Nils Peterson: Talk in the Reading Room
About Nils Peterson

 The Reading Room
 Xmas Eve at the Big House 
 Christmas Mysteries 
Summers in Long Island 
 Father Arrives in the    Triumphal Car 
 Yankee Stadium Gone 
 A Thing of Beauty 
 Learning From My Father 
 Learning From My Mother 
The Bus


 Next Stop 
 Going to College
 My Lecture on Romanticism 
 A Story 
 Go Way From My Window 
• Singing in the Rain 
 On the Nature of Exposition 
 A Latin Class
 A Hero's Life
 Letter to Paul Cantrell
• Homecoming 
 The Moon and the Bulldozer


The Bus

Sunny day. June. California. But I’m in New Jersey on a November night standing in the cold with my mother waiting for a bus on the corner of Front Street and Watchung, the bright window of a store shining square behind us. In it hot dogs, bright as pumpkins, go round and round on a rolling grill. Attended by exotic, unSwedish jars of yellow mustard and green relish, they glisten. I stand cold and salivating, jigging from one foot to another. The unilluminated night is black. It is 1939.

Around the corner lives the ice cream parlor. Sometimes after mother bought something at the Surprise Store which pleased her, she’d buy me a cone. I’d order rum raisin with a delicious sense of sin. Down the street is the newspaper store run by two weird brothers (one limped left and one limped right), where I had my first sip of Coca Cola. It was from my father’s glass. A Coca Cola glass. No such thing as a paper cup. nice!

A couple of blocks away lurks the Plainfield Courier News where in 15 years I’ll work in the circulation department for 35 bucks a week, but now I’m cold and hungry, and the bus, the bus, the bus — is not coming, will never come, will never take me where I want to go — no, never!

  © 2014, Nils Peterson

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