An old man resembling a hobo out of a movie asks me one morning if I know where Ten Eyck Street is. I have lived blocks away from it for thirteen years.

When I was in the first grade I had a crush on Steven Eick. A blond boy with the kind of smile that turns one’s face into a series of wrinkles. His eyes became two down-turned em-dashes.

We used to wait in line in the auditorium after school let out for the school bus together. When you’re a kid so much activity takes place while waiting for things to happen.

My older brother Pete always called him “Steven Itch.” He told Steven one day (in front of me) that I liked him. I denied it and Steven looked off into the distance, distracted by embarrassment. Things were never the same between us after that. It was always hanging in the air.

I’m thinking about this with the hobo standing in front of me. “I’ll ask someone else,” he says.


Kerry D. Martin