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66 the minnesota review Denise Duhamel From Lorca's Deli, New York City The cashier who usually winks at me was watching the hanging tv over my shoulder—Kojak or something like that. And a cat sat on the counter. A little boy was asking for cigarettes for his mother when I heard a gun shot, a little loud, I thought, for a tv. Then, no, it can't be. On Avenue B the first bullet missed, but as I turned to the window the second one got him and a man went soaring and flopped onto the sidewalk as though it were his bed and he'd had a long day. The little boy was looking, too, out through the door where his head only reached 'PuIl" spelled backwards, he started screaming when the cashier said, "Hey, I know that guy," and I had to stop the little boy from running out to the street where a mob was forming. The assailant ran and took a right onto the block where I live and others began running, too. It was only five in the afternoon—a mother would send a boy to the store. We heard more distant shooting, then the squealing ambulance, cop cars in the rain. The police moved a little tired, a little afraid. One came into the Deli asking, what did he look like? Spanish, male, a jean coat, I ventured 5'8", but added that I'm really a bad judge of height. The cashier said nothing about this guy looking familiar and the little boy just wanted to go home. The policeman said, "Little man, why don't you give us a few minutes to find the bad guy before you come on outside." So I bought this boy a bag of popcorn, lifted him up onto the counter where he sat and stroked the cat. We both watched through the glass and he said he felt OK now, that it was kind of like watching tv. ...


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