I stood over my bed staring at myself sleeping in my bed. I waved my hand in front of my face, dumbstruck in the moment, but still giddy. I felt as if my blood had been replaced with a million little helium-filled balloons.
Holy shit. I had to confirm it was working with someone else.
I crept out of my room, the light from the TV beamed down the hall in the living room, SportsCenter commentary provided the soundtrack. I followed the light and sound over to where I knew my dad would be posted up in his easy chair winding away the night.
I walked right in front of the TV and stood directly in my dad’s direction of sight for a good 30 seconds. My brain was ready for him to twist his head around, cringe his lips from inside the cover of his thick beard and tell me to get the hell out of the way, but none of that happened. He just kept staring mindlessly about some pontification about the future of the Dallas Cowboys.
Holy shit. Time to hit the streets.
I slipped out the back door and into the cool late-summer night. The heart of my suburban southern California town was about a 10-minute walk away and I knew exactly where I was going, but something stopped me cold in my front yard. I spotted my mom nursing a cigarette with her cell phone to her ear, standing between my parents’ cars in the driveway.
I headed over in her direction, kept my dad’s 4Runner between the two of us, even though I was certain I was invisible to her at this point. I immediately heard her voice speak soft and caring, the way I remember her talking to me when I was a little kid.
“I think I’m out of excuses,” I heard her say.
I peered through the windows of my dad’s 4Runner, tears were running down my mom’s sweet face. She wiped them away before speaking again with a clogged throat.
“Not tonight. It won’t work.”
I wasn’t stupid. I could tell what kind of conversation my mom was having and now had an inkling to what she was so distracted by in recent days, weeks.
My heart went into my stomach. I wanted to confront my mom then and there, but couldn’t. One, I wasn’t even sure if I could affect the real world in this state. Two, she couldn’t find out about what I was doing. Instead, I just listened to a few more heartbreaking phrases sobbed by her in between wipes of the nose before I slipped off onto the sidewalk headed for town with a fire burning in my belly.
Everyone at school always talked about The Creek, but only a handful of people had ever actually been there or knew what truly went on there. The subject of much speculation and mystery around the high school, the groups which hung out there were almost like a secret society. Not surprisingly, my loose social circle of Reddit lovers, eGamers and girls with interest in Wicca were not invited.
I didn’t need an invite on this night. Invisible to the world around me, I could slip in without notice and observe what went on there on a Friday night.