Friday, April 18, 2008

Vandalism and Creepy Little Boys

Several years ago a man on a nearby street accused me of beating his mailbox with a baseball bat. He claimed that I had done this to take revenge for him yelling at me as I sped by his house. I was flabbergasted, as I was innocent of both the pretext (the speeding) and the crime. Nonetheless the man persisted, saying he had seen me smashing his mailbox late at night. Unfortunately I first had to convince my father of my innocence (somehow he doubted it, despite my history of 4.0+ grades, avoidance of risky behavior and confrontation, and generally gentle demeanor). Once this was satisfactorily accomplished, we visited the man at his home to hash things out. Offended at the accusation, I struggled to maintain my composure and not give anyone a reason to think I was capable of such violence. We left, with me not taking responsibility, but still apologizing for the damage. To this day I do not know whether the man truly believed I was the culprit, or whether he made the story up.

The reason this story became relevant again recently is the regular appearance of a creepy blond boy walking by my house. Every few weeks, as I'm outside getting the mail or going to my car, I'll see him walking back from school. As he passes my house, he turns to stare at me, and often continues walking backwards and staring until he's 200 feet away. I hypothesized about the provenance of this strange child; he seemed to appear out of nowhere, and disappear up the hill. Finally, last week, these two strange pieces of my life came together when I saw the boy in the yard of my accuser. Evidently he is the man's son.

For all I know the man tells his son bedtime stories about the kid at 1675 A---- who smashed their mailbox when the boy was just a tot. So the boy stares at me with intrigue, the way any normal child might stare at the neighborhood criminal.

But hopefully this strange drama is at its end, for the house in question is now up for sale.

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