Time Passages

“OK, let’s synchronize our watches.”

We look down at our left wrists and, with our right hands, make small movements, adjusting our imaginary watches.

“O400, we attack.” We tip-toe to the bushes — mostly honeysuckle — and look through the branches across the next yard at the enemy. They are also synchronizing THEIR watches. We get down on the ground, crawl on all fours to the fort that is the newly installed central air-conditioner.

“Debbie! Junior! Come in here now! I told you to wash the dishes before you went out to play and those dishes are still on the table!”

We stand up. Debbie and Junior call out from their yard, “We’ll be right back!” My brother and I sit down on the central air-conditioner unit to wait.

Dad yells from the house, “How many times do I have to tell you not to sit on that goddamned thing!” We jump off.

In this the twilight moment between summer and fall, the sun seems to hurry toward the end of the day. Just a month ago we’d have had HOURS left to play, but now our dad’s shrill whistle summons us inside before Debbie and Junior have finished the dishes.


11 thoughts on “Time Passages

  1. Since we have digital time, even the fun of synchonizing stuff has gone. I don’t even wear a watch today, just take my mobile phone with me.

    • And it’s all synchronized with an atomic clock somewhere. Oh no more fun with watches, but I have a solar powered Swatch that I really like. A friend said, “Tell me the story behind that old watch!” I said, “It’s from the 90s, for the love of God. It’s not an old watch.” OH well…

  2. I grew up in the north country. In the summers our forts were logs and brush piles and actual entrenchments. In the winter, the walls would be huge snow balls we’d roll up. Because we were in the north, our summer days were much longer and our winter days shorter. We got to stay outside until after 9 pm in May and June.

    But we didn’t have watches. They’d have been destroyed by our rough play. The sun was good enough.

    • Our watches weren’t real. After supper play when I was a little kid was “Stay in the yard!” We had woods and fields during the summer days and when we were older, we could go wherever we wanted — we liked catching fireflies in the woods. 🙂

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