Losing them, fixing them, forgetting to put them in
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Pamela Altfeld Malone lives in Leonia, New Jersey. Her fiction has appeared in the anthology Back In My Body and her poetry in Resonance.
I’m a native New Yorker. I was born in Greenwich Village and raised in Brooklyn. I don’t live in New York now, but I still work there, and I consider it my goddamned right to go anywhere I want in the city. I’ve got to watch out — if a place looks dangerous, or people look dangerous, then I’m going to steer clear. But not on principle.
Leaving one son; going toward the other. Ted and I take turns driving, three hours each. My break comes at lunchtime. Then I can sit in the car and count the hawks in the sky.
The bar is everything a bar should be. The lighting is dim and soothing, only the wooden bar and colored bottles gleam, and the bartender is a soft-spoken, soft-moving man with a golden beard.
That first time they came in, he tried to explain to them, “Dumpling big, that lotta dumpling,” but they insisted they knew what they were doing.
Didn’t like hippie chicks anyway. Not clean. The kind he liked were always clean. Fastidiously clean. Eternally douched and perfumed, that’s the way he liked them.