There I was, ready to be kissed by the girl of my dreams. Eyes closed, lips puckered, who wouldn’t want to be in my place?
“What are you doing over there, you Ninny?” she said with impatience in her voice. “Come over here to the window, and see what I’ve discovered.”
I didn’t need to come over there, as I had discovered before her, that I had become somebody’s fool, waiting for a kiss, but getting yelled at instead. She had asked me, “Have you ever been kissed?” She let me into her house, and led me up the stairs to her room. Honestly, I didn’t know what women really wanted? I thought, I’d hit my lucky number, or found a pot of gold, but there were no leprechauns for me this time. Actually, I felt like leaving this situation without a word, going back to my otherwise boring, but predictable lifestyle. There was though, something that fascinated me about her, and I couldn’t let her go, just yet.
“Look here” she said and pointed at the view outside her bedroom window. “It’s not very far at all, you see?”
She was right. It was not very far, if you were into breaking your neck, or worse, but what did it have to do with me?
“Listen here, that is the blind side of your house, there is just your window visible.” True, true, but what did that get me, I wondered aloud?
“Aren’t you following me at all? We could go from my house to yours, without anyone knowing about it.” “It would be our own secret passage, allowing us to be together without anyone else to bother us, or tell us who we should play with.”
I admit, it was sounding better all the time, but since I didn’t own wings, or my own Tarzan vine, I still couldn’t see just how I was going to swing from one side to another.
“Look here”, she said, but didn’t wait for me to reply, before she started to crawl underneath her bed throwing out odd shoes, and dusty boxes without watching out for who, or what might have been in the way of flying objects. “Here it is. Have a look!”
There it was, sure as shooting, but what was I looking at? “I don’t understand why I need to explain everything to you? It should be as clear as mud”. It was. Most indeedily so, it was as clear as mud. “Look her Poindexter, all we need to do, is to take these poles that I found here and there, and tie them together. Viola. Your own ladder to freedom”.
I don’t know if it was just me, or if anyone else saw the flaw in her otherwise well thought out plan. It looked like it would fall apart, even before it was assembled. “Uh, just where did you say you found these things?”
“Look, haven’t you been listening to me? Here and there!” She said with growing impatience.
“You mean that you’ve stolen them, here and there?”I replied rather exasperatingly
“Steal, borrow, use for a specific cause, are all parts of the same thing. I did not steal them, otherwise someone would have discovered them missing, and that large dog would have been howling, attracting the wrong kind of attention! But, that dog had found a soup bone, somewhere, at the same time that someone had found these poles, which weren’t doing any good just lying about collecting dust. Sooner or later they would have been thrown away, costing money to do so.”
She had a way of making me believe that she had done the most honorable thing, by salvaging those poles from an otherwise useless end. Some lucky dog had gotten a soup bone, the former owner of those poles would have more room to move around in, and the trash man would be less tired at the end of his work day, not having to drag some wooden poles to his truck. I thought about all of those things, while I was thinking about her hair again, why I didn’t get that kiss, and when my mother would start yelling about where I was!
We set about to assemble the bits and pieces, tossing the things that didn’t fit into one pile, and the things, like soup bones, that didn’t have anything to do with her plan, into another. When we were done, I cautiously began to see, just how long this contraption really was, finally sticking it out of her bedroom window in the direction of mine.
When the last stretch through her window was accomplished, I suddenly realized how far the ground was from here.
“Look” she said, “Don’t you remember how we climbed up that large tree? With nothing other than a few nails holding our weight? Think how much sturdier this is going to be. I’d bet, a small elephant could walk on our ladder, with his trunk wrapped around a pink parasol, while hopping along the ladder towards your room. He wouldn’t be able to fit through the window of course, forcing him to tippy toe back again, gracefully hopping back into my bedroom.”
OK. I was following her elephant story, word for word, but I still felt that the elephant had a better chance of gaining access to her room, than I did.
“What if I’ve made it all the way over to you, but your window is locked, or something? There I would be, without a pink parasol thinking of how far the ground was beginning to look again.” said while looking at the ground below.
“It’s beginning to sound as if you don’t trust me? After all we’ve been through together, you’d let your doubts replace your wanting to visit me in my room, sitting on my bed, waiting to give you a well-deserved kiss of accomplishment! Is that what you want?”
I have to admit, that after the word kiss, I lost track of the rest of the conversation, and just began to stare at her all starry-eyed, and found myself saying, “OK. I’m ready to give it a try!”
Who just said those words? I looked around to see, if anyone else but me had uttered those words, but no. It was me. I started to climb along the ladder, inch by inch, while she began suddenly to prod me even faster. “Hurry up you Ninny, before anyone discovers, what we are up to.”
I wish, I had taken a few of those soup bones to toss toward my Mother, if she suddenly found out what we were up to, hoping that she would find someplace to give them a good chew, while dreaming of entertaining guests, or whatever housewives thought about??
After what seemed like an eternity, I reached the other side. I should have shouted like an Indian on the warpath, which is what they always did in the movies, but I was so relieved at having made it over, without breaking my neck, that I just enjoyed the sense of accomplishment quietly to myself.
“Hey Tarzan! Hurry up while the ladder lasts, open the window, and get inside.”
Uh, my window was unfortunately locked from the inside, and not even a flea’s ear could fit through the cracks on the side. “Flies and mosquitoes”, my Mother would say. She’d been after my Father for some time now to fix the insect screens, and put them on the windows, keeping those nasty things where they belong, outside! “Your Father”, she would start to say, looking intently at me, as if I knew some sort of secret way of getting him to do some of those most important things around the house, but I didn’t you see. The house was tighter than a drum, with only sunlight being allowed in through the windows. I longed for fresh air, but didn’t dare open my window for fear of my Mother storming into my room, slamming the window, and giving me a reprimand that could have been heard in the next county, if not farther.
“Hurry up!”, she said waking me up from my thoughts once again. “The ladder is starting to bend.”
Sure enough, the ladder was starting to bend, …downwards…I hurried back, as quickly as possible thinking of how those things seemed to fall apart behind me, as if in those old movies. You know where King Kong had taken the ladder, swinging the sailors off, letting them fall to their death in the canyon far below. Why didn’t the hero ever get killed? Why was it always the B-actors who met their demise? Why did the hero get the girl in the end? I decided to hurry back in order to be the hero, and get the girl in the end, before his Mother discovered that the ambulance costed money to transport the silly boob, influenced by that Girl next door to do crazy things, over to the hospital, not being able to find my Father in the garage, where he normally would have been hiding.
“There, you made it.” she said as the gorilla took the last shreds of the ladder, throwing them into the chasm below.
“That was a close call, you Ninny.”
I’m not sure exactly why, but I was getting used to being called a Ninny. She was aware of my existence, after all!
“Now look at the mess below us! Who is going to clean that up?”
We both knew who that somebody was, and he was on the way to do so. We had proved that it could be done, and who knows? Maybe I will be welcomed into her Garden of Eden another time. That name was just in my head, you know, because if Mom knew, I was talking about the Bible in a less than holy way, she’d have to wash my mouth out with soap. “It was a matter of principal”, she’d say.
I was just happy that I made it back in one piece, and that my friend with the wavy hair and such was still talking to me. Who knows? She might have blamed me, if I had fallen, then I would have had to maintain radio silence so as not to disclose, whose idea it had been in the first place. I’m glad that it turned out the way that it did all the same.
As she was closing her front door behind me, she replied, “Not so bad for a Ninny like you”.
“You are lucky to have a friend like me, saving your skinny butt and all. Darn lucky!”
It’s true, I was darn lucky….