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Day 22
The Family Man

Kelly is looking at the dairy case, trying to find the milk he gets when two things happen at once: Someone says loudly, as if nearby, "you're blocking the aisle!" and the unpleasant metal edge of a shopping cart catches Kelly sharp on the ankle. He turns, blocking the entire aisle now, and stares down the complainant - an average sweaty man with a shopping cart (It doesn't matter what he looks like). Kelly just stares at him and doesn't move.

The man's eyes narrow and his head reaches forward slightly as he gives Gruber the nearsighted once over. His eyes widen.

"Oh, shit, man, gee, it was my fault," the man says, sweating and apologizing. "Sorry, I wasn't looking. Shit, man, Kelly Gruber. Wait'll I tell my wife - she's a fan, huge fan, justa sec, ok?" and the man abandons his cart and the aisle, looking for his wife, sweat rolling.

Kelly grabs a carton at random, and milk in one hand, bread in the other, he jogs down the aisle, keeping a peripheral watch for the sweating man even as he clears the check-out.

Two blocks from home and Kelly is waiting for the light to change, humming a song he doesn't know; something he picked up from the radio. He watches two small boys practicing their high kicks and accompanying shouts ("Yaaah!" or, "Hii-ya!" mostly) on the sidewalk opposite.

The boys have two kicks: 1) An awkward kick incorporating a short preliminary hop, to gain momentum, that leads into a massive upward swing with the right leg so hard it might catch someone in the chin and just drop them like that. In a hurry. 2) A short run, several striding steps and then a leap - more forward than upward, thrusting with the left foot first, then swinging the left back and bringing the right forward simultaneously. Blindingly fast. The idea being, you show your the left and then - BAM! - you give what for with the right. A scissor-kick really, soccer-style, but a lot dumber.

A high kick ends abruptly mid-shout as the would-be kicker falls in a hurry. The light changes and Kelly eases the car through the intersection, keeping it slow until he sees the boys upright and unhurt, then gives it gas down the side-street toward home. Pulling into the driveway, Kelly can see the newspaper is waiting on the doorstep and: The milk is still cool, the bread is still warm.


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Day 21 | Kelly Home | Day 23

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Matthew Dorrell

Kent Bruyneel

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