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Buku Parasites Like Us: A Novel by Johnson Adam

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Parasites Like Us: A Novel by Johnson Adam

Author:Johnson, Adam [Johnson, Adam]

Language: eng

Format: azw3

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Published: 2004-10-25T16:00:00+00:00

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Parasites Like Us: A Novel by Johnson Adam

On the drive to the county courthouse, Sheriff Dan cracked all the windows, whistled “Western Wind,” and seemed oblivious to a snow rabbit that darted from a culvert and got lost in his tires. Before I knew it, I was in the building where Janis had spent her life.

The same fat man worked the metal detector in the lobby. The same little security badge dangled from everyone’s blue shirt. The lustrous marble floors were buffed to the sheen of burnt sugar, and the mahogany panels smelled of linseed wax. Sheriff Dan led me into the main hearing room, plopped me behind the defendant’s table, and, after cuffing me to a ring in the banister, headed off in search of coffee.

I looked around the room, and nothing I’d hoped to see was there. Missing were Keno’s artifacts, which I’d imagined would be spread across the discovery table. Where was the evidence against me—the dog pelts, cat skulls, and squirrel tails? No parade of Dorito bags, barbecued ribs, and dental-floss fibers? Where were Trudy, Eggers, and my father, not to mention my friends and neighbors?

 

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Parasites Like Us: A Novel by Johnson Adam

Author:Johnson, Adam [Johnson, Adam] , Date: July 4, 2019

,Views: 44

Author:Johnson, Adam [Johnson, Adam]

Language: eng

Format: azw3

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Published: 2004-10-25T16:00:00+00:00
On the drive to the county courthouse, Sheriff Dan cracked all the windows, whistled “Western Wind,” and seemed oblivious to a snow rabbit that darted from a culvert and got lost in his tires. Before I knew it, I was in the building where Janis had spent her life.

The same fat man worked the metal detector in the lobby. The same little security badge dangled from everyone’s blue shirt. The lustrous marble floors were buffed to the sheen of burnt sugar, and the mahogany panels smelled of linseed wax. Sheriff Dan led me into the main hearing room, plopped me behind the defendant’s table, and, after cuffing me to a ring in the banister, headed off in search of coffee.

I looked around the room, and nothing I’d hoped to see was there. Missing were Keno’s artifacts, which I’d imagined would be spread across the discovery table. Where was the evidence against me—the dog pelts, cat skulls, and squirrel tails? No parade of Dorito bags, barbecued ribs, and dental-floss fibers? Where were Trudy, Eggers, and my father, not to mention my friends and neighbors?

Didn’t I have any friends and neighbors?

There were some retired folk in the rear gallery, the same group who haunted the benches back when I was in high school, back when Dad would leave on his weeklong sales circuits. I’d come here after classes let out rather than do my homework alone, in an empty house. Spreading my schoolwork—book reports, history outlines, workbook quizzes—on the gallery benches, I ate sandwich halves and daydreamed as dramas unfolded below. You’d be surprised how much of court life is spent searching for papers, rereading testimony, and stalling for time. There were lots of recesses, points at which Janis would make for the restrooms or slip down the hall to brew more tea in the bailiff’s kitchenette. Sometimes, she’d hydraulically descend to Records in the basement—a place that everyone, out of laziness, accessed with the wheelchair lift—so she could tend to a night-blooming cereus plant she had growing down there.

When a woman heads down the hall, do other people wonder if they’ll ever see her again? When a father “goes for a drive,” when a mother walks out the door and into the snow, do other people think: Is this it, are they ever coming back?

To have been left is to know that anyone can leave, at any time. But that morning in the courthouse, I felt its opposite effect—the illusion that a person could return, that she might have a change of heart and emerge, at any moment, from one of these magisterial doors. It didn’t matter that Janis was dead, her ashes washed to the Gulf of Mexico. Hope doesn’t give a crap about facts like that.

Crystal pitchers of water were placed at the witness box and jury stand. Someone turned on the judge’s microphone, which filled the room with a light buzz. Beyond the bar, the room was alive with clerks and bailiffs, gesturing with color-coded folders, typing, and talking as they geared up for the morning’s docket.

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