A Random Image

Jett Superior laid this on you on || April 8, 2003 || 9:01 am

An excerpt, because I promised it to someone a little over three weeks ago and have just remembered again:

The very first time I met her, I took offense at her name. She was fresh off the moving truck from Oklahoma, plaid dress pressed to perfection, hair smoothed and plaited and ribboned. That was the thing about her: No matter what the days ahead found us doing, Prentiss was always neat and crisp and beautiful. No dirt, no muss ever seemed to find her.

“Prentiss. Puckett. That’s a boy’s name,” I said with a small measure of disgust. Second-grade disgust is powerful stuff, and most effective when used sparingly. I learned the latter from my father, who almost always led by example.

She responded in her clang-clanging midwestern accent, “Well, Thunder, you jackass, it is a boy’s name. Momma says that since I was an April Fools baby, the doctor thought it’d be sport to tell them I was a boy and my daddy bought it hook to sinker.

“The birth certificate was made and mailed off to the state capital before anyone had their wits about them.

“Daddy near cried but Pap told him to pull up his lip ’cause I’d be the finest Prentiss Nolan Puckett yet.

“‘There’s magic in threes,’ said Pap.”

I can argue with Prentiss’ pap on that one. Threes just hum with magic.

The best threes come with two extremes and a balanced middle. I guess that’s why Prentiss, TangleEye and I made such a good trio; she made sure that TangleEye didn’t go flying off his orbit and that I didn’t get covered up by mine.

I’d known TangleEye as long as I’d known myself, really. My first conscious memory is of us swimming together, clad in soaked, drooping diapers full of river water. The Mississippi is dirty, but it will cleanse you like no other water can.

We were so little and the world stretched out before us full of humidity and mournful birds and no-see-ums dancing in the haze along the water’s edge. There were wildflowers and smiling mothers and gallons of purple kool-aid.

That was before TangleEye’s sweet face took a little hard plane to it, before his mother was pistol-whipped and left for dead by some Yankee drifter, before TangleEye was packed up and sent three blocks over to live with his Uncle Aubry and Aunt Marla. He was different then, and I remember.

I remember most everything and some days that is a curse.

2 worked it out »

  1. trouble 4.8.2003

    i love it and its not only cus my name is nolan, but mostly.

  2. Angel 4.8.2003

    I would buy the book if it’s as good as the excerpt.


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