Esoterica: No. 5 (RENDiTiONs)

Present Day, Northernmost Territory

“Wheeeewwie, that boy can dance!”

“I know it. I know it. I didn’t know it when I got’im, but I’ll be damned if I don’t know it now.”

“True what you say, he does that all day long?”

“That’s right. Figure Waymon could’a mentioned it when he gave me his papers — he ain’t say nothin’ ’bout that boy’s moves.”

“Yeah, that sound like Waymon. How you s’pose you missed that, though, Virgil? I thought you had one’a’dem fancy LSI machines.”

“And we used it, too. Same damn one we used on the others. Martha even threw her old chicken bones — and they didn’t forecast this neither.”

“Hell, them chicken bones? — those don’t never lie.”

“No they don’t. Can’t no damn sense be made of this, Billie. What say is yo’ reckonin’?”

“Well, at the risk of statin’ the obvious, I guess I be reckonin’ this: You got’ch’yo’self a problem, Virgil.”

“S’pose I was to take him into town a little, show him off a bit — you think I might be able to pass him around as some kind of special, like a…one’a’dem ‘nomolies o’ somethin’?”

“What is it you sayin’ now, Virgil? You best not go ’round suggestin’ such things — people might start callin’ you a sinnuh-luv-uh. You’d be likely then to lose some-uh-yuh base.”

“Hell, Billie, don’t go gettin’ wrong on me — I ain’t no damn sinnuh-luv-uh. That’s just me sayin’ there might be somethin’ or other ’bout this one, that’s all.”

“Might be. Or might be it’s the same thing with all of ’em. You’s willin’ to take that risk?”

“I ‘spect I’m not, Billie. But that boy’s readin’ is better than I can. Just a waste is all I’m sayin’.”

“Shut the front door, Virgil! Now yo’ readin’ him books, too? Pretty soon you gonna let’im off that leash — and right about then yo’ daughter be singin’ his songs.”

“Well, what you s’pose I do then, Billie? He ain’t done nuttin’ but attract attention since I got’im: Got that Jeanine Cummins comin’ around, talkin’ about American Dirt 2. Christ, Hazel even brought over her dancin’ shoes, said he be doin’ her some good entertainment. I mean, c’mon now, Billie, goddamnit…GODDAMNIT BILLIE, C’MON!”

“Virgil, I can see you’s in a stipulation. That being the case, I feel an obligation to impart on you some wisdom: Might I suggest you ought git’em a dog?”

“The hell you say, Billie: I’m afraid of what he gonna teach that dog to do.”

“Then I hate to say it, Virgil, but it seems to me that’ch’you’ve gone light on the whip. Tell you what, little Bobby’s got a real good hand now. What say I send him on over for an afternoon?”

“You say Bobby got a good hand?”

“Hell’s yeah, for a six-year-old. I been teachin’im myself.”

“Suppose that’s somethin’ I’m’a have to sleep on.”

“Boy, Virgil…ain’t you wishin’ you never done bought ’em.”

“Thing is, I didn’t. On account’a, we can only lease ’em now.”

“Then you better get rid’a’im when that lease is up. What’s the end on that, anyhow?”

“Well, first we’s gotta’noth’a ten, then they option fo’ twenty-five after.”

” I s’pose you gonna be done in ten, then, Virgil.”

“Thing is, Billie, he’s been tellin’ the others he might extend that option himself, on account’a all the fun he’s havin’ here.”

“Virgil, it ever occur to you to check him for the voodoo?”

“I know it. I know it. I was thinkin’ the same. Last week I told him to serve me up some coffee, and he says, it gonna be his pleasure to serve me that coffee, he says, ’cause by the time he’s done with that coffee maker, it’s gonna have such a mind that I’ll soon be servin’ It. Now what the hell you s’pose that to mean, Billie?”

“Well, Virgil…if was to be inspeculatin’ on that, I s’pose that to mean I oughtta go home and pray for you.”

“I’d appreciate it if you did, Billie. And Billie, don’t tell nobody ’bout this. M’kay?”

“Sure thing, Virgil. It’s whatever you say.”


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