A year later, I was launched, becoming collegiate myself. G forces pinned me to the back seat of the Chrysler as we climbed College Hill Road. We pulled up to the freshman dorm and unpacked the car.
“No thanks, Mom,” I blushed, “I can make the bed later.”
“Come on now, Robert. I can do it in a jiffy.”
“No, Mom, really. Thanks.”
“Here. Take a corner.”
Dad shook my hand and I pecked Mom on the cheek. Good-bye. Next thing you know, I was weightless.
Minutes after they drove away, I hitchhiked down the hill with my new roommate to a bar called The Roc. The Roc was in a crooked little house painted red with a sign outside missing the ‘k’. The door opened with a gasp. Stepping inside, the only sound to be heard was the shuffle of talk and the murmur of the jukebox; the only movement came from the shadows stirring in the cigarette smoke around the pool table. A second ago, it had been the middle of the afternoon.
A bartender stood behind the bar and a three-gallon jar of pickled eggs sat on the bar. It was hard to tell which was which.
“What are you boys having?”