Twelve weeks later, on my final shift, before I was to leave for the privileged asylum of college and never return, Gene stopped by and removed his head, more ornery than usual.
“Know what I heard?” he growled. “I heard that someone working here is a half-breed.”
“Really?” I replied as casually as possible. “Isn’t that interesting. Here in the Village?”
“That’s right,” said Gene. “I heard it’s someone who looks white, but he’s not.”
“That’s right,” said Gene. “I tell you what.”
Gene told me what, as I’ve already told you, and I was certain he knew that the perpetrator was me, and that he was about to skin me alive when, out of nowhere, his wife, May, appeared. She said, “Did you tell him about the half-a-nigger?”
“Just now,” Gene replied. They kissed, like a cigarette butt and an ashtray. Then May nodded and squinted at me. “You be sure and tell us if’n you see anything suspicious. I swear to God I’ll boil that half-a-nigger in oil and serve him up for dinner.”
Gene put his head back on, and as he and May cackled on, louder and louder, I slipped away, unskinned and unboiled, to resign two hours early and throw up.