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Sketch of The Son of A Practical Man

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30 SKETCH OF THE SON OF A PRACTICAL MAN/ Jeff Gundy He was quick but reliably erratic, if he'd just crashed home through the catcher's glove to score he was sure next to fumble a pop fly or throw six feet over someone's head. Why just this moment he tried to flick an ant off his pants and left a thick and ugly gray stain all over. Never mind. You go with what got you here, and if it hits .312 in slow-pitch Softball you try not to brood on the other seven times out of ten. So he goes. Glimpsing at straws, grouching at streets, galumphing the sink until black shreds of miserable stinky stuff lie everywhere and his hands smell for hours and he dabs at the floor with a washrag he hopes he'll remember not to use on his face later. He tries the tap again and by God, the water vanishes through the trap like a cockroach escaping the light, fluid and beautiful in its flight toward the center. He lets it run, dreaming of it slipping through the sewer tile, through the creaky small-town system, into bright sun and stink at the treatment plant. He loses himself in the laws of this world, that what weighs most will sink, that what is small and light enough will rise. Gundy, Jeff. "Sketch of The Son of A Practical Man." The Cornfield Review 8 (1989): 30. Available online at Copyright held by the author.

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