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slip out.
Momma went down for her afternoon nap around 2:00. I pretended to do the same. When Momma started snoring that gentle gurgle that makes her look like she's whistling through a smile, somehow pleasant sounding, I decided to put on my sneakers and a hat and head out.

Bending over to put on sneakers is a lot harder now. The skin stretches tight on my chest and I wonder if it's what it feels like to wear a bra. My right arm feels better in the cast than the first time, like it's old hat now, as Dad would say. I don't get that 'cause if I had an old hat I'd throw it out and get a new one. Even so, I'd like to have this cast off, like, tomorrow.

Hat, check. Shoes, check. Momma still asleep, check.

I opened the door slowly, carefully, turned around and backed out, pulling it closed quietly, minding to let the latch close without a click. Then I stepped backwards right into the legs of two policemen standing ready to ring our doorbell. Busted.

"Whoa, there, little fella." It was the same cop who grilled me in my hospital bed. "N.B., isn't it?"

"Did you guys see a newspaper out here?" I felt me ears and neck get hot. "I was gonna' surprise my Momma with the paper. She's takin' a nap."

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