I sat in that booth for 2 hours before Gene finally told me to order something else or go home. So digging into my pocket, I came up with enough change for one more soda and sat there, thinking and reading the want ads, wondering which one pop had gone to talk about. I was about to leave when he came rushing in, more excited than I had ever seen him. "Kid! We have a new job and they are going to relocate us, wait til I tell your mom!!"
He grabbed my hand and dragged me out of there so fast it took me a few steps to stop being dragged and start running with him. "POP! what job? Which one?" I asked out of breath.
Not answering me and walking at a good clip, I had to run to keep up, then, out of the corner of my eye I could see Mrs Carnes' flower garden and ran over and plucked a few of her daisies and roses and handed them to him, just in case the job thing was gonna upset mom. Better to be prepared than not I thought.
It should be said that before we came to the U.S., dad was a trained electrical engineer. We had the promise of housing and a good job for him, or the immigration would not have happened. When we got here, old family irritations started between him and his sister. We discovered that the 'housing' amounted to a two room upstairs flat and there was no job. It supposedly 'fell through'. Dad had to go door to door trying to get handyman work for a pittance, and his spirit began failing. Downtrodden and sorry as any man could ever be for bringing his family to this situation, he had taken the first full time job he could find. It paid the rent and barely covered food and phone and lights and heat.
Being laid off must have almost killed him. The pressure of finding money to pay for the bare needs of his family must have given him ulcers.
I thought about this during our run/walk home to the little house on 68th avenue. Dad had been wasted trimming hedges. When we got home, Mom was on the porch and my sister had just arrived home from her job.