It is a rainy Sunday afternoon in November, with nothing I want to watch on TV.
All of my friends are away.
My sister is at Green Acres Shopping Center.
I walk through the house.
My father is stretched out on the Lazy Boy recliner in the den, watching football. I sit down on the couch. A commercial comes on. A cute guy is in a sports car, driving a beautiful woman through a snowstorm in the mountains. When they arrive at their destination, a Victorian inn, every window is illuminated with a candelabrum.
I walk to my parents' bedroom. The door is closed. I peer in. My mother is asleep.
I wander into the kitchen. Nothing interesting in the fridge. There are Saltines, cans of tuna fish, spaghetti. I look in the breadbox and find a loaf of white bread.
I roll the white bread into little balls of dough between my palms.
I eat ten little balls.
It's 5:00 and getting dark.
I go into my room and look at the poster on the bulletin board: A tanned guy with blonde slicked back hair emerges from the waves, a surfboard balanced on his head.
I turn on the radio. No songs I like. Static.
I go back to my father in the den. He is snoring.
I go back to my room.
I take out a book, Gone With the Wind. I've read it before.
I don't want to read it again.
It is 1968. The Vietnam War is escalating. Martin Luther King has been shot. Bobby Kennedy has been shot. There's a civil rights march on Washington.
I know little of those events.
I am 13 years old, in 8th grade.
In every fiber of my being,
I am waiting not to be bored.