Uncle Reid, Aunt Rhonda’s husband was a quiet man with a knack for capitalizing on the infrastructure needs of the oil boom.
This meant a steady stream of gifts of accelerated value and then horsepower for the cousins from Dry Creek.
They had a wealth of family on their father’s side as well, which meant that when Mamaw and Papaw and sometimes Uncle Weaver visited them the sense of smallness you felt was magnified by the rich amusements of your cousins.
With their voices like sugar cubes in ice tea and their fearless beauty.
They sang loud, played hard and attracted boys like shoo-fly pie.
And you, in your quiet watchfulness found yourself lapsing into the vaguer similes of southern matrons.
Durn the road.
And there was Chris Graciano, Adonis of your long-forgotten childhood, standing there before you all real-and-growed-up. But so much like the boy you once knew who tucked you into his overalls hanging in your cousins’s closet so you could stay still and quiet and win a game of hide-and-seek.
So many years ago.