Southern Legitimacy Statement: I had a northerner ask me where I was from. I replied, “I’m a Virginian.” He thought that pretty efficient: I told him where I was from and what I was in one statement.
“You know my creeds: Dirty for dirty, and Don’t have to get you back today, but I will damn well get you back. Guess you thought dying was gonna get you off my hook. Hell no. Leave me to grinding and griping for the rest of my life? No sir–the transgression isn’t lifeless, even if you are. I live to be satisfied. This has to be. It’s how I hold my head up.
“I’m midnight-tidy with cold dirt and sod; by morning I’ll put everything back perfect. ‘Cept you.
“I see your family took the rings, watch–the valuables. But these pliers can pay me part of what you owe. Little pocketknife snip to get past the sewn lips, and our old money issue is settled.
“Tomorrow there might be mourners sitting on shady cemetery benches; some in sadness, some feeding pigeons. Me? I will be sunshine-bouncing down to the pawn shop, forgetting your old insults, gold teeth rattling in my pocket—keeping one back to show off in the shadows, make sure a select few know I’m a man true-bound by my word–and I will laugh like the devil when I toss your shriveled pecker to the dark crows scrounging worthless scraps in that abandoned lot next to the liquor store.
“Now we’re square.”