as part of our New Orleans Special Issue.
The Dead Man
by Adam Gnuse
There wasn’t all too much left of the dead man besides the bones and what must have been his belt buckle. His skull was still intact, but one of his arms was broken and he was missing most of his fingers and toes. He lay underneath one of the large, draping branches of the trees surrounding the sandpit, right outside the clearing we used. Even with the corpse lying in the shadows, it was a perfect hangout; on the river side of the levee, in the batture by the water’s edge, we were free from any adults trying to assert their authority over us. Besides, we had grown to like the dead man and had begun to treat him like he was one of us. We avoided pissing on him and sometimes, we would even pretend to hold conversations with him. We would tell him jokes, ask if he “boned” any girls lately, or maybe just pass him a joe.
Once, after a few hits and beers, a girl and I were …