Monsters and Dust

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“Do you get to see the Chief?”

“How come I can’t see the Chief?”

“Because you’re white,” Loretta said.

“I’m not.”

“I’m Elijah.”

“Y’look white.”

“I’m not. My Mother’s Moroccan. My uncle cut his hand off when it got infected. He wanted to teach the other hand a lesson so he punished the first and cut it off. That doesn’t happen to white people.”

“It’s true,” Elijah nodded. His eyes, round and solemn, believed.

“And we grew up in Texas playing a game called Kasama in the ghetto under the power lines where you pulled straws to see who got to throw rocks at who.”

“If you got the shortest straw you won.”

“You had to jump out the bushes and yell ‘Kasama.’”

“Look I have a scar.”

“That’s not white.”

“Can we get some pancakes—eggs too, Josh, d’you want eggs?” The older poked the younger on the younger’s weaker side. They younger said, “Please” to Loretta, which made her happy while she took down thier order. Loretta wrote 2 eggs easy 2 pancake 2 coffees on the pad. Keep your hands on the waitress printed on every page.

“What do Indians eat? I’m just asking. I mean, maybe I eat just like an Indian, I could. Do you like eggs?” Loretta snorted, surprised to find the kid charming. “I hate the white man too,” he said, “it’s a terrible history.”

“Historical Mistakes,” Elijah winked.

“What are you kids doing on the road, anyways? How old are you?”

“It’s the white man. We’re running away from the white man. Do you know what that’s like?”

The older one shook his head. “Stop, Josh. Stop.”