Learning

Your father was like that sometimes. I remember this once, I asked him, begged him not to, but he put an entire week’s paycheck into a slot machine. Said he’d worked hard for it, and he’d do as he pleased. Stubborn like that. So he pulls on that arm and watches the wheels spin, different kinds of fruit and stars or dollars signs. I don’t remember which any more. Not like it mattered. Oh, he’d win every once in a while, a little bit here and there, just enough to keep hope alive, keep those wheels spinning. Pretty soon, even he could tell he was just throwing his money away. The life just drained out of him along with the money. When it hit zero though, something funny happened. Instead of getting angry, or sad, he looks at me and smiles. I asked him what was he smiling for, and he just shakes his head and says that now he was free. Never gambled again in his life. At least not with money. What I’m trying to say is that he could always find some good, even when things were bad, especially when he was the one responsible for making it bad. We at a lot of peanut butter and plain spaghetti that week. But he never did it again. Another man might have lost half a pay check every week for the rest of his life, but not your father. He learned. So can you.

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