Tuesday, October 29, 2013

October Memoir and Backstory Challenge - Regret #2


The Arcade

As a young woman I enjoyed the video arcade
There was an arcade next to a laundramat
Quarters for laundry
Quarters for Pacman

One day waiting for newly-washed clothes
whirling dry in an industrial dryer
I entered the arcade to pass the time
Playing a machine I racked up some credits
but was glad to leave when my dryer stopped.

Next to me was a kid, maybe 10
He'd been watching me play and I offered up my machine
full of credits
for him to play to the end

With big eyes he took the controls and as I walked away
I heard a slap
skin on skin
and a threatening voice
never take money from strangers
and a man pulling the child by one arm rushed past me
in the doorway


4 comments:

Amanda M. Darling said...

It's too bad that some people don't want to accept any kind gestures like yours.

Joy Weese Moll (@joyweesemoll) said...

What a sad story. Good visuals -- I can really see the setting and the action.

Jane Ann McLachlan said...

What an incredibly strange thing for the father to do. Sounds to me like a power play. I can't help wondering if he's an abuser.

Angie said...

How terrible for the child to learn a lesson like that.