Tim Sandlin: Skipped Parts

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Tim Sandlin Skipped Parts
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Skipped Parts: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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Newly arrived in the backwater town of GroVont, Wyoming, teenager Sam Callahan is initiated into adulthood when he embarks on a period of intense sexual experimentation with sassy, smart Maurey Pierce.

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Copyright © 1991 by Tim Sandlin

Cover and internal design © 2010 by Sourcebooks, Inc.

Cover design by Jessie Sayward Bright

Cover images © Luis Alvarez/Getty Images

Sourcebooks and the colophon are registered trademarks of Sourcebooks, Inc.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems—except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews—without permission in writing from its publisher, Sourcebooks, Inc.

The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious or are used fictitiously. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.

All brand names and product names used in this book are trademarks, registered trademarks, or trade names of their respective holders. Sourcebooks, Inc., is not associated with any product or vendor in this book.

Published by Sourcebooks Landmark, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc.

P.O. Box 4410, Naperville, Illinois 60567-4410

(630) 961-3900

Fax: (630) 961-2168


Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Sandlin, Tim.

Skipped parts / Tim Sandlin.

p. cm.

1. Teenage boys—Fiction. 2. Divorced mothers—Fiction. 3. Mothers and sons—Fiction. 4. Teenage girls—Fiction. 5. Teenagers—Sexual behavior—Fiction. 6. Adolescence—Fiction. 7. Maturation (Psychology)—Fiction. 8. City and town life—Wyoming—Fiction. I. Title.

PS3569.A517S55 2010




For Carol and Kyle,

Marian, my editor and friend,

and Sally, my sister


I couldn’t live the way I do without a lot of humoring from the people of Jackson, Wyoming, especially Michael Sellett who owns the Jackson Hole News where I work, and the employees of Jedidiah’s Original House of Sourdough, the Valley Bookstore, and the Teton County Library who keep me fed and pointed in the right direction. None of the beauty of life in paradise would mean squat without friends like Lisa Bolton, Lisa Flood, Pam Stecki, Hannah Hinchman, Shelley Rubrecht, and Teri Krumdic. Tina Welling read the manuscript and helped immensely.

Although I never met them, Ed Abbey and John Nichols showed me there is no excuse for not living where you want to live or doing what you want to do—a good lesson to learn while you’re still young.


We were as twinned lambs that did frisk i’ the sun And bleat the one at the other. What we changed Was innocence for innocence.

—Polixenes, King of the Bohemians The Winter’s Tale

The two grey kits,

And the grey kits’ mother

All went over

The bridge together

The bridge broke down

They all fell in

May the rats go with you

Says Tom Bolin.

—Nursery Rhyme


I remember being way out in right field and my nose hurt. Hurt like king-hell, as if my sinuses were full of chlorine. Now I know that when anyone moves from the South to Wyoming, their nose always hurts like king-hell for two weeks. Has something to do with the humidity, I guess, or the altitude.

But at the time, standing out there in right field pretending to spit in my glove so I could hide my right hand as it pinched my nostrils, I thought Lydia and I were the first Southerners ever lost in Wyoming. I also thought the nose pain meant I had leukemia and would die soon.

“Sam, Sam, can you hear me?”

Sam’s eyes fluttered in weak recognition of his grandfather’s presence.

“Sam, I’m so sorry you’re dying of leukemia, I’m sorry I shipped you and your mom out to the Wilderness when you needed to be home the most.”

Sam tried to raise his hand. It was a noble effort.

“Sam, this is your grandfather, can you forgive me before you die?”

The poor boy’s lips worked, he made the supreme effort, but no words of forgiveness would escape his mouth. Slowly, painfully, he smiled.


Back then I often had recurring daydreams of people being sorry when I died.

Out in right field, I was keenly aware that people were watching me. Where they watched from, I wasn’t certain, but I always know when I’m being watched. It makes my butt itch. I have a feeling this deal goes back to the second grade when Lydia told me not to scratch in public because someone was always watching. Lydia’s the kind of mother who would do that to a kid.

Since I couldn’t scratch where it itched and my nose hurt like king-hell, I stood out there in right field kind of twitching. I hunched my right shoulder up to rub my ear, then blinked my eyes hard, trying to scratch my sinuses from the inside. I raised up on my toes and tensed my butt cheeks. That didn’t help at all, made me feel more watched.

The trouble, of course, was social alienation. I’d always played baseball with gas company conduits behind third base and the Caspar Callahan Carbon Paper plant twenty yards off the first-base foul pole. Now, nothing lay behind third base, only the bare valley floor stretching forever to a line of green along a river, then another forever before the Tetons jumped up two dimensional in the background.

The openness got me. There are no treeless spots in North Carolina—unless someone’s fought like king-hell to make them that way. Here, I could see a tree up by the school and a few scraggly little willows we’d call weeds marked the home run fence behind me, but other than that—zip. Zappo. Nothing. I was lost in limbo where the unbaptized babies go when they die.

Off the first-base line was almost as bad. A bunch of rural, shrieking types played pathetic volleyball. They all had their hands over their heads like apes. I could see pit stains from thirty yards. If the wind changed, I’d be in big trouble.

The batter swung wide and missed by a foot. He was tall and gangly. One thing I had to admit about Wyoming, even in the midst of my bad attitude, the kids might be ugly but hardly any of them were fat. Maybe a girl or two, and they were more muscled broad than fat. I spit in my glove again. Somewhere along the line I’d decided spit was good for leather and not to be wasted.

The kid batter swung again and again missed by a mile.

“Sam, you’ve only been gone from Greensboro a short time, yet you’ve returned with the demeanor of a cowboy.”

Sam tipped his wide-brimmed hat. “Yup.”

“You seem so much taller and more enigmatic.”


Caspar had banished us before—that’s what he did when Lydia pulled one of her classic boners. But that was to Maine or Georgia Sea Island and summertime. This was a mockery. Mars. The inside of a vacuum cleaner bag.

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