I climbed into my old Edsel. The tires were near bald and the brakes were feeble, but it would get me to where I was going if I was careful. I kept meaning to run it over to Kelly’s, but the man was a thief and would sell me my own shirt if he could. And I still wasn’t in any particular hurry. If it was important enough for Kincaid to call me on a Sunday morning, then it would be important the rest of the day. He could stew all he wanted, but it wouldn’t change my way of thinking about him.
The Edsel belched a thick plume of black smoke, loud enough to wake up a drunkard, but the car eventually started to roll with only the usual moans and groans. I didn’t drive much, so it always surprised folks to see me on the road. Some offered me a wave, but most stared in astonishment that the damned thing was moving at all.
Kincaid had himself a nice place, a little two story that looked freshly painted, and with a lawn that was freshly mowed. I could smell the cut grass over the reek of oil and hot exhaust. He probably just finished mowing before he called me.
The man himself was standing in the middle of the yard, looking anxious and unhappy. I saw he had a dirty cloth in one hand, and he was squeezing it tight. He was wearing a pair of old shapeless trousers that had dirt on the knees, and a torn undershirt. His shoes were splattered with dried mud. He did not look like a banker; he looked like a homeless beggar trying to squeeze two-bits out of a stranger. His salt-and-pepper hair seemed like it was boiling off his scalp. He practically ran towards my car when I parked it.
I need you to help me, he said. Please, Henry, can you help me? What a goddamn mess.
Excerpt from Ordinary Handsome. Available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00P46ZPA0
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