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Peg It

Waiting on my stepbrother Tad to give Nate and me a lift to Shazada Records in downtown Charlotte. It’s October — the leaves have dropped and the yard has settled down.

Tad liked to stay up all night red-eyeing old Westerns, scratching his feet and drinking iced tea. He wore Kool Moe Dee sun dimmers and loved “Scorpio” as much as he loved Rush. Tad possessed the kind of not-all-thereness that made one grateful for seatbelts but more importantly, could get one to Shazada Records in outlaw time.

A ’69 Camaro finally rumbles up in gamecock burgundy, a mother’s nightmare with fat tree-swing tires and twin-exhaust backtalk. You imagine this car leading an all-county chase through someone’s crops, corn shocks flying into the air and picking off birds while nylon husks slap at the windows.

There’s a bunch of shit in the front seat, so we hop in the back and nearly land on a homemade machine gun tangled in speaker wire. “Safety’s on,” Tad says. The soldered barrel is cool under my legs. The business end is mugged by an oily dishrag and the butt’s wrapped in silver duct tape. Nate says, “Peg it.” Tad nods, puts in a tape and stomps the gas. The speakers sneeze into the back of my head. Ahh, Scorpio. Nate points at the volume knob, popped off in Tad’s hand. Jumper cables are on the floor grinning like baby gators. How can he see through all that aphid smear? And I can’t seem to get control of my seatbelt, dadgummit. Tad thinks I say, “Tad, gun it” and slaps the speedo past 80. Windows vanish. Rearview mirror, full of sun dimmers. Nate, laughing in the clear.

All quotes taken from interviews, with exception of the Cylons



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