ROLE MODELS - sheldon lee compton


sheldon lee compton

Halloween, 1982. An aunt applied the makeup, various tubes and fliptop mirrors taken from the bottom of her purse, the dredges, the pearls. Cloaked his face in hero smear, war paint, the face of his first father. Rock and roll all night with cheekbones flaming black.

While no one paid attention, Ben bit the tip of his finger and coppered the spill across his tongue.

You look just like him, Aunt said. Dad was gone so Mom was away.

Later, say 1989, it was Jerry Lee Lewis.

Bubble gum and milk, the same way Jerry Lee did it. Pop, gulp. Ben destroyed four dozens eggs Easter morning by throwing them at his grandmother, his aunt, a pack of smiling cousins.

While they ruptured against the porch railings, the side of the house, Ben thought of how wild his hair must have looked during the whole thing. Completely out of control.

Sheldon Lee Compton
I Hate To See That Evening Sun Go Down
William Gay