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The Short Form

“Waiting for the Ladies”

Larry Brown

Excerpt

I puzzled over it and puzzled over it and drove for nights on end looking for that blue pickup, but if there was one in the country I didn't see it. I took back roads and side roads and pig trails that buzzards couldn't hardly fly over when it rained, and I decided he'd done decided to take his goober-grabbing on down the road somewhere else. By then I wasn't even mad and just wanted to talk to him, tell him calmly that he couldn't run around doing stuff like that. I was sure by then that he'd been raised without a father, and I could imagine what their lives were like, him and his mother, eating their powdered eggs, and I couldn't imagine how we could spend 1.5 billion dollars on a probe to look at Jupiter and yet couldn't feed and clothe the people in our own country. I wanted a kinder, gentler world like everybody else, but I knew we couldn't get it blasting it all off in space, or not providing for people like him. Who was to say that if he got cleaned up with some fresh duds, a little education, some new Reeboks, he couldn't get a blowjob in Atlanta? Hell. Why not educate? Defumigate? Have changes we could instigate? Why couldn't everybody, the whole country, participate?

Then I saw his truck.

We read it in Big Bad Love.