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Same Blood

Houghton Mifflin
        1989

Ballantine Books
 February, 1990

Excerpt:

Part One,
Chapter 1


Page 7

up in a sheet and she’s sayin’ over and over like one of them chants, “Bubby-baby, Bubby-baby,” and I think right then, Bubby! His name’ll be Bubby. He just looked Bubby. I said it out loud and Beulah looked all red and startled like I had just caught her, fresh. She laid him down on the mattress pad beside me. He was sleepin’ and I was starin’ at him. It was like sump’n happened after the name come. All that love started movin’, real slow at first but movin’ like we was two now, and it built up so after a few days I wanted to eat him up whole.

II

So here I am goin’ on and I don’t even know who I’m talkin’ to. It ain’t Marilyn. And it ain’t Billy, my brother, ’cause since he’s been in Arizona sellin’ used cars we ain’t passed a word. And it ain’t Sharon, my sister. We was never close anyway, not like me and Billy was, she’s four years older’n me and she was always goin’ off all dressed up, she’d look on me and Billy like we was animals compared, wrestlin’ on the couch. Now she don’t even talk to me no more on account of Bubby and since she married an electrician and they live in a nice Vemco home all carpeted and full of natural light, she thinks I’m as close to mold as a yam. Nope, it sure ain’t her. And Ma, she’s gone senile down at Mountain View which is more off than dead to me but I think now it’s gotta be blood I’m talkin’ to. It’s comin’ clear it’s you, Daddy, ’cause we left off early. I was just ten when you got killed and I hadn’t growed up yet and even ’fore that you never talked, you come home and head for that green chair of yours and we couldn’t wake you up even after we got TV. You settin’ there snoozin’, seemed to Billy and me you was always hangin’ somewhere over your body, like you never did fit into there in the first place. You couldn’t’ve just died pinned tight under the dozer, no, it wouldn’t’ve been right somehow. You’d have to go and be killed by an injection, an overdose of morphine they was gonna kill your pain with.

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