Roger McCloskey

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Friday Night

Rows of folding chairs, hardback gray painted metal, black sten­ciled lettering says: SON'S OF ITALY, KNIGHTS OF ST. JOHN--bored, down and out of luck rent a cops smoking unfiltered cigarettes, sneaking half pint hits

Artwork by Gene McCormickI never work welfare mother of five, size 40 second hand pink and black stained tent dress, bring the kiddies to bingo, the old man's always drunk anyway, if they make any noise, slap them down

The hour glass shaped see through cage, wooden numbered chits, a speaker's platform, a heavy glass pitcher filled with water and ice, the squeaking, squealing microphone, a tapping index finger: this is a test 1, 2, 3  Do you hear me

A tapping hand carved cane, I'm six foot four weigh 118 today and who knows about tomorrow, I don't care how cold it gets outside, it's Friday Night, I live for Bingo, It's the only fun I get, I'm 83 years old

Buy your Bingo cards here, 50 cents apiece, plastic markers five cents extra, 100 to a bag, 10 cards 4 bucks, 20 cards 6.50, can you play 20 cards, you've got two seconds to decide

Long haired stoned crazy couple, unwashed tattooed motorcycle greased denim jeans, I don't care man we've been sleeping in this crazy garage for a month now, it's not half bad really, we've lived in lots of worse places, we're looking for a better place though man, one with indoor plumbing

Hot, bright overhead lighting, get there an hour early or else you won't get a good seat, bring your own food the guards won't care, stay sober for six whole hours, this is Big Time Bingo, nothing else is important

This better be good
I changed my bowling night for this
Where's the bathroom-I have to PE every half hour or else I get sick
I never go out, being out scares me
I haven't eaten in three weeks
That's alright, no one gets eaten here

Thursday night double your pleasure double your fun sweepstakes, best prizes in town times two, everyone knows Friday Night Bingo is best, don't believe me, read the 12 by 5 foot bunting draped from the ceiling of the room

You can't come in
Why the hell not
We're all full up

The games haven't even started yet
Fire regulations
The hell with that     
Too late, come early next time
Fire regulations, shit! we'll burn this place down if we want to

I-19, shuffling fingers, desperate fleeting eyes, play all 10 cards just like that-year’s’ of experience watching TV is the best teacher-0-68 I can't hold a job but I sure as hell can play Bingo-B-9 Smoke a pack every hour when I'm nervous, buy more cards, play them all, light another one, the hell with fire regulations I can smoke anywhere I want, Hey, let those guys in, they're alright I know them, let them all in, the more bodies the merrier, it's good for business, my brother runs a funeral home 

Roger McCloskey’s latest work in progress is “The Race Car Driver’s Anxiety at the Pace”.