We didn’t catch a break

8 We didn’t catch a break. That night, poor blighted “Alvin” hit the local news — anonymous tip, I was told — and the following morning, the entire investigation changed. Ollie was pulled into a phone conference with senior management ahead of a phone conference with the mayor’s office ahead of a press conference later that afternoon. Everyone else poked at their work the way Marigold pokes at food … Continue reading We didn’t catch a break

The police had taped off one side of the street

3 The police had taped off one side of the street. A patrolman directed a white delivery van around, and it slowed as I passed. Someone had hand-painted an irregular box on the asphalt in front of the grocer, twice as long as the van, with three-foot letters that looked like they were drawn in crayon. NO PArKInG. Red paper lanterns hung over the road … Continue reading The police had taped off one side of the street

Local politics lives and dies on two things

2 It was like walking into a convention. The door at the back opened to a busy lecture hall. Stepwise rows of long tables faced the white boards at the front. The folks scattered about the chairs were looking at their phones or talking to each other in hushed voices while the single speaker, a full-figured black woman in a maroon dress suit, pointed to … Continue reading Local politics lives and dies on two things

I saw my first dead body the summer we moved to Atlanta

1 I saw my first dead body the summer we moved to Atlanta. We’d been living in Greenville with my mom’s second husband, who just up and left one day and Mom said there wasn’t any reason for us to stay. Terence. That was his name. Everyone called him “BeeGee,” for Big Goon. That man could eat. I suspect eating big was the only reason … Continue reading I saw my first dead body the summer we moved to Atlanta