brothers – potato – common – hands – boyfriend
alphabet – scribble – hydrangea – sandwich – tug-of-war
“I think they’re brothers.” Danika said. She leaned her back against the wooden picnic table where I ate my lunch, so even though she sat on the opposite side, we both faced the street at the north end of the park. I saw the pair she was talking about but had just filled my mouth with a forkful of potato salad; Danika took the opportunity to continue: “You’re gonna say they’re boyfriends and that it’s obvious because they are holding hands, but I think they’re brothers.” Then she returned to chewing her gum loudly, confidently.
I swallowed then asked: “Why brothers?” She turned over her shoulder to look at me. “If your guess is brothers, why not cousins or friends?”
“Pff, ha. No, no,” she said, “they’re brothers. They think they’re being funny eighteen year-olds and walking down the street holding hands but look: they walk the same. The shoulders rolling back, arms not swinging too much. That’s genetics, or imitation.”
This was a common Wednesday for Danika and myself; we took our breaks in the park and played some sort of people-watching tug-of-war.
“Where’s your lunch? You’re not eating today?” I asked. “I ate at my desk,” she replied.
“Then what’s in the bag?” Danika lifted the plastic bag that was beside her on the bench. “Hydrangeas,” she said. “and a sandwich. But it’s all for Mike; I’m gonna deliver them on the way back to the office.”
“Does Mike like flowers? That’s weird.”
“It’s not weird. All men like flowers.”
“I don’t think so,” I said. I pointed my fork to the boys now down the street. They were kissing. Then one went inside the store they were in front of and the other continued on.
“Commitment to the joke,” Danika replied, pivoting her butt on the bench and taking out her word search on the table. Then she just sort of scribbled on the page, ignoring the scrambled gridded alphabet.