The Hungry Keyboard

Perfectly Imperfect Writings. And Stuff.

Banks Chapter 2

Banks was 11 years old. Legally, Banks wasn’t supposed to stay home by himself just yet. But Banks was very mature for a boy his age. With his dad gone to war and his mom forced to work in the cardboard box factory to make ends meet, Banks busied himself at home doing things around the house that didn’t disturb the neighbors in the tall brownstone apartment building on Sycamore street.
Vics dad had recently passed and their apartment was crowded with Vic’s dad’s things. Old cardboard boxes were cracked down the sides with things that once belonged to his immigrant grandfather from Italy. Victor Leone had came on the first wave of Italian immigrants on a steamer not as most came.
Victor Carpelli was runing away from his gambling debts that had mounted up. Victor Leone had many sins of his past to account for but instead of facing the music, he faced the Statue of LIberty one cool autum day on that steemer and new leaves were turned over for Bank’s grandfather Victor.
Banks’ curiousity got the most of him most days as to what papa Carpelli had packed away in those cardboard boxes. But Banks had taken a solid oath, crossed his heart and everything, to not get into those stacked boxes. His parents were very stern about that mandate. The curosity about those contents were paramount on Banks mind if he just sat there and stared at them. Body parts? Marbles? Dirty letters to gramma Violet Carpelli that had long since passed away? What was it that his parent were so afriad that Banks would find in those boxes. They were tattered, very old, and had been tied up twine. All 4 of them together were not that big. Heck, one box from mom’s factory would hold all of their contents. Unless one was holding a live animal, but Banks doubted that because he had spent all of his senses trying to snoop out what is in those 4 little boxes.
So on some days, Banks Carpelli would leave the apartment and go next door to Mr. Hathaways apartment. Mr. Hathaway had known Banks’ family all of is life. Nelson Hathaway was now nearly blind and walked with a cane. But he was a gentle old man that Banks enjoyed spending time with.  His apartment always smelled like old wood and spaghetti. Banks would spend the days sometimes reading to Mr. Hathaway. He read letters that he really didn’t need to open because he had read them to Mr.Hathaway so many times, he had them memorized for the most part. They weren’t long, but they were powerful. And old Mr. Hathaway, just tilted his head upward, closed his eyes and smiled as if he were inhaling those words from Bank’s mouth striaght into his wide, and now filled with gray hair, nostrils. And just as eating an egg salad sandwich made his belly stop growling, hearing these simple words read from Banks would satiate that recurring empty spot in his soul.
My dearest Nelson,
I sleep and I dream on the lingering smells of your cologne and your body on your pillow.
Love forever,
Your Caroline