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« Mommy, Where Do Babies Come From? | Main | My Daughter's Training To Become Lorena Bobbit Jr. »

I Used To Sneak Out

Let me start this post by noting that my mother reads my blog. She occasionally leaves me little messages on my personal Facebook page putting me in my place after reading posts like the one about her chasing my brother and me around the house with wooden spoons.

I’m a bit lucky that so far she hasn’t sent me a gift from this website

But, I think after this post my luck will run out. So, mom…get up and just walk away from the computer. Go on….leave woman!!

Is she gone? OK, let’s do this.

So, I used to sneak out of my house with such regularity as a kid you’d think I was practicing for an Olympic gold medal in it.

I knew my parents nightly routine like the back of my hand.

9:10 – 10:36 p.m. – Fight like cats & dogs

10:36 – 11:21 p.m. – Father takes his drunk ass upstairs to watch HBO late night softcore porn

11:22 – 11:48 p.m. – Father passes out, mother follows suit.

12 p.m. – The house falls silent and the countdown is on till the coast is clear.

Waiting till the coast is clear for sneaking out is the hardest and longest time of your lives. I can’t tell you how many times I’d wake up to my alarm going off at 6 a.m. and screaming, “SHIT!!!!”

But one day I was digging through an old dresser in our guest bedroom and found this old-school clock that had an alarm only a mouse could appreciate. I set the alarm, put all my faith in it, and at 1:01 a.m. it went off.

I quickly snapped the alarm off and sat straight-up in bed listening.

My father was in his regular deep deep slumber which sounds like a mix between a 1920s broke-ass sawmill and two constipated virgin elephants trying to make sweet love.

My mother, she always slept like a rock. I can’t tell you how many times as a kid I’d run into her room frantically trying to wake her up  to impart upon her the very exciting news that I was about to throw-up all over this lovely house of ours. By the time she woke up to my childish nudging and whispering, “mommy… I think I’m going to...” I would inevitably puke all over the floor and bed beside her.

A smile crept across my face as I knew I had found a way to get in sleep while also being able to escape for a while in the middle of the night.

The next piece was huge. Putting together the elaborate mental puzzle I’d created that when put together, revealed the exact locations to step when walking down the carpeted L-shaped stairs to freedom.

The key to it all…banisters. After three steps I could place my hands on both banisters and swing my anti-gymnastic-skilled-ass passed five steps and a half-landing.

The last three steps always squeaked the loudest so I had to turn around and take those them backwards so I could steady myself with my hands.  

At that point…it’s game-on and I was out of there.

I never really had a purpose to sneak out at night. Very rarely would I meet-up with a friend. When I did it usually ended with them saying, “why in the hell are we doing this? I’m tired dude!!!”

My brother used to make the journey from time to time with me. But again, why? We get to hang out all day every day. Why waste sleep and risk getting caught to do it under moonlight?

So, I’d just walk or ride my bike. I’d go to the lake nearby and throw rocks from an old decrepit concrete pier. I’d occasionally leave a tennis ball in my girlfriend’s mailbox so she’d find it and think I was a badass rebel.

I experimented with smoking and alcohol.

But most importantly I was living that very moment of my life exactly how I wanted to live it. There were no rules. No parents. No one was watching.

Parents weren’t fighting. My father wasn’t asking me to make him drinks.

The escape I’d created in my room with music, my piano, writing poems, and reading lyrics had gotten so much larger. It was now filled with fresh air, endless roads and no boundaries.

But despite all the freedom and time alone with my brain, there was a tiny little piece of me that found motivation to sneak out of the house from the idea that I might get caught.

I figured, if I was caught, it would show my father that I was in control of me and capable of leaving his tiny kingdom whenever I wanted. I could defy him. I could break the chains whenever I felt like it.

And like that the night would be over. It was time to head home.

There was always this one corner that was six houses away. As soon as I turned that corner I’d have a clear shot of my parents’ bedroom windows.

Light on – I’m screwed.

Light off – Home free. Just make it through the front door and the rest can be explained by sleep walking.

In all the times I ventured into the night, I never came home to find a light on.

I never came home to find my mother and father sitting downstairs holding the letter I left on my pillow every time I snuck out that read:

Dear Mom:

I am OK. Nothing bad has happened to me. I snuck out of the house to just go for a walk and be alone. I know it’s very dangerous for me to do and I’m sorry.

I love you and will be home very shortly. I hope you will not be too mad and if you found this before dad woke up all I ask is that you don’t wake him or tell him until we talk.



A few times a year when I can’t sleep in the middle of the night I’ll get up, toss on the running gear and go out for a short three-miler. As my feet pound pavement I look at all the rows of houses dark and filled with slumber and I feel free again.

Free like a 14-year-old boy gliding through the streets of his neighborhood at 1:30 a.m. without a care in the world and nothing to lose.


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Reader Comments (13)

I used to also sneak out a lot when I was growing up but I never left a note.

January 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJustin

Awesome! Love that you go for a run sometimes! Can't wait to hear mom's reaction! My bro & I totally used to sneak out too, 10pm was our time though, parent never came out of room after shutting the door at 10!

January 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermuddero6

You know I love when you write like this. Nice job my friend. I'm mean you're a dumbass for sneaking out but...............I get it.

January 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLady of The House

I remember feeling exactly the same way, but I was pretty much too chicken to go traipsing out on my own in the middle of the night in Stephen King country. Did you really leave your mother a note? Because at first I said, awww nice, but then the suspicious mother in me kicked in and I thought to myself, yeah, sure, he says that now....

January 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterchickensconsigliere

Sometimes when I can't sleep, I go outside too. I sneak out, like a teenager, trying to recapture that rush of adrenaline you feel when you KNOW you've made it out unscathed. We live out in the middle of nowhere, so there is nothing to do but sit and listen to the noises of the night. And that adrenaline rush makes it hard to get sleepy again. But for those few minutes, I'm 15 again. And it's nice to feel that occasionally.

Excellent post. :)

January 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterqueenofpink

nicely done! i was too chicken. i would've gotten caught... my mom didn't miss a beat.

January 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersassypiehole

I'm still not quite sure what "two constipated virgin elephants trying to make sweet love." sounds like or where you came up with that analogy....but that shiot was funny..

And I never sneaked out of the house....I was the oldest and my father scared the complete crapola out of me..

January 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChopperPapa

That part about the note almost made me cry. I hope you really did leave her a note and it's not just something to make you look better now. In ten years when my boy starts to sneak out, I think if I found a note like this I probably wouldn't be as mad at him and I certainly wouldn't tell his father until after we had talked. Who can't understand needing to get away for a while. This was a great post.

January 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Lynn

Ah, the memories! I never could sneak out from my house, the stairs were so squeaky and my mother could wake up from a whisper or a mere thought of ours doing something forbidden alone!

But, that sure didn't stop me from sneaking out of friends houses. My best friend lived in the country and her room was the only bedroom in the walk-out basement. We would go out the window or the patio door and run through the corn fields to the next service driveway to meet up with whoever our ride was. Not always smart, but always fun!

January 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMel

Wow Justin... I get to see your cute/sweet side :)

January 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEllie

I will never sleep again.

January 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Animated Woman

seriously u rock
ok i admit i only snuck away once in my whole life at night and it was to see a bf and didnt even get to see him lmao
but u rock

January 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterang

My sister used to sneak out at night leaving me with burden of listening for my mom in case she came to the door and tried the knob. We were not supposed to lock the door but she did and I sat up worried half the night and cold too. Bitch. But payback's a bitch. Her 19 year old daughter has given her a lot of stress too. LOL

January 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterC...

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