07 July 2011

Critique (according to Ashley at the filling station)

Work that smile of yours, Augustus Grayling. Work it as you work the crowd. Smile like a movie star and make your momma proud. She's never seen what you really do, so you can get away with it. Smile, you wastrel.

Pultenham County was never big enough for you, and her people were never good enough for you. The sons and daughters of Pultenham County always had stringy bits of fried chicken in their teeth and patchy grease stains on the fronts of their shirts – grease stains where the little bits of biscuit landed and rested undetected until well after lunch and then were brushed away absent-mindedly while sipping our sweet tea and looking out over the corn and pea fields. This place was never big enough for you and they never did sell arugula down at Brompton's Market in Haverland. What the hell is arugula, anyway? Sounds like a foreign-ass country somewhere.

We all know who you really are, Augustus Grayling, and we all know where you came from. And a lot of us know about the barn you nearly burnt down and tried to blame on the kids from Pole Creek. And I know all about the girl and the baby in Cotton City and one or two of us know about the boy and those filthy things in Cotton City and it just makes us all sick. So don't think we don't know, Augustus Grayling. And don't you think that just because you use a fancy city name now that we don't know that your name is Augustus Grayling and it is always gonna' be so. You are always gonna' be that mean little kid from rural Pultenham County who liked to say mean things to people just to watch 'em flinch. You ain't changed and neither has your life, really. You're famous now, but you were famous then.

People just couldn't stomach you, you mean little bastard. And we know that's true, as well.

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