Saturday, September 18, 2010

My Summer at the Horse Races

I was 16 the summer my girlfriend had gotten me a job with her on weekends at the horse track. I, of course, was nervous; the only job I ever had, and still held then, was at a library. Very peaceful, not much in the way of interaction with the patrons, and if there was, I KNEW where to find the book, and it was quite simple to scan a library card and the spine of a book! Now I had to learn the difference between a trifecta, a boxed bet, an exacta and others!

I was a runner, getting whatever was needed for other workers, snacks, drinks, lunch… I was taking bets. It was so exciting then; getting the big bills for large bets, paying out great amounts and receiving tips! I remember the heat, of course being in Kamloops that was to be expected, but being in that building; running back and forth, the energy in the air from anticipation and excitement. It has stayed with me all of these years later.

We would get dropped off after work at the apartment that our boyfriends shared. The basement suite was at least a little cooler than where we had come from. We would enjoy a cold bottle of beer and take turns using their shower. I can feel the dust that covered me; it slipped into every imaginable place on my body, like an extra skin, and it left my hair feeling thicker, but stiff. I can still smell the Outrageous shampoo that I used to wash it clean. I remember coming out of that bathroom feeling invigorated.
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