Carlos decides to be a engraver. I’m not sure how he’s going to do that, since he doesn’t even know what the job is called. “I’m gonna be one of those people who puts things on gravestones,” he says.
“A vandal?” I say.
He tries it out on the concrete in the laundry room with a screwdriver. He gets to the “R” in Carlos before the super threatens him with an eyeful of bleach.
“Maybe you should try somewhere more private,” I say.
Instead, Carlos goes for a softer stone. He uses the screwdriver to carve his name in the wet cement of a McDonald’s sidewalk under construction. He draws a heart behind his name, like lover’s initials in a tree.
“Who’s the lucky gal?” I say.
“What?” Carlos says. “Oh.” After the heart, he writes Wendy’s.
In late July, we stole a pedalboat out of a private beach in Wilmette. Carlos pictured us crossing Lake Michigan like the painting with Washington and his troops. It was too hard to explain to him that all they had to get over was a river.
The lake was like bathwater. Carlos kept praying for waves. “We shall overcome!” he kept shouting.
When we couldn’t see land anymore, we got scared and turned around. Once we’d docked, Carlos shook his head. “We could’ve made Detroit,” he said.