Sunday, February 04, 2018

Outside the Coney Island haunted house the operator, a big guy about forty, leaned on a rail and spoke to a couple of ticket takers, high school guys on summer jobs.

The cars were mostly empty. Here and there a mother and daughter, a father and son, darted around the corner to be plunged into the black portal, grimacing with apprehension.

“Open a checking account and a savings account,” the man said.

The boys nodded.

“Start a credit card. Open a line of credit and buy some shit.”

A few moments passed and a few more empty cars rattled past the gates of the inferno.

“Don’t buy too much shit. You’re establishin’ credit.”

One of the boys murmured something I could not hear.

“One-fifty, one-fifty. One-fifty in checking an’ one-fifty in savings.”

The group fell silent. All the cars were gone now. The stretch of track that ran out front, past the turnstile, glinted in the August sun.