeover. When it went on the market, you better believe I looked it up. It was neat to get a feel for the inside shape of this (kind of overpriced) house.
Last week I was walking the dog. I hear a little voice shouting Hiiii! and Heyyyyy! I look across the street at the aforementioned house. I see the brightly painted pillars on the porch, the crisp, grey vinyl siding. And sitting in the window I see a 2 or 3 year old boy in socks and underpants (maybe a diaper). His feet are hanging out of the window. He is screaming Heyyyyy! Hahaha! It is 6:30 am on a Saturday. No one else is up and moving on the block that I can see.
Internal monologue: Does this kid even see me? I can’t go over, my dog might bark and scare him. Surely there is someone on the other side of the curtains that knows he’s sitting with his feet hanging out the window. I should say some- no, if I go over there, people might think I mean to harm him. And I still have a dog with me anyway?!
I continue walking this whole time, glancing back, but pretending not to notice. Because the last thing I need is a 2 year old in a diaper chasing me shouting “Doggy.” And it seems like a distinct possibility.
About this time, a vehicle pulls in the drive way, and a voice is shouting out of it “WHAT IN THE WORLD! GET IN THE HOUSE, HOW DID YOU….”
The whole thing took 60 seconds. I glance back a final time, relieved, to see the adult putting the screen back into the window frame. . .a little voice on the other side of the blinds, still saying Hiiiii!
Daisy and I out for a walk, the house in question, to the right.
Perfect tension in your story about “what if”, “maybe” with a positive resolution. I believe you are observant while walking your dog, not nosy at all!
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I love this and it totally reminds of a slice … I could write. I love how you let us into your internal dialogue … I have to admit I was hoping the kid jumped out the window. What a lucky day for this kid to meet you … I
Oh toddling escape artists are a delight and a fright. I enjoyed how you pulled us into the moment. The questioning, the worry, the relief as it played out. Keep being observant.
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