It’s About Time!

September 14, 2009

…that I post this story. We’re writing Personal Essays in my Advanced Composition class based on a memorable experience that was followed by a “learned life lesson”. Since I don’t really… learn from my mistakes, I decided to make up the lesson part and just tell the story of breaking into Alec’s house. HERE WE GO!

I slammed Mallory’s car door eagerly, swinging my bag over my shoulder as I walked with her to her front door. The house smelled like freedom and blueberries.
So far, junior year looked fantastic. Because of our new off period, on “A” days we would have just three classes, from 9:05 to 1:53, and then we’d be free to peruse the world as we wished. It sounded like a much better use of time than economics or principles of technology. I grinned happily, and Mallory tossed me a bagel as we debated how to spend our time. I chewed thoughtfully. And chewed, and chewed.
“Don’t you have some cream cheese or something? Butter?” I asked, frowning at my unusually dry bagel. It was partially stale, and had the texture of a starchy cushion. She sighed, emerging from the refrigerator door. She was looking at her bagel with the same gloomy expression I was wearing.
“The Barnetts have some, remember? When we looked in their fridge last week?”
The Barnetts were her neighbors, a nuclear family: two parents, a plethora of cats, and two children. The mother (whom we greatly disliked) always wore an expression as if there was something foul under her nose. One of the kids was away at college, and the other, Alec, was in the grade below us. The three of us weren’t really friends, but we knew him well enough to sneak up on him from behind and attack his buzz cut. His hair felt like a moldy peach, and it was especially fun as he was six foot tall and quite against anyone touching his head. I thought longingly of the delicious tubs of strawberry cream cheese sitting in his fridge, forgotten.
“Yeah,” I said finally, “but Alec won’t even be out of school for a couple hours. And his parents are at work until at least five thirty.”
As I spoke, her eyes grew wider. By the time I finished, her expression was filled with deviancy. She grabbed my wrist in one hand and the bag of parched bagels in the other, pulling us both out of the door and across the cul-de-sac.
“Alec gave me the garage code last week,” she said, a mad grin on her face.
“Excellent!” I said, “Maybe they’ve got something entertaining to do, too. Do you realize we’ve played Mario Kart Wii about forty six times now?”
She laughed, and typed in the code. Both of us were giggling madly on the high of doing something we weren’t suppose to, and ducked under the squealing automatic garage door before it finished opening. Neither of us was keen on being seen by any of the other neighbors, who, for all we knew, spent all day looking through their blinds and curtains, waiting to spot wrongdoers.
We ran to the kitchen, where we found the promised tubs of cream cheese. But three satisfying bagels later, the fun had worn off; we’d become acclimatized to the danger of being caught. I looked up, wondering if we should just go back home, when my eyes fell on a large purple box across the room. It looked like a board game.
“Hey, what’s Cadoo?” I asked.
About half an hour passed and we were both standing in the Barnetts’ back yard, drenched in water and speckled with bits of runny, turquoise play-dough. The play-dough that came with Cadoo was more like purple concrete, so we had decided to make our own. One thing led to another (“It’s way too watery to be like actual play-dough!”), and we had ended up tossing soggy clumps of play-dough at each other outside. Of course, we didn’t want to ruin our own clothes—they were harder to wash than the basketball shorts and t-shirts we had found in Alec’s drawers.
We thought we were pretty successful; the clothes, though dripping madly, seemed clean. We changed back into our own clothes (leaving Alec’s to dry outside in the intense Texas heat), cleaned up the kitchen, and grabbed the rest of the bagels that had started it all.
Around five-thirty, Mallory and I were strewn across her bed, making plans to spend our every off period doing something exciting inside the Barnetts’ house. I gazed happily out the window, thinking of all the stories that we’d be able to tell. The excitement was immediately snuffed out, and I felt my blood run cold.
Mrs. Barnett was coming up the walk, an even more foul expression on her face than usual. In her arms were two shirts and two pairs of shorts, still sopping wet and still flecked with play-dough. I turned to Mallory in horror, who was still joyfully gabbing on about what we should do next. I poked her rather violently, and she looked up to see that awful woman coming up the walk. The doorbell rang shrilly, and we heard Mallory’s mother answer the door. The combination of her surprised tone and Mrs. Barnett’s cacophonous voice carried upstairs, and we knew we were done for.
Once Mallory’s mother found out what we had done, she lectured us for nearly an hour (“The property of others should be respected!”) before grounding her daughter and sending me back to my own house.
It’s over a year later, and the both of us are still terrified of Mrs. Barnett. If she’s over at Mallory’s house for any reason, we hide upstairs, pretending that we don’t exist. If we are forced (for whatever reason) to visit the Barnetts’, we hide our hands in our pockets and avoid eye contact. Maybe that’s our way of respecting her property, but it feels a whole lot more like cowardice. The event taught us more than to fear Mrs. Barnett tenfold, though. Next time we’re looking for cream cheese, we’ll just go to the freaking grocery store instead of breaking and entering.

I slammed Mallory’s car door eagerly, swinging my bag over my shoulder as I walked with her to her front door. The house smelled like freedom and blueberries.

So far, junior year looked fantastic. Because of our new off period, on “A” days we would have just three classes, from 9:05 to 1:53, and then we’d be free to peruse the world as we wished. It sounded like a much better use of time than economics or principles of technology. I grinned happily, and Mallory tossed me a bagel as we debated how to spend our time. I chewed thoughtfully. And chewed, and chewed.

“Don’t you have some cream cheese or something? Butter?” I asked, frowning at my unusually dry bagel. It was partially stale, and had the texture of a starchy cushion. She sighed, emerging from the refrigerator door. She was looking at her bagel with the same gloomy expression I was wearing.

“The Barnetts have some, remember? When we looked in their fridge last week?”

The Barnetts were her neighbors, a nuclear family: two parents, a plethora of cats, and two children. The mother (whom we greatly disliked) always wore an expression as if there was something foul under her nose. One of the kids was away at college, and the other, Alec, was in the grade below us. The three of us weren’t really friends, but we knew him well enough to sneak up on him from behind and attack his buzz cut. His hair felt like a moldy peach, and it was especially fun as he was six foot tall and quite against anyone touching his head. I thought longingly of the delicious tubs of strawberry cream cheese sitting in his fridge, forgotten.

“Yeah,” I said finally, “but Alec won’t even be out of school for a couple hours. And his parents are at work until at least five thirty.”

As I spoke, her eyes grew wider. By the time I finished, her expression was filled with deviancy. She grabbed my wrist in one hand and the bag of parched bagels in the other, pulling us both out of the door and across the cul-de-sac.

“Alec gave me the garage code last week,” she said, a mad grin on her face.

“Excellent!” I said, “Maybe they’ve got something entertaining to do, too. Do you realize we’ve played Mario Kart Wii about forty six times now?”

She laughed, and typed in the code. Both of us were giggling madly on the high of doing something we weren’t suppose to, and ducked under the squealing automatic garage door before it finished opening. Neither of us was keen on being seen by any of the other neighbors, who, for all we knew, spent all day looking through their blinds and curtains, waiting to spot wrongdoers.

We ran to the kitchen, where we found the promised tubs of cream cheese. But three satisfying bagels later, the fun had worn off; we’d become acclimatized to the danger of being caught. I looked up, wondering if we should just go back home, when my eyes fell on a large purple box across the room. It looked like a board game.

“Hey, what’s Cadoo?” I asked.

About half an hour passed and we were both standing in the Barnetts’ back yard, drenched in water and speckled with bits of runny, turquoise play-dough. The play-dough that came with Cadoo was more like purple concrete, so we had decided to make our own. One thing led to another (“It’s way too watery to be like actual play-dough!”), and we had ended up tossing soggy clumps of play-dough at each other outside. Of course, we didn’t want to ruin our own clothes—they were harder to wash than the basketball shorts and t-shirts we had found in Alec’s drawers.

We thought we were pretty successful; the clothes, though dripping madly, seemed clean. We changed back into our own clothes (leaving Alec’s to dry outside in the intense Texas heat), cleaned up the kitchen, and grabbed the rest of the bagels that had started it all.

Around five-thirty, Mallory and I were strewn across her bed, making plans to spend our every off period doing something exciting inside the Barnetts’ house. I gazed happily out the window, thinking of all the stories that we’d be able to tell. The excitement was immediately snuffed out, and I felt my blood run cold.

Mrs. Barnett was coming up the walk, an even more foul expression on her face than usual. In her arms were two shirts and two pairs of shorts, still sopping wet and still flecked with play-dough. I turned to Mallory in horror, who was still joyfully gabbing on about what we should do next. I poked her rather violently, and she looked up to see that awful woman coming up the walk. The doorbell rang shrilly, and we heard Mallory’s mother answer the door. The combination of her surprised tone and Mrs. Barnett’s cacophonous voice carried upstairs, and we knew we were done for.

Once Mallory’s mother found out what we had done, she lectured us for nearly an hour (“The property of others should be respected!”) before grounding her daughter and sending me back to my own house.

It’s over a year later, and the both of us are still terrified of Mrs. Barnett. If she’s over at Mallory’s house for any reason, we hide upstairs, pretending that we don’t exist. If we are forced (for whatever reason) to visit the Barnetts’, we hide our hands in our pockets and avoid eye contact. Maybe that’s our way of respecting her property, but it feels a whole lot more like cowardice. The event taught us more than to fear Mrs. Barnett tenfold, though. Next time we’re looking for cream cheese, we’ll just go to the fucking grocery store instead of breaking and entering.

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5 Responses to “It’s About Time!”

  1. sarahlynch Says:

    HAAAAAAAAA.
    See, I’m too much a pussy to do that kind of stuff, and I think that’s why I’m always so damn bored with life.

  2. malnuggets Says:

    Man, you described it flawlessly.
    Miss you, love you.
    (I FEEL LIKE I’M FUCKING TALKING TO MY UNCLE OR SOMETHING, ONLY THIS TIME I ACTUALLY MEAN IT, AND YOU’RE NOT MEXICAN.)


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