waiting for the bank to open

Waiting For The Bank To Open

Excerpt from Buffalo Boy

by Ross G. Drago

In Buffalo, outside the restaurant, the fine snow hissed by the window. I would have to wait another half-hour before the downtown main bank opened. I asked Dorothy for a re­fill of coffee. I had finished a glazed twist donut, and al­though I was still hungry I had only a dollar in change left in my pocket.

Dorothy was thin and her hair was straight, turning gray from dark brown. Her eyes were Italian, but she was not. They had darkness beneath them, and in her eyes, like stage suns with still lashes thick from mascara, there was a sad­ness I hated to see. READ MORE

A Chicken Is A Chicken

chicken is a chicken

On Aunt Carmella’s farm I would get up long before the others. In the morning darkness, when a foot high fog held its place over the field and went through the trees like a continent in another dimension,  I would stare at the steaming cow, close enough to feel the animal heat radiate from its enormous body. How could my cousins, who lived here, bear the excitement, day after day? READ MORE

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across the streetAcross The Street

Excerpt from Buffalo Boy

by Ross G. Drago

I was introduced to the works of Shakespeare in a curious way. When I was thirteen, a woman moved into the apartment house across the street. The large Victorian Buffalo house had been misused for many years. It was not an Italian family home, where parents lived downstairs and newly married daughter and son-in-law took a flat upstairs. People came and went. The lawn was worn to flat mud by men who took car parts, cleaned them with kerosene, and then left town.

The old gray apartment house had a great veranda, as it was called, a porch with a roof, supported by ionic wooden columns carved and fluted, and, as with the rest of Buffalo, painted brown or gray. Stairs that were quite wide led up to the porch, and on it was a large rocking couch, called a glider.

The woman who moved in looked mad. She was old, perhaps in her late-seventies, and she had carrot-orange hair that came out in a wild and thick shock and leapt, even plunged down her back like a waterfall. It splashed in every direction, and she wore a bright pink housecoat, tied at the waist. READ MORE

Mr. Gagino

Short Story from Buffalo Boy, by Ross G. Drago

Mr Gagino“Brainy, don’t tell me you’re a watch-gazer, too?’’ he said. I didn’t know what a watch-gazer was, and so I stopped staring at whatever thought I was having, and stared at him while I went over and over the word “watch gazer.’’  It sounded German to me.

It was my first job, and nearly my last. I was thirteen, and I was paid fifteen dollars a week. I came in after school and on Saturdays to deliver groceries in Mr. Gagino’s hand pulled wagon, and to go with him in his white truck to deliver groceries to old people.

It was a red-brick corner grocery store. Mom and pop stores used to be just that. A man and a woman lived in the house that always lay just up the stairs, and they would spend their days in the store and their nights in the house. They were almost never out of each others sight. To get away from one another, they sometimes took shifts running the store. READ MORE