It's not as light as it looks. Not as wispy, fine. Up close it like to jab you, take out an eye. Jimmy said Touch it. He said, You don't make something like that and not want people to touch it. Come on now. I said You touch it. He said I said you touch it. I've got the camera, I'll take your picture. By the time I get over there someone'll come in, then it's too late. I said, See, we're not supposed to touch it.
Jimmy has ideas. Jimmy knows how the world is. He's right: Why would you put those swirly curly colors shining, pointed, smooth, right in people's face if you want everyone to keep hands off?
I wasn't afraid of getting in trouble. I get in trouble all the time for doing stuff Jimmy says. But I don't get in as much trouble as he would if he did it, and when people see me with him they know how it is, they can tell I work for him. There's advantages and disadvantages to everything, Jimmy says, Whether you're the big brother or the little brother, there's pluses and minuses. You're lucky you're cute, Jimmy tells me. People can't stay mad at you long.
I know this is true.
So I stood very still for a second that felt very long. I looked around the room and listened for someone coming, but we were all alone. I looked up to the top of that thing, and it was crazy and beautiful and I wanted to go bigger than Jimmy asked, I wanted to show him how much I knew he was right and I looked back at him to see if the camera was ready and Jimmy was ready and I nodded. I put out my hand and took one of those candy things in my hand and it was so easy I grabbed another. And climbed.
Part of the Covers series
Photo by Patti Weissler