© Nicholas 2004 - 2006


Wow, sleeping on that bean bag must have not been too good. First thing I know some big black dude's poking at me and kinda snarling, "Kid! Wake Up kid! Enda da line. Got's my lunch break to have."

Wow I jumped. Shit I don't like people sneaking up on me and touching me. Damn, shouldn't have fallen asleep. Oh, I see now, its just the bus driver and I kind a mumble, "Sorry sir."

He laughs big like, "Don't be calling me no sir! Shit, I has ta sir you, youse da customer! Come on, get off so's I can eat. Sir!"

I grin back at him and scamper from the bus. He eases the doors all closed and gets his lunch sack and heads in to the food court.

"Hey Sir?" I holler, "You want something to drink? My treat?" I wave a five in the air.

"Yes Sir! Medium Coke!"

I go over to McD's and get a Supersized Big Mac meal and an extra coke. Damn, there went the five! Oh well, I'm like really hungry. I run back to where the bus driver is sitting and we start talking. I'm asking him about driving and crazy people on the road and if it's hard to drive a bus and where does he park it at night and how much gas does it take and all kinds of stuff. He's kinda mumbling between bites of his sandwich and watching me talk and eat at the same time.

"Youse ever sit still?" he asks as I plop one leg out from under my butt and kinda stand by the table a minute. "Or only when you sleeping on da bus? I seen you working them big corners when I pass by din't I?"

"Well, I needed bus money to get home from school." I sit and try and look still.

"School, schmool! You ain't working da corners and riding my bus aw day and going to no school!"

"No! I am! We just are on vacation this week, its a special school!"

"Yeah right!" he looks at me like I got three eyes. "Well here a coupla dolla for da coke. Don't want you working no corner cause a me. Got's to get back to da bus. See ya gain later, school boy...." he kinda drawls the last and I blush, but push his dollars in my pocket.

"Thanks," I kinda whisper at him, but he must have heard 'cause his hand raises and kind of gives me a backwards wave as he walks away.

I walk around kind of looking in windows and then go in the book store. It's one of the discount ones, not like the fancy Walden's down by the other end of the mall. They have lots of books here and I find some on real good sale. Shit! There's Artemis Fowl for a dollar! I grab it and race to the counter before they change their mind. Don't know how I'm gonna keep it, but I have to read this book! First I gotta pee though.

I head for the bathroom and with my book under one arm I just get my dick out when I hear a voice from somewhere, "Hey boy, bring that over here. I've got a ten says I can drink all that piss!" Damn! I jump and push the piss out as fast as I can and I'm in the hallway before I even get it back mostly in my pants! I'm looking behind me, but nobody's coming out, so I guess maybe I was still dreaming. Freaky though, who'd want to drink piss! Yuck!

Hey! I know, I'll get the 96 and go back out to those Edison Lakes. That was a real nice place to sit, I can read there and relax on that wonderful grass!

Damn, there's some hard words in here. What kind of funny place is Ho Chi Minh City? Sounds kinda like a circus city or that movie place with the mice and rats! Some of the words are names though and one of my teachers once showed me a trick. If its a name, I can make it any name as long as I use that name all the time. So this Nguyen, however you say that, is Nug to me. Makes it easier to read! Wow, Artemis's got like lots of smarts to figure out all that stuff. Imagine a camera that sends pictures back around the world! Geesh, I'd like to meet him someday.

I sure like the sun though, can't see what he doesn't like about it. Makes me so warm and sleepy, think I'll just lay here and watch the clouds a while. I know, I'll wrap the book up and leave it here and I can come back and read more later. I stash it real good under the bush and some rocks. That's funny, from under this bush the building isn't falling down today, looks kinda like its making the clouds like a giant smokestack! Wow they are really fluffly and big today. Hehe, there's a rabbit floating by!

Damn! I better get over to the bus stop and get back home. Shit, home! Dumb fuck, THE SHELTER! I gotta get a watch if I'm going to be way out here. Shit I hope I'm not too late to go by and see Manuel and Carlota. I'm racing across the street and there comes the bus! Wow, that's lucky. I put my money in the thingie and ask the driver what time it is. He grunts something like 2:45 so I'm safe. Plenty of time!

I race down the street towards El Chapultapec and slam and screech the door on my way in and across the kitchen to Manuel!

"Ay, ay, ay!" he grumbles, but hugs me tight into his chest. "Que Pasa, Paulito? Carlota! Paulito es aqui!"

Carlota comes to the window and smiles and laughs a greeting to me. I ask if I can help her in the restaurant sweeping or something. She laughs and waves me through the door. I help her for a while clearing dirty dishes from tables and wiping them off. Funny, the same bleachy smell from the shelter crinkles my nose! I wrestle a tub of dishes back to the sink, but Manuel won't let me wash them. He calls me over to the familiar stool and puts a giant plate of tacos in front of me and squeezes a couple of the little limons over them. Wow, its good. Soft corn tortillas with a buttery taste on my tongue, then a little bite in my throat as the meat slices oozed some of their sweet and spicy juices. Then a full feeling all over inside my mouth. Yummmmmm! I hopped up and hugged Manuel again. Gosh, he was a great cook! Wonder if I could ever learn to cook so good? Wonder if he would teach me?

I'm eating and telling Manuel all about the great things that Artemis Fowl can do and talking about the safe place I put the book and telling him all about the clothing lady, and HEY! I haven't shown him my Hulk underoos! I jump up and just push my too big jeans down and pull up my shirt and stick out my tummy and say, "See!"

He turns from the range and kind of catches his breath and roars out, "Aiyeeeeee! Un Bruto verde gigante de gran alcance! HULK! No hurt me!"

Geesh! He's backing up and putting his hands in front of his face and saying, "No hurt me! No hurt me!" Like I'd ever hurt him! Geesh! It's only my underwear! I pull up my pants and run over to him and grab him in a hug and tell him I'd NEVER hurt him!

He's shaking like and running his fingers in my hair and mumbling, "Mi bruto verde grande, mi pequeño Paulito."

Gosh it feels so good to have him hug me and hold me like this, kind of like how it felt so good with the taco flavors all floating around inside my mouth. I could just float in his apron all afternoon. It smells so good of spices and flames and just a hint of that crinkly nose smell underneath. Wonder if this is how the rabbit cloud felt floating by way up in the sky? Wonder what it would be like to feel this way all the time?

Manuel is kind of lifting me and taking a few steps and now I find he's still holding me, but moving some of the pans around on the range. Gosh the smells are just so wonderful. He plops something in one of the pans and it pops and makes a little cloud and ouch! My nose and eyes are like watering! I'm pushing into his apron and sniffling and he's laughing and shaking against me. I can feel his stomach moving and his warmth against my cheeks and I just want to stay right here. I know I can't though, Mom will be looking for me soon. I got to get over to the shelter. I give him one more big squeeze and kind of push the water away from my eyes and then hug him one more time as I slowly head for the door. Just as I open it I can't stand it. I run back and grab him from behind in one more hug and then race out slamming the door.

Screech! "Te amo Paulito!" I hear from behind me. Wonder what that means? Wonder if I'll ever learn to talk good in Spanish like he does? Wonder if Carlota would help me some so I could surprise Manuel?

I'm skipping up the walk and there's Mom way down at the end of the line. She's looking at me and all nervous like. Just as I get there she grabs my hair and starts hitting at me and screaming, "Where is it you little shit! Where's the stuff! You piece of dirt I'll beat it out of you, God Dammit!"

She's whaling away at my head and I'm like trying to get my arms up. What the fuck is she yelling about? Geesh, she hasn't hit at me like this in a long time! Shit! She just popped my on the nose and now bloods running and everything. I just collapse on the ground and try to get in a ball so she can't hurt me no more.

She just comes down screaming, "She told me she gave it to you to give ta me! You little dirt ball, where the FUCK is it?" She's pounding at me and pulling my shoes off and then my socks and she's putting her hands inside them and screaming some more. "You shit! Where is it? I'll fucking kill you! You out selling it?! You better come up with it! She told me you looked like you were selling it or something in your fancy shirt and pants! You fucking making more money than me I'll smash you're little shit ass."

I'm whimpering and trying not to get hit and trying to stop bleeding and trying to figure out what she's yelling about. Who's she? What do I have? What did I sell? What's wrong? "Mom! Please stop Mom! Please! I don't have nothing! I didn't take nothing! Please Mom!"

She's tugging on my pant legs and suddenly my feet are up in the air and my pants just like slide off and she's digging around in my pockets.

"Dirt! Shit! You little fuck! See!" and she's waving what's left of my twenty dollars at me. "She was right! She said you'd have some money. Stealing from me you little dirt ball!"

She threw my pants down and went running down the sidewalk toward downtown pushing my money in her pocket. I just lay there. Dirt! Fuck, just laying here in the dirt. Dirt to dirt, or something like that I heard once. My nose hurt, but at least she wasn't hitting me no more. What was I supposed to have taken? Why was she all so mad at me?

One of the guys in line came over and knelt down and got my shoes. He kind of put one sock in each and put them beside me. Then he kind of reached over and got my pants from where she had thrown them. He's saying something like, "Hey Blondie, it be okay. I take care of you."

I'm sniffling and trying to get my nose stopped and my eyes dry and I'm just ready to say thanks or something when his hand is patting on my leg. He's still saying he'll take care of me, but his hand is sliding up and on top of my underwear. He's kind of touching at my dick and then his hand is trying to get inside. I think of Jimmy and I'm like in a panic. I grab my pants from him and grab my shoes too and jump up and run off down the street. I hear him say, "Okay Blondie, You be coming back when you hungry and cold! I take good care of you then, hear?" and he and some other guy are laughing and I hear him say something about tight sweet ass.

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