Hatred the emotion is of the Devil. Hatred is the taste of blood in your mouth, iron-like but coagulated like warm spoiled milk. Hatred is verdigris on your tongue, that green film one finds on a penny exposed to the elements.
How does it root in the heart of a four-year-old?
The boy remembers it’s rot, feelings of dirt on his soul, animosity at any Asian seen which to him, all were Vietnamese and culprit for his father’s maim.
Youthful ignorance, untaught and uncultivated, conclusions defined in a toddler’s mind, a worldview no farther than the living room floor, in daylight rain coming, his father writhing again in agony as if he were a slug caged in a salt circle poured by war.
It didn’t matter to a three-year boy. Only one thing mattered. Only one thing affected him. His mind hadn’t developed enough to realize that his father Luke was different from everyone else’s dad. The boy only knew that he loved the man and that something violent had wrecked his father’s body leaving him in agony.
In that little section of the world in the deep south surrounded by bayous and swamps, living on the silt plain precipice of a muddy bay named Vermillion, he could not realize his status as less than a chessboard pawn. The political world reserved that monicker for his father contorting in agony on the floor before him, phantom pains of legless nubs gnawing him like salt on a worm.