Jeff Kozzi

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North End Providence




Since I was twelve everyone has called me a cheat.

Yet I have never robbed anyone. I never got money "confused" when I was Monopoly game-banker. I’ve never even (knowingly) seen a pair of rigged dice or marked cards. I’ve never hidden a card up my sleeve or lied about where my battleship was.

But my brother did. Paul was obnoxious and fat, at least until Junior High or so when he thinned out to the brink of wasting away. And he was a sore loser. Four years older than me, he taught me chess when I was four or five, insisting he be black and I white. My mother’s boyfriend Rob taught me that the black king had no special ability to move two spaces at a time when in jeopardy. My mother’s boyfriend Rick taught me the white queen could move more than three squares per turn. Paul and I used to play regularly after school until I was about ten. That’s when I won my first game against him. It was the last game of chess he’d ever play with me....

order  "Pos-psi-bilities" in Things We Are Not