i. Small Town Killers
We called ourselves the Small Town Killers because we made ghosts of a man and a woman in their trailer home out on the Etowah County line in West By God, Alabama. They had done us wrong on a deal involving a small number of guns. The news reporters called us killers and murderers and I suppose we was. Sheriff Zachariah Bullard, his own self, on national TV called us something that, out of common courtesy, I will not repeat here. I later heard it had something to do with the Fed’s Behavioral Criminal Science Guidebook. It was supposed to anger us and get us to come on out in the open quick as a ‘coon comes out of its holler. It did not work. We were never caught. At least not for that thing there. The catchin’ came later.
Jenny and I liked knives. Steven, well he was something else entirely, his own kind of man. I can’t rightly say I know for certain, even after all the time we rolled together, just what he liked and being that he ain’t around no more to ask we will just have to leave it at that. I do not have much time left before the priest gets here so I might as well tell it all as quick as I can. If you have any questions save them till the end.
I just hope that when I get to heaven that they are all up there singing hallelujah so I can kill them again. All three of them. You heard that right, buster. We already moved on past those two low lifes in the trailer. Try and keep up. All I know is that when Saint Peter meets me at them Pearly Gates the first stop I’m going to make is the local information booth and ask for each of their addresses, and then I’ll go kiss my mama.
I wonder what kind of knives they sell up there. Saint John’s Surplus, maybe old Judas has a pawn and loan up there. St. Judas’ Cash n Go. I don’t know where you call home, the place you are reading this, but down south you can get yourself one hell of a nice Arkansas Toothpick. It may need a bit of cleaning up but, hell boy, what better thing a man got to do on a warm night with a head full of lightning and amphetamines?
I have a lot of time to think about the afterlife these days and I find myself wondering what the holy angels’ armory must look like. There’s a painting here in the chapel, just down the walk, of an angel standing tall and bathed in the Lord’s fine light, holding a long sword aloft with a spear in the crook of his arm. I find myself appreciating the artist for showing him for what he is – God’s own warrior and not some pansy-ass weakling helping a baby across the street. Anyhow, it must be a sight, inside that armory, angels with wings as big as freeway signs choosing their brutal implements of death and of war with which to smite the damned. From what I know of the biblical Lord above, there is a savage place in His heart for the evil. Hell, in some cases for the good, too.
One more thing, though, before we get at it – don’t give me any of that shit about time is just what you stole from them people. It weren’t like they were the pillars of their community or anything. The fact of the matter was they was closer to what was undermining the community all together. The rot that eats at the pillars and over time the whole damn civilization comes crashing down. All those words you would use on me would go double for them. Hell, you could say I did you all a solid and I wouldn’t object.
I think I just heard the guard coming, his key ring muted by the fabric of his work pants scratching at his side. Well then, let’s get this show on the road. You are here because you want to get some blood on your hands. You want to taste the meat – slide the knife in right alongside me – and be baptized. Go on ahead and read. We ain’t got much time. You can ask for forgiveness later.
ii. Sewing Box
The way I told it to the police when they was questioning me went like this: “I didn’t have nothing to do with them murders. You have got to believe me.” The truth of it was that we killed the shit out of them folks. Pay attention.
The night was Roman orgy hot and just as slick. We brought the Plymouth down off the mountain with Jenny sitting in the passenger seat. It was all fueled up on high quality petrol and us on some of the finest racehorse speed that could be cooked up in a trailer park bathtub.
I knew the Hells Angel who made it. Went by the name of Panhead and I liked him well enough. Respected him for never touching his own dope. Far as I knew he was clean, a square, choosing to make his money for the club and not go off the rails like so many of his brothers. Course after what all happened he kinda cut me off. I never saw that coming but everyone has their own set of gods they got to get right with. Each of us have our very own get down and a man has got to be able to look at himself in the mirror and not want to spit at his own reflection.
Steven was in the back seat talking to himself the way he did when he was on a good one. He didn’t even pretend to talk to us when he got like that, just sat back there making noises. Sometimes I wished the radio wasn’t broke so I could drown him out but not that night. That night just listening to the motor whine and hearing the cam lift, the glass packs, Jenny’s small torch lighter getting flicked on and off, on and off, on and off, was all the music I needed. A perfect soundtrack, I remember thinking, to the apocalypse.
There was movement in the back seat, a lot of movement and I looked in the rear view mirror and Steven was taking his shirt off and then he was leaned up on the back of the bench seat, his voice in my ear, “Charlie, man. We got to go see him. That son of a bitch needs to know we aren’t to be messed around with.”
“You saying we should go on over there and have a prayer meeting with them?” He knew what I meant.
“You’re damn right,” he said.
Now Charlie was lower than a kin snake’s pecker and a dope thief to boot. But none of that didn’t make me no never mind. It was the singular fact that he ripped us off for fifteen automatic rifles and a couple of handguns. Of course we had no idea about the dope thieving when we initially made the gun deal with him. That would have been a bad business decision. I guess it just goes to show that the road to hell is indeed paved with good intentions, and if I might be bold enough to add to it, with ignorance. All of the sudden it seemed to me to be a very good God damned idea indeed to go on over and say a little prayer with the man.
“Yeah, all right,” I said and then turning to Jenny, “You feel like going to church?”
Her eyes were pretty pools of blue flicking on and off with the torch light like late night television. She smiled, “You talking about Charlie down there in the Traps?” The Traps was a small little out of the way place on the county line. Lots of crank run in and out of there, trapping folks up and taking them away from the world of the living, chronic dope-sick fixtures in the netherworld of addiction, thievery, and other uncouth doings. A little white trash ghetto to call home.
“Yeah baby,” I said, “that’s the guy.” I pressed down on the accelerator pedal, the lights from the distant town coming into view breaking the full dark of the mountain’s narrow pass, my fingers tapping on the steering wheel. Steven hollered out the back window like a wild animal and I imagined the sound move out into the night and ride the air alongside us, a battle cry like a ghost rider. I was jacked to the gills. I fully admit it wasn’t one of my smarter moments.
The shiny metal boxes of the Loreen Saddle Trailer Park came and went, their colors a child’s southern picture book under the street lights and we kept on, racing down Oak Grove. Amphetamine can do a lot for you but one thing it can’t do is make the car faster.
By the time the Traps was before us we must have broken every law in the book and even a couple of them twice. Now for those of you that ain’t had the pleasure, the Traps is laid out in a circle, the streets all long arcs connecting each side to the other. The whole place was rotten and it smelled that way too, the smell of the dope sick and the unwashed. Charlie’s little house was near the middle and I pointed the hood of the Plymouth toward the heart of the place and drove right through.
We pulled down the street and waited there in the dark. It was near two-thirty in the morning when we saw the headlights of his old station wagon turn onto the street. Me and Jenny, we ducked down but Steven was all tuned up and stayed upright. I can’t say whether Charlie saw him as he passed because if he had, he did not just keep on driving like I would have done. Something inside still believes that he knew we was coming, that he thought he was ready for us, maybe all tuned up from the liquor, and he was glad.
A light switched on in one room and another switched on in the living room and his old lady came to the door. We just watched from the car. I’ll tell you one damn thing, he filled that doorway when he got to the top of them stairs. He was bigger than I remembered and you could also tell he was drunk.
When the door closed behind him and they was both inside I slid my hunting knife from under the seat where the sheath was duct taped, then opened my door. The soft click of three doors opening and none closing. We weren’t amateurs.
Jenny carried a stiletto for the boys at the bar that got handsy and she pulled it out. I had had it engraved before I gave it to her. I could read the script on it in the streetlight. It said “dangerous.” It made a pretty sound when it was opened. It fit her fine.
I know what I’d be thinking right about here if I were you; “Didn’t you say this was some son of a bitch that ripped you off for some firearms? You ain’t literally trying to tell me that you are such a bad ass that you are bringing a knife to a gunfight.” I hear you, I really do and that’s exactly what I am telling you. I never had no desire to shoot a man; if I was gonna come after you I wouldn’t shoot you neither. I prefer it up close and personal. I guess you could say that I am blessed by the good Lord himself.
You ain’t probably going to believe this part neither but when I looked at Steven he was holding himself a frog gig. No, I ain’t shitting you. Had a big old toothpick taped to the end. It was damn near five feet long. In the moonlight, you’d a thought it was a Roman legionnaires spear anywhere but down here in the south. Down here folks would have just said, “Hey mama, look at that old boy over there. Isn’t he up a little early to go froggin’?” and then they’d just go on back inside and go to bed.
Jenny went up the stairs first, there weren’t no houses that we could see around us. The trees surrounding the property were thick as a hog back. I had only been here once before to front old Charlie the guns and drop off a little product but that was deep in the night as well. Jenny stopped when a stair creaked underneath her weight. I just chinned her on forward.
I kicked the door in and the splintering wood welcomed us home. That’s when the angels came. I could feel them holding my spine, pushing me forward through the small settin’ room and into the dark hallway beyond. I hear tell that in times of great stress people can almost become super human. Mamas pulling cars off the top of babies and men wrestling mountain lions and snapping their necks like twigs to protect their own. I had a family to protect right then, too, and I could have sworn I was granted the gift of seeing in the dark. Thoughts of mortality seemed to escape me and I was merely the sword of what gods were found in Alabama moving forward, advancing.
Charlie came stumbling in the hall, shirtless, his fat gut hanging over his unbuttoned jeans and I met him there. His hand was raising like a tide of violence and I cut free the pistol from his grip with the blade of my knife. Before the gun fell, though, it fired off an errant round, splintering the floor between us. The report of the pistol was loud in the closed space and I had time to think that if there were any neighbors it’s a good thing we was in the Traps because I’d have to go ahead and give long-shot odds on anyone calling the police down here because of a little shooting. People down here in the Traps had class, baby.
A light from the end of the hall flashed and then was gone. A bullet hit the wall to my left and then I heard a door slam shut. Someone must have decided they didn’t have the guts to come on out and face the inevitable.
I felt Jenny pass behind me then Steven and then I was grabbed in a bear hug, Charlie was strong. My God, was he strong. My arms were stuck to my sides in a bear hug and he was trying his damndest to squeeze the life right out of me. We wrestled like that for what seemed like a fair bit of time. I slammed my head in where I thought his face might be and connected with something, hearing a loud crack of breaking bone. Bull’s-eye, I thought, and then I lunged forward and drove the knife into his fat guts. Right below his belly button. A moment of severe understanding seemed to pass between us then.
Steven must have kicked the door open at the end of the hall because suddenly the hallway was lit with the muted light of a faraway room, my eyes had a moment to try and take in the whole scene before Charlie grabbed me and flung me backwards. I hit the hallway wall and it knocked the wind out of me. I crumpled to the floor. Hell, I folded like a deck chair.
He was standing there five feet away from me. Another gunshot came from the room and he looked that way. It was as if I was alive in that moment just to watch him make that decision; I could see his eyes flicking back and forth. Kill my ass or save whoever was down there, probably his old lady. Back and forth those eyes went three or four times. He was struggling to breathe and I remember this, the exact moment of confusion when he looked down. I followed his gaze and then I saw it too. The buck knife was buried to the handle in him. It was like a switch flipped in his big dumb head. Suddenly all his strength seemed to leave him. He looked at me and then took a step backwards, coming to rest against the wall. I was starting to regain my breath as he started to lose his. He slid down the wall coming to a seated position and then pissed himself.
I stood up slowly. “Do we understand each other?” He just looked at the butt of my knife as if he couldn’t figure it. As if some cosmic arithmetic didn’t add. And then, with his chin on his chest he checked out.
I hadn’t ever killed anybody before and I was waylaid by the sheer emotion of it all. An exhilaration mixed with the most unbelievable sadness all riding crank-quick synapses. I was spent but at the same time I felt as if I had the strength of a thousand men. There was something else though. Some darkness I can’t, even now, explain. Something like what Lord Jesus must have felt when his Daddy turned his back on him when he was only there doing his good and important work.
Brutal sounds brought me around and I stumbled down the hall. What I saw there I will not say in detail. Steven was yanking free his frog gig and Jenny was shot somewhere high on her right side, up by her shoulder from the looks of it, but over on the bed, well let’s just go on and say it, was a mess of quilt and flesh all cut like ribbons in a fashionable sewing box that you might find in an antique store. That’s how I saw it and it threatened to make me sick. Red ribbons and bone and bright gold fat.
I sent Steven out to the car to get the petrol and I helped Jenny up to her feet whispering things in her ear. The wound wasn’t pretty but it weren’t as bad as I had initially feared. She’d only been grazed.
I heard Steven throwing up in the front room and as I passed by him I put my hand on his shoulder. “Come on now boy, go on and take her,” I pushed Jenny toward him and he took her, wiping his mouth with the sleeve of his shirt. I followed them out to the car imagining what we could have looked like to an errant onlooker’s eyes.
I fetched the gas cans that were kept in the trunk next to an old box of used paperbacks I had read that I kept meaning to take to the local church – you know, for the kids – and then I got back to work. I went back inside and retrieved my knife and then splashed the petrol all around.
We sat there in the car and watched as the flames started to taste the wood paneling, the flickering light from the outside looked for the briefest of moments serene. I could imagine it being autumn and not summer. I could imagine a happy family inside the house with a fire in the fireplace waiting for children to knock on the door and say trick or treat. I could, if I tried, imagine a whole other reality where Charlie and his woman were happy and content and alive in their little home together holding hands and drinking a beer, talking about things that lovers talk about.
I took the long way back up to the mountain, the way that Jenny liked. I took the road that went past the river and then up Miller’s Ridge to where the river was damned up and that boy killed himself last year. I reached out and took her hand. All the while I watched intently though the windshield as the night’s ghosts faded and then blinked out, replaced by the warm poached yolk of the sunrise. When we made it home Steven went to shower and I tended to Jenny, and after that we lay down and I let her tend to me. Then we slept.
iii. Roosters as Guard Dogs
The sun is starting to color the sky and through my window I can see the buildings beyond begin to get roughed in like charcoal on paper. Tall, brash chain link and a chow hall puffing dark smoke from its chimney. I am grateful for the legal pad filled with yellow paper, and for the pencil that the priest has given me. It helps the long nights pass and gives my time some meaning. I do not sleep well these days.
I never thought of myself as a particularly good man, but an honest man, hell yes. I might have done some bad shit but I’ll tell you this, I can die satisfied with the knowledge that at least my life was honest. My love for Jenny was honest and those killings were honest, too. Honest work. Say what you will but it ain’t easy killing a man. The people that would judge me can all burn up right in hell. I’ll be looking down on them and getting a good kick out of it.
This yellow pad here allows me to be honest about things that I don’t wish to say aloud. I suspect I would be lying if I said that it would be hard to find an ear to listen to me. There is no shortage of meetings here, where men sit around in a circle and squawk like laying hens. There is even a chapel in an attached building. I guess my daddy was right, in the end, when he said, “There’s just some shit that don’t need to come out of a man’s mouth.” Sometimes, I’ll admit, it’s hard residing in a place like this that his its own pace and peculiarities to find an even keel.
I hope that this doesn’t come across that just because I was honest I don’t have no regrets. I got them like everyone else does. Things I might like to have done different. I might like to have seen them roosters for one. I might like to not have killed Cleveland Elkins. There may not be a place worse than the hell fire of damnation but it might have been alright to see him suffer on up here a bit before he got his ticket. I guess one of my regrets is that I regret. Funny how that works.
What I remember about old Cleveland was that he supposedly had roosters as guard dogs. Might been the Lord above’s divine hand that led us to him but I wonder if the cost of the particular decisions that were made that way added or took away from my worth. When my soul is placed on the scales at the end of time I can’t help but think that my actions that day will be the difference between sure paradise and being found wanting. I’ll go on and tell you what I mean.
That spring was warm and the water was high in the creeks, the watershed threatening to flow over and children in town played barefoot and shirtless as if there was no imminent danger at all. The way that they are want to do when the winter leaves behind its frost and the sun comes a callin’.
They never did seem to figure out the murders at Charlie’s house. Hell, I can’t rightly remember it even making the local paper other than a three-line sentence in the crime column right there between an assault and a petty larceny. Turns out the indigent, exposed and poor just live goddamned tough-shit lives.
We just went on about our business, a little dope, a little fuckin’ and a lot of livin’. I sold some guns to a motorcycle club down outta Birmingham that almost turned in to another murder tale but one night a prospect showed up at a bar we was known to be patrons of with literally a trash bag filled with one dollar bills and all was forgiven. Steven had gotten a job helping poor local kids to pass their GED. He seemed all right with that and it was good to see him for what passed in his life as happy. He took the murders hard. I think it had something to do with his upbringing. Pious mother or some shit.
The arrival of the summer that year was as loud and brave as a shotgun blast, heat like that hadn’t been seen in a generation. By that time Jenny and I was growing a bit bored and the fire on the land went on to make us bored but aggressive. Not the best combination. We was taking it out on each other so much it got to where I was sleeping on the porch and a lot more than a little angry.
One night, in a lull between a couple of fights, this old girl that I had carnal knowledge of came on over looking to score. While I was weighing out an eight ball and checking her arm for tracks, she was telling me about some guy up there on Swallowtail Hill that had been messing around with some youngins. Little girls.
“Uh huh,” said I.
“I’m serious. You know I don’t lie about shit like that,” said she. The only thing I knew about her in particular was that she was a hype. She would choose the needle over her own mama when she was dry. The other thing I knew about her kind of person in general was that the stories they told usually had a little truth in each of them. Out of sheer boredom I decided to ask a few more questions. I got a few more answers. I wish I had decided instead to keep my goddamned mouth shut. Looking back on it now if it hadn’t been for the heat that summer and them fights with Jenny I surely would have. As it turned out, I didn’t even know what heat was.
The next morning Charlie and his wife’s faces was on the morning local newscast. Below it four words: Hunt For Killers Underway. Months later we was suddenly and inexplicably infamous. Jenny danced naked around the kitchen making her fingers into pistols, blowing on ‘em and putting them in the invisible holsters at her hips. We was suddenly back on track and for whatever reason we had a hankering to do it all over again.
I remember that it was a harvest moon the next night. We had, us three, sat on the hood watching it creep over the mountains and climb the sky like some golden reptile, round on something it had just finished consuming. The local disc jockey got it into his head that he was going to play Harvest Moon by Neil Young non-stop for the full hour. To this day it’s still our song and I can’t hardly listen to it even though I have the tape setting right over there by my small Walkman.
I later heard that he had locked the door to the studio and wouldn’t let anyone come in there and stop him. Heard he had been holding up a chair like a lion tamer at the glass window that separated the studio from the rest of the station. I’d have paid to see that. His picture was on the bottom fold of the front page of the local newspaper and what were setting off to do, while listening to that song, was on the top fold.
The night before we had been on a good one, what I mean to say is we got eight miles high. Whether it had been in celebration or blood lust I could not say. I broke out the homemade tattoo gun and then first Jenny then Steven sat in the dining room chair under a flickering bulb while I tattooed them in turn with a little lower case s.t.k. Jenny’s was on her hip and Steven’s was on his left collarbone. Mine was going to be on my right. We never got around to me.
Crossing the county line into Fayette, Steven leaned forward from the back seat and said that he loved me. I reached back and mussed his hair and reciprocated. The rest of the drive I felt strong. No, strong isn’t the right word. Invincible.
We crested the top of Swallow Hill and I cut the motor and let us glide the last hundred feet or so. I did not want to get too close to where we was going. I did not want to arouse the roosters. In my mind these birds had taken on an almost mythological size. I envisioned them four feet tall and carnivorous, their spurs like long sweeping knives, tactile and meant for killing. Dope-fueled thoughts like that.
We made our way by foot. The moonlight casting long shadows of the spruce and cedar and of us, making us all giants on the land. Jenny stopped and pointed to the small lodge pine double-pen home. There wasn’t much of anything out here. Just buildings that were built with local resources and by hand of our Alabama forefathers and this place weren’t no different. It was as old as it was ruggedly individual. There was a steer fence that traversed uneven ground and in between the logs was strung some type of thick-gauged wire. There were no signs of the roosters. I remember being sad at that but also content that my vision of them weren’t to be disturbed.
We climbed through the gate and made our way across the property, the sounds of frogs and crickets and something big moving in some far away timber accompanied our footfalls. The door was unlocked and I turned the knob and opened it as soft as a whisper. There was a light on somewhere in the back and soft music hung in the room like a bog mist, ankle high and puffing up chords.
We had no idea who or how many people were in there and we did not care. Jenny started to slide her stiletto across the pine wall and then she called out, “Hey you fucking pedophile. How ‘bout you come on out here and take your chances with a raised woman.” Steven said nothing but just kicked over some piece of furniture or other.
We followed the music and as it got louder I recognized it. When we found him he was sitting at his desk in what appeared to be some sort of taxidermy shop in the far back of the home. He was just setting there in a long nightshirt like my granddaddy used to wear. It was sweat stained and tattered, his beard was ragged and his hair unkempt. He had something strapped to his head with a magnifying glass attached to it on a long metal tube. He was working on some small creature.
“This here is a muskrat. Phylum, Class, Order Chordata, Mammalia, Rodentia. It ain’t your common rat though. Nope. Not this one.” He had a peculiar way of speaking. His diction I mean to say. It was as if he had some physical problem so he tried to overcome it by saying each word slowly and precisely. “These little guys are humanistic. They fight and they fornicate, and they kill for potential mates, many times the mates are the young of their rivals.” I cocked my head and he went on, “Then they build homes to protect them and theirs.”
And then he was standing, moving quick as greased lightning and he raised a small shotgun and fired. I hit the deck, the blast in the small room momentarily making me deaf. My head rung. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw kicking legs like a child throwing a tantrum. I looked over to see the shotgun blast had taken Steven in the chest. His eyes were glassed over, mouth bubbling blood for just a moment and then he was still, just staring at the ceiling like he was watching a movie up there.
Jenny was scrambling to her feet, the stiletto in her slim hand. He came around the desk and kicked her sending her sprawling across the floor and against the wall. He cracked the break action and took his time getting out the shells and then let them fall to the floor. I watched him in a sort of hallucinatory wonder as he reloaded and slammed the break actions shut.
“My mama used to cook these up for us kids. The smell was terrible. Them just stewing in the pot all day long. I’ll never forget the cracking of bones as she cut off their hands when preparing ‘em. She used this pair of dykes she kept hanging by the kitchen sink.”
“You son of a bitch,” Jenny said. He looked at her, paid attention to her. “I suppose you got some reason for breaking into a man’s home in the middle of the night?”
All what happened next took place in a blur. I saw Jenny’s stiletto on the floor a foot away and then it was in my hand. He took a step toward her raising the twin barrels and then I was on him taking him in the side of the neck as the shotgun went off. The slim blade found no resistance as it went straight through his throat. He dropped the gun and clutched at his neck, his eyes as wild as any beast’s. He was trying to talk. I reached out, grabbed hold of the handle of the knife and started to twist it. I was elated, Steven having been forgotten for the moment, and I looked a smile at Jenny but what I saw made me stop. The final shotgun blast had taken her in the side. There was blood everywhere. She was still alive but from where I stood it weren’t looking good. My insides roiled and my mind raced, trying to make sense out of it all. Clips like greatest plays in baseball but much more violent ran in my head. I suddenly knew what I had to do no matter how much I didn’t want to.
I pushed the man towards her taking control of the knife that was still sticking in his throat. I pushed him on top of her and then I pulled the knife free. He kicked and I went to work on him using the knife from under him, trying to get all the angles right. Jenny was struggling for breath but from the weight or her condition I did not, could not know. Nothing has ever been harder than what I did next.
I made my way down the mountain on foot, beside a game trail. Three days later, the night after Sheriff Zachariah Bullard called us those unmentionables on national TV, the police broke in my door, the one I used to share with Jenny and Steven, and took me into custody threatening all manner of nasty shit. And in the end that’s what brought me here.
iv. Grace, Above All Else
There are fourteen SROs in the greater Philadelphia area. I have come to live in one of three run by the Catholic Diocese of Philadelphia. After the police were forced to let me go for lack of evidence I decided to leave the mountains of Alabama. It was a damn good thing I never got that tattoo.
The priest who runs this particular halfway house is a good man. He is tall, long of limb and thin like a sapling. He has the bright blue eyes of the Irish. I always trusted the Irish and it has been a long month of Sundays since I killed anyone. I have been reformed almost as long as Jenny and Steven have been feeding worms. I heard somewhere that if a man writes down his sins and carries them with him he can come to terms with what all his past might be that haunts him. That he may even receive the grace of the good Lord above.
Grace, what was it Steven used to say? “Grace, above all else, in everything you do but especially in killing and dying.” I don’t think I ever truly understood what he meant by that until now. I will say this, though, whoever said to write down what you done as a means of coming to terms with it was right. I do feel better. I’ll also say that that son of a bitch was only half smart. I’ll burn it instead, thank you very much. I got a metal bucket, a can of lighter fluid. When the halfway house security guard gets here and opens it up for the business of recovery I’m going to go on outside and burn these here pages.
After all, there’s a man I need to go have a prayer with.