A story in six sentences.
Mama’s digging through the couch again, looking for the change that always falls out of people’s pockets when they sit on those broke down cushions. (When I was younger I used to imagine there was some kind of magnet built into that couch…I wouldn’t have put it past mama to figure out how to do something like that.)
I’ve taken Bethy and baby Jack into the kitchen and I’m trying to keep ‘em quiet, ‘cause Mama, when she’s like this, can’t stand a lot of noise. Jack’s just started to work up a good whimper when she stomps into the kitchen—and the look on her face is the one she wore the last time I got the belt—but she’s only got her keys in hand and she’s not looking at me but the Mason jar on the fridge. She pulls it down and, when she can’t get the lid off, throws it in the sink so hard it explodes, glass and green bills scattering all over the counter; she scrapes everything up—doesn’t even notice when the shards of glass stick into her hands—and walks out the door.
A few seconds later, I hear the Rambler start up and through the little window over the sink, I can see her swerving toward town and I know when she comes back she’ll have a plastic baggie stuffed in her purse and bruises on her arms.