Through Cash's description of making his mother's coffin, the reader can tell that he is very meticulous and also has a difficult time dealing with her death. Instead of engaging directly with his emotions, Cash prefers to detail the reasons that he produced the coffin the way he did:
I made it on the bevel.
1. There is more surface for the nails to grip.
2. There is twice the gripping-surface to each seam.
3. The water will have to seep into it on a slant. Water moves easiest up and down or straight across.
4. In a house people are upright two thirds of the time. So the seams and joints are made up-and-down. Because the stress is up-and-down.
5. In a bed where people lie down all the time, the joints...
(The entire section contains 362 words.)