January 2008 / Volume Eight / Issue One
Paul Rogalus

I was in my early twenty’s,
working lunches as a waiter
at Giorgio’s Italian Restaurant
just outside of Boston —
and I got asked out on a date
by a 40 year old recovering cocaine addict
with three kids
who was on parole
for punching another woman. 
She wanted me to go to a karaoke bar with her. 
Her youngest son used to come in to get Cokes to go,
and he always had to flatten his dollar bills out
before he would give them to me—
so that they didn’t have any wrinkles in them. 
His mother said that growing up
in a crack house will do that to a person