“Yo, you want some help?”
Charlie offered. The old man nearly jumped out of his skin. He’d been so into talking to himself while he picked up trash; he hadn’t noticed Charlie from walking up behind him. “You almost got knocked flat Buckwheat. I didn’t hear you come over here.” “You were probably too busy listening to your own voice. You always talk to yourself like that?” Charlie asked. “What I always do or don’t, don’t concern you, now does it Buck?” the old man replied. “Look I’m Charlie. You want some help or not?” “Charlie is it? Yeah, well I’m Charles. I could use some help too.”
“Charles. Your name’s Charles. For real?” asked Charlie. “For real, for real,” said Charles, “now you gonna help me or not?” “Yeah, I got you,” Charlie assured him. The two began to clean up the park together. They threw away every piece of trash from the north side to the south side and even fed some ducks in between. “Why you always; I mean, are you looking for something when you pick up all this stuff?” Charlie questioned.
Charles gave Charlie the Hulk eyes before responding. “You always this stupid, or you been taking lessons? Who’s teaching you at that school you go to?” Charles shook his head and sighed, “I’m out here picking up stuff because it’s my social responsibility. This isn’t just your park or my park, it’s our park; everyone’s park. We all come here, so that means we all have to keep it clean.” “True,” Charlie replied. “Uh, can you show me that 1,2 step thing again?”
“Why the sudden change of heart?” Charles asks. Charlie answered Charles with tears in his eyes as he looked up from the sidewalk. “I’m tired of getting clowned at school. Plus, I want to be good like Pop Warner. He’s a basketball legend.” Charles gave Charlie a gentle nod, walked to his truck, and drove away.
Charlie just stood there; trash bag in hand and quite confused. The old man reeked of body odor and whiskey, yet he just watched him drive away in a new looking SUV. “What’s the sense in staying away from home, when all you need is right there?” Charlie asked out loud. ‘Man bruh, now I’m talking to myself,’ he thought. Charlie looked down at the bag in his hand, and finished picking up the rest of the trash.
Are you seeing similarities between Charlie and Charles?
Charlie asked himself a question at the end of this chapter. What do you think it means?
Buns of Steel. You don’t want to miss what happens next!