Kat Meads



During that last spin off Tull’s Creek Bridge, a momentary float between sky and sediment, did every late night/wild ride of his shiftless life coalesce into luminous finale, send him joyous and contented into the ultimate splash and skin? One likes to think, one likes to hope as much for the Sears-pampered rake. Cocked fedora, dangling cig, shoeless, beltless, not long out of bed on any muggy noon, Uncle Monford took an hour to peel an apple, skinning and grinning, already privy to the secret at its black and seedy core. While flies buzzed and sisters baked and his work-weary daddy bundled hay in plain sight, the family loafer conserved his energies, passing time in a state of barely animate suspension, waiting for the bright lights of a Virginia port town to fire up the night sky and lure him back to Oz. His credentials? Fancy card tricks, hustling lonesome sailors with a pool cue. Did any woman not bought admire him? Never heard of one. Neighborhood gals understood he wasn’t a fellow to trust, despite those baby blues; knew he’d have to be born luckier than he was to keep his joystick healthy, dipping where it dipped. You think he cared? You think those never-shocked eyes so much as blinked when the white coat jilted comfort for truth? "Not your standard clap, son. Not this time." You think the condemned didn’t whistle his way home, unzip that very night for a comely whore or two? You think speeding past that snooze zone of bedded-down farms he didn’t recognize a ramp to the stars and bear down hard? Monford’s wreck an accident? Family fiction, I’d guess. Cheaters cheat: their art, their calling, their primary lust. Between fast and soaring and slow and hideous, show me the cheater who’d hesitate.

Copyright © 2002 Kat Meads.  All Rights Reserved.

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