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VALVOLINE ❋ Allyson Young

The man who changes the oil in my car today is named James Young, which is also my father’s name. He says to me, you want to know something even wilder? I do.
My father’s name, he says, is also James Young.

I drive to the cheeseburger place and I buy a cheeseburger from a woman with pink hair. In the parking lot, I take a video of myself eating French fries in the blue glow of the trampoline gym across the street. There are three or four people I know who will think this is as funny as I do. I think about sending the video to them. Me alone and French fries and in the distance a tall man and his son jumping up and down and up and down behind a giant pane of sheet-glass. Leaping cats in the fading light. I don’t send the video. I wipe the salt on my jeans.

My street is more crowded than usual when I get home in the rain. It smells like the terrarium room at the zoo in DC, the room with the Kapok trees. The rain stops and I get out.

Three little girls are dangling out a window a few houses down from mine. I look up at them and they look down at me. You’re pretty, the oldest one says. I look at her overcome. I wave. Hello she says, and I walk away.

I call my sister and draw eyes on a sheet of yellow notebook paper. How are you I say. Someone threatened a shooting at school today she says. My heart stops. My heart in six places.

The woman at the cheeseburger place shuts off its lights.