about the boys

A trail of boys start heading home after school. I sit on the stoop across the street and watch them come and go. Their direction is clear. Two dirty brown dogs pass me with a peculiar conviction. My own aimlessness suddenly comes into clear view.

That night brings the first snow of the year. I pause for a moment beneath the streetlamp and consider sticking out my tongue. Instead I just stand there looking up and let the flakes fall onto my nose.

A little while later I go home and to sleep. I dream that I am walking behind a slow moving pickup truck. Around my waist is a harness connected to a rope attached to the back of the truck. In the bed of the truck is a wrap-around bench upholstered with red satin. It looks like the booths in the Italian restaurants from the movies.

I recognize many of the boys from earlier sitting on the bench but they don’t notice me. The truck begins to speed up as the boys talk about dirty things they want to do to all the girls we drive past. The girls don’t seem to notice me either. Soon I have to run to keep up with the truck. I yell at the boys to slow it down. Still they do not notice me. I decide to stop my feet and my whole body crashes to the pavement. I wake up with a start. The morning light is beginning to peek through the window of my bedroom. I count backwards from three.