He’s not always easy to see. I can be talking to him in my room on a rainy afternoon with the radio playing and sharing a blueberry pie, and my dad will open the bedroom door and Deuce’ll be gone and it looks like I’m eating a pie by myself and talking to the radio. And just like that he’s melted into the melting pot and achieved the American dream. And good thing too because Dad would broom stick me with vigor if he knew Dusek was living here and alienizing our air. When I found him, Dusek was living at the port authority—where my dad worked—inside locker 43, which he had learned to lock from the inside, in the dark. I heard him snoring while I was eating my lunch. I kicked the door until I woke him and passed some crackers through the vent and coaxed him out when the coast was clear. He was about a half a boy. Together we might have weighed what my dad weighs. We’re bigger now. Home, I said. I drew one with spit on the locker door. Let’s go? I got his story a bit at a time, between meals. He’d hit his dad with a hammer in Checkovakia and come all this way to live with an aunt who was dead by the time he got here; at least, that’s how I understand it. He lives in my room now. We call each other Deuce because I’m a Junior, so I’m the second, so I’m a two. I don’t care if he understands that. The time will come, I know, when Dad will see that Deuce is here and that he eats and pays no rent. I only hope that for my sake Deuce sees him first.
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