Thursday, March 26, 2009

80/20

"I thought about you everyday," he says, mouth crooked with a cigarette propped inside, looking like a stroke victim. He's smiling widely, hooked at the corners of his lips, teeth yellowed by nicotine and crystal meth.

"They showed me that picture of you," he says. He closes his eyes and blows smoke from his nostrils. "Valedictorian of the kindergarden class," he says, and smiles again. "I like that."

He laughs, flicks something off his nail. "You look good," he says. "You brush your teeth?"

Every day.

"You ain't talkative anymore," he says, and puts his hand in the pocket of his overcoat. "I got you something." It's a brown paper package stuck together with duct tape. He places it gently in his son's hands. "I've gotta go again," he says, and shrugs. "Tomorrow, but we have some time, kid." He grins again, laughs.

"We have lots of time."

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