WHEN CAROL LEFT LIVERMORE it was like the opposite of hitting Las Vegas jackpot. Fruits and numbers whirled and the moments were out of time: one-by-one and only seconds apart the windows showed three sixes. Then drums dropped and floodgates loosed an inundation of rage and dismay. The yield, instead of money and euphoria, was self-hatred and pain. I had to ask for one of those souvenir plastic tumblers to take the overflow brimming in cupped hands. This was me this was happening to. The wheel of chance had hit.
She went on to say she wanted a new life. Mama thinks I should go see the doctors. Kids on the block, full of instinct when it comes to sadness in their parents, their friends, treat me like I have cooties. Why she chose an ice cream shop I'll never know. Seemed to enjoy her cone. Spoiled it for me forever.