Saturday morning again, and the bees are wanting to settle into our c-l-a-v-i-c-l-e-s. Papa is splitting some watermelon for thrombotic Meemaw, who just cannot be bothered to Jeep-clunk her way to our neighborhood Safeway to buy cherry-flavored Kool-Aid for the soccer-mad boys playing in the reddened clearing. I'm fanning myself v-i-g-o-r-o-u-s-l-y, and waiting wih puffing breath for the evening.
. . .
Papa rides the bus every day to save thrombotic Meemaw from Orchard Avenue, the longest tree-lined road ever. Today is Thursday, Papa is going in late to the carpenter's, and I am bouncing in my seat because Annie heard the adults say that Old Jeremiah Smokes drank too much last night. He is not avoiding the potholes on Fuller Street, so it hurts a bit. I almost start to cry when Papa distracts me, pointing out a rhomboid rock through the closest window. "I tripped over it last Wednesday on my way to work," he says, gnarled index finger smashed against the brown fiberglass.
. . .
Every Sunday, Annie, Russell, Terrence, Rosa and I walk home from Sunday school using the Abby shortcut: "Hey!" Abby shouts from her white porch, "You all want some caramel fudge?" Abby's thumb cocks towards the screen door.
Abby does not come to church anymore. Thrombotic Meemaw said that, these days, Abby just bakes. "Sitting and baking is all that girl does!"
Annie, who is fast becoming an independent, knowledgeable young woman, informed me that deep heart-break may do that to a person. "Know thyself, Cassie", she had nodded at me.
. . . Twenty years sweeping by in a hot rush of sweat and family, and still dignity knows folks.
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