I was just playing hide-and-go-seek with my twin 10-year-old boys, but this little Asian lady thought I was a crying bum and stuck a loonie in my hand. I tried to give the coin back and explain to her that it was just a game, but I didn’t know the universal gestures for pretend-disappear, make-believe runaway. So I kept the loonie and went to look for my sons. Turns out, they disappeared for good.
She told me to sit still. “Gerald, stop being Mr. Antsy Pants. Don’t worry about your damn head! I got you covered.” And she did, slapping her left hand where the glare off the billboard hit hardest on my pate. Darlene was always good like that, mothering everyone until the big deal was swept away to nothing. I look at that picture now and laugh because I remember how I’d just wished I could keep her red purse from bonking me in the head.
Fluorescence balanced on beams discarded from storage rooms in a restaurant shut down last night. Our usual route home was interrupted, blocked by this piece of concrete gone astray. I challenged Mum to a tightrope-walking contest. She protested her heels were brand-new, not worn down enough, but I knew she didn’t want to lose to a nine-year-old. Besides, she was older and knew more about how to keep one’s balance on the brink of a fall.
I put on my helmet because I knew I was gonna be late for practice. I always am when Dad has to drive me instead of Mom. So I put on my helmet so I could just run in and join the team on the rink. But I was really late because Dad rear-ended some old woman in an ancient stationwagon, and I hit my head on the dash, and the old lady was screaming at him and wheezing, but at least my head was okay.
I was worried that he’d find the chunk of pizza crust lodged in my molar, so I kept it short and sweet, even though it was a long goodbye. I told him not to touch my cheek because it was sensitive from the slap of East coast winter wind, but he didn’t listen. Never had. Arrogant. And wanted to catch my cold before I left for warmer places.