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Same Blood

Houghton Mifflin

Ballantine Books
 February, 1990


Part One,
Chapter 1

Page 2

me everything to say and then I call him Hitler and he says, “I not Hitler, I Daddy.” We do sump’n like this every night and then I git up to cook dinner, but I have to stand on the rubber rug I put on the floor under the stove and sink. That’s the boat and the whole kitchen floor’s water and when I go to the refrigerator my feet git wet and then Bubby, he takes off my shoes and socks and that’s how I keep him off the counter so I can work free.

Sometimes I git him a cucumber at the Victory which he loves more’n anything ’cept chips and then no matter what we’re playin’ he gits the chair to stand on, gits his sword from the drawer which is just a small knife with a white and gold handle and he cuts the “cumber,” he calls it, into slices and I gotta try then to like my slices thick.

I feel stupid goin’ on like this but this is my life and Marilyn, she’s the lady from Social Service who comes to talk and to make sure I don’t have no more kids, she told me I should git out what I feel or she says I’ll take it out on Bubby. Now I never hit Bubby ’less he’s bad, and I told her that. Like last night, he takes the potatoes off the counter and throws ’em out the window when he knows damn well I’m just about to peel ’em. I always give him a warnin’ though. I didn’t whop his behind till the third potato went flyin’. And I know when I’m hittin’ him he’s just askin’ for it so I’ll stop cookin’ and start in on him. So I said to Bubby, I says, “Why you wanna git me mad?” But he keeps on screamin’ and then I hold him and we go downstairs and git the potatoes off the pavement and we got a lot more to peel then. We do it together though it’s a pain in the neck, he wants my sword, seein’ how well it works. I say, “it ain’t the sword, Bubby,” but he don’t see it.

Marilyn, she comes here ’cause I been into trouble. Even how Bubby come I knew was wrong. It was Scooter Hall, and his wife is hangin’ on nothin’. He don’t care, he rides around in his red pickup drinkin’ beer breakfast lunch and dinner, and yells at all the young girls gittin’ outa school. He’s there every day quarter of three. But he come home with

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