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


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.