Soon One Morning
I don’t even know if Mr. Sweet’s peaches taste as good as
everybody think they do, but kids been sneaking into Mr. Sweet’s
backyard for years. My Mama say no. Say Mr. Sweet’s peaches small
and hard and we just want to be messing with a old white man cause we
devilish and prejudiced and want to cause trouble. They taste alright
to me but Mr. Sweet will shoot at you in a heartbeat. And shout at you
while he doing it.
Mr. Sweet don’t be playing, but I can say I ain’t never took
no bullet from him. I know how to dip and dodge. And he look kinda foolish
when you running away from him, yelling and shaking his rifle. So he don’t
scare me none. Until today.
Today was the third time me and Shaneta done came out here. When I had
got caught in the park with my last girlfriend and then she and me broke
up, I thought about Mr. Sweet’s place. Someplace brand new so couldn’t
no other girl tell Shaneta she been there with me before. Mr. Sweet got
five acres, right by the county line. It’s a big place. If you on
one side of his property, underneath some trees, he can’t see shit.
Or he ain’t supposed to. I guess me and Shaneta got careless. Mr.
Sweet snuck up on us. I won’t even finished yet, but I’m pretty
sure Shaneta was.
Now here I am on a Friday afternoon. Trespassing. I hop on one leg and
look down the two holes of Mr. Sweet’s shotgun. Try to pull up my
pants without falling over beside Shaneta where she laying at in the grass.
I don’t have a lot of time to think, but I do some of what my English
teacher at school calls philosophizing anyway. I ask myself why me. Why
do I got to be the one to find out three to five minutes too late that
Mr. Sweet truly is a insane motherfucker.
"Baybay, you just stubborn. Head just too hard," Mama say to
me all the time. "And you know what they say—a hard head make
a soft behind."
In other words, I don’t be paying attention to the signs right in
front of me and back away in the middle of a bad situation before it get
worse. I just laugh at Mama when she say that cause she love me and everybody
know it. I’m Mama’s baby boy. That’s how come they call
me Baybay instead of David. I ain’t got much ass, and what there
is of it is bony, so I’m hoping my head ain’t as hard as Mama
say it is.
"If you had found the Lord by now, you could stay out of trouble."
Mama usually say, too.
She say if a man—that’s me—can’t think for himself,
the Lord will do it for him. Cause ain’t nobody else trying to help
him out except for some empty-headed, foolish woman he don’t need
no how, so that don’t count. I guess Mama talking about a woman
like Shaneta cause Shaneta don’t seem to have no sense right now.
She ain’t moving after we get caught by Mr. Sweet. She just laying
there, naked, on the ground like Mr. Sweet ain’t there. Eyes closed.
Shaneta ain’t that beautiful, but she fine. She got body for days,
like a grown lady instead of a girl. The face just alright but Shaneta
definitely got some pretty titties. Chocolate nipples. And Mr. Sweet so
old with his glasses down on the tip of his nose, I know he ain’t
had none in a long time. A long, long time. I feel sorry for him, though
Shaneta is giving Mr. Sweet plenty opportunity to stare, not even trying
to cover herself down there with her hands. Even in this crisis situation.
I guess she figuring if she keep her eyes closed, Mr. Sweet might disappear.
What ails this girl? Don’t she know you do not rile up a white man
when he already mad? Don’t she know that a white man just looking
to shoot somebody prowling around on his property? Especially two black
somebodies getting busy and reminding Mr. Sweet of what he ain’t
had since Hector was a pup. And Mr. Sweet ain’t never gone have
it now that he broke down and old and can’t do it no more.
He got to be crazy. Living here cross the railroad tracks, but then don’t
want none of us up in his peach trees. Just want the birds and the squirrels
and whatever else be crawling round here to eat the peaches. Or letting
them go rotten. Just wasting them. If I owned this many peach trees, I’d
have me a big fair every year. I’d let in kids and old folk and
whoever else want to come in. It’d be famous. It’d be called
"Baybay’s Peach Day."
The least Shaneta could do is try one of them diversionary tactics like
hijackers or bank robbers do in the movies. This would give me a chance
to run away or at least find out if Mr. Sweet load with real bullets or
buckshot. He wouldn’t shoot a girl, I don’t think.
Mr. Sweet turn around and walk and I don’t know why but I don’t
care. I’m just thinking I can make a break for it. I don’t
want to leave Shaneta, though. She still laying there with her eyes closed.
I’m trying to give her a sign that we need to run but then Mr. Sweet
come back without the shotgun. I look over and it’s there on the
ground a little piece away from us.
"Young lady, may I suggest that you put some clothes on? Don’t
you got no shame? I know your Mama and you can best believe I’m
gone be making a phone call."
Shaneta jump quick then. Her head down while she hunt around for her stuff.
Shaneta’s Mama work down at the Social Security office. Mr. Sweet
so old, I guess he been down there getting his checks and food stamps
and government cheese. Maybe Mrs. Jackson keep a picture of Shaneta on
I feel sorry for Shaneta but I keep hopping up and down, trying to get
my pants on. My balls slapping in the wind cause I don’t know what
happened to my drawers. They out here somewhere.
It’s not like every brother in school been wanting to get some of
Shaneta even with that body of hers. She kind of a nerd, she ain’t
popular or nothing like that and to be honest, I won’t sure I wanted
nobody to know I was checking for her. So I laid in the cut for months,
almost right till summertime. I didn’t tell none of my boys, not
even Nunkie, my ace boon coon, that I had plans for Shaneta. I didn’t
want nobody in my business because I won’t gone mess up a chance
at some good—and if the rumors was true—untested pussy over
Nunkie flapping his jaws and selling wolf tickets. Nunkie my partner but
the nigger can’t keep his mouth closed for nothing. But you know,
he my boy and we been together since piss pants days, so I got to stay
strong with him.
The usual would have been for me to roll up on Shaneta, give her that
full court pressure. Tell her how good she look—you always got to
tell a sister she pretty even it ain’t exactly true—wait for
her after classes by her locker or come to them tired after school debates,
the only sister on the team with the rest of those whiteys. Not that I
don’t like me some smart girls. You got to talk about something
after you put your clothes back on. But the debating team? That’s
just plain corny. I knew the brothers was looking at me to see who I was
gone step to next because I must say, I’m the one to get some. I’m
honest with myself: Other than pretty teeth I’m not that good-looking
but I do get me some on the regular.
It’s a science to it. First, you got to listen to women. I mean,
the women in your family. No, scratch that. First, you got to love your
women because if you don’t love them, no need in taking they advice.
But you can’t be listening to women and looking up in they mouths
and trying to get them to tell you women’s private business voluntarily.
Cause that ain’t gone happen. Women keep it close to the vest. That’s
why most of the time, brothers chase women instead of vice versa. And
my Mama, she saved, go to church. I mean, all the damned time. And I know
she won’t creeping back in the day. Not hardly, not my Mama. So
she ain’t got much to tell.
I’m used to being around my Mama. My Daddy still alive, but Mama
and him, they don’t live together no more even though they still
married. Just don’t like to be up underneath each other, I guess.
He live up the street from us. He come over to the house and she cook
for him. Sometime, he spend the night. He tell me what to do cause I’m
the only one at home. I got sisters from Daddy’s first wife, but
I’m what you call a surprise baby with Mama and him. I go up to
his house and stay any time I want and I’m the one got to cut his
grass. We take family pictures with him every year at the Kmart. Every
once in a while him and Mama go to church down to Red Mound, but Daddy
go to First Baptist most of the time. He be over here for Sunday dinner,
Anyway, Mama kept me with her, taught me how to do for myself when I was
a little boy. How to wash dishes, wash clothes, vacuum. Stuff like that.
Never did want to learn how to cook, though. And now I’m glad, cause
when I be trying to get with a girl, she want to cook for me. That’s
the first thing girls do when they try to get you. They try to hold off
giving you the panties, but they want to cook you a cake, sometimes even
fry you a chicken. If I could cook, I’d be saying to myself, "Damn,
this shit taste nasty. I can do better." But no matter how bad it
taste, I know I can’t.
When my Mama’s friends came over, I learned how to keep quiet cause
every woman ain’t as sanctified as Mama is. And they would talk
and talk. Talk about men. Sometimes, they get deep and nasty with it.
Mama send me out the room, but I got good ears. I listened from around
the corner. Mama be telling them they need to be shamed of theyselves
and look to Jesus. But she be laughing with them, too. Judge not lest
ye be judged.
I found out what ladies like, how they like men to treat them. Love them,
too. What they can’t stand, which is a lot—women kind of demanding—but
most brothers don’t be paying attention. I do.
With Shaneta, I didn’t push up. I switched up my game and I didn’t
do nothing. Just stayed quiet. Avoided the after school debates. She started
watching me every day cause I would be around her a few feet back. Just
enough for her to notice but not too close. She look at me when she think
I won’t looking, like, what was wrong with me and did I like her
or not. We didn’t have no classes together, but that didn’t
mean I didn’t bump into her. I would wave at her and smile when
she catch me watching across the cafeteria so she could see how good my
teeth look, like I won’t stressed about it. Them titties of hers
was calling my name. I give her the nod and give her the smile. One day,
she just walked across the cafeteria and sat down beside me. Then Nunkie,
his nosy self, started asking me about her and I tell him me and Shaneta
just friends and she helping me with my homework. I just kept saying that
until summertime roll around.
I’m gone tell you why I stepped to Shaneta even though she ain’t
I got tired of them pretty chicks. A pretty chick is stuck up and siddity
and just generally get on your last nerve. You be begging her and begging
her and she know she want to, but got to make it a game. And it don’t
even be that good when you finally get it cause she too worried about
getting funky and sweaty and her hair going back. And then, when you want
to settle down and be boyfriend and girlfriend, still that don’t
make her happy cause she be looking in the mirror every day and falling
in and out of love with what she see instead of paying attention to you.
Like this sister I was with right before Shaneta. Cynthia Thorpe. The
one I got caught in the park with by the security guards. Most brothers
wouldn’t tell you this, but that girl had my nose wide open. I was
crazy about that girl.
She was a redbone. Had that light skin get bruised real easy, that long
good hair down her back. Cat eyes. She came from a little money, too.
Her Daddy was a supervisor at the GM plant. It took me six months to get
some of Cynthia. Seem like the only word I knew was, "Please."
Had me sounding like a James Brown song. The one thing I can say is, Cynthia
won’t afraid of sweating cause her hair didn’t get nappy,
but she never would get undressed for me. Just pulled down her jeans to
her knees. And then I had to slide her panties to the side and get to
it like that and Cynthia be whispering, "Hurry up, Baybay, hurry
up!" Like we was in a race. We couldn’t even lay around after;
she always wanted me to take her right home. But for a while, it didn’t
matter cause I sure enough loved to put my hand up in that good hair.
I’m trying to tell you, that girl had me like that.
I even took her home to meet my Mama and Daddy. Mama cooked dinner one
Sunday after service—Cynthia was AME Methodist so she couldn’t
go with us to church down to Red Mound. Mama had put out this spread.
Fried porkchops, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, biscuits and
cornbread. Sweet potato pie. Like it was a holiday. Mama won’t admit
it, but she a little color struck. She was impressed with Cynthia cause
the girl was pretty, but then Cynthia had the nerve to turn up her nose
at what was on her plate.
"Excuse me, Mrs. James, but I don’t eat pork. Can I just have
a salad and a drink of water?"
I’m asking you, what kind of person in they right mind don’t
eat fried porkchops? I’m looking over at Daddy and he don’t
say nothing, just looked down at his plate cutting his meat into tiny
pieces. Then I took one look at Mama’s face and I knew this girl
won’t coming back to our house no more. And after we got caught
in the park that was the end of Cynthia Thorpe.
Mama had started calling her Jezebel behind her back.
Saturday, Mama make
me go down to Mr. Sweet’s house. I don’t want to, but Mama
say she gone tell Daddy about what happened if I don’t. I guess
Mr. Sweet know everybody on this side of town cause Mama was waiting for
me Friday when I got back from dropping off Shaneta.
"Baybay, I just got a phone call from Mr. Sweet live down the road.
He say you been over there messing in his peach trees. Is that true?"
"Well . . ." Mama hold up her hand.
"Never mind. I know you. Baybay, you just won’t do right, will
you? I be praying over you and praying over you but it just don’t
look like it do no good."
"Aw, Mama. I’m trying. God knows I am."
"Boy! Edgar Sweet find you naked as a jaybird in whistling time on
top of that Jackson girl and now you gone take the Lord’s name in
vain? And here I thought Shaneta was a good girl. She ain’t much
to look at but she did have some manners. Better than that red heifer
you brought up in here last time."
"Shaneta is a good girl. Mama, you know how it is . . ."
This the worst part about getting caught. I’d rather get my ass
beat and be done with it.
"Baybay, I’m telling you right now, I ain’t raising no
more children. You hear me? I’m too old. You get one these fast
girls pregnant, you on your own, boy. You better hear me now." She
sit down on the couch heavy and move around on the plastic and sigh a
couple more times. Like I just put a newborn baby right into her hands
then and there.
"Don’t be coming to me with no by-blows."
"Mama." She hold up her hand again.
"I’m through with it. Go on in there and fix yourself a plate.
I know you hungry. Chasing behind sin and damnation bound to make you
She start laughing at me then. That is definitely worse than a beating.
Mama laughing at me like when her friends over and they send me out the
When I knock on Mr. Sweet’s door, he look at me over the top of
his glasses. I feel embarrassed for him, not for myself, cause his glasses
is dirty, speckled like a windshield on a car after birds had a party,
but I’m scared to tell him he need to wipe them off. He need to
run them under some water or do something.
"David James, may I help you? I ain’t think to see you so soon,
not after your especially disgraceful behavior." Mr. Sweet try to
use them big words like white people but he sound like one of us.
"Yes, sir. I’m sorry. It’s just my Mama, she say, she
say . . ." Mama sure do know how to give out a punishment.
"Make it snappy, young man. I got me a very busy day today full of
Mr. Sweet standing there in overalls with a white T-shirt on underneath.
He ain’t dressed for town and don’t got on no shoes neither.
He got some gray hairs peeking out the top of the bib and I know he got
no place to go today, but I don’t say so.
I had asked Mama how long Mr. Sweet been living with the wrong folk on
the wrong side of town. She started to sighing like she do, so I hurried
up and move the conversation along before she start quoting scripture
"How come he live over here with us? Don’t he got no people
of his own?"
Mama told me that Mr. Sweet was married to this black lady, Miss Ioka.
Only, fifty years ago, there was laws against it in Georgia, so he and
Miss Ioka just started shacking. Mama usually would call that living in
sin and say God mad but she say it don’t count for Mr. Sweet and
Miss Ioka cause they had a ceremony at Red Mound one night at two o’clock
in the morning so his family couldn’t bust in and have him locked
up down to Milledgeville with the rest of the crazy people. Mama said
they was married in front of God and twenty other folk but Mr. Sweet and
Miss Ioka couldn’t go down to the courthouse and make it official.
His family told him, if he wanted to sleep with Miss Ioka that was fine
but don’t let nobody know and don’t be trying to bring her
up in they house by the front door, neither. But Mama said it was too
late by then cause everybody on our side of town knew Mr. Sweet and Miss
Ioka had had two kids before they even went down to Red Mound.
Then, after they moved in together, they had four more kids and three
more stillbirths and Mr. Sweet stayed with Miss Ioka till the day she
died and he still wearing a wedding band. And once in a while, I see him
at the Piggly Wiggly with his great-grandkids in his buggy. Little black
kids. Singing to them. And tickling them. But most times, he just be by
Mama said Mr. Sweet had wanted to build a house with his bare hands for
Miss Ioka. And since Miss Ioka said she be damned if she was gone pretend
she was Mr. Sweet’s maid for the rest of her life like she had been
doing and wear a apron when company come, he built it over here with the
rest of us.
"Them Ioka’s peach trees y’all kids always be sneaking
around in," Mama said. "She planted them when Mr. Sweet and
her got married. A dead woman’s peach trees. That would bother me
to be roaming around in there, but I guess young folk ain’t scared
I hold out the bushel basket Mama had gave me to Mr. Sweet. "Mama
wonder if you want to come to dinner after church on Sunday. She say,
if you give her some of them delicious peaches you got growing out there
in Miss Ioka’s orchard, she make you a cobbler."
Mama ain’t said "delicious," but I thought I would put
that in there. I smile at Mr. Sweet. I know maybe a dude’s smile
don’t work the same on another dude, especially a old white one,
but I try anyway.
"Sure enough?" Mr. Sweet look all happy.
I keep holding out the bushel basket.
"Well! David, please tell Miss Cloletha that I would be delighted
and honored to come to dinner with her and Mr. Bo. I guess you gone be
there, too?" Mr. Sweet bounce on his bare feet. "Why don’t
you go down there and find some peaches. Take the best ones you see. You
seem to know my land real well." Mr. Sweet cough a couple of times
and take off his glasses and look at them for a while. I think he forgot
me, but then he say, "Go on now, boy," and wave his hand.
I ain’t never been out here by myself, just with Shaneta. I wonder
if Miss Ioka’s ghost round here, too. Had she been looking at me
and Shaneta yesterday? And then Shaneta flaunting herself in front of
Mr. Sweet? I don’t even look at them peaches, just grab some off
the ground, pull a few off the trees and jet. I ain’t staying out
When I get done, I knock at the door a couple of times. "Mr. Sweet?
Mr. Sweet?" I push open the door and walk into the hallway. "Mr.
Sweet?" I hear a toilet flush and he come out of the bathroom.
"David?" I hope he don’t think I was trying to steal nothing.
"Uh, can I have a drink of water?"
"You sure can."
He take a pitcher with plastic wrap over the top out the Frigidaire. When
he pour me a glass, he don’t hand it to me but walk with it into
the living room and stand by the back wall. It’s pictures of black
folk all over. Babies, graduation, and a bunch of the same lady in black
and white. Then some more of the lady, but in color this time and she
looking old. The last one, she in a wheelchair and Mr. Sweet standing
over her with his hand on her shoulder. He looking down at her with a
big smile but the lady looking straight ahead with a mean expression on
her face. Her lips pooched together.
Mr. Sweet see me looking at that one and start laughing. He don’t
seem like the type who know how to laugh, just shoot at folk, so it scare
"That’s who you want to see, don’t you, David? That’s
my Ioka. I see you got a eye for a beautiful lady. I don’t know
why I’m surprised. Ain’t she something?"
Miss Ioka ain’t good looking, but I don’t want to hurt Mr.
Sweet’s feelings. He think she was beautiful, and I guess that’s
what matter. If you ask me, Miss Ioka look like she mad at somebody. Or
like she definitely don’t take no mess from nobody. Or both. But
Mr. Sweet looking at me like he expect me to say something, so I just
nod. I figure a nod ain’t a lie, not really.
"Yes, that’s my Ioka." Mr. Sweet hand me the glass of
Sunday, me and Mama at church and Mama pinching me cause I had fell asleep.
Mama got some sharp fingernails and I jump and look right at Mr. Sweet
where he sitting in the amen corner and he looking back at me like I should
be shamed of myself. Maybe he don’t remember the peach cobbler Mama
said she was gone make him today. Not only do Mr. Sweet live on the wrong
side of town, he at the wrong church. But I guess he fit in cause everybody
in here old like him, or near abouts old like Mama.
I could stay awake if they had some cute girls in here. That’s the
first thing I don’t like about Red Mound. Ain’t no cute girls.
And then, ain’t no brothers to hang with. I’m the only somebody
young that come to Red Mound and I only come cause I’m scared of
Mama. If I don’t go to church, I got to memorize Bible verses and
she quiz me when she get back home. So it’s less work for me to
go to service but I don’t want to be here.
Somebody calling my name
O my Lord O my Lord
What shall I do
Another thing I don’t like about Red Mound is they songs. They always
got to be singing something make you feel scared. How come they can’t
sing nothing make you tap your feet and make you feel good about getting
up early on a Sunday morning when you could be sleep? It’s some
songs on the gospel station they could sing instead of something about
God tapping you on your shoulder. That’s spooky. They ain’t
got no choir at Red Mound, only a song leader, but I bet he could catch
on if he practiced. Get a couple of tambourines up in here, a guitar,
a drum set. It’d be alright. I told Mama that but she say juke music
ain’t for praising the Lord, it’s for shaking your behind.
She say she like the old time songs.
I guess Mr. Sweet do, too, cause he moving slow to the music like he know
just what the song is about. Like Somebody done come calling on him in
the middle of the night. Then after the song over, Preacher get up and
start scaring everybody again. Jumping around. He making me nervous.
But Mr. Sweet nodding right when everybody say Amen, the skin
under his wrinkly chin moving by itself. He lift his right hand up a few
times to testify. When Preacher get into his sermon and start dancing
up and down, getting happy and shouting Ha! Mr. Sweet’s face start
turning red, like something from inside causing his blood pressure to
go up. He wipe a tear rolling down his face like he getting the Spirit,
but it could be sweat cause it’s hot in here, too, and ain’t
nothing to help except for them church fans with the picture of Martin
Luther King. I don’t like them neither.
They need to get this place air-conditioned. We need to start a collection
right now. I got five on it. With these old folk way out in the back woods
somebody liable to have a stroke any moment in this heat and I ain’t
trying to save nobody with no mouth to mouth. No water fountain, just
a gourd dipper and a tin pail full of water. And a outhouse out back with
yellow jackets flying round in case you got to go. I try to save mine.
The food good on fourth Sunday, though, I will give them that. The Sisters
have a big picnic in the churchyard. I get to eat twice, first at the
picnic and later on that evening when Mama cook. I don’t never miss
a fourth Sunday.
Now the floor moving cause the Sisters jumping up and down with Preacher
and he still shouting and I wish they would stop jumping cause I think
I got gas. My stomach start bubbling and I hope I don’t embarrass
myself up in here. I wish I could leave and find some Maalox but I sneak
a look at my Mama, and I know I ain’t gone get out of here no time
soon. She moving back and forth, humming and listening to the Word, but
that don’t mean she won’t reach over and pinch me again.
I swallow down air and let it out. Too late, the burp come back up in
my throat and leave my mouth and I get ready to be embarrassed but instead
I start screaming, "Oh Lord!" And I rise out my seat to leave
but my knees bending underneath me. Mr. Sweet rush over from the amen
corner to my other side and he and Mama hold me together.
Preacher going Ha!
I’m trying to throw off Mama and Mr. Sweet but they got me and then
here come one of them Sisters who been hollering with Preacher. She waving
a church fan over me to cool me off but it don’t do no good and
I’m getting dizzy from watching Martin Luther King go back and forth.
I open up my mouth to tell her to stop and yell again and again until
my air gone. Tears coming this time.
Mama laughing at me again like she like to do, but she squeeze me and
kiss my cheek.
"David. My child. I knew it."
When they feel me calm down, Mama and Mr. Sweet let go my shoulders. Mr.
Sweet go back to the amen corner. The Sister stop fanning and go back
to where she was. I look around the church, but ain’t nobody looking
at me like I’m stupid. Preacher still shouting and everybody just
keep saying Amen every once in a while like nothing happened.
Mama sitting down next to me again and keep reaching her hand over and
patting me. I try to get my courage up to tell Mama I’m pretty sure
I ain’t saved yet, but service almost over and it’s fourth
Sunday and they gone have fried chicken.
So I drop my head and close my eyes and I know she thinking I’m
praying but I’m thinking about the dream I had when I was asleep,
right before she had pinched me. I was alone out in Mr. Sweet’s
backyard, in the middle of the peach trees. I won’t scared though.
Somehow, I knew Mr. Sweet won’t gone shoot at me and Miss Ioka’s
ghost was asleep or back up in heaven or somewhere.
While I was standing there, Jesus drove up through the trees in this long
black El Dorado with a diamond in the back. He got out the car and He
was wearing this fly white suit with some tan gators.
First thing Jesus say to me is, "Baybay, you know you better get
your shit together, don’t you, youngblood?"
I knew He was talking about Shaneta, how I had did her wrong. How I dropped
her off at her house right after Mr. Sweet caught us getting busy. I just
tapped on the brakes when we got there to Shaneta’s house. I didn’t
even turn the car off cause I was afraid Shaneta’s family was gone
fall out the house and cuss me out or try to beat me down. I know I won’t
being a gentleman to the girl, but I just didn’t have the nerve
to face nobody in that house.
"Baybay, are you listening to me, my man?" Jesus asked me.
I wanted to tell Him that I think I really like Shaneta. I mean, she ain’t
that cute and yeah I got them panties a bit too quick but I think I really
like her besides that. She been the best. Twenty years from now, if I
live and get to be old, I might say different. But Shaneta is something
else, screaming and laughing at the same time when we doing it and kissing
me all over my face. I sure hope she won’t faking with me.
"Baybay, what you gone do?"
Then I got confused. Do what? I didn’t know what He was talking
about. Maybe the Lord was saying me and Shaneta should go to the ballpark
next time. It’s real private there. Can’t nobody see you in
the dugout. But I still couldn’t say nothing to Him.
Jesus looked at me like He was disgusted cause He had done called my name
three times and I hadn’t answered Him and now it was too late. Then
He smiled, like we was still partners. He opened up the door of the El
Dorado and held out His hand to me.
"Alright, brother. Stay black."
Me and Jesus did the soul shake and then he climbed in the El Dorado and
drove off. Even though I couldn’t see the car no more through the
peach trees and I knew He was gone, I wanted to say something to Jesus,
like, "Yeah, I’m gone do that, Lord." Or, "Watch
out for Mr. Sweet and that shotgun—he might be back!" But I
couldn’t even whisper. I couldn’t make no words.