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Need to buy a hookah link Source global Wall Street Journal     time 2021-09-19 03:45:21
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  Everything in the house was damp. A fine green mold spread over the books and papers and paintings that were stacked so high and piled so deep you could hardly cross the room. Tiny mushrooms sprouted up in corners. The moisture ate away at the wooden stairs leading up to the house, and climbing them became a daily hazard. Mom fell through a rotted step and went tumbling down the hillside. She had bruises on her legs and arms for weeks. "My husband doesn't beat me," she'd say when anyone stared at them. "He just won't fix the stairs."The porch had also started to rot. Most of the banisters and railing had given way, and the floorboards had turned spongy and slick with mold and algae. It became a real problem when you had to go down under the house to use the toilet at night, and each of us had slipped and fallen off the porch at least once. It was a good ten feet to the ground.

  WE LIVED IN LAS VEGAS for about a month, in a motel room with dark red walls and two narrow beds. We three kids slept in one, Mom and Dad in the other. During the day, we went to the casinos, where Dad said he had a sure-fire system for beating the house. Brian and I played hide-and-seek among the clicking slot machines, checking the trays for overlooked quarters, while Dad was winning money at the blackjack table. I'd stare at the long-legged showgirls when they sashayed across the casino floor, with huge feathers on their heads and behinds, sequins sparkling on their bodies, and glitter around their eyes. When I tried to imitate their walk, Brian said I looked like an ostrich.

  "I'll never get out of here," Lori kept saying. "I'll never get out of here.""You will," I said. "I swear it." I believed she would. Because I knew that if Lori never got out of Welch, neither would I.

  What was going through your head when A. Scott Crossfield broke Mach II?

  "What kind of dive did you do, Dad?" I asked whenever he told the story.

  In my mind, Dad was perfect, although he did have what Mom called a little bit of a drinking situation. There was what Mom called Dad's. "beer phase." We could all handle that. Dad drove fast and sang really loud, and locks of his hair fell into his face and life was a little bit scary but still a lot of fun. But when Dad pulled out a bottle of what Mom called. "the hard stuff," she got kind of frantic, because after working on the bottle for a while, Dad turned into an angry-eyed stranger who threw around furniture and threatened to beat up Mom or anyone else who got in his way. When he'd had his fill of cussing and hollering and smashing things up, he'd collapse. But Dad drank hard liquor only when we had money, which wasn't often, so life was mostly good in those days.

  "There's nine hundred and fifty bucks," Dad said. He opened the plastic bag, and a fur coat tumbled out. "That there's mink. You should be able to pawn it for fifty, at least."I stared at the loot. "Where did you get all this?" I finally asked.

  Dinitia Hewitt was there, too. That summer morning I'd spent swimming with Dinitia at the public pool was the happiest time I'd had in Welch, but she never invited me back, and even though it was a public pool, I didn't feel I could go to the free swim unless I had an invitation from her. I saw her again only when school started, and neither of us ever mentioned that day at the pool. I guess we both knew that, given the way people in Welch thought about mixing, it would be too weird for us to try to be close friends. During lunch, Dinitia hung out with the other black kids, but we had a study hall together and passed notes to each other there.


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