Academic journal article TriQuarterly

On the Run

Academic journal article TriQuarterly

On the Run

Article excerpt

An old friend came home after years on the run. His father was dying and called for him to come to the hospital. He took the risk and came back. (The risk had to do with deals that soured, money that vanished, and worse I can't talk about.) Two days after over wine, alone in my house, we two spoke. He sat with the winter sun at his back, falling through the branches of the walnut tree so that his large, strong features were blurred by the failing light, and his deep voice too was blurred. After a silence, I asked if he were scared. No, he waved it away, there was nothing anymore to be scared of. His father had shown him how to die; no one else could have. Now that he sat in the shadows his voice seemed to come from no- where and everywhere. "Look, John," his father had said, pointing at a small Mexican man come to mop the floor, "God is here, with a bucket, that man is God working at minimum wage to clear my path to heaven. …

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