Excerpt | Blood Orange: Meridian
Meridian was born in Colorado in 1896. His father was a banker and his mother was a woman that liked men that weren’t her husband. It was the thrill, she would say, pushing ample clumps of hair behind her perfect ears just after asking for her husband’s forgiveness, streaks of make-up running from the corners of her eyes all the way down the curve of her face.
Meridian always thought that she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. His father would agree and would kiss her tears away before she fell asleep in his strong arms, thinking about all of the men she had before gliding her slight frame under the covers to press tighter up against his.
They would make love and Meridian would listen.
His father killed himself in 1910. His mother found him slumped between the toilet and bathtub, pieces of brain and skull stuck fast to the tile. Meridian didn’t cry. Neither did his mother. She left later that night with a suitcase full of clothes and Meridian’s father’s brother’s hand clutched tightly in her own, smiling from ear to ear as she waved goodbye to the small town she’d called home for so long.
Truth is, Meridian told her to do it. While she napped on the kitchen counter, he whispered in her ear that it was time for her to go. No one here loved her anymore and it would be best to forget about her life and start new somewhere else.
Meridian told his father to shoot himself in the face before that. The young boy sat his father down and told him to do just that. He said, “Poppa, momma is a whore and she doesn’t love you anymore. She doesn’t love me neither and she told me that you should just die so she can move on and not feel guilty about it. I think you should do it, Poppa. Just take the rifle and put it against your nose. Pull the trigger with your toe. She wants it that way. She told me so.”