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Boondock Kollage

Stories from the Hip Hop South

Series:

Regina N. Bradley

Boondock Kollage: Stories from the Hip Hop South is a collection of twelve short stories that addresses issues of race, place, and identity in the post–Civil Rights American South. Using historical, spectral, and hip hop infused fiction, Boondock Kollage critically engages readers to question the intersections of regionalism and black culture in current American society.

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Chapter 4: Good Bleach

Extract

← 36 | 37 →

· 4 ·

GOOD BLEACH

I can’t find my keys.

My phone vibrates in my left pant pocket in three short bursts. I don’t have to look at the caller ID to guess that it’s Auntie Nan’s dialysis nurse, Ms. Knox. This is her third call to me today. I shake my coat and listen for jingling keys. The phone vibrates again. I catch a piece of my thumb meat on a renegade paperclip.

Three more vibrations slap against my thigh.

It is my first week at this new job. Even after I spent my last free twenty dollars to take my suit to the cleaner, I still managed to get a collard green juice stain on the front coat lapel while scarfing down my bagged lunch. “You should’ve used a napkin and not eat like a heathen,” I hear Auntie Nan’s voice fuss from somewhere in the back of my head. “You’ll get something on that nice suit!” I was Auntie Nan’s emergency contact after my Uncle Joe passed away two years ago. The phone vibrates once. Ms. Knox left another message. In the first message, she said they needed me to come to the hospital to discuss Auntie Nan’s healthcare options. I look at my office door. The keys are still in the lock.

My supervisor’s office is in the middle of a maze of joint offices. I knock on the door and he...

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