Heavy Thoughts

Mule Skinner Journal Anthology 2022

I remember the first time. We were heading towards the movies and the traffic had us blocked because of a fender bender. I didn’t want to miss the cartoons, the previews, and the newsreel so I squeezed my eyes shut tight and envisioned a tow truck moving the cars out of the way and us getting through and making it to the theater in time to get front row seats just as the curtain opened and the lights dimmed. Dad said, “the tow truck’s here, we’re going to make it,” and we did. I thought we were plain lucky but the next time I squeezed my eyes closed and envisioned something happening I knew it was no coincidence, it was my private power. Now, I’m no longer a kid and my power is still with me but I use it judiciously because I don’t know if there’s a finite number. I remember sitting at the soda fountain all alone having a cherry Coke and thinking about Mary Lynn sitting with her girlfriends chatting and laughing and the next thing I know she’s sitting on the stool next to me holding her straw asking for a sip. We were inseparable for the rest of high school until two weeks before graduation she told me she was moving out of state and I closed my eyes to keep from crying and I saw the teacher walk in a new girl and introduce her to the class and give her Mary Lynn’s seat next to me. When I opened my eyes, Laura was smiling at me, and I blushed, and she told me how cute I looked with my eyes all scrunched up like I was playing a movie in my head. She told me she does the same thing as we shared our lunch in the cafeteria. All was great but come Monday she had switched seats and was goo-goo-eyed over the quarterback who was sitting next to her, and she told me after class that she recognized that we shared the same power but obviously hers was stronger.

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