Spokane Wa. 1982
His hands had brushed wet hair away from sleepy eyes and a kiss landed on my cheek and lips. He was reserved, even unassuming but somehow acted as if he belonged just where he was. I watched him walk with Dad to the pickup and found myself in a haze of emotions, unsure of what to think or feel.
Ice bags teetered on my shoulder until I delivered each one to the counter where they were scooped into a container. Orange butter was dropped into a machine followed by popcorn and seasonings. Condiments were refilled along with hot dogs and lunch meat. The morning routine never changed and soon the doors for Bingo would be opened.
Denise raised a neatly manicured eyebrow and stared through steamy glasses after filling paper bags with freshly seasoned cheese corn. An ongoing play by-play was expected and given to my middle-aged co-worker who delighted in these youthful exploits. Her full attention was focused on the morning’s events and the idea that the man from just a week before was now staying at my family’s home.
Each hour was marked by the large clock that hung opposite our counter and the continuous round of games that cycled on the hour; diagonal, X, Letter T and postage stamp until they announced the blackout. “BINGO” and finally it was done, we packed up supplies, washed counters and Denise motioned for me to leave. Her smile melted into a quizzical and almost cautionary look as I waved and made my way out the back.