My new stepfather liked to circle the classifieds, always checking if there was an accessory he could add to his new family to make us more hip, more exciting. He thought our lives dull until we met him, especially poor old Frank across the street who pumped our bike tires. Frank would sit on his driveway for hours waiting for a kid to roll up. He’d make us hold the cap to the stem.
“Don’t lose that cap,” he’d smile, holding the black nub in front of a sweaty child face. Sometimes we’d let the air out of our tires on purpose, just to give Frank joy.
“A New Bitterroot” was selected as the 2013 Creative Nonfiction Contest Judge’s Selection for Still, the journal and can be read online.