Thursday, September 17, 2015

the last book I ever read (Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson, excerpt six)

from Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson:

Grits and hash browns, bacon and sausage, eggs and toast. Two double portions scattered, smothered, and covered. No spice. Two cheesy eggs breakfasts. Three waffles. Sheriff flipped over the ticket. Growing boys. Got the whole thing here. The waitress remembers y’all huddling like Comanches. Wasteful, too. Y’all shook Rick’s seeds good, leaving most of the food uneaten as you done. D’aron was again in Sheriff’s office, with the same gunmetal desk and same painted cinder-block walls and same sticky square-tube vinyl chairs and same photos of Chuck Norris and Buford Pusser sitting in judgment, exactly as they did when sixteen-year-old D’aron was brought in for driving like a choirboy who’d broken into the wine cabinet. The deputy made him sit in the cell for a few hours, where D’aron paced madly, as one did when fear and boredom peaked unendurable, and etched no less than seven hash marks in the wall, thinking at the time it was what hardened criminals did. It was the Friday before Thanksgiving vacation. Who was to say he hadn’t spent a week in jail? Back then, after an interminable lecture in this very office, Sheriff released D’aron into his father’s custody without booking him, expecting his father would do D’aron right. He’d since looked back on that occasion with laughter, but now felt the same again—terrified. Today, D’aron’s father was outside in the waiting room because Sheriff said D’aron might want some privacy in light of possible delicate subjects.

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