I was supposed to die that day, but I didn't, so instead, I must live. ~Jon Dupin
I was once young and dumb, now I am not quite so young. Reading Jon's words in Lynchburg Living this month got me thinking back over my life and some of the times I came close to the edge. There were times when that seemed the point of adolescence, to see how close we could come without taking the fall, or at least one not too high.
Back in high school, One night I was hanging out with my cousin, with nothing to do but wait for our friend Chappy to arrive. I don't know if we had watched one too many westerns with stagecoach robberies or played off our internal drive to be misfits, but we got the bright idea that we would ambush him as he came up the road.
This was a pretty easy task as my cousin lived down a gravel road that wound through the woods to the top of a hill. An expanse of trees created a bubble of solitude from the neighbors and a canvas to paint our adventures on.
We crept through the woods until we found the perfect spot, only one neighbor between us and his house, and they seemed to be in for the night. The thing about gravel roads, you can hear people coming for miles. Gravels crunching was our starter pistol and we pulled dead trees across the road to impede his progress.
Slinking back into the shadows, our hearts beat like bass drums threatening to give us away. When the car came to a stop, those drums nearly stopped. It was not Chappy. The man unfolded himself from the car, looked at the barricade and pulled his pistol from beneath his seat.
"Come out now!", maybe he thought we were crazy enough to be target practice.
Dry sweat flooded out of my pores, as I wondered how long I could hold my breath. Barely twenty feet of trees separated us from certain doom. We dare not move or make a noise. After what seemed like an eternity, the man removed the branches and went on to the neighbor's house. What once was fun, had turned into a nightmare. I don't remember much else about that night, memory lost to the overriding fear.
I am unsure the statute of limitations on getting a whooping from your parents, but expect to find out next time I see them. I was once young and dumb, now I am not quite so young and maybe a little wiser.