Ricky was a young boy. He was sitting in that severe room with his dad, on a wooden and uncomfortable chair. A lot of adults in this room. All turned towards a big fat grey-haired man holding weird objects and yelling things at the front. That big fat man had a huge mouth and his big cheeks and triple chin would shake as he'd keep yelling "Going... going... GONE!" Ricky didn't know exactly why, but it always seemed to make one of these strange people happy, while some seemed unhappy. Maybe because they didn't win?
They all looked the same to Ricky. All dressed in dark clothes, with dull colors. Uncomfortable things probably too. Big shiny shoes. Everyone was very busy. All just staring at that big fat man and his stuff. No one was paying attention to Ricky or talking to him. Not even his dad. When was his dad talking to him anyway? He was always either here, or hanging out at "The Club", gambling and drinking with the other people like him. Dad seemed to win often when he played. Ricky didnt know if he was cheating and the thought had come to him, but it wasn't wise to ask, and Ricky never did.
"When are we going back home, Daddy?" His dad turned to him with an annoyed look on his face, his eyebrows frowned. All he said was "Shhh!", but it was very clear. Ricky was better to be silent.
Ricky took a look at his dad. Grey hair, like most of the people here. A thin face, shaved in the morning but rough at this hour of day. Grey there too. His eyes had big pockets under them, and big shadows too. And on his forehead, strange things. It looked like little mushrooms, but it was on his dad's forehead. Ricky didn't know why. He didn't want to get old and get them on his forehead, because it was ugly. Dad never went to see a doctor about them, because he didn't trust doctors. Dad didn't trust anyone, not even his friends he was seeing at "The Club", and not even Ricky. Whenever something happened, Ricky was sure to be blamed. He was used to it now, that was how things were.
It was so long, so boring. That big fat man at the front, will he ever stop yelling? Ricky got here with his dad when the sun was still high in the sky, and now it was long gone and it was very dark outside. Way past bedtime for Ricky, and we're still here. It was always like that when Dad brought him here. Nanny didn't come to pick him up after school, and Dad seemed so annoyed to have to bring him along. And Ricky didn't want to go.
He never knew why his dad always wanted to be here. There was nothing here, just those people sitting at the edge of their seats, all tensed and busy and silent, and that big fat man that kept just yelling all the time. Rarely would his dad really win any of the weird objects. Sometimes maybe, a painting or two, but most of the time they would get back home with nothing, just a lost day.
"Dad, can we go home now? I need to go to freshers", Ricky said. He didn't really have to go this second, but he felt something coming. And he didn't want to be here for much longer. His dad turned to him and looked him in the eyes with a very angry look. Then silently hissed "Will you PLEASE shut up?" to Ricky. Ricky came close to tears, but he knew it would just make things worse. Ricky's dad could see that, and his face was taking some colors. "SHHHHH!", he said to Ricky, frowning even more, with hatred-filled eyes, mean eyes. Ricky had to retain his tears with all his little strenght. This was getting bad. He didn't want to get his arm broken again. Things like that happen, and they are accidents, his dad said. But Ricky knew it hadn't been an accident. He remembered it well.
"Going... going... GONE!", the big man said. The auction was going on. Ricky tried to calm down, he must not cry. He has to calm down, and not get his dad's attention. Else it will be bad. So Ricky tries to think of other things. He looks around, then looks by the windows. It had been so nice and sunny outside today. He was regretting he didn't go play.
At some point Ricky noticed some movement outside one of the windows. He wanted to get up and go see, but then dad noticed what he was trying to do. He grabbed him by an arm, and violently forced him to sit down again. "Are you going to make me miss my sale again? Are you?" Dad's voice was little more than a murmur. That's always dangerous. Ricky remembered that accident the other day and swallowed his saliva with difficulty, then said a very unloud and unclear "No, Dad, I won't."
No one was noticing what was happening, his dad was good at keeping these things silent and anyway they were all busy with their auction. At some point though, the sale stopped. Dad looked at Ricky because he was sure it was his fault again, but for once it wasn't. Something was happening outside, and the big fat man at the front was starting to look worried.
*** The little mushrooms on the dad's forehead are typical of very bad alcoholics. They are a sign that there is more alcohol than food in your system and your liver is going BAD.
Cast iron and treadmills? Oh yes. Still sculpting me to what I really want to be, and I love it. :)