I tried to get my dad to teach me dominos once during the last months of his life. He was in hospital and listless. I thought it might raise his spirits. When I dumped the shiny pieces out on the bed tray and brightly inquired, “Now what?” he glanced at them and said, “I forget.” That was that. I knew it wasn’t true; he was lucid and had played tourneys in domino capitals like El Campo and Tivoli. He knew dominos.
I read him lengthy snatches of “Huckleberry Finn,” which he didn’t seem to mind. At the end, Huck “lights out for the Territories.” After college I too lit out for paths not taken, but here I am. Texas feels more like a territory than a polity, a place with possibilities that’s also wild and wooly. The official slogan against littering is “Don’t mess with Texas.” You’d best not cut a Texan off in traffic, either. The state is open carry, many motorists drive armed, and gunfire during road rage incidents is trending. It’s getting harder to vote and easier to get shot, like in Huck’s day.
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