The Reader

Steve Alba

Boarded up. 1960’s ranch home. The concrete patio spilled out and dropped away into the pool area. It was a nice big Blue Haven kidney. The neighborhood was quiet but run down. In this part of town, people ate cheaply, drove older cars and didn’t have cable. Family was life and life was what they built. On Saturday afternoons, the Tecate would be brought out and soccer was on every television set. Pumas. The house was one of several that sat empty on this street. Hard times hit close to home. The trashcans were spilling over with faded photographs and mens clothing. The neighbors saw the skateboarders at the empty house and soon their own kids began to come home talking about them. The skateboarders rode the empty swimming pool and gave stickers to the local children.

Steve Alba

The pot-bellied, bearded men murmured among themselves and shrugged. Who cared what they did in there? The skateboarders seemed nice enough. The old man that once lived there was long gone. He had been a librarian at a local school. They had moved out his books and possessions a long time ago. So it went. Weeks. Months. A mortgage company came along and bought the place. They polished it up. New sod, paint and windows. A new family soon settled in and life proceeded on again. Tecate. Soccer. Families. Swimming parties. Skate- Ozzie

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