Line in the Lawn
I was pushing the mower around the telephone poll when he blazed across the grass. Do me a favor, he said and I said, I don’t have the rest of your trout soup, and he said, Until you do look after this, and he threw the bike down and ran to a car he’d parked on the curb and drove away.
I mowed to where the bike landed. There were carrot shavings in the basket. I wheeled the bike into the garage and dumped them in the compost. Two kids sailed past on skateboards. One did that flip-the-board-thing and asked, Can I buy that bike, and I said, You may have it, but he said, I’m going to tell him you said that, and skated off.
All week solicitors called selling bike parts and timeshares and each time they hung up when I asked a question.
That Friday he showed up at my house, my barbecue, with a puppy. I asked, Could we put the puppy in the side yard, there’s no grass, the thing can dig into tomorrow for all I care, but he said, I want to teach her to ride after everyone gets.
He pointed to a firefly.
But he waited until nine, when the sun had set, and the street lights were on, and I realized everyone on my street cut their grass, it was in the contract, so if they, he, the dog, took a spill they, he, the dog would have a clear path to do it. He had rigged the bike so you could pedal from the basket. He placed the puppy inside. The bike lurched forward and made a swooping arc towards the curb.