My brother slips through the kid-size hole in the fence and watches construction of the new ballpark. Tommy’s got a thing for bugs and that’s where he finds the good ones. He’s gone there every day since Frank moved. Says he’s bored, and what’s there to do anymore. Frank’s house was knocked down to make room for the parking lot. His folks got paid too much to fight it. Our house might go, too, but we haven’t gotten word.
I wait in the front yard, like I’m supposed to, until Mom gets home from work. She says girls have to be careful with all the workmen around, but I don’t mind. I’ve always stayed home anyway.
Tommy’s back and forth with the bugs. He’s got a bee in a Dixie cup covered with foil, sticks it in the freezer. Soon, my brother’s heading back to the ballpark with the bee tied to a string and beginning to thaw.
Frank likes that kind of thing and he’d have joined in, but he hasn’t called yet. Mom says our life sucks to pieces now. I don’t know.
Every time a neighbor moves out, there’s a leveling. You go by Frank’s now and it’s not just the house that’s gone. The hill they used to jump their bikes off of—it’s been flattened, too—even the bike that was always on its side. All you notice is what’s standing.
Tommy’s back to drop off a jar and get another. He stops to shake a pair of flies in his fist and roll them like dice. He usually ignores me but this time says to come see. I stand next to him and we watch the flies stagger around on the walkway.
Mom says baseballs might land in our yard. More and more I imagine us being the only ones left standing when everything else has come down. Just the three of us in a yard filled with stray balls. Inside I feel like Tommy’s jar of firefly butts. You think they’ve lost their glow and then there’s another pop of light.