On weekend nights we used to drive in parking lots, pushing the shopping cars with the front bumper. We drove at terrifying speeds, then jammed on the brakes and let the carts shoot forward like a rocket until the front wheels eventually buckled, sending them tumbling, and bounding into acrobatics. The initial fear is the shopping cart will buckle and catch up under the car, entangle in the engine and transmission. But you have to have faith, eliminating all negativity and sentiment. We fired these shopping carts in straight lines and rammed them into each other. We shot the carts at parking blocks and sent them careening into the night sky, the stars so bright you could reach out and grab a handful.
If you launched the shopping carts just right, you discovered just how resilient those shop windows were, as if the designers and engineers had us in mind all along. The windows refuse to shatter, crack, or reduce themselves to sugar. They just shake, reverberating headlights in the distance, shockwaves, as if the glass had just for the moment turned to water.
Tim Fitts lives and works in Philadelphia. He teaches in the Liberal Arts Department of the Curtis Institute of Music and serves on the editorial staff of the Painted Bride Quarterly. His fiction has been published by journals such as Granta, The Gettysburg Review, SmokeLong Quarterly, Boulevard, New South, among many others. He is the author of two short story collections, Hypothermia (MadHat Press) and Go Home and Cry for Yourselves (Xavier Review Press).
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