For months, my friend and I travel by this one treacherous patch of sidewalk on our walk to school–the place that dips down towards a jagged ravine of rocks and icy water–and say, “Somebody should really put a fence up.”
We rescue kids as they slide off the sidewalk, shake our heads and say again, “Somebody should really put a fence up.”
As the months go on, we realize how much we say, “Somebody should really…”–whether referring to cleaning the house, fixing something, or generally improving the world.
We laugh about this expression: somebody should really. . .
Who is this Somebody person? Can I meet her?
It occurs to us that we are the Somebody. We stop saying, “Somebody should really put a fence up,” and we decide to make ourselves that somebody.
I don’t know where to start, so I ask someone at the school who tells me I should “call the county.” (I didn’t realize you can call people in your county and get help with things your community needs. You can!) I look up in my phonebook the name of my township and call the number there. A man answers the phone, and I explain that children are slipping off the sidewalk and falling into a ditch on the way to school. Can we put a fence up?
“Yes,” he says. “Let me check who owns that property, and I’ll send a crew out today. We’ll take care of it.”
I even ask the man if he could make it a nice fence, charming, and not some metal thing with orange mesh reserved for danger zones.
He sends out his crew and builds our fence.
Now, on the walk to school, my friend and I look at that fence and remember to make ourselves that somebody.
|My Charming Fence
She says, “Somebody should really write a book with that title.”
|Up the Big Hill Towards School
Somebody should. If you make yourself that somebody, you can really change something.
In fact, what initiates my friend’s 100 pound weight loss last year is a t-shirt she sees that says, “Somebody should really do something about how fat I am.”
She decides to make herself that somebody.
I want to make myself that Somebody in 2011.