Some kids still grow up too fast.
I watched this kid busy at work the other night.
He can’t be more than twelve years old. His voice hasn’t cracked. When he yells, it’s nothing more than a high pitched squeak. He sounds like a girl. I know he hates that.
I can barely hear him and I’ve got my hearing aids turned up, wide open.
He’s still got that innocent look. Wet behind the ears they used to say. Maybe he’s still doubting all that stuff about the birds and the bees.
He’s already working the auctions. He’s a caller. You know, the person who watches the bidders and yells “Yep!” when a bidder nods his head or raises her hand. He’s busy tonight. There’s a lot of used stuff selling.
He’s running around like a mad bumble bee, flying from one side of the auction room to the other.
He’s waving at the audience one minute. The next minute, over his head, he’s holding a piece of fifty year old corning ware, begging for just one more bid.
Someone outbids all the others.
Sold! He’s running down the aisle, headed towards the smiling bidder, Corning ware bowl in hand.
He’s wears a baseball cap. It’s a hometown team. Just a capital letter on the front. It’s a size too big. It’s old and dirty. It floats on his ears. That doesn’t matter. He just keeps adjusting it so it won’t fall off.
He’s busy, working the crowd, ready to do business. He’s wearing scruffy, square toed cowboy boots. One pants leg hangs on the top of the boot. The way he shuffles around, I’d bet they’re a little too big too.
I wonder when was the last time he played ball. Or, did he ever get to play?
Even this kid’s shirt is too big. It’s one of those western shirts, a green pattern in the cloth. On the front, white snap pearl buttons, with a yoke across the back. Long sleeved, cuffs with the same pearl buttons. You don’t see shirts like that too often these days.
He keeps pushing the sleeves back over his hands, above his wrist. It’s no use. When he points at the next bidder, the sleeves fall to his fingertips once more.
He must be making a good money. He’s got one of those big, thick leather wallets stuffed in his hip pocket. It’s the size of my check book. It has a Buffalo Nickel stuck in one corner showing, for all the world to see. In his other pocket, he’s got a cell phone.
This youngster must be important, carrying his phone with him when he’s busy working. He reaches back, touching it, making sure it’s still there, in his pocket. Just in case he gets an important call late at night.
The clip of his pocketknife shows on a front pocket. He’s prepared.
The only time he slows down is when he takes a drink from his stainless steel glass or when he picks up a French Fry from the paper tray up by the auctioneer. A quick sip, a bite. He’s off and running again.
He’s too young to work like this and too old to be a kid. He ought to be out playing while he’s still got time.
He’s growing up too fast.
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