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I Have Entered the Twilight Zone

Updated: Jan 30, 2022

By Bob Deakin

I never liked the Twilight Zone television show and now I know why: I’m one of the characters.

I took a walk down memory lane in my old neighborhood in Danbury, Connecticut, the other day and although it looked the same, there was an uneasy feeling that I didn’t belong. As Rod Serling, creator and presenter of the show might state, “It may be said with a degree of assurance that not everything that meets the eye is as it appears.”

Indeed it isn’t. The houses are all there but they aren’t homes anymore. A couple families are still around and there's a chance they'd recognize me if I knocked but I wouldn't.

I lived in a couple of the houses on the street, and though they were remarkably different in appearance, the lifestyle was always the same. Get home from school, get on my bike and go find one of the kids or go to the volunteer firehouse and see what the big guys are up to.

Most of the time it was playing sports at somebody’s house or playing in the little brook that ran through one end of the street. We didn’t do much besides turn over rocks and look for crayfish or build little dams, but it was fun, even if one of the neighbors secretly busted up our dams afterward, every time.

I suspect it was the guy who lived between the Gammie family and the firehouse but I’m not sure. Looking back, he was doing the right thing. I was preventing life-giving water (likely still-toxic from the days of the hatting industry) from reaching creatures downstream who depended on it for their own poor health.

I can still name most of the families that lived in the neighborhood but if any remaining saw me now I’d be just some strange dude walking down the street.

One of my friends was John Coutinho, who illustrated my Unruly Mix book. His warped sense of humor hasn’t changed since the days when I could hear him coming a quarter mile away by his strange calls, which were typically impersonations of someone he was drawing a picture of at the time like Edward G. Robinson or Edith Bunker from the All in the Family show.

All we did was play catch in the street. We brought our gloves and a ball and that was it. Other kids would come along and join us, do their own thing, or maybe a street hockey game would break out.

As we got older the boys and girls would mingle more and eventually everyone got their driver’s license, which was the end of the innocence.

As I walk down the street now I think, Did it really happen? Did I live here?

“You unlock this door with the key of imagination,” Rod Serling said opening the show. “Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You’ve just crossed over into… the Twilight Zone.”

It’s only Jefferson Avenue four decades later, but I still think I lived here.


1 bình luận

John Coutinho
John Coutinho
25 thg 9, 2021

This needs some cheese.

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