The Day I Nearly Gave Up

The sun rose at some point. I mean, I didn’t not see it happen, but I don’t remember when it occurred in the scheme of things. Its presence, however, really informed the scene out my window.

The oak my grandfather planted was standing there and doing its usual thing: standing. It cast its grandfathery shadows over that damned blue-green lawn and the edge of the stupid pond. And, half-in the pond (nobody does anything in full here!), there was a figure not so much swimming as, I would later learn, being drowned.


By the time the paramedics came around, I had barely put the coffee on. I’d also smoked a solid pack. Get this: the sheriff crashed into the firetruck on his way over here, and so they were both held up. I hadn’t alerted the National Guard: a tank would have spoiled the azaleas.


I had not flipped the body. It didn’t seem my place to at the time. When I saw the dead man’s face, and it was my brother’s, I needed a cigarette… and a half. And the sun was like, “I’m so radiant!”

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