Monday, 3 June 2019

A RAMBLING REMINISCENCE...


Nah, this isn't it, but it's vaguely similar

Here's a true tale of something that happened around 34 or 35 years ago that I've suddenly just remembered.  I was walking home one evening, along a route that took me past a school, when I noticed that the bottom glass panel of a door had been kicked in.  I was all for passing on, when curiosity got the better of me. Perhaps someone had broken the pane to gain access, and maybe they were still inside.  If so, they'd be bound to be teenagers, and I was then strong, fit, and confident that I could look after myself - even against more than one person. (Maybe one day I'll relate a couple of events that demonstrate I'm not just confusing ambition with ability.  Hark - is that the John Williams SUPERMAN theme I hear?)

Anyway, I walked over to the door and crouched down at the aperture, listening to hear if I could detect any sounds of activity from within, but there was nothing.  I decided to call the police when I got home and alert them to the vandalism, assuming that they'd check to see if anyone was on the premises.  Thing is, by the time I got home, I was so lost in thought that I took the dog out for a walk and forgot all about it, and never did call the local constabulary.  When I eventually remembered a couple of days later, I figured it was too late to bother and that the door would have had at least a temporary repair effected by then anyway.

Cut to quite a while later.  I no longer recall whether it was weeks or months afterwards, but I know it wasn't in the immediate aftermath.  As I was again walking home one night, I heard one of two or three passing boys say to the other(s) "That's the guy who broke into the school!"  It was a mumble, and at first I had to think whether I'd heard right, but that's what it sounded like.  Of course, by then, I'd completely forgotten about the broken panel, and it took me a while to work out what the boy could've been referring to.  (Which is why I know it wasn't any time soon after the event.)  Then it hit me - the boy must have seen me (from some hidden vantage point) crouching beside the door, listening, and assumed I'd been the culprit.

I fully expected a chap at my door at some stage after that, but nothing ever came of it.  It bothered me though (and still does) that I was considered a 'suspect' in the very crime I'd intended to report, but didn't.  These boys will be all grown up by now with wives and kids of their own, and I can't help but wonder if they still remember me and consider me a vandal or a burglar.  The school seemed to be a target for neds, as some years later it fell victim to arson, necessitating it being demolished and a new building being erected in its place.  The new construct was more like a fortress than a school, but given its history, is it any wonder?

Anyway, this has been a rambling reminiscence - I hope you found it worth your while to read.

******

There's another possibility of course.  It now occurs to me that the boy might've said "That's the guy from when we broke into the school!", meaning that they were the perpetrators and had seen me crouched at the door, or had seen me through a window walking away.  I'd really only heard the key words... 'guy - broke into - school'... and filled in the blanks to make sense of it, so I could've got it wrong.

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