Cormac McCarthy…

he timed himself reading…not for speed or to set a quick pace…just timed it out to see how long he could read ‘fore he lost train of thought…gave up interest completely…reading Cormac McCarthy’s, The Orchard Keeper, page after page…fascinated by his use of language…reading all the words…taking them in bit by bit…eating pieces of the book like you would a Sunday dinner…savoring it…

‘fore he knew it he’d spent an hour reading from the novel…now his mind was starting to wander…going off to places like Cave City, Arkansas…Lexington, Tennessee, Mount Juliet, there close to Nashville…small towns of his childhood…the South…where things moved slow and simple…never questioning the fear of God…or the saving grace of Jesus…we all knew the devil lived in the woods…back in the pines where creeks flowed over rocks and leaves crunched under our feet in October…

couldn’t get his mind off the South…or his childhood…Friday night football games with high school heroes such as Jimmy Jones at tailback…Claudias Goshen at tight end…Mark Surmack played quarterback…and his big brother Johnny was a lineman…he remembered all those players from way back in his youth…games against towns like Smackover…Camden…El Dorado…Huntington…thought of them all…the smells of fresh cut grass and fried pies coming from the concession stand…sponsored by the local Lion’s Club…

and he closed his eyes and took a nap…a long dreamlike state conjuring up images of girls from his past…his first kiss underneath bleachers when he was just in grade school…poppin’ open a beer he’d stolen from his daddy’s six pack…drinkin’ alone out in the darkness down an old dirt road…smoking cigarettes with friends at midnight in a packed car at the drive-in movies…some Burt Reynolds picture…

when he woke-up he realized those days were over..long gone and now there was nothing left in life but work and sleep…work and sleep…wished it was different…longed for something else…

so…he rolled over and went back to reading Cormac McCarthy…he’d always have that…

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