They huddled around the table playing the board game relentlessly. In the winter, they camped out in one of their living rooms. In the summer, they set up shop on the sidewalk not too far from the corner store that sold penny candies and soda pop rickies. Not that any of them could afford wasting a penny on sweets, sugar, the finer stuff in life. Each game would last for weeks, giving these unemployed men a sense of purpose and meaning. What started off as a way to kill time and have someplace to go that didn’t involve the wife and kids, pretty soon became a fierce habit. When one of the players, having snagged say Boardwalk or Park Place, smiled for the first time in weeks, the others shot him daggers. Moments later, with a good roll of the dice, the bad feelings barely left a trace. It went on like this for almost a year, until finally the momentum generated by the war machine pulled the country out of poverty. In the summertime, the local kids, hungry for distraction, milled around the game but kept their distance. They knew board games were a serious business.
December 5, 2013
by Lee Eiferman