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Same Blood

Houghton Mifflin
        1989

Ballantine Books
 February, 1990

Excerpt:

Part One,
Chapter 1


Page 11

thirty miles. My place woulda meant another six but it wasn’t that made me stay with ’em. I just didn’t wanna go home and things was real natural, better’n it ever was at you and Ma’s. I only seen Beulah and Tappen fight once and that wasn’t nothin’. Bubby, he fit right on my lap ’hind the steerin’ wheel, nursin’ most of the way to Cartsdale.

Yup, things was OK till Social Services gits the idea I gotta git Bubby checked out for PKU down at the hospital. I was scared stiff, I tell you, them pokin’ his heel. He was screamin’ and my belly killed like a hole was bein’ drilled right through. Then Bubby was supposed to git circumcised but when I saw them instruments lyin’ there on the table I grabbed Bubby from the nurse startin’ to lay him down and I run out the door with him under my coat and Social Services calls up Tappen that night and I had to go back down to Cartsdale to be educated. I did every Tuesday and Thursday, but Bubby, he never did git cut. Daddy, you mad? I guess you musta been cut. They said everybody was and Bubby’d be called weird.

’Bout two or three weeks later, I left Tappen’s for my trailer, I hadn’t worked since Bubby come. Then they started visitin’ me, a whole string of people from Social Services. Even after I moved again, outa the trailer to this place smack in the middle of Hazel. I finally told one of ’em who the daddy was, otherwise they’d cut off my support ’cause I didn’t have “good cause.” Then after two years of new people every month, I git Marilyn. She’s come eight and a half months now, first twice a week but now twice a month. You see, it don’t look good when you got three counts of abuse ’gainst you. Marilyn come in and ask all sorts of questions just like the others and I’d answer but I never did tell her ’bout the bellyache, how it would come on strong anytime Bubby was away from me, even if Beulah had him, or whenever he got hurt, like when he cut his cheek open on the kitchen closet, I thought my gut was gonna wear right through, or even if I was hittin’ him when he was bad, my belly’d start up and he’d just lay there on the floor sweatin’ like a hog.

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