White People

All this yelling, he said to the two of them. You gotta be so loud? the television was turned down. Think you’re the only two that live here? the old man asked his wife and son. It’s midnight, he said. White people are in bed, he lit a cigarette and sat in his recliner. You two are carrying on like I don’t know what, the mother and son stared at him.

This don’t involve you, the boy said. We’re trying to work something out here.

I’m your father. Of course it involves me.

Stay out of it, the mom said.

Listen here…

I said stay out of it.

This is my house God damn it. It’s my business to know, dad said.

Your business? mom asked. You ain’t had no business here for twenty years. Sit around drinking all day.

That’s his business, the boy said. He grabbed a beer from the refrigerator.

That’s the problem, she said. Too much drinking in this house. I’m leaving.

Where you going? the old man asked.

I don’t know, she grabbed her coat and keys. I don’t rightfully know.

It’s midnight. White people don’t leave their house at midnight, dad said.

Goodbye, she turned and slammed the door. Walked out to her Ford and turned the ignition. The old man and his son watched from the window.

You wanna beer? the son asked. The old man nodded. They sat there in silence drinking. Gunsmoke was on the TV.


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