Inside the perimeter of a fifteen-inch tube TV, two gangsters flew their jetpacks over the housing areas in Los Santos. Keegan thought of the idea of racing with jetpacks after racing with airplanes. I wanted to see how many stars we could get but Keegan said once we finished our current pop— we could do whatever I wanted. We each drank eight sodapops that night. The basement was all ours. My brother was sleeping over at his friend’s house and my parents celebrated Saturday as they usually did in an Iowan Summer. It was our goal to stay up as late as possible. We wanted to beat my parents at their own game. We wanted to see who could drink more— the kids or the adults.
My parent’s left the hot tub around one and I thought we cinched it. Usually, they went to bed quickly after a night of drinking, but they must’ve figured the same about us. They never did it when friends were over because the sounds of them in the bedroom traveled easily down to the basement. The laundry chute was in their room. Keegan asked me if my parents were— ya, know… but then our eyes met and we burst. Our cackles turned into snickers while Keegan stood up and closed the laundry room door. He asked me if my parents always did this when friends were over and then he told me his parents were like rabbits. That’s why he had three siblings. We played San Andreas until our eyes were dripping from staring at the vibrant colors for too long. Much longer than my Dad could ever last.
Tanner Armatis has been published by the Howling Mad Review, No Contact Magazine, and has forthcoming work appearing in the Royal Rose Magazine. He was a reader at the North American Review. His pronouns are he/him. @tannerarmatis for all Twitter tweets (mostly cats and anime references).