Argyle Socks

March 29th, 2014

Tomorrow is Sunday. I remember Sunday’s really well, better than any other days of my short, short life. My mother would wake my brothers and I up early, scrub us clean one after another, and then put us in suits that were either too big or too tight, but were starched like paper and itched like straw. A broad blue tie, a pressed white button down cotton shirt that made us all sweat like buggers on a hot August noon, jet-black slacks with suspenders, and argyle socks. I hated those socks. She’d load us all up into the car and we’d drive to church.

I look out the window at the grey sky. The rain drizzles down, empty and sad. I don’t remember the last time I went to church, but whenever it was, it’ll be the last time I ever go to church. I need another cigarette.

I pick up my lighter and flick it. It’s almost empty, and it doesn’t ignite. Three more times and it finally catches. I take a long draw and the smoke fills my lungs.

Tonight they’ll send in a chaplain to talk to me the last time. That sucks for him. I’d hate to be a chaplain whose job it was to talk to fuckups like me who are in line to get tapped and go down. I’d hate that more than going down itself.

My eyes linger off of the grey sky and onto the table. My fingers itch and I scratch the small scars left from years of woodworking and backyard games. All the small things that I crafted out of wood and carved out of pine and oak and hickory left their history on my fingers, and all of the backyard games of football and baseball left their history on my hands when I was a boy. But if either of them had wanted something more permanent, they would have picked something other than my flesh to write out their stories.

I look out at the rain again. There are two different kinds of rain: Angry, or sad, and that’s pretty much it. This rain is sad. Part of me wished that maybe the last rain that I experienced was angry rain – Maybe it would make me feel better if I felt like the earth was angry to see me go. But maybe I should be glad that the earth feels the only emotion I don’t feel – It feels for me. It feels in my place. That’s what I tell myself. I take another long draw my final cigarette ever, but slower this time, because it’s almost out.

I think that the rain is sad, but it’s not. It’s not angry, either. It’s just the sky trying to write its story in the earth – trying to find the most permanent paper to make its mark in. But if it had wanted something more permanent, it would have picked something other than the soil of the earth and the concrete that we put down to write out it’s stories.

Tonight I’ll talk with the poor bastard of a chaplain, then they’ll give me my choice of last meal. I don’t give a damn about my last meal, I really don’t. I care more about my last shit than my last meal. Maybe if I tell them this, they’ll give me my only real last request.

I suck out the last draw from my cigarette and stamp it out. I peel my eyes away from the grey sky and stand and go to the mirror. I look at pale skin and the bags under my eyes. Maybe if I’d wanted something more permanent, I would have found something other than the human race in Oklahoma City in 1949 to live out my story. But you take what you can get.

Before I leave the mirror, I imagine what I’ll look like tomorrow morning when I sit down in that chair for the last time. If they give me my last request, I know what I’ll look like.

A broad blue tie, a pressed white button down cotton shirt that’ll make me sweat like a bugger on a hot August noon. Jet-black slacks with suspenders, and argyle socks. I hate those socks.

They’ll load me up, and I’ll leave. It’ll be my last Sunday, and damn, I’ll remember it well.

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