Ma forgot to pack my lunch that day, after a late night gettin’ sauced on rotgut, and I had to sit in the cafeteria and watch all them kids eat their crabapplesauce and chomp on maggot-laden hamslices and it was horrible, just plain awful, ya’ll, to have to sit there and watch the whole school, the entire student body, chowing on their delicious hot lunches while I had nothing to my name. I had to sit there and pretend like I was too busy reading my finger-twirlin’ horoscope to spoon anything more than a packet of sweetener down my gullet.
I was starved, ya’ll, ready to eat my arm to my elbow, no salt, no Ketchup, just plain naked flesh melting in my mouth.
But I did not do that, ya’ll, no this boy abstained from auto-cannibalism. Instead, I played games with my watch, countin’ down the minutes til Gangly Georgette’d be on her knees in the cubby with Eddie Dandruff; then I’d be knewin’ it was time to do the old skedaddle and soon after that I’d be jumping off the school bus and sliding
down the gorge to our cabin where I’d slurp down a can of jack mackerel like it was a moss-covered oyster, the likes of which we ain’t ever be affordin’, not with Pa blowing his paychecks on the poker machines and manicures.
When the bell blew, I ran outside to wait for the bus. My hunger was makin’ me feel like I was bein’ eatin’ from the inside out, ya’ll. This sickening, rolling pang washed over me like the time I spied on Ma and Pa intercoursin’ in the wash house, and I could no longer stand to go for one more second without some kind of vittle in my maw.
At first there was two birds on the wire above me. Now there’s bein’ only one, ya’ll.