Uncle Sween is a butcher; he's had his own corner store at 5th and Main for 30 years. It's a family tradition for him to have dinner with us once a week. He comes in, takes off his jacket, puts out his cigar, pulls out his chair at the dining table like as if he's in his own house not ours, and says, "Hey, come on, everybody. Let's eat!"
And he sits there, solid and smiling, holding a knife in his right hand and a fork in his left while Mom puts the platter of meat, bowls of vegetables and basket of bread on the table. Dad says a hasty prayer (we're nominal Baptists), then there's a long moment while Uncle Sween looks from one to another of us with his glinty little eyes. A gob of spittle oozes from the corner of his mouth and he begins carving his meat, all the while looking from one to another of us like he's maybe thinking it one of us he's cutting up instead of a piece of Mom's pot roast.