A Kid Going By

Image © ​Tanno Pippi 2017


by Ambika Thompson September 21, 2017

A kid going by on his rollerblades

A. Spits at me. It’s unpleasant. Lands on my left cheek. The kid’s clearly congested. This is how the day starts. Sitting on a park bench pretending I’m doing something. Staring at birds. The budding leaves on trees. Anything to make me think of something else. Anything else. Or nothing at all. Try to achieve nothingness. Breathe in and out quickly. Someone passes me by. Asks if I’m ok. I ask for a tissue. The glob is still on my cheek.

B. Last night. It was last night already. My hands were tied above my head. I managed to tie them there myself but then I couldn’t get it undone. That’s how last night was.

C. Today. On the bench. You come and sit next to me and tell me about the time the bomb just missed your house. It just missed it. If the person who shot it stopped to spit then they might have hit your house and you wouldn’t be sitting on a bench next to me.

D. I let you put your hand on my thigh as you tell me this though I’ve never met you before but I’m pretty sure that we went to high school together even if you’re at least two decades older than me.

E. We go back to my place and I tie my hands up over my head. You’re impressed and just watch me before eventually you ask me what you’re supposed to do about it. I shrug my shoulders and say, “whatever.” The moment has passed so I untie myself. I can do it today. Maybe today is looking up.

F. You make me a sandwich out of stale bread and a can of beans and we sit on my floor and listen to Aretha Franklin. That’s the moment that we decide to be blood somethings. So we poke our fingers with a dirty needle and push them together and you say “ET call home.”

G. I laugh and beans shoot out of my nose.

H. We go back to the bench and that kid goes by on rollerblades again. He doesn’t spit this time. You ask me what I’m trying not to think about. I tell you the end of the world, and you tell me that the end of the world is overrated, gets too much attention, not worth spit.

I. I shrug my shoulders and say “whatever,” then I put my hand on your thigh.


Ambika Thompson is a writer, musician and parent. She’s been published with Electric Literature’s Okey Panky, NPR Berlin, Fanzine, Missing Slate, Plentitude, and Crab Fats Magazine’s “Best of” compilation. She is used to be in The Anna Thompsons and is now one half of the cello riot grrrl band Razor Cunts. She is also the fiction & managing editor of the literary journal Leopardskin & Limes, and is currently an MFA candidate in creative writing at Guelph University. ambikathompson.com

Tanno Pippi is an artist living in berlin. they is working with photography, music (jolly goods),
film, performance & other mediums. tanjapippi.net

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