After Jimmy’s funeral, I walked back from Country Cupboard past his place. I saw his car still up on blocks. He was always going to fix it, he said. Get out of this town.
When we were still in school he liked to tell me about all the places he was going to go. When we were smaller still, we hiked amongst the ferns and forest, and caught crawdads down on Sugar Run. One spring he made me a bridal bouquet from blue-eyed Marys and stole a kiss.
“I’m going to marry you someday,” he said. “We’ll move away.”
Such silly things as kids’ll say.
Up the hill from his house, the white birch stand sentinel, like skeletons amongst the gray-bark slopes. For the want of a ’98 SL2 suspension, we could have left.
For the want of a job at the pipeline, he could have stayed.
This has been a depressing installment of What Pegman Saw. I kept hoping for some redemption as I worked this piece, but it never materialized. Littleton, West Virginia is the poorest town in the second poorest state. Between my research and the dreary rain today, I think I need an uplifting book, a cozy fire, and a box of Godiva.
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