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Compreme Cerveza

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He says hey mamacita, compreme cerveza, but we don't listen, so he picks up his skateboard and gets in our faces. Yo, bull dykes, he says, you gonna buy me a six pack or what?

And I look at Hopey and raise my eyebrows and for a second I think she's gonna deck the kid,but instead she holds out two hands cupped. He dumps a fistful of change and wadded up bills in, sits on the curb again next to his buddy and we swing past them into the 7-Eleven, corner of Venice and Western, get a crate of Negro Modelas for us, Bohemia for the kids.

We don't get carded. Haven't in a while now. Not since my second divorce, not since way after Hopey's hair went grey with that last miscarriage.

You know, I wouldn't'a hit him, she says, coming around to unlock the car for me. I haven't hit anyone in a while.

I ask, You miss it? And I'm only half-joking. She blows me a kiss.

And we pull away, past the kid who's holding the six-pack over his head like a ghetto blaster, rolling east on his skateboard down Venice Boulevard.

Wasn't so long ago, I think, that she hit a kid. Wasn't so long ago we were sitting on that same curb, flagging down the roadside geeks to buy us a six-pack.