Boy, the Sikh said breathlessly. He was sputtering like the intercom above him. Boy
Lowboy got down on his knees next to the Sikh. Sacrifice makes sense, he said. Would you agree with that?
The Sikh flashed his teeth and made thin meaningless noises and brought his hands together at his throat.
Youre worried about me, Lowboy said. He shook his head. Dont worry about me, Doctor. Worry about the world.
The Sikh slid gradually backward until his head came to rest against the graphite-colored crease between the doors. His eyes transcribed a lazy mournful circle. His turban sat next to his elbow like an ornamental basket, still immaculately wrapped and cinched and folded. So thats how they do it, Lowboy said to himself. They put it on and take it off just like a hat.
Boy, the Sikh said again, forcing the word out with his tongue. It seemed to be the only word he knew.
Lowboy bent down and took hold of the Sikhs jacket. He could feel the little footballs grind together under his fingers. Its all right, Grandfather, he said. Ive got something in mind.
Excerpted from Lowboy by John Wray, published in March 2009 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. Copyright © 2009 by John Wray. All rights reserved.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
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