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  • Sometimes dad let me open his beer for him. He taught me how to use my wrist to press in and up until the top cracked off. I liked watching them fall into the plastic sac under the opener on the side of the basement fridge. On barn party nights, or nights of long practice, the sac would overflow until tops fell onto the floor. I fingered for the different tops, though most were Bud Light, and collected them in the small palm of my hands. I liked to rub my thumb back and forth over the indent the opener made. Sometimes I'd hide the tops in the sand pit adjoining our two basements. It turned into a dirt pit after some years: beer can burrows, mice, mouse poop, pieces of mom's shiny sculptures. I loved rubbing my fingers over those cracked pieces too. I'd pretend I was an archeologist embarking on a great dig as I'd spot a sculpture's broken edge jutting from the sand dirt. Mom told me to stay out of the pit. She'd say, "You'll get sick from all the mouse poop." I didn't care. It was the only place I could spy on dad on nights he didn't want me to visit band practice. It was the only place I could uncover my beer top stashes and rub their shiny logos without mom seeing. It was the only place I could look for hidden art, for mistakes thrown in the dark. It was the only place I could search for secrets.
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