restricted access The Janitor
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45 The Janitor Muse, I’ll put down my fiddle while you sing it a capella the song of barrel-chested Roy, Roy of the suspenders, Roy redolent of sweeping compound, Roy who studied the blue hardcover Meditation Exercises of Loyola on the toilet in the boy’s room, Roy who’d lost his arm in WWII, who kept a ferret he called Lefty in a bamboo cage. Baptist Roy, Roy, the part-time minister the jail called since no one else would go to pray with the murderer before they put him in the chair for stabbing seven nurses. Roy the next day telling how the man’s face glistened, saying that he was awfully, truly sorry. Sing Sweet Girl, Sweet Muse, of Roy’s stump squirming in the air, of how his name was our curse, how anyone we disdained was a Roy. Sing how he cleaned our windows, straightened our galoshes, patched our books. How he polished every sink until it shone like heaven. ...

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