“OK, let’s synchronize our watches.”
We look down at our left wrists and, with our right hands, make small movements, adjusting our imaginary watches.
“O400, we attack.” We tip-toe to the bushes — mostly honeysuckle — and look through the branches across the next yard at the enemy. They are also synchronizing THEIR watches. We get down on the ground, crawl on all fours to the fort that is the newly installed central air-conditioner.
“Debbie! Junior! Come in here now! I told you to wash the dishes before you went out to play and those dishes are still on the table!”
We stand up. Debbie and Junior call out from their yard, “We’ll be right back!” My brother and I sit down on the central air-conditioner unit to wait.
Dad yells from the house, “How many times do I have to tell you not to sit on that goddamned thing!” We jump off.
In this the twilight moment between summer and fall, the sun seems to hurry toward the end of the day. Just a month ago we’d have had HOURS left to play, but now our dad’s shrill whistle summons us inside before Debbie and Junior have finished the dishes.