Yesterday a friend and I were swimming at his house when we decided to go check out the house next door. It’s been vacant for several months now, having been a foreclosure. I thought it might be pretty cool to buy it so we could live next door to each other. I’d noticed when driving down the alley that the top panel of the garage door had been pushed in. So we took a wooden ladder over and I climbed up and over the door, dropping down on the inside.
Out of all the millions of minutes that this thing has been completely deserted, my dumb ass had to choose the five-minute period when it was occupied. I got to the top of the garage and into the utility room when I heard talking inside – like two male voices. shit! And suddenly I’m in a predicament. I can’t well go in and introduce myself and say, “Hey, I was just gonna check out the place,” because it is trespassing. And they’d know I had to have crawled through the garage door. And if I go climbing back over it, they’ll hear me. Meanwhile, Eric is in the backyard with the ladder. I told him to take it back there so no one would see it driving down the alley.
Imagine the setting though. This house has been vacant for months. So all the back windows (and the sliding glass door) that look out onto the back yard are all bare. There are no curtains in vacant houses.
So here I stand in the dark garage knowing I’m going to have to evade and escape. And all this thinking happens in less than a second. As soon as I heard the voices, I turned and bolted for the door. Please also remember that I’m in my thirties now. Not a young whip of a boy anymore. I dove over the garage door and took off down the driveway, and here comes Eric running with the ladder. We heard them shout out at us and the back door slid open. Here they come. Now we’d just gotten out of the pool. We were wearing trunks and flip-flops. And as for identifying marks, I have a pretty good sized tattoo on my back.
We’re tearing down the alley with a ladder between us, running like two grown men would run in flip-flops. I say, “Keep going, keep going!” as we pass his driveway. We run up the next one, which is covered with tree branches and shit. So we drop the ladder and hop over all that, dash between a house and a storage shed, and tear up toward the front, then we cut back across and run up to his porch. And the door is locked. Knock knock knock knock knock… Hurry up! The door opens and we haul ass inside.
Okay, so we got away. We’d evaded and escaped. Just like the old days. But now we have to go back and get our ladder. We look out front and see the two trucks sitting there. It’s best to wait ’til they’re gone. But when they finally did leave, I went back and the ladder was gone. Meh.
So on our way out of the neighborhood, my wife and I passed the truck sitting in front of another house. Some appraiser guy, apparently. I take note of his license plate, get home and look it up on publicdata.com. I’ll let you know what he says when I call him later. “I think you have my ladder, asshole.”