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Put the Animals to Bed

Jessica Hollander University of North Texas Press ePub

Put the Animals to Bed

The little boy said they were brothers. The aunt—never before a brother—was pleased. The boy had her sister’s light blonde hair. He held the aunt’s hand the moment she arrived, pulled her to the floor with his collection of horses and cowboys and various ranch fixings. Among the brown and gray horses were two pink ponies with sparkly blonde manes.

“You run the Dude Ranch,” the boy told the aunt. He pointed to a shoebox turned over. The pink ponies approached—they had very deep voices. “We’re not from ’round these parts.”

“Please,” the aunt said. “Stay here.”

She and the boy held hands while the other horses galloped over and asked for admittance. The aunt’s job was to lift and lower the shoebox while the boy toddled the horses inside. The boy’s father watched from the couch, cradling a green glass pipe. Even the porch had smelled of marijuana. Once, he and the aunt had smelled this way together.

“You still look like a human,” the father told the aunt.

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Chapter 3

Gabriella Ghermandi Indiana University Press ePub

WE RETURNED TO ADDIS ABABA, TO OUR HOME IN ARADA Sefer. That very evening I took my stuff out of the room that I had shared with my cousins, Aunt Fanus, and Aunt Abeba right before and after the liberation, and I moved into the last room on the left of the veranda, the one that had been old Yacob’s room.

On the way out I cast a quick glance at the bed where I had spent the previous night. There was a time when three of us shared it. And on the first night of my return, three people shared that bed again: Mulu, Alemitu, and me. “Just like old times,” Alemitu had said. That first night the nearness of their bodies kept me warm. In Italy I had missed that physical contact, that natural way we had of sleeping together.

Looking at the bed I felt a little sad about leaving the room, but the following morning I woke up well-rested, and happy at not having had to spend the night fighting with overlapping arms and legs. It was around eight-thirty in the morning, but the cold night air still permeated the house. I braved the cold and jumped out of bed shivering. Wrapped up in a gabi, holding my towel and clothes, I ran through the courtyard to reach the bathroom. After washing and getting dressed, I went to the kitchen, had breakfast, and, without saying a word to anyone, went out. Anyway, everyone knew where I was going.

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Medium 9780253019073

Doors

Colin Rafferty Break Away Book Club Edition ePub

Spring came to Tuscaloosa last Monday, a brief two-week season between the forty-degree winter and too-humid summer, and the trees have all blossomed. I can’t see any of that, though. When I look around the building I’m in, Foster Auditorium, the only thing I find is all the proof of its neglect and decay: paint peeling off the walls, falling onto the dusty floor. Loose ceiling tiles wobble precariously as air barely circulates around the room. All the doors, except the one I’ve just walked through, have heavy chains and locks around them, and two orange bars form a cross on the top of each basketball hoop, keeping them from play.

If I’d attended the University of Alabama forty years earlier, I would have come to register for my classes here in Foster Auditorium. Now I’m not here to do anything but look around, which is pretty much all anyone does with Foster anymore, since no one seems to know what to do with a building with a history.

All the history of Foster Auditorium can be reduced down to a single day, June 11, 1963, when Governor George Wallace, fulfilling the promise he’d made in his inaugural speech that January, attempted to block two black students from enrolling for the summer session and thereby integrating the university. Nicholas Katzenbach, acting as the official representative of the Kennedy administration, and with the backing of the federalized Alabama National Guard, ordered Wallace to stand aside and allow Vivian Malone and James Hood to enter the building and enroll.

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Two

Gilbert Gatore Indiana University Press ePub

32. The cave Niko discovers resembles the one he’s spent years imagining in almost no way at all. When you enter it, the passageway widens as you move forward, opening into the first hollow space. His immediate plan is to make that his living area. Light and wind sometimes come this far, faintly, which eases the darkness and humidity. From the entrance to the cave it is impossible to see the high recess to which he will attach his bedding. Suspension is the only way to be protected from the animals and insects with which he must share his cave, he observes, congratulating himself on having brought twine with him. Yes, hanging the bedding is a good idea: the swinging movement of the setup will be enough to keep bats, rats, and cats at a distance. Cockroaches, spiders, and ants won’t be able to get at him except via the fastening point, and he promises himself to keep a particularly watchful eye on that. And if there are any mosquitoes and flies he’ll just have to get used to them. In the back of this first hollow space, a passageway he is forced to crawl through opens onto the ceiling of a very large room. Before he’s able to get down into it, Niko must first braid a long cord and attach it pretty firmly so that he can use it to climb up and down. So he goes out again to gather dried banana tree bark, which he dampens in order to work it without cracking the pieces, and from this he makes two long ropes. Still farther down the slope he finds a long stalk of bamboo, which he thrashes against the ground to soften it up. Three ropes are bound to provide him with what he needs to get down into the second hollow area. The twisted bamboo stalk assures solidity while the banana fiber cords will facilitate his grip.

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Medium 9781574415650

Grip

Becky Adnot-Haynes University of North Texas Press PDF

Grip

I love the pole vault because it is a professor’s sport. One must not only run and jump, but one must think. Which pole to use, which height to jump [. . .] I love it because the results are immediate and the strongest is the winner. Everyone knows it. In everyday life that is difficult to prove.

—Sergey Bubka, 1988

W

hen Ewan began pole vaulting again, he did it secretively, furtively, a thing he held inside his chest until it pulsed—like a family secret, or a lie. Lucky for him, it was a sport well-suited to solitude: You didn’t need someone to hit ground balls to you, to rebound missed shots, to return your serves. It had been eight years since his last vault—it was hardly a sport of casual pursuit—and he missed it. Really missed it. Standing at the end of the runway before his first jump, he felt a buildup of energy course through his limbs, the sensation so visceral that he closed his eyes and simply let himself feel the weight of the pole resting in his hands, that lovely feeling of anticipation. It was the day after he and Cora decided, officially, to start trying for a baby, him making a nervous joke as she pulled him to her that it was time to see if his boys could swim.

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