It don’t rain but a lick ‘less it decides to. I ‘member in Virginia drivin’ in my Daddy’s pickup how the sun would be shinin’ one minute and the next, well sir, the sky’d hang o’er the Appalachians like a gray and purple quilt and the rain would fall like it wuttin’ never gonna stop. An’ five minutes later the sky would get all soft like cotton balls and the sun would poke out fer half a minute or two.
Ridin’ b’low the mountains was like ridin’ a big long curve a asphalt, a ribbon that didn’t have no end. It bent an’ climbed an’ drove straight down, an’ all you could see was ‘bout a million headlights twinklin’ like lightnin’ bugs. You’d see trashy old double-wides with split and peelin’ aluminum sidin’, dingy, splintered front porches with busted lawn chairs and sun-blistered Philco radios. Ole men rockin’ wi’ their hands on their knees watchin’ the day roll on. You could smell moldy old cabbages an’ pig shit an’ gravel dust an’ spittin’ tobacco on gum rubber boots. And sweat. It was like the smell a home, iffen home were so nice.
Daddy’d shift gears an’ the transmission would groan, and Daddy’d smoke a Marlboro an’ talk about the farm report on WRST, price a pigs an’ cattle an’ tobacca cuttin’s. An’ the sky would turn into a bruise, all gray an’ purple an’ swollen.
Excerpt from Cronic – Now available at