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Reading is fun

cinder block dragging dogs
by jason
Saturday, August 17, 2002

His dad would attach cinder blocks to his pit-bulls and let the dogs drag them around the yard

To the right of the house in Fayetteville that I was raised in were two rows of apartments that sheltered enlisted men stationed at nearby Fort Bragg. To the rear of our five acre field, around four hundred yards from my back door, a small trailer park collected around twenty or thirty soldiers and Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. warehouse workers. To the left, two duplexes held the poorest families I have ever personally known.

Behind the duplex on the right lived Richard Jackson. His dad would attach cinder blocks to his pit-bulls and let the dogs drag them around the yard. Trails of worn dirt paths wormed their way through the thick centipede grass. A bizarre road map developed; the more travelled routes formed deeper grooves.The occasional transfer to a new route caused the dogs to lose footing momentarily and they would accelerate through the hazard with the brawn of a NC Trooper's Crown Victoria. Watching the bulky, rusted chains that shackled the dogs go from taut to slack and back again might remind you of one car towing another down a hilly road.

One night my mother, a tight lipped grip on her after dinner cigarette, stood in our yard pulling wind-hardened Levi's from the clothes line, saving them from a light evening rain. Across the field stood Angie, draped in a bacon-frier, flinging each of her husband's hard earned possessions from the front porch to the loose, oil stained sand. Her buldging fingers working at a fever's pitch, the fat from the bottoms of her arms swinging in time, Angie labored at removing her husband from their home.

My mother glanced to meet Angie's eyes and the work ceased.

"What the fuck are you looking at?", Angie asked. My mother, more shocked than offended, gave her the bird. Flipped her off with the grace usually witnessed in Russian ballets. And after pulling the last pair of then damp jeans from the line with the clothes pins intact, mother clucked her flip flops across the yard and up into the house.

A loaded shotgun was under the bed in my parents room, breached open. Vacation was a stolen three day weekend at Carowinds.

Southerner is the term I prefer, but I will answer to Redneck.

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