Where have you been? Where are you going? And why?
Sunday I carried benches and chairs we had borrowed for a party across the cavernous distance from my house to Isaiah’s. In sweltering heat, the 400 feet felt like the Sahara Desert. On my first trip, I carried the bench with both hands upward over my head. It brought back memories of a militant baseball coach who punished my mouthy teammate by making him run throughout practice while holding a baseball bat fully extended over his head. My arms burned, fighting like siblings for the right to be relieved first. I intended to slip into their backyard to reposition the furniture pieces as I found them without disturbing whatever cycle of chaos the Oakley house spun in. I set the bench down and turned back toward my house and then heard a click. The back door swung open and Dennis the Menace’s face popped out.
“Hey Luke,” Isaiah said curiously.
“Hi Zay,” I replied as I came to grips with my failed covert mission.
“Hey Luke, is your head round?”
Well, this stumped me. Is my head round? What could he possibly be pondering here? I shifted for a moment to give myself time to generate an answer that might please his highness. Perhaps he had sadly reached the age where he noticed body shape and features to the extent that it mattered. Unsure of where he wanted to take the conversation, I replied, “Well, I’m not sure, what do you think?”
“It’s kind of, well,” he began to illustrate with his hands on his own face. He moved them parallel to one another along both cheeks and across his chin and forehead. He even used his nose as a central point to measure from, like the “You Are Here” dot on the shopping mall map. “It’s kind of, like, tight, I think. Kind of tight.”
I assumed he meant narrow versus round, but I still don’t know for sure. With foreboding inclination and courage the size of Texas I posed my fated question, “Is that bad?”
Without hesitation he sentenced me, “I think so.”
He shut the door and in doing so, exiled me from his existence, leaving me abandoned to walk home with only the companionship of my tight face.