by Lillian Csernica on June 22, 2015
I love to travel, but I don’t get away as much as I’d like to. On the other hand, the whole world comes to me when I just sit back and listen.
Those lovely folks at Merriam-Webster provide this definition for eavesdrop:
“to listen secretly to what other people are saying.”
My room is on the second floor of the house, facing out onto the driveway. This means I get to keep an eye on who’s coming and going at this end of my street. What’s far more fascinating is sitting up here with the window open and my ceiling fan going, sipping a refreshing drink while I listen to what’s going on out there. The people I hear the most from are my two closest neighbors. Am I invading their privacy? The folks who live on my right have a pool in their back yard. During the summer months they’re out there on a daily basis. They’re nice people, with two young daughters. The older girl is quiet and polite. Her little sister is an unholy terror, one of those angel-faced brats I’ve been at war with ever since I was old enough to walk.
On a recent weekend these neighbors had company, which happens a lot. The adults all went somewhere and left the two girls plus the children of their visitors in the keeping of the grandfather, who is also part of the household. Sure enough, the Brat started in, hollering loud enough to drown out everybody else. All I could hear was her shrieking, “I want the pool light on!” Over and over and over again, same inflection, same demand. That finally stopped. I don’t know if she got what she wanted or one of the adults managed to distract her with something else. There is no disciplining this little monster. She’s got more tricks up her sleeve than a master magician.
Not all that exciting, you say? Hardly worth the bother? Mind you, this child is about six years old. I tried to concentrate on my work, but when the shrieking got going again, I caught one key word: “Vampire.” Uh huh. So I kept listening. Sure enough, about five minutes later I hear her bellow, “They suck your blood!” The evil glee in her voice brought to mind the days when the kids in our neighborhood got together and tried to scare each other silly. Now here’s the punchline. The general rumble of the other kids’ voices went on. Then the Brat shrieks, “Get out of my house!” They were already outside. She was doing a good imitation of an adult issuing a command. I’m starting to wonder if Mommy and Daddy have been letting their little hellspawn watch monster movies, or maybe even True Blood.
Tell me this isn’t the material for some kind of story!