It’s been a while. The excerpt below took me back 20 years. Crossroads with Ralph Macchio was one a few movies my to-be-hubs loved back in high school. The music. The blues. It really spoke to him. Libba Bray brought it all back in The Diviners.
Blind Bill Johnson sat in the corner nursing the cup of soup Reggie had been kind enough to give him. The soup was thin but warm, and he had eaten it slowly while the scene at the counter unfolded. Now, his soup finished, he lifted his guitar onto his back with a grunt and tapped his cane out into the streets of Harlem. The air was scented with coming rain. He didn’t like rain. It reminded him of Louisiana, back when he was a sharecropper’s son with two good eyes, picking cotton all day, and the rain would about drown a man just trying to make his quota. It reminded him of the day the owner, Mr. Smith, hit him with a strap for playing guitar instead of picking cotton, and how later, the man’s half of the crops failed–browned to wisps–and they found Mr. Smith’s bloated body in the river, swelled up like a bag of rice gone bad with rot, and the whispers went around that Bill Johnson wasn’t a man to be trusted, that there was something of the Mabouya about him. That he’d stood at the crossroads at midnight and cursed at Papa Legba. That he’d spit upon the cross. That he’d sold his soul to the Devil.