Monday, 25 August 2008

25 August 2008

live with big Rosey but she threw me out last night. I’m gonna get my truck and sleep in it to-night.” Guitars tinkled. Bea and I gazed at the stars together and kissed. “Manana,” she said, “everything’ll be allright tomorrow, don’t you think Jackie-honey man?” “Sure baby, manana.” It was always manana. For the next week that was all I heard, Manana, a lovely word and one that probably means heaven. Little Raymond jumped in bedclothes and all and went to sleep; sand spilled out of his shoes, Madera sand. Bea and I got up in the middle of the night and brushed the sand off the sheets. In the morning I got up, washed and took a walk around the place. We were five miles out of Selma in the cotton fields and grape vineyards. I asked the big fat woman who owned the camp if any of the tents were vacant. The cheapest one, a dollar a day, was vacant. Bea and I scraped up a dollar and moved into it. There was a bed, a stove and a cracked mirror hanging from a pole; it was delightful. I had to stoop to get in, and when I did there was my baby and my baby-boy. We waited for Freddy and Ponzo to arrive with the truck. They arrived with beer bottles and started to get drunk in the tent. “How about the manure?” “Too late today----tomorrow man we make a lot of money, today we have a few beers. What do you say, beer?” I didn’t have to be prodded. “Dah you go---DAH YOU GO!” yelled Freddy. I began to see that our plans for making money with the manure truck would never materialize. The truck was parked outside the tent. It smelled like Ponzo. That night Bea and I went to sleep in the sweet night air beneath our dewy tent and made sweet old love. I was just getting ready to sleep when she said “You want to love me now?” I said “What about Raymond.” “He don’t mind. He’s asleep.” But Raymond wasn’t asleep and he said nothing. The boys came back the next day with the manure truck and drove off to find whiskey; they came back and had a big time in the tent. That night Ponzo said it was too cold and slept on the ground in our tent wrapped in a big tarpaulin smelling of cowflaps. Bea hated him; she said he hung around her brother in order to get close to her. Nothing was going to happen except starvation for Bea and me, so in the morning I walked around the countryside asking for cottonpicking

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