Tag Archives: Empty Pockets

“Rawlins” and “All There Is”

Dale Herd (photo by Sophie Calle)

Dale Herd (photo by Sophie Calle)

Rawlins

It was blowing again when Davis walked back, the wind coming hard down the cut along the switching tracks, the parked rows of empty boxcars hot-sided and dead-looking against the hillside of fine blowing dust sheeting behind them. A haze of dust was drifting east down the roofs of the cars, and coming back to the motel there were fire engines in the alley, the burned tool shed still smoldering, with the smoke mixing in the dust and the wino off one of the freights who had apparently gone in, started a fire, and fallen asleep, being carried out badly burned and not expected to live.

In the room Kathy and Glen were no longer playing Monopoly and the sequence of pills had worked, Joni was finished, and the doctor was coming out of the little bathroom with the steel pan full of the yellowish clear fluid mixed with blood standing there showing them the fetus. It was tiny, curled, and pinkish like a shrimp, and the fluid stank, and Kathy wouldn’t look at it, but Joni did and didn’t say anything, then said, “That’s my baby,” and said it again, disgusting Glen who went outside with the doctor to give him the other five hundred.

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