Stuck To Ground

guest writer Bracha Avraham
published May 9, 2016

Is nothing like a game. The thrill of it, the anticipation, not knowing what is going to happen next…I do not care if I am watching or if I am playing-is no matter, is just the same either way. Checkers, chess, dominoes, cards-we do it all. On Ocean Parkway air is sweet, tables are free, and company is good.

Well, the company not always so good, but the game is, that what counts.

I work hard my whole life in bitter cold Mother Russian, now I live for green wood benches, and cement tables stuck to the floor.  Is good. There are trees, in the summer when is hot, the cars go by fast, makes a good wind and cools us off. We play cards, they flap in the wind. My favorite sound- click, clack, smack- dominoes on the table stuck to the ground…I always win! Hah!! Alex, he hates it, but me, it makes me smile. Is my game.

In winter, it gets cold, not like Russia, but cold, we still play. Alex, he brings coffee in a paper cup from store on his corner, I see smoke coming off the top. To warm him up he says. I bring paper cup too, is no smoke off top of mine!! In mine, is vodka, warms better than coffee, nothing like it. Alex he live with his wife too long I think- COFFEE!! Heh, heh!

My wife is Tasha, good woman, married 31 years, sometimes she come to the benches too. She never play. The ladies, they never play, they like to sit and cluck like the chickens, but that is the way we like it. They happy, we happy, leave us alone, let us play. Is our own special club. Night life is New York they say – Big Apple. Why they call it that anyway? Apple? Big, yes, but why apple?

So many blocks, all green benches filled with men playing cards, checkers, chess, and dominoes on cement tables stuck to the ground.

And what I hear? Russian- from everywhere- like back home, but better.

Except the tables. Why stuck to the ground? I move to the end of green bench, my back hurt, I move to back of green bench, can not reach cement table STUCK TO GROUND! Never feel good- but we play, game is good, friends good- we play.