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Following Slowly

[Fiction] Recommended by Joshua Ferris. A man returns to his family farm, starting over:

"The moon shone yellow through the trees. It was well past midnight, and Sonny was tired. For some time, he’d had trouble sleeping. He fell asleep quickly, exhausted by a day of cows and cold, only to come awake a few hours later in some unexpected place—sitting in the hallway, or standing over the kitchen sink. Sometimes it was hard to know where he was, and he stood awed and dismayed by some common object—a door handle, a sink fixture, the floral pattern of the bathroom wallpaper. One night, his mother had found him on the utility porch, urinating into a stack of neatly folded laundry. My God, she’d said, what is wrong with you? He hadn’t come home for two days, his shame was so great. He’d parked his truck in a field and slept there, curled on the seat, waking now and again to start the engine for heat.

"Even now, alone in the truck, the memory made him flush. He reached above the visor for a can of chew. He put a thick pinch behind his upper right cheek and leaned to get a soda can from the floor for a spitter. Then he sat with his hands in his lap, looking out through the windshield at the moon. Sometimes he forgot how good it was to be here, outside, and what it meant to sit alone in such quiet. Sometimes he had to remind himself."
PUBLISHED: Jan. 23, 2013
LENGTH: 27 minutes (6771 words)