“And every now and then she’d have a different tablecloth on the big dining room table which we would always have to take off when we wanted to play chicken foot; occasionally she would have a cloth one, which I would always get something on, I don’t know if I ever had a holiday meal there without ever getting something on one of her table cloths but she had these vinyl tablecloths which were on there on a daily basis and we’d always have to take it off and fold it up and put it in that big breakfast side table with the paper plates and napkins whenever we wanted to play Chicken Foot; and Chicken Foot is a Dominos game so for some reason she really like it and we could play it as really little kids and we’d always play Chicken Foot at Gaya’s house and that was fun we did that forever we’d play games with her all the time but mainly it was Chicken Foot; we did a little bit of Uno and much much later we did a little bit of Canasta but for the most part it was Chicken Foot.”
Flowers and abstract pastels swirled together and across unconscious lines of taste and personal style to form her table’s wardrobe of vinyl tablecloths. Slightly sticky when I folded them in preparation of the games. Chicken Foot put a twinkle in her eye. The box of dominoes sat on a shelf in her den. One of the kids would run and get it. The key she designed in colored pencils to match the colors with the number of dots would be pulled out and handed to Gaya. Then the tin lid would come off and we’d gleefully spill them onto the table and race as fast as we could to flip them all over so their white spines could shine up at us. A loud clatter akin to applause and horse hooves and clacking ceramics drowned conversation in the mad rush to blend the memory of certain tile’s places in the pile into an indecipherable blur. One time, I cheated and kept my fingertips on the best tiles I had flipped. it was great fun getting away with it, but it made it too easy and I never did it again.