It was my brother, David, lifting the sidewalk grate in front of “Charlie’s Gyp Joint” to retrieve his dropped report card. It was the sound and the surprise as the metal bars moved for one of us, an elementary school kid living in the concrete world.
There was a clang as Charlie opened his shop door yelling, “Get out of here you…”
And then, still standing before Charlie’s, I watched him run out into the highway. All I could see were tires, big wheels, all close. An odd silence suspended me. He bent, snatched the card escaping with the wind of another passing car and without ever looking scrambled back to the sidelines and safety of the sidewalk.
The doors of reality closed again with a rush of traffic noise and these words, “I got an ‘E’, Dad’s gonna kill me.”