A Storyby Justin Taylor
Tashtego, Alabama, is about halfway between Tuscaloosa and Mobile. The closest sizable town to us is actually Meridian, but I make it a point to stay the hell out of Mississippi. I’ve been living here for a while now, but my little brother, Benny, is a lawyer in Tallahassee, Florida. He’s even got a beach house on the panhandle in Carabelle. The drive down is six hours, give or take. You can do it in less if you take 43 to I-10 and don’t stop to eat, but I prefer the smaller roads and the slower pace. If you were of a certain mind-set, say my ex-wife’s, you might extrapolate a whole psychological profile from that last sentence.
Needless to say, perhaps, I am not a lawyer. I am the guy people always said was “smart enough, but.” And everyone had their own ideas about how to fill in that blank. My mother, for example, is full of ideas. Anyway, for as different as my brother and me are, we have always been close. When Benny got his beach house I was proud of him, maybe even more than on the day he got married. Wives are one thing, I told him, but a mortgage is a profound commitment.