The owner is a moron. Hello, it’s SUNDAY. One barista isn’t going to cut it, especially when Josh half-assed his close last night because he was in an all-fired hurry to meet up with his loser friends to get high and see the same lame laser show the planetarium’s been showing since my dad was in high school. Fucking Pink Floyd.
And of course I’m totally slammed. Haven’t even unwrapped the first bakery tray when the line forms outside. Plus, it’s raining, so I have to unlock the door. The first guy did carry in the stack of Sunday Times.
She remembered when they had named the road in honor of the family. It was the same day they gave her father one of those Century Farm plaques.
New name or not, not many people came up this road. Farm trucks, mostly. Lots of tractors.
She could see the official car coming a long way off. She knew what it meant, same as it had meant to her grandmother in 1945 when a black War Department car carrying a priest and a maimed Marine Corps captain brought the telegram up onto the porch and her son out of their lives forever.
Shit, man. I’ll rob anyone. Don’t care if the got a nickel to their name, I’m taking it. It ain’t about the money. It’s about them, their place in the world. What they think is their place.
Take Saturday as an example. I was walking down LaSalle and this motherfucker in a chicken suit tries to hand me a coupon. A fucking chicken suit. Well, that got me all right. I took my sticker out, knocked his ass flat on the sidewalk, pushed the point against his throat.
I ain’t got nothing! he said.
Nothing’s a big word, I said.
In high school we read this book, Black Like Me. This guy puts makeup on his face and hands and walks around a southern city as a black man for a week or so. After a while he can’t take it. He said people looked through him like he wasn’t even there. He called it “the stare.”
Brother, I know all about it. Been homeless since I was discharged from Walter Reed. I’m not really interested in anything Uncle has to offer no more. Lots of guys feel this way after what we saw. Uninterested.
Can’t sleep for shit, either.