Written by Erica W. Jamieson
I am Harriet the Spy. I really am. I wear glasses just like hers and I always wear a sweatshirt with pockets just like she does. I do wish I had straight hair like hers. Mine is curly and frizzy. Not at all spy-like.
But I do I keep a notebook, just like Harriet. I really do. It’s got a black cover and a wire and the top flips up, not to the side, so it looks just like a detective notebook. It really does.
And I write everything in it. Important things. Bits of information that I might need to know someday, when I’m a writer. (Just like Harriet). I write about where I’ve been. But not just where I’ve been. I write about what I saw and what I noticed about people, what they were doing, what they were saying. You just never know when something I notice might become really important at some future point in time.
Like the time I went to the orthodontist.
Dr L. He is always smiling. Which makes no sense to me. He does awful things to my mouth, and it’s an awful little office and it always smells bad. It really does.
And I hate his daughter Judy. She goes to camp with me. Well, not with me. But the same camp at the same time, and since we are the same age, we end up, always, in the same bunk. She is such a bother. She really is. And she is not very nice. At least not to me. Her hair is perfectly straight, not one curl to it. So she doesn’t see spiders on the wall that turn out to be just shadows made from dumb curly hair, and she always laughs when I scream and then says to everyone, “oh, it’s just her dumb hair!”
But listen to this. While I was at Dr. L’s getting impressions of my teeth (yuck) I noticed the way Dr. L and his nurse kept looking at each other. And I noticed the way they kept talking about the silver watch on Dr. L’s wrist. Like that watch was some kind of private joke or something. And the nurse kept touching her gold earrings with her long fingers that were painted very berry red then adjusting the tube that vacuumed the spit that just kept drooling down onto my lips with those very same fingers. Without washing. Dentists and nurses are always washing their hands. So this was not very dental like, it really wasn’t.
It’s hard not to notice stuff when you are sitting in an uncomfortable chair, with a bright light shining in your eyes, and that horrible tasting thick gooey gunk spilling down your throat, and they keep telling you to breath and to relax your jaw and to stop fidgeting.
And I was doing my best not to gag (which I did do a few times) and I tried really hard to concentrate on everything else around me so I wouldn’t think about my cramping mouth. I really did.
When I got home I wrote down everything that I had noticed at Dr. L’s. I wrote it all down in my notebook. My notebook just like Harriet’s.
That’s when it hit me. They were having an affair. Yes. I was sure of it.
I know about these things, I really do, even at my age.
I met my dad’s mistress. My mom was getting her hair done and my dad and I went to lunch and the bookstore and his mistress’s house. He introduced her to me as his special lady. Which I know means that she is his mistress and that they are having an affair.
I heard my mom say that once on the phone. Mistress. Affair. And because I am very good at spying (just like Harriet) I figured out that she was talking about my father. And I know that when two people kiss and they are not married – to each other—the girl doing the kissing is the married man’s mistress. So when I met my father’s special lady, (and I spied them kissing) I knew that this was his mistress which could only mean that they were the ones having the affair.
And even though I did not see Dr. L kiss his nurse I did see the way they looked at each other.
So, I wrote that down in my notebook. I knew it was important. And I was right because I can tell, I can deduce, from all this important information that Dr. L is having an affair with his nurse. Those are the very words I wrote. Dr. L is having an affair with his nurse. When you become a spy or a writer, just like Harriet, you never know when you might need important information. When something that like might come in handy at some future point in time. Like for instance next summer, at camp, when I find myself, once again, and like always, having to bunk with Dr. L’s miserable no good very mean daughter.