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high, and said one of those prayers where your eyes are pinched tight. Then, I bet
he laid himself down and covered his body with that five foot tarp, and can’t you
picture his dress shoes hanging out one side of it? And that was probably it. Wheth-
er a truck came soon or hours later it don’t matter, this fellow had become another
black patch on the great American tarmac.”
Trenton stared at his brother even after he had finished talking. They were
carrying a saw between the two of them, walking between saplings to find their
next fully grown pine. Still looking at the side of Hamilton’s head, he shifted the
weight of the tool onto his other hand. Trenton’s brother told a lot of stories while
they worked. Most of them were murderers murdering whole housefuls or sweet
looking girls gurgling and drowning in the Suwannee the night before their wed-
ding. But he always kept this same expression when he was making something up.
He would tuck his chin closer to his chest and make sure kept staring out ahead of
him so his eyes would sit up high near their brows, never once would he look at
you. He was a forecaster. This story could not have been his, though. It could not
have been something he picked up from stray conversations of drinkers at Ray’s as
he often did. Trenton started to think he saw this man, saw the body and the black
dress shoes still slick and city-fit in some places. Trenton watched his older brother
hang his head through the highway portion and he had looked his little brother
square in the eye when he asked a question.
“Alright there, Ham?”
There were four chairs in the living room, no rug or sofa nor pictures
hanging on the wall. Above the wood stove hung a rough needlepoint of the name,
Joseph T. Parks. The kitchen could still be seen past a thin curtain hanging in the
doorframe. The family’s three plates were stacked next to the sink regardless of
when the next meal might be. A ratty dog come inside and began circling the room,
sniffing each of the wooden chairs. Mrs. Parks pulled back the kitchen curtain and
walked into the room followed by her boys, their hands still covered in chicken
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