I’d been 16 years old for less than a month, and I was irrationally embarrassed that my dad was here. It was my first week working at Firehouse Subs, ostensibly making sandwiches but literally just slicing bread and washing those clear, heavy plastic containers. I’d just secured my first W-2 job by driving east on Atlantic Boulevard and applying almost everywhere. I hoped for Publix; my reality became Firehouse. I was near the register, Dad by the door at the other end of the red formica. He was checking on me, I know, and making small talk with the assistant manager, an ageless lady we called Miss Phyllis, who didn’t like flowers and who a month or so later would just never show up again. What she commented to my dad that I remember with a level of certainty I’d swear by in court

The rest is in the pages of Common Good.

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