[The Sound and the Fury and the outage:]
Through the drapes, between the Jell-O football trays, I could see them hitting. They were up on the picture wall, coming to where the ball was and I was looking in the window at them. Luster was hunting in the street next to the phone pole. They picked the ball up and they were hitting. Then they put the ball down and they lined up on the striped grass and the red football men hit and the black-and-white football men hit. Luster came along from the phone pole and I looked through the window while Luster hunted on the sidewalk.
The black-and-white football men hit and ran to where the striped grass ended. Quentin ate a Jell-O football and I could hear him through the window yelling at Father over the noise from the picture wall. He said, “That puts the Ravens up by 22. Your wager was ill-considered, Father.”
I looked through the window at the picture wall. The football men took a rest. A colored girl in black leather underwear sang and danced and stroked her big thighs. I could almost taste the Jell-O footballs.
“Listen at you now,” Luster said to me. “Ain’t you something, 33 years old, moaning like that. No wonder your daddy won’t let you inside. No wonder he don’t give you no Jell-O footballs.”
Then the lights went out on the picture wall and the noise stopped. Someone said “power outage at the stadium.” Mother came into the picture-wall room and asked Father to let me in from the cold and Father said, “The cold won’t hurt Benjy” and Mother sat in the chair where my sister Caddy used to sit and said “He’s a judgment on me.” Father fixed her a toddy in the dark.
“I done looked in there, Benjy,” Luster said. “Get down here in the gutter and help me find my shit before them neighbors find it.”
He was looking for his little bag of white powder. The football men were standing in the dark and looking at the sky. I listened through the window. Father said, “The past is never past, Quentin. No battle is ever won. Victory is an illusion of fools and philosophers.” Quentin said, “I hope you’re not trying to weasel out of your wager, Father.”
The light came back on in the picture wall and the red football men hit. Quentin ate a Jell-O football and jumped out of his chair and said, “Go Ravens.” But he looked sad, like he was thinking of Caddy, who ran away last year with a football man from out West.
The black-and-white football men hit. The red football men fell down. A mob rushed on to the striped grass and millions of tiny papers fell from the sky. Quentin said, “Pay up, Father, for once in your life. Quit being such a deadbeat.”
Luster rolled in the gutter. Inside, Mother sat in her armchair and cried. Father cried, too. He said to Quentin, “How about we go double or nothing on the Flyers game?”
Footnote: Apologies to Faulkner fans for the screwed-up chronology. I got my idiots mixed up.