But he was an angel im positivehe had wings and he

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But he was an angel, I’m positive—he had wings. And he said: ‘Iwas sent to you from the future of this planet.’ Then he told memy son would not live to see the year two thousand.”“Lou Ann, please.”“But no, that’s not even the scariest part. The next morningmy horoscope said, ‘Listen to the advice of a stranger.’ Now don’tyou think that’s got to mean something? That part’s real, it’s not adream. I cut it out and saved it. And Dwayne Ray’s said some-thing about avoiding unnecessary travel, which I took to mean,you know, traveling through life. Not that you could avoid that. Sowhat on earth was I supposed to do? It scared me to death.”“You were just looking for a disaster, that’s all. You can’t denyyou hunt for them, Lou Ann, even in the paper. If you look hardenough you can always come up with what you want.”“Am I just completely screwed up, Taylor, or what? I’ve alwaysbeen this way. My brother and I used to play this game when wewere little, with a cigar box. That box was our best toy. It had this162TH EBE A NTR E E S
slinky lady in a long red dress on the inside of the lid, with herdress slit way up to here. It’s a wonder Granny Logan didn’t con-fiscate it. She was holding out a cigar I think, I s’pose she was aKeno girl or something, but we said she was a gypsy. We’d makebelieve that you could say to her, ‘Myself at the age of fourteen.’Or whatever age, you know, and then we’d look in the box andpretend we could see what we looked like. My brother would goall the way up to ninety. He’d say, ‘I see myself with a long beard.I live in a large white house with seventeen dogs’ and on and on.He loved dogs, see, and Mama and Granny would only let himhave just Buster. But me, I was such a chicken liver, I’d just go acouple of weeks into the future at the very most. I’d look atmyself the day school was going to start in September, maybe,and say, ‘I am wearing a new pink dress.’ But I’d never, never goup even to twenty or twenty-five. I was scared.”“Of what?”“That I’d be dead. That I’d look in the box and see myselfdead.”“But it was just pretend. You could have seen yourself any wayyou wanted to.”“I know it. But that’s what I thought I’d see. Isn’t that themost ridiculous thing?”“Maybe it was because of your father. Maybe you got kind ofhung up on death, because of him dying.”“I’m just totally screwed up, that’s all there is to it.”“No, Lou Ann. You have your good points too.”Usually Lou Ann spit out compliments you tried to feed herlike some kind of nasty pill, but that night her blue eyes werepractically pleading with me. “What good points?” she wanted toknow.

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