Friday, January 3, 2020

the last book I ever read (The Yellow House: A Memoir by Sarah M. Broom, excerpt ten)

from National Book Award winner The Yellow House: A Memoir by Sarah M. Broom:

It was an open casket that should have been closed. Not enough money for the best so the stitching on Alvin’s face was clearly worked on, then worked on some more. There was so much powder foundation, especially under his eyes, making him five shades darker than in life. His hair was neatly braided in six parallel rows. No more of his smiling, though. This was a dark quiet.

I hesitated but then went to see Alvin up close—him and his eye makeup and somber gray suit with the one pink rose pinned to it—and became greatly afraid to see him like this, lying so silent.

James made it there that day, too, shackled legs and hands, head bowed. A pair of uniformed policemen escorted him down the aisle to see Alvin sleeping. James bent over, kissed Alvin’s dead cheek. Before he could get a good long look at his friend, he was hurried back to prison to serve his second year of a twenty-year sentence for armed robbery.

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