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My Papaw Short Story

Decent Essays
My papaw, Fred, has always played a role of being easy going and simple. He’s about six foot, has wire glasses, wears khaki Carhart overalls everyday and when you stand close enough, his afternoon smoke will put your senses on overdrive. He drives a small, bright red pickup truck, along with every other man in Kingsport, that you can almost taste the gasoline when it passed. He moved to Kingsport, Tennessee when he left the air force, and was only twenty-one at the time. He had very little to his name, but had hopes higher than all the stars on a clear, country night. There was one thing that my papaw was sure to have with him at all times, and that was a cigarette. If he has his cigarettes then he knows that someone will have a lighter. His addiction isn’t healthy, but it relieves his stress. With his cigarette, he carries PTSD and shaky hands. My family used to give him a hard time until we saw him go without one. He dreams of jets taking off over his head and the roaring engines leaving him deaf in one ear. His slightly discolored fingertips shake with anxiety at the thought of ever being on another plane. He can name every part, what it does, and exactly how the engine works. He recites it as if he is staring straight at one, the memories absorbed into his mind like a paper towel soaking up spilled water. When he sees a plane fly over, I see his yellow stained fingers reach for another. My papaw says he is a simple man, but he is far from it. His billfold hangs out
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