Friday, February 23, 2024

the last book I ever read (Lost in the City: Stories by Edward P. Jones, excerpt five)

from Lost in the City: Stories by Edward P. Jones:

The first time I waited on Kentucky Connors was just after Lonney separated from Brenda and went back to a room in his father’s house. Mrs. Jenkins didn’t tolerate the type of friendliness with customers that led to what she called “exploiratation,” so when I wanted a date with someone who came into the store, I’d arrange to set up things after I got off. The night Kentucky came in that first time, I purposely failed to put her pack of gum in the bag and ran after her.

“Why, of all the men on this earth,” she said after I caught up with her and boldly told her to clear her calendar for that Saturday night, “would I think of going out with someone like you?” You can tell when girls are just being coy and want you to lay it on just a little thicker before they say yes. But there are others who have no facade, who are not seeking to be wooed, who give out smiles like each time they do it takes them a mile farther from heaven. And after they speak you’re a year older and a foot shorter. That was Kentucky.

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