Monday, January 22, 2007

curb appeal

This morning, sunrays stream through the blinds of my bedroom window like laser beams and wake me from my slumber. I jump out of bed, run up to my window, place my hand against the glass, and peer out the window. It’s a Sunday and what a perfect name for the day—today is the first warm, cloud-free day in a week. I’ve been cooped up inside my house eating microwave dinners and watching re-runs of bad reality shows for the past seven days straight, hiding from the rain and cold. It’s a good thing, too, because our house is beginning to leak, and the heat went out last night. Finally, some good weather for my brothers and me to get out of the house and enjoy a day outside in our old Austin neighborhood. It’s hard to go a day without visiting the new home we’re building just blocks away. I run to my brothers’ bedrooms and round them up to go play and explore the neighborhood. We each slip into our tennis shoes, grab a pop tart, and bust through the backdoor to the garage.

Immediately, we face an unfortunate obstacle: my little brother finds his front tire flat on his bike. Eager to get on the road, we improvise; he hops on the back of my bike—and all four of us role out of the driveway. Our neighborhood is very active—joggers and bikers fill the streets. Everyone roaming the streets seems happy to finally escape from inside their homes.

My oldest brother leads our pack of three bikes towards our new home. We follow the convenient bike route that goes straight our neighborhood down Speedway. After less than a few minutes of riding, we near our new home, marked by the intersection of two streets and a 160 foot tall moonlight tower. The construction definitely progressed over the past week. As my eyes fixate on the newly installed wood siding on the back house, waves of excitement roll from head to toe. Images of my family playing together in the new home fill my mind. I can’t wait until the day we move in! But until then, we’ll continue visit and explore the home, using it as our playhouse.

We speed faster and race to the driveway. My little brother and I jump off and throw the bike down on the cement in a mixture of complete anticipation (of exploring the house) and neglect (of the bike).

“Hide and seek!” yells my brother.

“You’re it!” another one screams, pointing to me. The boys all run off in various directions, and I begin to count with my eyes closed.

Bored of counting and covering my eyes, I start to peak. I continue to count, but peer outside the front window and watch what will soon be my front yard and streets. Buses go by on the street ahead, cars on the street to the side, and a couple lingers next to the moon tower in our neighbor’s yard. Sorority girls jog and just barely miss the novice cyclists biking through the intersection. People turn the corner, edging the curb, just barely brushing shoulders with one another. That curb welds the two streets together. Everyone is going their own direction, yet their paths clash at that one point. I stare in observation of their interactions until I hear a loud and rather annoyed “Helloooooo?!” by my impatient brother who decides he doesn’t want to play hide and seek anymore. Oops…I kind of forgot about the game, anyway.

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