I remember lemonade– Country Time to be exact. At the curb we made a stand in summer, 1983. Twenty-five cents in a trickle-down economy. I did not understand the concept of making change– I gave away our money to Mike across the street, who teased me for paying him to drink it. I did not realize I owed him nothing. He used to get on all fours and act like a dog, lifting one leg to fake-pee on our lawn. I remember the shame of it, make-believe but still putrid. The golden stream implied by his gesture made me sick. Just like my dad in his underwear in front of my friends. Even worse that my mom noticed Mike doing it and shamed him. With Dad she only smiled. “Oh, Bob,” she would say, as we begged and we gagged. “Please, Mom, make him put on some pants.” “Oh, Bob” was their code I’d instinctively know: “You might as well do it; I can’t say no.”
I don’t remember if we made money that day, only that I gave it all away in the end. Dad didn’t like our lemonade stand. The day spent in heat faking money to burn. He thought it made us look desperate. We were.