Planned, written and edited with a thirty five minute time limit using the following quotes as inspiration. 1. Do not go gentle into that good night but rage, rage against the dying of the light.
2. Youth has no age.
3. You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old.
4. Let us never know what old age is. Let us know the happiness time brings, not count the years.
Breath in, hold. Left foot, right foot. Don’t step on plank six; the one with the knot that looks like a face.
Breath out, reset. Breath in, left, right, left, right. Pause. Did I wake mum up?
I stand frozen, I can hear my heart beating through my ear, but nothing else. Silence echoes through the house. Six feet of jarrah floor boards separates me and the front door. But don’t forget that these are the ones that creak the most. I hover over them, barely a whisper escapes my mouth.
I place my left hand on the door handle and gently disengage the locking mechanism. The pins and gearing inside turn and click, booming throughout the house under the inescapable weight of the complete auditory oblivion in the dark corridor behind me. I pull, and the hinges grant me egress from my own home. Freedom; or so close to it.
Like the wind, I continue silently, invisible down the brick pathway and toward my front gate. The white picket fence is my final foe. As I approach, the full moon rising over the roof behind me casts a shadow on the lever locked gate that I now stand before. As I lift the triangular wedge from its housing and open the gate the silence evaporates.
The neighbour’s dog, Missy, as astute a guard as those protecting Buckingham Palace must’ve tracked my movements through the garden. And now, upon hearing the all too familiar metallic clicking and scratching of the gate being opened, has decided that someone must be alerted to my presence.
Just go, do it! I think. I slam the gate shut behind me and pace down the street, away from Missy and her vociferous calls to alarm.
As I enter my parked car around the corner I consider what my thirteen year old self would have thought if he was told he would still be sneaking out of the house thirty years later. Of course Mum only just recently needed me to move back in as her dementia made cooking and cleaning harder. In years gone by I would stomp right out of the house and onward to my night job at the petrol station, but now her sleep has become so delicate and so scarce that I try my hardest not to disturb her.
Never in my life did I think that the art of silent escape from mum’s house to engage in childhood nocturnal delinquency would come back to help me all these years later, but here we are.