Thursday, July 21, 2011

did you hear something outside?

I had a crew of youth group kids from a small Minnesota town over last night, who brought me blueberries and pizza and we talked about Cleveland and their hometowns and other stuff too. They were nice kids, still wide-eyed and enthusiastic. I felt bad that I have no air conditioning, let the ceiling fans run, opened all the windows and provided a bowl of ice cubes, fruit punch, and popsicles to keep us cool.

I went to sleep early, lulled by the sound of the wind and dead to the world until 1am when I hear an engine roar and a voice screaming 'you're going down, bitch!' and a crackle through the night air that sounds like gunshots but I'm not sure if I'm hallucinating this coming out of the depths of rapid-eye-movement. I wonder if I'm just dreaming, and I try to calm myself, but what are these bright lights?

Police searchlights, going slowly up and down the street, so I'm not dreaming all this, and I sit on my couch and watch the shadows and the light move across my living room wall, whispering to God because who else wants to hear at a crazy hour of the morning and because I feel something resembling actual fear, more at the not knowing what's going on than anything else, and because it's late, I'm tired, and alone.

I'm wide awake. It's 1am and I can't fall asleep, because even the quiet in between the noise of cars feels menacing, and I find myself cringing every time I hear the roar of another souped-up engine, looking out my window to the couple in the car below me wondering what the hell they're doing in front of my house but it looks like it's either some romantic interlude or something else as the dogs downstairs bark and finally after scrawling some terrible verse to release the tension, my brain is tired and I fall back into rest before rising to immerse myself in the mundane, drink coffee, and try to reawaken and shake this off of me.


Randal Graves said...

I'm sure it was just a secret NSA exercise.

We're not gonna get to see the verse, are we.

Anonymous said...

youth groups give me nightmares too

thatgirl said...

oh these kids were awesome, though my experiences with my peers in a religious setting left a lot to be desired.

What's not so exciting is people who've got something to prove, and use loud cars and guns to prove it.

Anonymous said...

that was my obviously DOA attempt at a joke, that said too bad they didn't get to stay for the reality check on being in communion with the poor, thieves, prostitutes...

thatgirl said...

What was cool was that they spent a week hanging out here and walking around honestly interacting more with the people of the neighborhood than I do.

For being so young, they're already cultivating a compassion that I struggle to maintain. It was humbling in a lot of ways.