This little snippet provides a bit of Beene's history.
His granddaddy had built a rock house into the southern side of a bluff in the treeless misery of the southeastern Colorado desert, near the town of Lamar and within sight of the notable natural attractions of a place called Two Buttes. Two Buttes was two buttes sitting off by themselves as curious erections in the middle of nowhere, so close to Kansas that the righteous odor of Creationism wafted sour and slow-witted up to the rock house whenever the wind changed. When they’d moved from east Texas to Lamar, Beene’s daddy shoved a doublewide alongside the rock house and opened up a hole for a door between the old house and the new. Beene spent the last years of his adolescence passing each morning, each night from the leavings of one generation to another, from rocks to tin walls and large-looped carpet the color of pea soup. Thing about it was, the old rock house stayed warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The tin house, balanced on cinder blocks, stayed hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Beene thought often about the whole thing, about the rock house being cut open to accommodate passage to the new doublewide, its tin walls with seams that whistled when the wind blew. Thought there was something wrong with the skin-thin rickety new butting-up against the solid old of the home place. Thought his grandpa had probably turned a bit in his grave with it all. Wondered, too, why his daddy’d left the home place in Lamar and gone off to Texas in the first place. Didn’t make much sense, till his daddy’d told him he and his own daddy had had a falling out, a misunderstanding of sorts. Why that was enough to cause his daddy to head to Texas, Beene had no idea. If Lamar was hell, Texas had been the devil’s kitchen.
Beene trudged his days as a boy. Up before the sun, he’d muck the stalls where Flapjack and Lucille nudged his shoulder with their heads, flapped their lips and stared at him with eyes large with want or love or just smarts that critters seem to take for granted and people had just lost somewhere along the way. He’d place his palms on either side of their heads, move his lips close to their muzzles, a prayer of sorts, and tell them he’d return, he’d be back. Then he’d whisper to them, repeating what his mama had said to him when he was put to bed as a child: “You make the sun shine and the flowers bloom, the rain sweet and the world complete.” He loved the horses, no two ways about it. Scooped hay, a little alfalfa into the stalls, then filled the water troughs, hooked a bucket, a quarter full of sweet grain, where they could get to it. He’d move on to the pigs. Just two. His daddy would eventually butcher them both, then replace them, wait a while, then cut the new ones up. Beene would always have an excuse to be off somewhere, atop Lucille, far from the homeplace, when his daddy’d start sharpening that pig knife.
The sun would peek over the eastern horizon by the time Beene checked his mama’s chickens, grabbing eggs, throwing feed. Then he’d eat some toast, eggs, drink a little coffee, grab his books and stand out on the no name county road and wait for the yellow bus to pick him up.