looking for a thrillI can still see his feet and arms fly toward the ceiling from that split second glance I stole from him so many decades ago. Funny how a millisecond in time can be etched into our minds for life… It was in the long gone days of adolescence when not more than a few minutes of boredom could fuel less that honorable actions.

The fall night was brisk, the desert moon had the rare night off and my buddy Dave and I were looking for a thrill. I remember navigating the winding and hilly streets that had no sidewalks or street lights when it was so dark you couldn’t see the pavement hunched over at the waist in search of it.

We played all the games the urban kids did, but some of the best games were played on other people’s possessions and at their expense. It was one of those light forsaken nights that I retired from one of my all time favorite adolescent games… I can’t remember if it was Dave’s idea or mine, but we were definitely up for another round of “Ring and Run.”

The big living room window was wide open and we could hear voices coming from inside as we crept up the steep blacktop driveway. “We could get caught!” Dave whispered, backhanding me in the shoulder. That made it even better… I backhanded him in excitement and tradition for good measure. The sidewalk led to the front door and one of the best adolescent toys ever made; a doorbell on the other side of that open window. “We can crawl underneath!” I whispered back.

Maybe it was my neighborhood that made me feel like I should lead… or maybe just sheer stupidity… Probably a solid dose of both…

I stopped just under and at the corner of the big window and spied into the house… Four people, two men and two women. Happily visiting like folks used to do more of. I could tell the guy closest to the door was the owner. He had black horn-rimmed glasses, thinning brown hair, his arms folded and resting behind his head as he lounged in the vinyl orange chair that had survived the sixties.

With my heart beating in my throat, I started to crawl toward the musical button flanking the door. Half way across I spotted Dave chickening out and making his way slowly back down the steep driveway. I’m not sure what possessed me to, but I suddenly jumped up in the middle of the wide window and yelled at the top of my lungs, “AAHHHHHHH!!!” and was off like The Flash.

You don’t think about things like looking into a bright lit room then turning to sprint down a steep black driveway not knowing where it flattens out at the street when you’re a kid. The man that pert near jumped outta his skin would have been happy to know my knees and hands looked like hamburger after I hit the road at the bottom of his driveway…

I think about things like that when I spot folks running through life – full speed ahead into danger, not considering the consequences and the cost of finding a thrill. It’s a wise person that calculates the cost…