“That girl got a guitar at her grandpa’s funeral,” Jimmy was sayin’.
I didn’t know much but it seemed a strange thing. To get a guitar at a funeral. For making music? And, at a funeral. I never touched one, let alone play it but they’s for people who got something to… I don’t know, just something I don’t get.
She’s sitting on the bench eating a red vine with two of her friends. Giggling about, I don’t know what girls giggle about. Her teeth’re a little buck. Jimmy says she could eat corn through a picket fence, but I like her eyes. People are always goin’ on and on about blue eyes ‘n green eyes, but she got black eyes that soak up everything around her. Like she know something, or tryin’ to figure it out.
“Son, quit lurkin’ around those girls and sweep the store.”
Jimmy’s just in a hurry. He wants to ride his motorcycle and if we don’t finish our chores, he can’t go.
We’d been working on a set of woop di doo’s on our track but it got dark as we were finishing and Dad let us do a lot but he don’t let us ride in the dark.
“I just need to get under the bench, can I do it real quick?”
And, they giggle. I ‘on’t know what.
“I didn’t know you work here,” her friend says.
“No, you guys own the place, right?,” She says. The one with the guitar.
“ya, gotta clean up so I can go ride.”
Sweeping, I reach under and grab the Sycamore leaves under the bench and drop ‘em in the trash can. Nope, they fall past it and I reach to get them and it swirls away. Now I’m trying to grab as it falls to the wooden deck. Bending over I realize the white paints chippin’ worse than I thought. Picking it up, I drop and it misses again – an’ the girls giggle – an’ I grin, “just like you at the game the other night.”
We’d been playing soccer at my lil’ brothers baseball game and she has a lil’ brother on the team, too.
“I wasn’t stretched out – that’s not fair.”
“I thought you played on a team…,” I said.
“I needed to warm up – I didn’t stretch – My sweater was too long and the jeans too tight and..”
The other girls watched. A fly was gonna go in their mouths to take their licorice and then they giggled.
“…anyway, I didn’t stretch and I need to stretch to play. Well. To play well.”
“Ya, we don’t stretch much at baseball – we do enough to make the coach happy, then get goin’.”
Then she looked at me with those big eyes. Big black eyes. Sweet little eyes. Then giggled. And they ran off.
I picked up the leaves then went back in the store – Jimmy’ll be mad if I don’t get done so we can ride.