by Esteban Rodriguez
I stole a green ball from the ball pit at Peter Piper Pizza. When my mother asked me where I’d got it, I said at my cousin’s birthday party, that it was under our table when we—cousins, aunts, uncles, friends—all gathered at the table after eating and playing and gossiping and sang to my cousin Eloy, wished him another happy year on earth.
My mother bent over with the ball in her hand, thrust it in my face and asked again where I got it, and although I didn’t have a thorough understanding of lying, I knew that the green ball would no longer be mine if I told her I took it from the pit, that while Eloy and his brother Eddie were starting a side war that required at least three ball hits to the face, I saw the roundest and shiniest ball in that pit and stuffed it in my pocket. How no one saw it on me at the table or play area or in the car on the ride back home with the ball bulging from my shorts was nothing short of a miracle. Continue reading