Someone, Emily, has died, and there's mention of the Civil War, and my son, G, wants to go on the slide. The red one. No. The green one. Okay. We climb the tower, and he shivers in the breeze, stomps in the puddles, and says, "Mom will you ride with me the first time?" Yes. He pinches his lips together and his dimples show. The green slide wins.
I'm back with Faulkner. My towel soaks through. Miss Emily didn't have to pay taxes--under the ruse of...something. The loud speakers are pounding out a song that's more bass than lyrics. She has a crayon portrait of her dad. G drew his dad on the next page. And another of two people arm in arm on a beach at sunset. Is he, at seven, already a romantic? I don't fret; the next is drawing of Squidward.
|They have their arms around each other.|
This line, "She looked bloated, like a body long submerged in motionless water," makes me self-conscious lying in the sun in my shorts to conceal my thighs that touch. Could do without that bit, Billy.
There's a stench at Emily's and people are milling about trying to figure out how to kindly tell her. They push the job onto Judge Stevens. He chickens out. A couple of men sneak over to Emily's at midnight and sprinkle lyme under the house. A youngish girl hustles past, her arms in prayer stance, to her towel. Her body drips on my pages. They're not ruined, but now they, too, have a scent. Chlorine.
Emily buys arsenic. My ten-year-old wants a cookie. I dig them out of the cooler. The chocolate chips are firm. Miss Emily gives the eye to a Homer fellow. There's rumors of a wedding. Will Smith tells me to "get jiggy with it" and some hirsute "bra" is shouting across the lawn to a friend, "You only live once!"
Emily--did she? Live? Or just tap her foot at Death's door?
Homer was the smell. Homer was the body poisoned. Now he is dust. From dust we began and from dust we must return. The sun pinches my skin. All this talk of dust...
I think I'll take another dip.