The Field Across the Street

Watch, the field across the street.

We simply called it the field.  It was the vacant plot across from our house, just off Alta Mira.  We’d say, Hey we’re going to the field.  She’d tell us, Watch for cars.  In the field, our curiosity fueled imaginations were the only boundaries.  Well that and the wash.  She’d tell us, Watch for skateboarders.  They were bad news, you see, they pimped blow, pops, down there with their graffiti in the wash, at the bottom of the field.  One night we threw eggs, from the high edge of the field, just off Bennett, and I wanted to tell her, Skateboarders aren’t the ones to watch.

Did everyone have a field across the street?  She’d say, No chance.  We were the select few.  He’d laugh, she’d say, Mud on your new clothes?  It was a mud clot war.  We had to separate a school day from the weekend.  Oh yea?  Too many gofer holes to play soccer, you see?  She saw, because she gripped a white coffee and watched us from behind the fence, just past the cars we had to watch.  A cut above your eye?  You shouldn’t throw mud, she’d say.  Or get hit by it, I’d say back. 

Watch for broken glass, she’d say.  Kites grew old with steady wind.  Tree was too big to climb, and so were we.  The field was the perfect spot for a first kiss, and then kissing competitions.  Not a bad place to sneak a six-pack, either.  No glass in the field, only down in the wash where the skateboarders used to hang.   

Blink.  We cut through the field to another school.  Then they built houses on the field, didn’t matter because we just drove around.  She’d tell us, See, I told you, watch.  Watch for time, it is what made you the select few.  It was time, and you, that made a vacant pile of dirt into something more.  Our field, I’d say, and the time that we were watched by you. 

Categories: Creative Writing, I Remember When, Life, Mom, Perspective

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3 replies

  1. Oh I had a field, all right. I grew up on a 165 acre farm! 😉

  2. Nice memory! We didn’t have a field across the street, we had a woods and a meadow (which became a swamp in the spring) behind our house on the other side of the lane and over the railroad tracks. That undeveloped space was used for much the same activities as what you wrote about. It’s now filled with a Superstore, apartment/condo complexes and a Hebrew school/synagogue and no more train tracks, too. Aaahh, progress!

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