Working out with Kevin Healy

by Jamie Iredell

We posted up in this cabin, which reminded me of my own family’s, except this was in a wash in Arroyo Seco—which is what an arroyo is—instead of in Squaw Valley, and this one had no deer’s head on the wall, and wasn’t surrounded by pines, but instead had been hemmed in by coast oaks. Other than that it was the same. This place gave birth to four-wheelers and dirt bikes. They spit out of the back shed in zippers of noise. Kevin Healy dealt rummy, this six-foot-seven, three-hundred-pounder, our left tackle, a scotch drinker. After high school he pissed and puked away a ride on San Jose State’s team. His father had drank and gambled all their lives and card games flicked from Kevin’s fingers like cigarette butts. We swam in the creek and jabbed crawdads with spears of oak. Back in Salinas, before the season, we went to the gym where Kevin spotted, while I pressed for air. “Come on,” Kevin said, his face sweat-pocked and upside-down, a frown, which was actually a smile. “Push,” he urged, “you can make it.”

Jamie Iredell was born on the Central Coast in California, then went to college at the University of Nevada, Reno. He left Reno, after earning his MA in Literature and the Environment, to head east to Atlanta for his PhD in creative writing at Georgia State University. He is the author of When I Moved to Nevada (forthcoming from The Greying Ghost Press). His writing has appeared in many magazines, including The Chattahoochee Review, Zone 3, The Pedestal Magazine, The Literary Review, ISLE, Descant, elimae, and Mud Luscious. He is a founding editor of New South, and is production editor for C&R Press. He has been known to enjoy watching turtles swim in southern creeks.

Back to Issue One: Fall 2008