Dawn was a strange man.
I couldn’t tell if he was crooked or honest or both. His smile stretched into a whole row of piano keys, and he held it too long after each sentence, leaving you to decide whether his words were truth or bullshit. I was young and had been rollerblading in knee pads or staring at the bottom of a pool my whole life, not exactly experiences that help one discern truth from lies. Malcolm Gladwell would’ve been proud of my focus, but driving down one road steers you towards innocence. Dawn had a way with alcohol too, his breath smelled sweet coming in and out of flushed cheeks. A few years later, in high school, I spewed that same sweet air after about 5 bud lights… our drink of choice from the corner store owned by an Indian family trying to make it in a town full of white kids with full wallets. But there wasn’t enough going on for underage alcohol sales to blend in with the din of unpunished petty crimes. The couple got busted by some cops smiling behind patrol cars, still back-slapping each other about their teenage drinking stories… now convinced they were doing US a favor. That Indian family didn’t even have a chance, and Dawn thought that was pretty funny. He flashed his big ass piano key smile about it.