Today I went to the post office. There was a boy. He swung his shoelace against the guard rail. It wrapped around the pole. His mother got upset. She screamed his name. She looked at the father.
"You know why he's whipping that around?"
"It's because of that Tigra - no, Lion-o from Thundercats, using that whip. That's why he's swinging things around."
"Hmph," the father crosses his arms and looks at the boy. "You want a whip?"
"You want me to get you a whip?"
"Yeah, I want a whip."
The boy makes whipping sounds with his mouth. He runs to his mother.
"Mom, can I have a whip?"
"Who's going to get it for you?"
"Why do you want a whip?"
"I want to be invisible."
"You want me to say, 'Where is Terrence? What happened to Terrence?' "
"Yeah," Terrence giggles and runs under the guard rail.
I don't say a word a word. I address my packages. I get a call. It's the Volkswagon dealer. His rates are too high.
"You paying for these?" the attendant points at the envelopes.
"Yeah," I say, hanging up the phone. "But I need a zip code."
He looks up the code. I pay for my postage and head back to work.
I don't expect a call from Samuel Jackson. I get one though. He tells me to "get my butt to the theater." I figure I better listen. He just made my day. My dad's too. I send him the message after I get it. We have a good laugh about it.
"Anybody call you today, dad?"
"Oh, yes," he says. "I get a call from this actor."
"Yes, this guy! He is very serious."
"Did you listen to it?"
"I personalized it. Didn't you hear? It said, 'Stop messing with your computers and take your son to the theater.' "
"Yes, it is something," my father laughs.
"I sent it to Paiman too. He called me up and was like, 'Dude, I just got a call from Samuel Jackson.' "
"Oh, that is so funny!"
"Yeah...oh, hold on dad, that's Paiman calling."
"Okay, I see you."
"Yeah, dad. Talk to you soon."
I talk to Paiman. I buy a salad at the grocery store. I walk around my street looking at cars. Hardad, my neighbor from upstairs, takes an interest in my search.
"Dude, you don't want a used car."
"No, man. I don't recommend a used car to anyone."
"Because you don't know who was the previous owner. And if the previous owner was someone like me, forget it! That car is no good, bro."
"I'm serious, man. A new car is the way to go."
"I don't know. I need a computer too. I was looking at getting something used."
"I can help you with that. Just let me know, bro. My cousins sell used cars. I can get you a good, reliable used car for 5,000. If you do 2,000 down it'll be," Art pulls out his calculator, "270 a month."
He puts away the calculator,"That's if you got a good credit score."
"Okay, well, I know these guys. I can talk to them. I'll say you live near me. You're not going anywhere. That's it. Whenever you want to go, bro, just-"
A smoking, hot girl passes by on the street. It takes Hardad awhile to say anything as he waits for her to come past a van into plain sight again.
"Did you see that girl, man?" Hardad whispers.
"Yeah," I say. "She was beautiful."
"Hey!" Hardad yells after her. "You made me forget what I was saying."
She doesn't reply.
"Oh, man," Hardad frowns. "She didn't say anything."
I watch her walk up the block.
"She must not be into white boys," Hardad says to me.
"It's dark," I say. "She's alone. She doesn't know you. It's dangerous."
"Sure," I say. "For a woman alone at this time of night in L.A."
"I don't know, man. I've never been able to mess with black chicks. I don't know, man. It's something about me."
"Well, everyone has their own tastes."
"That's true, bro."
"I have friends who will only date Asian girls. That's all they like."
"Oh, Asians are smoothe, man. No hair. I've had two. Real smooth. Then if they let it grow it's like a hairy bush."
I smile. I look at the moon. Hardad looks too. It's the second day. She's very bright and big. She almost looks like she's leaning over us, waiting to say something. Hardad beats her to it though. He's got calls to make.
"Alright, man, I got to make my calls." "
"Alright," I say.
"Give me a call about the car. I get off around 7."
"Okay," I say. "Thanks for helping."
"No problem, bro. This is what I do,"
Hardad smiles. He flips open his cell. He walks down the block; his voice loud in the night.
I pick up my sidewalk chair and power drink. I carry them to the complex. My sweat pants fall to my knees. I let them dangle for awhile, trying to make a couple more steps to the door. I stop when they get to my ankle. I put down the chair and yank them up with my free hand.