I liked the darkness. The smell of sawdust from the game table. Blue or magenta glowing lights back-lit a wall of liquor bottles. Rough women and rougher men. No one wanted to talk to a kid. They had serious drinking to do and the world’s problems to solve. I had to entertain myself. There was always a TV with a ballgame on if all else failed.
On days with my father, we went to the Worlds Fair. We went to the beach. We went to his job driving a city bus. But the days always ended the same way; sitting in a bar where he drank himself stupid before driving me home in that Chevy Bel Air station wagon.
On bonus days, where I was just being babysat, I could stay at the home of some woman he was shacking up with. Once, staying at one of these places, I was bored and made some friends with the local kids. Older, they encouraged me to throw a rock at some other boy. I opened up his forehead. Everyone split and I remember the kids mother complaining to my father. The was the last time I saw my father and when I was a little boy I assumed it was because I had been bad and thrown a rock at a boy.
I still have a hat that he bought me from the NY Worlds Fair. He had my name embroidered on it. He spelled it wrong.
© Glenn R Keller 2020, All Rights Reserved