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ABOUT THREE YEARS AGO / John R. Helton, Jr. WHEN I WAS THIRTEEN my father got hit by one of those laundry trucks that come around real early in the morning and pick up diapers. Dad was out running before work and I guess it was still pretty dark, so the driver didn't see him. I heard my Uncle David tell Jimmy that he'd been mashed up pretty good and the driver "must have been going at a God-damn quick clip to do something like that." I used to see the truck out of my bathroom window all the time when I brushed my teeth before school. It had Danny's Diaper Service written in cursive in big, red letters on the side and a guy with a white cap pointing to the letters. The person I felt sorry for the most was my Mom since she was still asleep and Alan had to wake her up and get her to understand what was going on. She was real tired because the night before she and Dad and Alan and me went to the show and saw Dirty Harry and when we got back she and Dad had stayed up real late. I could hear them from my room, which is just on the other side of the blue bathroom from their room. They were watching "The Tonight Show." Mom went outside in this green flannel robe that I had got her two Christmases before. It was sort of plain but she liked it a lot. We all started walking with the cops since it had happened just around the corner and it would have been a waste of time to get in the car and drive over there. We walked a little ways until we got into the Epps' yard, and then Mom and Alan started running. So I started running too and the cops started running and we were all running through the green square yards to the corner. My tennis shoes got wet from the dew on the grass. When we got there the cops grabbed me and Alan and wouldn't let us go around the cars and the truck. They even tried to grab Mom but she got away. She ran around the truck and started screaming and stuff and Alan went crazy and then I got pretty mad when I saw them holding him down. They finally let us go around though because Alan and I were yelling shit like, "It's our dad!" and "We can see him if we want to!" We went over to the front of the truck and I saw Mrs. Barrow and my Uncle David, who lives next door to us, and they were hugging Mom and she looked like she was crying hard. The cops had thrown a few 106 ยท The Missouri Review jackets over Dad so all you could see was his left arm sticking out and his right foot with his blue and yellow Nike on it. Alan and I just stood there with the cops around us and we didn't know what to think. We just stood there and looked at the bundle of leather jackets and blood and our Dad's running shoe. Mom turned around and came over and hugged Alan and then me and while we were hugging her back my Uncle David came over and started hugging us too. So we all hugged each other and cried until the ambulance came. Except for me. I couldn't cry. I think I was too surprised. One day, I came home from school and I had made the eighth-grade football team. I busted through the front door and started yelling, "Dad! Hey Dad! Guess what!" Then I remembered that he wasn't around. I heard a dish crash so I ran into the kitchen. Mom was standing by the sink with her mouth wide open and pieces of broken china were lying all around her feet. It was this real nice china that my grandmother used to paint and then give away to relatives or sell to people around Pauling. Mom took me to the eye doctor because...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-9930
Print ISSN
0191-1961
Pages
pp. 106-113
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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