A small and simple wood frame, seared by generations of wind and dust, peeled down to the marrow. Shabby weeds poke from the dirt, the geography reduced to a raw scour. This was home. Not the image I kept in my head, but a faded place built by long-dead hands. I now see it as a newcomer would, a stranger with a less fragile demeanor.
Jeremiah was sitting on the porch, hoisting his jug. His throat was working more than his hands ever did. Fresh splats of tobacco around his chair in an imperfect semi-circle. He knew how much I disliked his habit, and he usually spat into an old mayonnaise jar he kept for the job.
Of course he wasn’t there.
Excerpt from the forthcoming novel A Very Tall Summer