HAZEL STREET – From Chapter One of the memoir The Cobbler’s Daughter
Click. I wake to the sound of the light switch. I sit up, look out the hallway windows and see it’s still dark.
“Come on, kids,” my father says, standing by our bed. His black hair is combed back from his face. “We’re going bowling.”
“What time is it?” my brother Tony asks, rubbing his eyes.
My father smiles. “What are you, a cop?”
Tony and I crawl out of bed. We pull on T-shirts and jeans. I don’t remember if we brush our teeth or wash our faces. I doubt we brush our hair.
We drive across town to Brandywine Bowl where a bunch of my father’s friends are already waiting. Inside the walls are cream-colored, the lanes are wood, and everything else is harvest gold. The carpet is a vast ocean of blue.
Before my father joins his friends, he hands Tony a wad of dollar bills and says “Go get something to eat.” We run to the snack shop. It’s like a dream: Wise potato chips, Slim Jims, City Chicken (Turkey on a Stick), French fries, Cokes. We even have enough left over for the pinball machine.
High on soda, Tony and I chase each other back and forth through the nearly empty building. If we bother my father, he throws us more money. We eat and play to our hearts’ delight. We stay until the Pepsi clock reads 1:00 a.m. My father hands back his shoes. Drops his ball in his bag and we leave.
I squeeze in between him and Tony in the front seat of his 1965 red Chrysler Corvair convertible. My hair blows in the wind—free and loose.