#4 - Worker’s Compensation


      The day was being as boring as it possibly could be until the kids two blocks over tipped over an ice cream truck.

      The afternoon air filled with the rattle of skateboard wheels and stomping sneakers as every kid on the south end flocked to king street for free ice cream sandwiches.

      My mother stood on the deck behind me saying this is the sort of thing that will lead to bank heists or grand theft auto.

      "Mom, Grand theft auto?"

      I told her these are the ideas of someone who watches too much Judge Joe Brown. She asked me if that was a racial remark.

      "Mom, what the hell?"

      She went back inside, the front door rubbing on the deck, before shutting. I went to get a popsicle.

      My sister lived in Scotland and sold mattresses door to door. She was the top seller in her division. She would sell the mattresses by telling each customer about all the great sex she had on them. She wore low cut shirts to show off 32% of her perfect breasts. She told me this one evening over the phone. The clock read midnight, but her empty bottle of red wine was about five hours ahead. I told her to keep her tits in her shirt, and she just laughed, her stained teeth opening wide.

      The ice cream truck was on its side, its back wheel was spinning, though I couldn't figure out why. The kids had emptied out most of the trucks contents. I wondered where the police were. It was not the kind of day to call the police.

      I thought about the argument that would transpire in the police office. There is three police officers sitting around two desks. One of them is supposed to be watching the entrance, but he is bored. There is a fan, it is straining in the heat. They would get a call that there is an ice cream truck tipped over on the corner of king and canterbury and they would all leap to their feet. This would be the best call they'd gotten since a stripper fight had broken out at the public swimming pool seven years ago.

      I picked up a grape popsicle already softening in the sun, and put it in my mouth. My tongue would be purple soon and I thought about this for a while. I thought about this until I realized I was standing in the middle of the street thinking about my purple tongue. This was neither the time nor the place.

      The driver had fled the scene, and two weeks later would be relaxing on a beach collecting worker's compensation, finally enjoying the heat that had escaped him inside the truck.

      Heading back to the house, the sun was working hard to rob the color from everything. I saw my mother embracing a figure on the front deck. Someone I didn't recognize at first. As I got closer, I saw it was my sister. She was wearing a turtle neck. She'd been crying.

      They turned and went inside, the front door rubbing on the deck, before shutting.



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