Posted by denelle
The end of summer is drawing near, and while the sky is a beautiful clear blue, I have selected a short sleeved sweatshirt top and shorts for my outfitting. Despite what people think of Southern California, there is fog in the morning, bursts of rain in the fall, and an occassional blustery wind sweeping through from a blazing forest fire somewhere in the hills. It’s best to be prepared for sudden chills at the beginning of fall.
Plus, the area I am playing in today is shady with trees and the sun hasn’t found its way in through the foliage cover. But that is fine with me. I’m feeling a little secretive today anyway. My friend – Mary – has asked me over for a long last day of freedom before our new school year begins, and we have to start worrying about geography, vocabulary and math issues. And so, having dined on egg-salad sandwiches and lemonade, we now find ourselves lumbering around the street a few blocks from Mary’s house.
The street is quiet.
Must be all the old people are still at work.
Mary and I sit on the sidewalk and talk about important, life changing issues, like that cute boy Paul Mayasich, whom I am almost in love with. We find sticks to fling at the bushes and make kazoos out of blades of grass. The thrilling days of summer wind to an end and we are solemn in our longing for more vacation time. Suddenly I am struck with a lightning bolt of brilliance, convinced I have found a way to give us both that last boost of adrenaline we will desperately need to start another boring, confining and exhausting school year.
I lead Mary to the middle of the road and sit with her in the street. It’s a residential street, not a busy highway. There aren’t six lanes of traffic, or even a Tastee-Freeze at the corner. It’s just a neighborhood block. Still, cars come down the street, drivers eager to reach their homes after a long and annoying work day. But before they arrive home for the night, they encounter us, sitting Indian style in the shade of the trees.
It takes them a minute to notice us…they weren’t really expecting anything out of the ordinary, and we are in the shade after all. They slow down, of course, these aren’t homicidal maniacs here – just average working class folk, on their way home and irritated at two stupid children playing in the middle of the street. But they slow down, instead of mowing us over, and honk their horns with a stern, scolding look that tells me they have children of their own.
Slowly, with great effort and much drama, Mary and I get up off the asphalt. We look them dead in the eyes. We let our jaws drop slack, and roll our eyes in the back of our heads. We flail our arms and make strange gargling noises, heads lolling around like they are not at all attached in any way. We lumber toward the cars with our outstretched arms, our intentions unclear, but perhaps an afternoon snack is on the agenda.
And one after the other, each driver looks at us with wide, unbelieving eyes. You might think they are just shaking their heads, rolling their eyes because we are stupid kids being stupid kids. Personally, I think they are fear stricken and headed home in terror, because they have quietly wet themselves in the car. Another successful Zombie attack to write down in my diary…