“Hey, what you think? Negro, I’m talking to you.”

     Lloyd Baker, the Basket Maker, is shaking my shoulder, leaning into my face with his one-hundred and one proof rum breath jolting me out of my thoughts.

     Mildred, aka Millie, Miller Light, and Mildew, the bartender, laughs as I lurch back from Lloyd’s toxic assault. Mildred tries to get me back in the conversation. “Monroe, Planet Earth to Monroe Collins. Are you still with us, brother?” (more…)