“Joe the Indian”

When I was 17, I went with some guys to an Indian’s house. He was a real Native American Indian. His name was Joe. He worked in a plant nursery and lived in a cedar cabin next door to it. There were antlers on the outside of his cabin and weeds in the front. I went there with the guys for pot.

I stepped into his dark living room and into the pictures of his ancestors. There was not much else. Just them, dead ancestors in feathers hanging from his paneled walls. Some artifacts here and there. A recliner and a TV and a lamp.

I asked one of the guys if I could use his bathroom. I didn’t ask Joe. He didn’t seem to know I was there. His bathroom was pink. There was a porno mag on the toilet and I stole it, hid it under my jacket. It didn’t belong there. Joe didn’t belong there.

The guys told on me the next day and said Joe wanted his magazine back. They said if I just returned it he would forgive me, and I wanted his forgiveness. But I had never seen a magazine like that. I saw a video when I was in elementary school at a friend’s house. She was younger than me. She found it under her parent’s bed. I didn’t really know what I was seeing.

I just felt that Joe was better than that. I didn’t know him, but he should’ve been better. He was an Indian.

In our small town in Mississippi, we only had black and white people. We saw all things as black and white. I had never been to a black person’s house, but I had been to Joe’s. My social studies teacher was amazed when a Taiwanese family moved in down the street the next year. Our town was growing up. Pastures were turning into grocery stores and two lanes to six and one stop light became twelve.

I never spoke to Joe. I never saw him again. He just was Joe and I was growing up.

Related Posts
Filter by
Post Page
Featured Fiction New Fiction Ask an Agent Series Interviews (all) Essays/Articles (all) Why I Write
Sort by

“Joey and the Snowman”

Hello? Hi there. My name is Joseph, and I’m calling from the credit investigation office. Can you hear me o
2018-11-05 17:21:39


Ask an Agent Series: Joelle Delbourgo

Joelle Delbourgo is the President at 
2014-10-10 07:43:02


“There is Always So Much”

What we did that summer: we hung around torn-down barns and took photos of each other with that old camera and
2019-08-30 23:41:29


“There is Always So Much”

What we did that summer: we hung around torn-down barns and took photos of each other with that old camera and
2019-07-29 23:33:44


“A Hand for Scale”

I know from experience that there are beetles the size of my palm. The experience: a failed honeymoon in Brazil. Joe
2019-05-24 10:01:07


“A Jack Daniels kind of Bullet”

It would have taken me a million years to kiss all her freckles. They were littered across her skin, poured on her
2019-05-13 09:22:11


Beyond Show Don’t Tell: The Poetic Image in Fiction

A few years ago, I came across a memorable TEDx lecture by Dr. Joe Dispenza titled “Our Three Brains: From Thinking t
2018-01-11 11:45:37


“The Blue Maverick Crew”

Last night the Blue Maverick Crew smashed several windows at Deirdre Schenk’s house and fled to safety through the w
2017-05-18 12:53:51


“Old Light”

This place goes on without him. The streets he walked down, the bars and rooms where he drank and slept, the big top
2017-03-13 10:21:32


Why I Write: DM O’Connor

You ask why I write? For all of it. To keep it going. To remember. To share. To fight injustice. Because
2016-12-15 18:00:24


About Krista Creel

Krista Creel earned her undergraduate degree in creative writing from the University of Memphis and her graduate degree in journalism. She has had short stories, poems and essays published by the Universities of Pennsylvania, Chicago, Arkansas State and Memphis, as well as other independent literary magazines. Greatly influenced by the southern experience and writers, her influences include Flannery O'Connor, Robert Penn Warren and Charles Portis. She currently lives on a hobby farm in rural Tennessee with her husband and two kids.