Segment 5: The Man in the Truck

Blog Directory I walked down Eagles River which was on the shaded side by the golf course where my dad played with his associates and I walked balancing on the curb that was next to the creek and managed not to fall in while at the same time keeping my eye out for the long away neighborhood that I wanted to go down. I’d looked at the strip of notebook paper seven times that I’d tucked into my back shorts pocket after my teacher had taken the girl’s notebook away from me and walked down the hall to the principal’s office with it. I had it now with me and I’d opened it flipping through the notebook paper again and again until I saw her name Sheedy and how she scribbled it in the top in the middle of her work pages in slanted scruffy ink next to a cross in pink with a blue line and then a circle around it. I couldn’t help but think what my dad would say if he saw me now walking through being blended in by these stark brambles and crossing into a place that I’d never seen before. I turned the corner by a white a white house and heard some people up ahead playing with matches and throwing up pop rockets at each other in front of a grey garage door and I made myself unnoticed by staying behind the trunks of some trees and managed to be invisible because I wasn’t fat, then looked out from behind the tree trunk and saw a girl with purple in her short hair playing with plastic purple tubes in front of a green Dotson. I stayed behind two houses and watched her bend down on the gravel of the driveway fiddling with a radio tuner and turning it up louder when she heard a song she liked and the guy next to her, with longish black hair and a black t-shirt pulled some rocks out of his pocket and showed her from his painted fingernails. I saw the guy pass her to inside passed a white portico and heard a screen door creak to let me know that he’d gone away so that I made my way up the street again and got out from behind the street walking quick up to the curb where the girl sang alongside to the radio. “Hi,” I said. The girl jumped and turned around staring at me and catching her breath before turning back around at the screen door to see if her friend was still there and I said, “Is this your notebook?” She looked at me for a long time before putting her hands on her hips and asking who I was. I looked down at my gross sneakers and hoped I didn’t look like an amalgamation of who my parents were trying to make me out to be and I pushed my stringy hair out of my way to say that I’d saved her notebook from the teacher trying to take it to the principal’s office. Again she didn’t say anything. Shortly after that the guy who’d disappeared came out again from the screen door and stopped short of it when he saw me and saw me checking him all full out. He walked up to the girl and asked her who I was . She said, “She saved my notebook.” “What’s your name?” He asked. “Virginia.” “Do people all call you that?” “Yeah.” I said. The girl walked up to me and took her notebook, peeling away all through it, going up to her guy friend and showing off to him on the back how she’d cursed out all these teachers and cheerleaders at school and then she opened her book looking for something until she found the slip of paper with the drawings of eyes all over the front and ripped it out to put it in front of her guy friend’s eyes so he’d take notice of it. He checked it out before balling it up and throwing it behind him and then asking Sheedie and I if we wanted to go inside now and hear his new guitar riff. He walked in ahead of us and Sheedie hesitated before the tree in the yard like she wanted to pick up the drawing paper that he’d balled up and threw over there, but she went passed it anyway and headed up to the screen door yelling to me without looking behind, “Come on.

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