At thirteen, a little drunk and a lot stoned, jealous of the older kids in Stoepel Park with their fresh, pro ink, Brian Raymond carved his initials into his left forearm with a fishing knife he inherited from his grandfather.
He got the knife the same day his mom sold the small aluminum fishing boat he inherited, telling Brian she was putting the money away for his college.
After his third legal tattoo at 19, Schoolcraft Dan said “We should really cover up those scar initials.”
Brian thought about it for the length of time someone thinks about shoplifting gum when they can afford gum, then declined.
The slightly raised scars represented the first time he had taken the initiative to express himself the way he wanted to.
Brian looked at the wet t-shirt calendar on the employee bathroom wall at Telegraph Ed’s Tires and Balancing
He was about to turn 24, his college money long gone, mostly from his mom gambling on games of community center Yahtzee.
He zipped up, walked outside, threw the display radials inside the bay, pulled the door down, and waved at Front Desk Rita, the equivalent of punching out for the day.
Decided to stop by his mom’s on the way home.
She had the bad habit of buying too much bread.
He could usually grab a loaf from her right before it expired.
Anything to save a buck.
Brian hadn’t lived there since he was seventeen but had a key to the side door.
There were some photos on the kitchen table.
“Ma?” He called out, not really caring if she was there, just hoping he could snag some bread.
Picked up a photo. It was a mole or something. All three photos were moles, and he could see his mom’s thrift store shamrock bracelet in one of the photos.
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