Have you ever had the feeling something is going on around you that you don’t quite understand?
When I was about six, all the kids in our block went to this house after school because it the only one in the area with a T.V. set. This was an astonishing novelty at the time.  Where else could you watch Howdy Doody and get served ice cold drinks and cookies?  The front room was always packed with children and a few men too.  Every once in a while, Martha, the mother of the house, would come in and call out one of the men.   I and all the other children sat enraptured by the T.V. and took no notice.
Martha wore her hair in curlers covered with a kerchief.  She wore tight blouses, blue jeans and bomber jackets with white socks and saddle loafers.   She had dark hair and blue eyes, a prominent pointed nose and thick black glasses as well as extremely red lips.  One day, Martha learned that I was Jewish, I don’t remember how, and pulled me outside on the verandah. 
“Let me take a look at you,” she said, pulling me into a seat beside her.  “You look a lot like my cousin, Sheldon.  He’s an accountant, you know.  My, my, how handsome you are,” she said and pinched my cheek.
“Sidney, come here for a minute,” she said as her son was leaving the house.
“Sidney, did you know this was a nice Jewish boy and in our neighbourhood?  Do you have any older sisters?” she asked me while Sidney rolled his eyes heavenward.
I shook my head.
She looked at her son, who had a serious expression on his face.
“Sidney, were you going to leave without saying goodbye to your mother?  Come here and give us a kiss and tell me, will you be out late, who are you going out with?”
Sidney dutifully kissed his mother’s cheek.  “Aw, mom, I’m just going to the movies with the guys.  I’ll be home in a couple of hours.”
“When will you start asking out some of the girls from the Y?” she asked rhetorically and when Sidney scowled, “Well don’t be late.”
“I won’t.  Bye mom.”
As Sidney walked down the street, Martha pulled out a cigarette and lit it.
“Well, I just wanted to make your acquaintance,” she said.  And again after a drag on her cigarette, as if in confidence, “you know, I come from a very religious and established family, not that you could tell from looking at me now.”
She placed her hand on my arm and I could feel its claims on me through the bare skin. 
As we sat in this position, a young blonde woman walked up the stairs to the front door.
She was wearing a thin summer dress and high heels, heavily made up and chewing gum.
Martha stood up, unsmiling. 
“Suzy, where the Hell you been?  Your goddamn four O’clock’s been waiting in the front room for half an hour already.”
Suzy blew a bubble and answered, “Don’t worry he’ll wait for me because he knows I’m worth the wait.”
“Fine, fine.  But don’t make this a habit.  We got a business to run, not a social club.  Get your ass upstairs and get busy.”
She slapped Suzy on the buttocks as she walked by.  Suzy squealed and ran in.
Martha turned to me again.  “These girls, you can’t let them get away with anything.  Do you like girls?”  she asked me grinning slyly.
“Well I like mom and you” I answered, “and Eva when we play kick the can.”
“Oy, what a sweet ponim,” she said and pinched my cheek again.  “Get in with you.  You want I should bring you a drink?”
“Just a milk please,” I said over my shoulder as I hurried back to watch Howdy and Princess Summerfall Winterspring.
And when the next guy in the living room got up from his chair to go upstairs, I didn’t even notice.