Truth be told.

This is a true story: In the late 1970s, the drive thru at the McDonald’s along 31 Street in Astoria served villains. It said so right on the huge sign — “Villains served”. Bad people running from the police get hungry, too, so drive thru service let them buy Filet-O-Fish and frosty shakes from their get-away cars and let me enjoy my Happy Meal inside the restaurant, undisturbed.

Sounds incredible but it made sense to me when I was five years old and too young to read. I was beginning to be able to sound out words, just not always correctly. I didn’t realize the sign actually read “Billions served” until I was a more sophisticated six-year-old. Consulting someone who knew how to read would have clarified all this but at five I was old enough to believe that I was among the literate.

My story was a way to make sense of the world. Like a myth, it was invented out of necessity.

I still tell stories. And they’re all true.

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