Despite looming starvation, no income and a lack of lifetime savings habits, I have managed not to ask my wealthy parents of Three Springs, PA for a substantial loan during this most recent recession. Mom’s bubbles in the kitchen sink must have multiplied when I asked her for $100 one Sunday, several weekends ago—I could hear over the phone that she was washing dishes—
“Sure,” she said. Sure enough, three days later a check for exactly $100 arrived in the mail—surely she must have known the price of milk here in Brooklyn—even if she did, she sent just $100.
Exactly one week later, another $100 showed up in the mail from Mom and my stepdad Bob—the rich white people who live at the top of the hill in Three Springs in the big gold house on the hill—the couple with three boats–yes them—they sent a second “loan” out of the blue.
Real fathers seem to be much better parents than mothers and stepfathers, for my real Dad, who lives in Huntingdon, sent me $1,000 without blinking even though he and his second wife, my stepmom Jan, are nowhere near as wealthy as Mom and Bob.
I didn’t have the guts to ask for more money yesterday when I called Mom. I only called to tell her that I had a job interview last Friday—a place right around the corner from the house—“I think she liked me, Mom. Black women always like me,” I explained to her.
“Well, I hope ya get it. I’ll pray for you. Remember—faith and hope is all you need to get through anything. Oh—one of Bob’s buddies wants to buy one of your guns,” Mom said before we got off the phone.
“What guns?” I asked.
“What guns he asks?” Mom giggled to Bob, who must have been sitting in his reclining chair in the living room next to the coffee shelf that Bob built using a hard fungus from a tree in the woods.
“Tell him he has four I think,” Bob said in the background.
“You don’t remember when you came home from Ft. Gordon– on your way to Germany and you asked Bob to invest the money you made in the Army that summer in a fancy gun?”
Honestly, I forgot all about the gun I bought—but yes, Mom was right. I did remember not wanting to travel with so much cash in my wallet and since I had no bank account, I told Bob just to invest all that cash in guns—figuring one day, I’d leave the Army and return to a life in Central Pennsylvania where I too would become a hunter for sport. I then remember “saving” and “investing” money from my paper route in guns—it was a hobby that my stepfather encouraged back in the mid Eighties—he insisted that guns were one of the safest investments a red neck can make.
I never put a second thought into the guns, nor did I ever miss the money they were worth as the years passed and they increased in value.
“Put Bob on the phone,” I begged.
“How much are they worth?”
“Oh, I’m not sure. I’ll have to check the current listings. Jimmy’s been asking to buy this thirty-thirty for almost five years now—I kept telling him ‘no’—but yes, he wants it bad.”
“Well please hurry,” I said. “Sell the damn thing and take what you can get for it. I’m starving,” I said—“But keep that shotgun of mine,” I said—“Don’t ever sell that. You never know…”