Section from my novel Jeremiah:

When my arms feel warm I start to sense how the muscles are moving, and soon it changes to pain, but I keep working. When my arms hurt like this I think about buying a tractor. An especially frozen hunk of grass, clay speckled black only breaks in half when I strike, and the sound it makes more clack than thunk. The steel tip of my new tool now has a dent. A chipped piece of dirty fool’s flint is almost grinning at me, like a broken heart in the pulverized chest of this dying patch of hard garden dirt. I hit it again. And again. I think about how this would be easier if there was no other way, no imaginary rear tine tiller churning through the rubble before me, or hoisted up on the vibrant throne of a red tractor roaring below looking down through clouds of dust and exhaust. I am going to finish. I think. No matter who or what believes there was an easier way.

Every time my hands hurt, I think about quitting.


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