Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Dirty Work is the story of two men, strangers—one white, the other black. Both were born and raised in Mississippi. Both fought in Vietnam. Both were gravely wounded. Now, twenty-two years later, the two men lie in adjacent beds in a VA hospital.Over the course of a day and a night, Walter James and Braiden Chaney talk of memories, of passions, of fate. With great vision, humor, and courage, Brown writes mostly about love in a story about the waste of war.
keep from getting fried. And We can’t keep them out. You wouldn’t believe how many death-row murderers We’ve got up there right now.” “That what You stand for, though,” I said. He let me take a drag and then pulled it away. Thumped some ashes in the ashtray. “Yeah, well, but I mean they’ve done stuff that just makes you sick to hear about it. And some little girl or somebody had to go through it. And then she’s got to run into him up there. It just makes for awkward conversation, Braiden.” I
know how I feel. Max and them can’t tell me what I need to do. Because I don’t know what I need to do myself. I don’t guess I have to be such an asshole about it, though. The way I look at it, I only have a few hours left. Mama will call back in the morning. I can talk to her and find out about Beth and tell her to send Max after me. I can stand it that long, surely. I looked over at Braiden. Jesus, his arms. His legs. And twenty-two years on a bed. The shit just comes down and sometimes it
gently in the current. Going back to the ward with her following me, I thought of images I remembered and hadn’t told him. A chopper tilting sideways with black smoke pouring out of it and slamming into a treeline and sixteen men on it all screaming for their mamas as it burst into flames. The picture of my father on the wall of my room, grinning and saluting as he received his Purple Heart. Standing in the middle of a cold and muddy river with the trigger of the M60 locked down and the belt
eyes, and he’d give him a big surprise. And just as he was about to try and jam the cowturd in, Thomas clamped down on his hand like a dog that hadn’t eaten in about a week and started gnawing it for all he was worth. He was slobbering a little, like Matt Monroe’s hand was the best thing he’d ever tasted. Matt finally got his hand out of Thomas Gandy’s mouth and he wasn’t happy about it. It was bleeding, and it had little fang marks all over it. Everybody just hushed. It was like seeing Sonny
“It’s in a blue box,” she said. “Don’t get the Junior. Get the Super.” “Super.” “And hurry.” “You want me to run, Mama?” “Yes, honey. Run. Please.” “Can I get me something if there’s any left over?” “Yes, get you a Coke or something, but hurry.” So I hurried. I didn’t know what Kotex cost but I was sure it wouldn’t cost a dollar. I was hoping it would only cost about ninety cents. I could get a Coke for a dime, that or a big Nehi grape. And it was entirely possible that the Kotex would