I smoked on the threshold of the back porch at the Grove job, next to the pine ice-box, picking plaster grit out of my hair. The ancient box fan muttered along inside. I realized I didn’t notice the smell of the old house anymore, myriad dusts, or pine tang from whatever framing I was blowing off. The painter was singing again, upstairs, in Spanish. I realized I’d started to hate him. There were bugs in the hot yard in October. For no reason. I thought about slinging a walnut at the chattering squirrel, the abandoned sink in the grass, the trash trailer. I smoked instead. The fan on its base with one bad wheel kept its own song. I don’t believe I’ve ever felt so Southern.