Laurel, Hardy, Three Kids, and an Electric Bill

May 30, 2012

As you might know, on most nights that my dogs get a walk, it happens around 9:00 PM. It's an odd hour to hoof it through one's neighborhood, since most people are in, but most haven't yet gotten to bed. I get little half-second glimpses of their lives, through lit windows that show a snippit of interior to me while hiding my walk from them behind a dark reflection.

Mostly, I see flat screen TV's, and in the fall, there's usually a football game on. Occasionally, I see something odd. (Well, more than occasionally if you count the neighbors who have a full size trapeze in their front yard, but theirs is another story for another day.)

Today, I came home and wrote a description of the house that struck me as most odd. I still can't imagine why they had so many lights on at once.

What first caught my eye was the fact that every light in the house was ablaze. Both stories had lots of tall windows, and every one had bright light pouring out into the street. Even looking around the corner at the side of the house that stretched across the huge lot away from the sidewalk had long, tall, arched windows, and even those showed an interior with every single light turned on. Three older children sat on the front stoop, their silouettes contrasting sharply with the downstairs window to the left of the door. I heard them talking, and I turned down my ipod to try to catch what they were saying, but as I did, their conversation stopped. I could feel their eyes on my as I padded across their lawn on the uneven sidewalk. A small cockroach scurried in front of me, but that's common in the Summer night, and neither dog nor man paid it any attention. On the right side of the house, the bright windows framed a small dining room. On one side of the table, a morbidly obese man talked while wearing a salmon colored shirt. Across the table, and showing through a different window, was a thin man, who might have been wearing a tuxedo. There was certainly a startched shirt and a bow tie, but no jacket was in evidence. I wanted to stop and watch -- what could this odd pair be doing, but I felt the eyes of the children watching and willing me to pass. I was out of earshot when their conversation resumed.

Come to think of it, when I mop the floors, I find that all of the lights are on by the time I'm done. I guess I flick them on to see what I'm doing, and then back myself out of the room and out of reach of the switches because of the wet floors. Maybe that's what was going on. It would explain why the kids were sent out front, but not the weird scene in the dining room.