Excerpt from Ordinary Handsome

Henry Wasson knelt by the circle of chrysanthemums he had planted. His joints ached from the walk and he knew it was a long trip back to the Jeep.

There were no more words to say. The words had been spoken so many times over so many years, they didn’t seem important anymore. You say a thing enough times and it loses all meaning, and he didn’t want that to happen. But he needed to say them. Because it was the last time.

“I don’t know what happened between us, boy,” he said. “We were always close and I always tried to be a good father. But it was hard.

“I did things I ought never have done. I did things I had to do to get away from all the guilt and disgrace. I did things I wish I could take back. Then, maybe, things would have been different. But things got done that can’t be undone and I can’t help that any more. I ruined my name and then I ruined yours, and I had to leave. The only way I knew how. I wasn’t smart enough to figure things out, and I didn’t have the time it would have taken to figure them out. When you left, it didn’t matter. So I let it burn. Every rotten, corrupted thing I had, I let them burn.”