It wasn’t that the Buick was forgotten. Jimmy had put it there, drove it in the lot with the sort of half-hearted intention of things more wanted than needed.; a project for him and Jerryl when the heat of summer subsided. A September lay-away before the county fair and after the kids were out of their hair, back on the bus to school in Buncombe.
Jesse wouldn’t mind them fooling around the yard then. The days would slow and the leaves would begin to turn on the mountain. But then fall shifted to winter and Mamaw had gotten that cough that just wouldn’t shake and Jerryl found work in town and Jimmy just kept on drinking. The days dwindled into snow and before long the lot was filled with it and it would just be easier to wait for spring than drag it into the garage and pull out the heater.
Well March came and went and Jimmy was just too damn tired what with Jesse in a mood. Besides the cold lingered that year, even in April there were patches of ice in the yard, hemmed in the shadows. But when the lightning bugs emerged in those warm June nights Jimmy couldn’t think much of working. The beer was cold and the radio was just right and Jesse was looking something beautiful in that dress.
And so the seasons did pass and the kids grew tall and one or two left for the city. Jerryl met another gal then another then another. He couldn’t keep a woman, but he could hold down a job. Something Jimmy always envied. Jesse got plump. Jimmy got plumper. The lot turned wild and the confederate daisies cozied up to the rusting chrome bumper. Whenever Jimmy was asked about the old Buick in the yard out front he’d say he was just waiting for the heat of summer to subside.
Kaitlin Williams. Daphne, Alabama.
Call and Response is a photo-literary exploration devoted to the relationship between photographs and words. Using photographs from the Looking at Appalachia project, writers are encouraged to respond narratively to a single image in 1,000 words or less. We hope to use this platform to expand our community and encourage collaboration between photographers and writers. Learn more about how to submit here.