A Sneak Peak of My Book: “A Companion of Fools”
You may remember that I promised to write a book last November. I finished it, even if it was 6 weeks “late.” I don’t write (or read) fiction very much, so this 45,000-word project was a good mental exercise for me.
People have asked what I’m going to do with this book. I don’t know. I am currently in the very slow process of editing it. That, too, is a good mental exercise for me.
Who knows what will happen? But for now, here’s is a rough version of Chapter 1 of my book, titled “A Companion of Fools” (from Proverbs 13:20).
A Companion of Fools — Chapter 1
Nothing had changed in Allendale.
Jamar-Lee walked down the cracked sidewalk. Cigarette butts and Hardee’s bags littered the mostly empty streets. He stooped under the low-hanging branches of an old, thick oak tree. A clump of Spanish moss gently brushed the stocking cap on his head.
At half past eight in the morning, he saw few people, besides the cars driving north or west or east or south. Anywhere, to get out of town. People were heading to work, to the same job that they had for 5 or 10 or 25 years. People were passing through on their way to more important places, like Beaufort or Savannah or Aiken or Orangeburg.
He turned right and headed towards the old gas station, hoping to meet up with other men just like him. Day after day, the men were passively active and actively passive. They sat. They talked. They drank. They smoked. All day.
That’s what they had always done. This routine of active nothingness set the framework for Jamar-Lee’s life, and as everyone knew, nothing changed in Allendale.
Suddenly, a not-so-unfamiliar noise startled him and caught his attention. He looked up at the accelerating sound of a diesel engine. He heard the bus before he saw it, but he knew exactly what it would look like. The bus was all white, with steel bars guarding the tinted windows.
The prison transport bus. A prisoner or two was being moved to another facility.
Jamar-Lee’s heart paused for a moment. He unconsciously stopped breathing, as he wondered about the prisoner on that bus. Did he know him? Or was it a her?
He felt connected to the unknown person on that bus. He was, after all, born in prison.