Wednesday, 20 August 2008

20 August 2008

took off on a red car to Arcadia, California, where Santa Anita is located under snowcapped mountains. It was night. We were pointed towards the enormity which is the American continent. Holding hands we walked several miles down the road to get out of the populated district. It was Saturday night. A thing that made me madder than I’d ever been since I left Ozone Park happened: we were standing under a roadlamp thumbing when suddenly cars full of young kids roared by with streamers flying. “Yaah! yaah! we won! we won!” they all shouted. Then they yoo-hooed us and got great glee out of seeing a guy and a girl on the road. Dozens of such cars passed full of young faces and “throaty young voices” as the saying goes. I hated every single one of them. Who did they think they were yaahing at somebody on the road just because they were little highschool punks and their parents carved the roast beef on Sunday afternoons. Who did they think they were making fun of a girl reduced to poor circumstances with a man she wanted to stick with. We were minding our own business. And we didn’t get a blessed ride. We had to walk back to town and worst of all we needed coffee and had the misfortune of going into the only place open, which was a highschool sodafountain, and all the kids were there and remembered us. Now they saw the added fact that Bea was Mexican. I refused to go on another minute. Bea and I wandered in the dark. I finally decided to hide from the world one more night with her and the morning be damned. We went into a motel court and bought a comfortable suite for about four dollars---shower, bath towels, wall radio and all. We held each other tight and talked. I loved this girl in that season we had together, and it was far from finished. In the morning we boldly struck out on our new plan. We were going to take a bus to Bakersfield and work picking grapes. After a few weeks of that we were headed for New York in the proper way, by bus. It was a wonderful afternoon riding up to Bakersfield with Bea: we sat back, relaxed, talked, saw the countryside roll by and didn’t worry about a thing. We arrived in Bakersfield in late afternoon. The plan was to hit every fruit wholesaler in town. Bea said we could live in tents on the job. The thought of living in a tent and picking

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