Laurie Stone


In junior high, I would see a girl people whispered about. Her name was Sophia, a heavy, dark-haired girl whose father was a mobster, an Italian mobster, a member of the mafia, Papa Bonfiglio. She lived in a house I used to ride past on my bike, a big house in Lido Beach flanked by Lincoln Continentals that sat humming on the curved driveway like restless sharks. I wondered what went on in that house. I imagined crumbs, a suitcase, cards, and droplets of blood. Sophia had a tough, sad face, and boys made fun of her. It was a time when boys called girls cows and sluts and easy. I did not know Sophia's world, only that it was tinged the color of a dead tooth. Paulo Bonfoglio was a capo in the Lucchese crime family, involved in large-scale narcotic trafficking. Maybe Sophia knew. Does anyone really know what their fathers do? The year I entered 7th grade, my sister returned from college under mysterious circumstances. She was seeing a shrink, and it was supposed to be a secret. She had stolen a wallet from a girl in her dorm. Sophia ate lunch with greasers and punks, and I do not know if we ever spoke. She was a different kind of girl: her hair teased up high, her eyes circled with black. Soon I would look that way.