“Tag, you’re it!” Jimmy said, and then he disappeared from my life. His parents moved to St. Louis, and he moved to Chicago.
A couple years down the line, I thought I’d be “it” until the day I die, when hopefully I could tag the nurse at my deathbed. I had to find Jimmy to tag him and also to get one of those coupons his mother had for low-calorie cranberry juice from Whole Foods. Jimmy’s mom worked at Whole Foods, so she could get a ton for free by stealing them from her boss’s desk.
I realized I had no idea how to find Jimmy, but then I remembered a detail he mentioned right before he left: “I’m going to Chicago.” So I booked a train ticket, and bam, it was too easy — right there, in front of me in the train station, was a coupon for Whole Foods low-calorie cranberry juice. And even though the juice wasn’t there, I could practically smell the lack of calories in it.
“I was going to take that,” I said to the man who picked it up. “Well it’s mine, I dropped it. But you look like you’re looking for Jimmy Robertson.” I was stunned — I realized Jimmy’s last name wasn’t Jordan, and maybe his father wasn’t actually Michael Jordan. “He’s on 1411 3rd Ave, Suite 1202.”
I walked into his gorgeous, marble-paneled office — the walls were covered in books on strategy for childhood games, mostly hopscotch. Jimmy looked different, maybe it was the huge “Donatello” Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles costume he was wearing. He only wore the kids’ sized version when he was young.
“Daniel,” Jimmy said, letting out a big puff of his cigar and getting my name wrong. “You’ve come to tag me, I take it. Well then, go on.” Then he smirked one of those smirks that all but says “Your mom has made me several grilled cheeses that I didn’t thank her for.”
“Or, Daniél, I can give you these coupons instead,” he said, getting my name right. “Low-calorie cranberry juice. I never leave home without them.” He laughed for a few seconds. Then a few seconds became a few minutes, and a few minutes became many, many seconds. “So which one will it be, Daniél?”
While my lifelong goal of no longer being “it” didn’t get satisfied that afternoon, I also didn’t get the coupons, since Jimmy ran away when I said I was going to tag him.