Love and basketball
Maybe my parents hoped my friendly interest in the old man meant my personality wasn’t entirely deformed by pubescent angst, as it must have appeared to them it was, not untruthfully. Maybe they thought my spending time with him would reveal to me the glories of becoming rich, and I would see the logic of their longing for upward mobility. In reality I doubt they thought much about it at all, concerned as they were about a whole host of other problems in their lives, not least the strain of money worries on their marriage. Whatever their reasons, they gave their blessing for me to walk the five blocks from the café to the old man’s house each Sunday morning, while they gossiped with my father’s cousins over hash browns and eggs. They agreed to pick me up when they finished breakfast, but they never entered the old man’s house. They signaled from the driveway with a honk of the horn.