21 July 2011

How to Train a Boyfriend (as told by Sally) or, "Self Improvement in Rural America"

(Excerpted from The Pultenham County Sketchbook, by Tom Andrews)

"Waitin' on that pea picker again, Sally?"  That was all my momma could say when she walked inna' the house and seen me jes' sittin' there on the front porch.  She didn't think t' tell me nothin' else and I guess I kin hardly blame 'er...I guess.

We done had so many good times, but Momma couldn't stand him, on account of his family, I s'pose, but probably more 'cause he'd messed around with meth and ever'one knew it.  He'd be hangin' out in Cotton City by that quick-mart and he'd be drinkin' pop one after 'nother, and ever'one mostly knew it.  And shit, all the money he ever and never made (tho' he said he did sometimes), well, hell...he jes' mostly spent it so fast he never really ever done seen it no how.  He loved me tho', I know it.  We was gonna' have a baby and then he'd get his life sorted out.  I jes' know it.

But hell, when Momma walked inna' the house and jes' said "waitin' on that pea picker again," she already know'd what had happened and she didn't let on.  She waited for me to hear it myself.  'Course, I heard it from some others right away.  About how he was all tripped out and musta' thought he was home or somethin'.  But he laid right down on the tracks 'tween the rails.  Our neighbor who works for the railroad told me that it's somethin' like a standard ten and a half inches o' height, and that plow of the train sits like another four inches...but he said that the wind from those boxcars jes' gets to blowin' and pretty soon yer' body would jes' get sucked up in there and rolled around in the wheels and stuff.

That's prolly' why they found parts o' him for about a hunnerd' yards down the track.  It was bad.  Real bad.  And I miss him in the worst way.  But I think I'm still gonna' have a baby.  That'll help me get my life sorted out.  I jes' know it.

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