Jo Anne Bennett Photo courtesy of the author E S S AY My assistant, Boris, came flapping through my front door like an injured raven, one arm clasped to his side, the other flailing wildly. He was dressed all in black, head to toe, his nylon shirt sweat-pasted to his torso. Gobbets of red mud adhered to the hems of his trousers. He had been drinking; he moved sideways, unsteady, at an angle, with his head turned askew. His eyes were restless; he knew how unacceptable his message would be, and he wasted no time greeting me but came right out with what he had to say. Came out with it before he lost his nerve. SPRING 2 019 • THE MIS SOURI RE V IE W 81 “Madam, the family does not think you should keep paying.” He clamped his jaw around the words, spewed them out. He couldn’t bring himself to look at me. His gaze swept along the floor, up the wall, across the ceiling. Down and up, back and around. “Keep paying for what?” I was well aware of what he was trying to tell me but had no intention of making it easy for
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Apr 24, 2019
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