It was Sunday afternoon, and The Observer had just finished watching an old movie about how the Tudors took care of their enemies in the 16th century when we saw something that really infuriated us: Drag racing on Kavanaugh.
A white truck pursuing a white car, both flying down the curving and narrow two-lane, pulled into the lane of oncoming traffic at about 80 miles an hour to overcome the car. We heard a screeching of brakes around the corner and then zoomed engines. The truck had almost hit a car at the intersection, the folks outside the Afterthought told us.
We were walking with our new driver at the time, a teen-ager, wondering whether her reaction time would have been good enough to survive an encounter with an idiot-driven truck. Hell hath no wrath like a parent.
Suddenly, we were mentally drawing and quartering the drivers of those speeding cars, and waggling their scooped out intestines in their faces. A little Tudor comeuppance — that's exactly what they deserved.
The high on Sept. 1 in Little Rock was 62 degrees. What good thing did we do to deserve that?
If we'd been better, would it have come on a weekend rather than a workday?
Not that we're complaining about the weekend. The only thing hot was the head of the driver of that white truck. Hot and empty. We think we hear the death panel calling.
The Observer learned this weekend that there is something more excruciating and difficult than hiking up the east side of Pinnacle Mountain when you're not as hale as you thought you were, and that's getting dragged up the east side of Pinnacle by an energetic, tail-wagging, rock-hopping little dog.
We also learned that our best friend's pup Eddie — a schnauzer mix — is also part mountain goat. He even has the little scruffy goatee to go along with it.
We decided to take advantage of this irregular bout of somewhat-cool weather by making the trek. A friend of The Observer thought it would be a good idea to bring along Eddie and Ollie, a larger, somewhat clumsier dog. He is brown. That's the best we can do for a description of his lineage.
Any misgivings we had about whether they could make the climb were quickly dispelled. Both bounded up the mountain effortlessly. Eddie took his time to carefully plot his course along the path of least resistance, moving at a fast clip on his stubby legs. Neither he nor Ollie seemed to care that we were on the other end of their leashes, requiring us to leap over a jagged rock here or take an ill-advised foothold there.
Finally we decided to let the little boogers off the hook, calling on them to “wait up” as we heaved our way up the unforgiving rocks.
Once up on the mountaintop, we took a much deserved break and drank about as much water as we could drink. Refreshed, all of us sat in a row: four old friends and two little dogs, all panting like crazy and enjoying the quiet, the trees, the river, the sunset.
Round about 1 a.m. Sunday morning, The Observer was standing with his brother in a mown field, watching the moon sail overhead in the gray sky like the Flying Dutchman — chatting, laughing, swatting at mosquitoes and commenting on the stars. The Observer and his younger bro D. are five years apart. When The Observer was 5 or 6, D. was just a baby, and didn't make a good enough playmate to warrant much of our attention. By the time he was 5 or 6, The Observer was in junior high, and we didn't want anything to do with him. By the time he was in high school, we were in college and didn't have much time for him.
These days, though, talking to our brother is like talking to ourselves. A few years back, after The Observer moved home to Little Rock from Afar, we sorta rediscovered each other. We soon found that while we weren't looking, he became a heck of a guy. These days, he's the one friend who we can say absolutely anything to; who will always shoot straight with us; who always laughs at our jokes, even if they're funny/strange instead of funny/ha-ha.
Kids: You may think you hate your siblings now, but give it a few years. They're the only people in the world who will ever really “get” you.