colby caldwell

Susan Alta Martin - Day Two

colby caldwell
Susan Alta Martin - Day Two
  "All Clear (after David Levinthal)"

 "All Clear (after David Levinthal)"

I was getting the tires changed on my car at a local garage. I was met at the door by a blonde-haired boy with a quick smile and huge brown eyes. I find out a little later that he is a rising 5th grader and the son of one of the mechanics. It was summer, so he was hanging around the shop, doing odd jobs and opening the door for tips. “What are you saving your money for?” I asked. 
“A game.” 
“Which game?” 
“Grand Theft Auto.” He responds. “I love that game,” he continued, “because it is so realistic. You just go around shooting people. You want a penny?”
“No, you keep it–you never know when you’ll need it.” I say, caught a little off guard.
“Heads or tails?” He asks.
“Heads,” I say.
“Tails never fails,” he says after seeing that it is tails up.
We start playing coin-flipping games. I see that he lets me win when I am far behind. When we get tired of that, we start doing shadow puppets in the light coming through the big shop window. It turns out he can do a really good Chihuahua. I do a pretty good German Shepherd and an angry looking duck. He plops into a chair by the window to come up with some more.
“Yeah, Grand Theft Auto is really realistic. There are even strip clubs.”
“Do you go in those?” I ask incredulously. 
“No, I never go in there, except to shoot people. BAM!” He mimes shooting a handgun at someone. Then, in mock disappointment, he mimes grabbing a larger gun. “BAM!” he says louder this time. He puts that imaginary gun down and picks up a larger one. “A shotgun,” he says. “BAM! She is still alive!” He seems to be shouldering something heavy. “RPG.” He smiles at me and takes aim: “BLAM!!”
“Heads or tails?” I ask, flipping the coin again.