Study Guide

Light in August Chapter 8

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Chapter 8

  • Christmas gets his suit from its secret hiding place in the barn. He can tell it's been messed with – McEachern has found it.
  • Christmas leaves the house and waits in the road until a car picks him up.
  • In flashback, we learn how Christmas met Bobbie Allen when he was seventeen.
  • One day, while McEachern is in town on business, the pair eats at a diner. McEachern tells Joe he should avoid places like this.
  • Christmas spots a small waitress who has big hands.
  • Christmas goes back to the diner one day on his own. He sees the waitress with big hands again and orders pie and coffee from her but he doesn't have enough money to pay for both. Ashamed, he runs out of the diner.
  • A month later, he goes back to the diner to pay the waitress back the nickel that he owes her. They properly introduce themselves and plan to meet up.
  • The next week, Christmas goes to town to meet the waitress. She tells him (without telling him) that she's on her period so they can't have sex. Christmas doesn't really get it, so he gets embarrassed and runs away.
  • The next Monday he comes back and the two start to have sex. Christmas pays the waitress with money he steals from Mrs. McEachern, and they have sex in the house she shares with a couple called Max and Mame.
  • One night after sex, Christmas tells the waitress that he's partially black; she doesn't believe him.
  • The waitress blows him off for two weeks, and the next time he sees her, he beats her. She tells him that she's a prostitute.
  • Christmas starts smoking and drinking.

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