I am walking home with my briefcase bouncing against my leg, wondering if I should stop at the local grocery to pick up the Jell-O and a Mr. Goodbar for Kay. She wants Cranberry flavor and wants the Mr. Goodbar crunched up and mixed in with the Cranberry. If I do this, maybe she will go with Chris, if it is a boy. I hear a scream.
“Don’t move,” a man’s voice says.
I look across the street, push my glasses up off the bridge of my nose, and see a man with close-cropped black hair holding what looks to be a gun to a woman’s face. The muzzle pushes up against the woman’s upper lip with such force that her gums are bleeding. Her purse lies by her feet; the only item I can see is a tube of lipstick rolling away, sliding down the curb and into a nearby sewer.
“Help me!” the woman manages to yell. The man responds by kneeing her in her left inner thigh, bringing the woman to her knees. He yanks her back up by the elbow, the muzzle of the gun still rammed up inside the her upper lip.
A hotdog vendor next to me, wearing a Chicago Cubs hat backwards turns to me and says, “What’s going on?”
“I…don’t know…the man there…a gun,” I say, my eyes swivel to a glop of radish sliding down the side of the hotdog vendor’s cart.
I can see people hiding behind the store windows, nudging and struggling to get a look at the man, pointing and whispering. Most have their camera phones out snapping pictures. One woman even has a camcorder. A small boy with curly blond hair still licks away at an ice cream cone.
The man holding the gun looks around, but not in a nervous way. He is like a sentry guarding the palace of some Saudi Arabian prince, constantly looking for intruders. I think of Cranberry Jell-O, and then I move my right foot forward toward the street. I can feel my toes curl over the side of the curb and my hands ball into fists. The best item I have in my suitcase is a stapler, but I think I am out of staples.
A horn blares, followed by a speeding taxicab. I step back to the sidewalk and see the driver turn back and shake a fist at me. The sound of wind chimes echoes in my head, my phone. I look at the caller; it’s the Boss. I do not answer it. It will ring again.