gasstationCardiac Arrest

by Jono Naito

I hop in beside Freddy; he has on his neon green sunglasses that he keeps in one of eight possible places, all filled with lighters. He pops the car into gear and we roll out; his music is guitar and thick accents, I can’t understand it. I can’t understand him either, and I wonder if he can’t understand me. I know that I’m in love with him, whatever that means, but for now, we are driving.

“I didn’t get anything done. I’m so lazy,” he says. I nod. Yes. Be lazy. That is part of you. I can tell he hadn’t washed his shirt in days, geniuses get distracted like that. The music ramps up and he turns it down so I can talk. He is so considerate.

“You must have done something today.”

“Well,” Freddy says, “I stole about $250 from a gas station. Gun wasn’t even loaded.” He laughs, I laugh. He is that kind of a guy, secretly harmless. He pulls out the money in a small bag and waves it around, causing him to swerve. We laugh again. I decide to tell him how I feel if he ever gets caught.

“What’s next?”

“I was gonna hit the station in Glenford tomorrow. Score some dope on the way. I know a guy.” He looks at me, even though I can’t see his eyes, “You in?”

My heart seizes. “Yeah, yes, of course.” I met him when we bumped into each other in a gas station bathroom. He looked like a guy on the news. Want to chill, I asked him. Freddy had on dark black sunglasses back then, and rolled me a blunt. Before it was lit, it smelled like his hands.

“You okay?” he asked, patting my shoulder with the back of his hand. I choke out a yes, and we keep driving.


Jono Naito is a recovering New Yorker living in Syracuse. He has not gotten around to buying that telescope.
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