Lawd Today is the story of one day in the life of Jake Jackson, detailing his daily routine from dawn into the early hours of the next morning. The story is cyclical, opening and closing in the Jackson apartment with conflict between husband and wife. Jake’s day is periodically interrupted by radio broadcasts celebrating the annual holiday for the birthday of Abraham Lincoln, February 12.
The story is divided into three sections of descending length. The first and longest section, “Commonplace,” describes Jake’s morning from his waking until he goes to work. Angry at being awakened by the radio from a dream involving the climbing of an endless stairway, Jake picks a fight with his wife Lil over her chatting with the milkman and her doctor bills. After he beats Lil into submission, Jake dresses himself and reads the paper, making bigoted comments on contemporary world events. Jake admires the power of Adolf Hitler and of gangsters, empathizes with the misfortunes of millionaires, and criticizes communists, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Albert Einstein.
Leaving the house, Jake begins his busy morning by sorting through the mail, showing his interest in farfetched money-making schemes and patent medicines. He loses two dollars playing a popular lottery game at the Black Gold Policy Wheel when he bets three “sure win” symbols from his dream. Then, after admiring a picture of a blonde girl on an adventure film poster, he...
(The entire section is 564 words.)