By: Lee Smith
Try to hit that beer can on the other side. See it? I
seen Livermore skip a stone seven times. Way! No, not
across the creek, Dork, up the creek. You could count the rings, no shit! Go ahead, I'll give you first throw.
You have a sister?
Girls act funny; they ain't like guys. You know Margie,
across the street? She was my favorite friend --girl friend
anyway. No, not girl friend, no way! Jeez! Like a friend
and a girl, get it? Anyway, now she's gone. She's gone, and
we ain't going to see her around here anymore. Left with
that Baxter guy in the brown Ford Econoline. Left for
Florida today, crying. I couldn't believe it --crying. Give
me a chance to go to Florida, baby. I wouldn't even stop
We used to play Hooper-Hi with Margie. Come on, you
remember. Margie always started giggling and couldn't run?
That was Margie. There was Nick, me, you, Margie, Sally
Buskirk. --Hey, you remember Sally? I heard her fart once.
No shit! I tackled her and she farted. Then she ran home.
Way! Girls can fart, but it only happens like once a
Good shot! Did you see that one?
Margie's dad was the guy with the Ford Mustang. Red,
hot as shit, man! Vrooom. Vrooom. They got a divorce, like
the twins' mom and dad. Remember? Then, after Margie's dad
left, that Baxter guy moved in with her and her mom. He's a
drug dealer. Yeah, that's right. My mom says he's a drug
dealer. That's when Margie started acting real stuck-up.
That's why you forget, because she hasn't been outside for a
long time. Wouldn't come out, just looked out the window.
Baxter is cool, man; let her stay home from school everyday.
But I guess she wasn't totally stuck-up, because she
always waved to me through the window. I think the school
was investigating her. Old Lady Baver kept me in from recess
and asked if I had seen Margie's mom.
She went to Texas. I knew it. Got burned to death in a
pickup truck. Margie told me when she came out to
get the paper one day. And she said that Baxter might take
her to Florida, and she was wearing lipstick, and she ain't
no older than me! I told Old Lady Baver that Margie's mom
worked in a factory. It's none of her damn business anyway.
You remember the black Jeep Cherokee coming up the
street, and we were playing muckle on Russell Kline's lawn
yesterday? I found out that was an official school
district car. They always have big cars and they have all of
their hubcaps. You ever notice that? Official cars always
have all of their hubcaps. Yeah, way! Anyhow, mom said that
no one came to the door over there.
I hit it! I hit it! Did you hear that tink?
And today, when I was just off the bus from school,
that's when they were pulling out of their driveway: headin'
for Florida, man! That's when I saw Margie in the van; the
brown one, the Ford Econoline with one whitewall tire; and
she saw me. You know what she did? She kissed the freakin'
window, and she said goodbye. No shit!
Yeah, you can tell when someone says goodbye through
a window. Look. Look. Watch my mouth. Good. Bye.
Lee Smith (
was born in Kingston, Pennsylvania on Easter morning of 1935, but he lived his
most formative years in Norfolk, Virginia. Now an author of Delmar Publishers'
plumbing and trade math books and several commercial computer programs, Smith
wants to write true fiction about silent heroes.