“Do you need any money?” he asked, reaching for his wallet like all good daddies do.
“Actually,” I mused, considering his offer. “I’ll take all your quarters if you have any.”
He looked at me strangely before rummaging in his pockets for loose change. I cupped my palms as my dad poured in a chunk of quarters.
I arrived at the Best Buy up the street just as an employee was pulling down the gates.
“We’re closed,” he said apologetically as I pressed my nose sadly against the door.
“I don’t need all the way in the store!” I said desperately. “Just need to get right there,” and I pointed at the row of vending machines in the small foyer between the two sets of automatic doors. The employee let me duck under the gate and watched as I inserted all my quarters into the same machine, two at a time, cranking the dispenser wheel until it shat, one by one, tiny plastic capsules stuffed with Homies.
I was at the height of my Homies addiction that year, transported them in a metal Krishna lunchbox to and from work. Lined them up on my desk and smiled at them. Used them to put on plays for my cats. Considered giving up smoking so I could jam the extra money into vending machines all over the tri-state area, expanding my Homies collection from a tenement to a motherfucking barrio.
Every holiday season, there was always this one thing I was itching to do: Build a house of gingerbread and turn it into a crack house for my very best Homies.
Problem was that I’m not actually into the construction of gingerbread houses. Seems tedious to me.
Two weeks ago I learned that Chooch would be making his own gingerbread house at school! Unfortunately, this required each child to bring an adult to school that day. I reminded Henry that I took one for the team in October when I chaperoned that hellacious field trip to the pumpkin patch, and that he best take a motherfucking half-day.
Henry did just that, too. Together, he and Chooch spent the morning as carpenters of sugared shacks, and when they came home I was finally able to realize my dream of having a gingercrack house.
Ten years in the making and so satisfying.