Saturday, May 23, 2009

old-fashioned ranch

The flavor makes me feel like I'm five years old again and sitting in the pleather booth with the torn whole in the left side.

Next to the basketball team portraits--members sitting in perfect rows--and the photos of dugouts and outfields.

I hear the pinball machine clanging, its silver balls rolling side to side as tiny fingers press against the left and right buttons, click click click.

I hear the men's raucous laughter.

a kind of blazed hysteria.

"Oooooooh!" they shout as one of the players makes an abrupt move and the game gets more intense.

I smile at my father.

I pick out pieces of stale popcorn from the brown, circular bowl and pop them into my mouth.

It's familiar.

We beg our dads for a few more quarters to play JUST ONE more game (we promise) and get some skittles from the 'turning thing.'

After inserting the 25 cent piece and twisting the nob three times to the left, we carefully lift the lid and greedily scoop the rainbow candies into our hands.

We are cautious that they don't hit the carpeted floor and land among the now even staler popcorn pieces.

Images from TV screens flash around me on all sides.

The loudness of the room is overpowering, gradually getting higher and higher as the night wares on.

I cover my ears, but at that moment don't realize the wonder of this escape from reality.


  1. ahh i love this one. it reminds me of when i was really little.

    this is definitely my favorite.