That July, the temperature dipped to 98 degrees for a brief evening, and even the rich, Black Belt soil couldn’t keep the cotton crop from gasping.
“It’s a red ‘76 Valiant. It has a decal on the right rear windscreen of a couple square dancing. Square dancing. It was stuck on there when we got it. It’s faded. Oklahoma plates. We drove it here. Right. We left Oklahoma. Tornados, I know. I was gone ten minutes. 92nd and Riverside. I checked that lot, it’s not there. Not there either. No, I checked. I went there. There’s a cat. In the car, yes. All white. William. Well, it’s also a cat name. We have to find the car. It can’t be gone. What does that mean, ‘gone’?”
You have to use a steady hand, without hesitation. Be calm and try to keep your shoulders back. Look down, pause, shuffle your sneakers a moment before you bark, and you might decide not to. Smile at people you’ve never laid eyes on. Take the fish off the grill early. Don’t run from bees. Drink more water. Always go under the chin and they won’t bite.
Photos : Marina Chavez
Story : Michael Hawley