How We Spent Our Saturday Night
August 5, 2007 § 2 Comments
I grew up going to bingo nights in local church basements with my mom and grandmother (Saturdays at St. Anns; Thursday at St. Pauls); when I was younger I’d bring coloring books and crayons and a Walkman and cassette tapes (oh, Ghostbusters 2 soundtrack, you were such a winner) and I’d help the workers collect the cardboard games at the end of the night and they’d give me a silver dollar, which I’d then use to buy a piece of homemade cake or maybe a flimsy cardboard tray of pierogies if it was still early enough and the ladies who ran the kitchen hadn’t sold out of them all. When I was old enough I’d convince my dad to give me $10 to play and I’d make my mom promise to pay me my $10 back if she won, and she’d call me a little huckster. I made Scott make me that same promise, only 20 years later it’s a little more than $10, but we didn’t win shit. I think I might have impressed him (or saddened him) with my knowledge of four corners and postage stamps and letter Ls and letter Ts and small frames and coverall and kites and oh, I was set so many times, but we didn’t win shit. It was a soupy summer night and it was nostalgic and bittersweet, current and thrilling, all at the same entwined moment; at one point, suddenly something made sense — so this is why I like to gamble so much. When the games finally ended at 10:30, we were bleary eyed and fidgety from caffeine, and while the other players likely went home, we repaired immediately to the nearest bar, where we drank wine to calm our nerves and discussed timeline, budget, and strategy for our next trip.