Monday, May 02, 2005


His grandmother will pick him up soon. He fidgets with his watch. It has a too-long strap, so he slides it back and forth over the bone of his wrist. Hunched over on the bus-stop bench, he peers down Fort Wayne street. Her car is dark red and long and has cracks in the windshield, and when he gets in he pinches his nose because he doesn't like the smell. She leaves her Burger King bag in the car and it stinks it all up.

When he gets home he goes into the room he shares with his two sisters. He keeps a pack of Kools under his mattress, even though it smashes the cigarettes flat. Casey said that that's how you're supposed to do it to not get caught. He walks outside and past his grandmother, who is still sitting in the car. She's wheezing and is bent over. He lights a cigarette and heads toward the fairgrounds, where he can walk next to the creekbank and watch fish swimming.

There is a tear in the cigarette near the filter so even though he sucks on it, all the smoke spills out sideways. He gets to the edge of the creek and tries to spot a fish. Sometimes it's hard to tell because the sunlight sparkles on the water and the flashes could either be a reflection of the sun or the back of a passing bluegill. He drops the cigarette in the water and watches it drift away. It gets stuck in some sticks at a bend.

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