The Human Bullet
I tip the washer back as far as I can without losing my grip. Mom wedges my skateboard underneath. She tells me to ease the washer down on it. We steady the washer enough where the weight won’t snap the skateboard in half.
The condo we’re moving into is three streets away from the condo we’re moving from. “It’s the first time we can just walk everything over piece by piece,” Mom said after she told my younger brother and I about our latest move. My back began to ache when I remembered where the needle was on the Blazer’s fuel gauge.
I push on one side. Mom looks over her shoulder and steers on the other side. We stop whenever the washer wobbles and threatens to spill. The fresh sweat coating over the dried sweat on my back and neck proves how this October is as unforgiving as July was. We start pushing and steering the washer again after making sure it’s still steady on the skateboard.
I haven’t used the skateboard since I was eight. Whenever I rode it, I kneeled because I didn’t trust my sense of balance. I pushed with my right leg until I got enough speed, then got both knees on it. I grabbed each side of the skateboard’s nose, made myself sleek to cut down on the wind resistance. The curve of my left front tooth reminds me how I also wasn’t good at steering.
After 10 or 15 minutes, we negotiate the washer down the street and into our new condo’s designated laundry room. Everything about the new condo is a mirror image of the previous one, down to the carpet poxed with aged stains. I grab the skateboard and carry it back to the old condo. I still don’t trust my sense of balance.
J. Bradley is the author of the novel The Adventures of Jesus Christ, Boy Detective (Pelekinesis, 2016) and the Yelp review prose poem collection Pick How You Will Revise A Memory (Robocup Press, 2016). He lives at jbradleywrites.com.
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Image by Rainer Maiores