Girl: Yeah, it is.
Boy: Cancer, right?
Girl: I think so, yeah.
Boy: How old was he anyway?
Girl: Seventy-something, I’m pretty sure.
Boy: Okay then. Normal lifespan.
(A longer pause)
Boy: I guess he’s the ashes now.
Girl: It’s just a matter of time.
Thomas Cochran was raised in Haynesville,
Louisiana. His work includes the novels
Roughnecks (Harcourt) and Running the Dogs
(Farrar, Straus & Giroux). The former was
a National Book Award for Young People’s
Literature nominee. Non-fiction and poetry
have appeared under his name in Oxford
American, Rattle, Gray’s Sporting Journal,
and other publications. He currently lives
with his wife on some acres in rural northwest Arkansas.