Wednesday, February 19, 2014
A Long Monstrous Sleep (1960)
The sun was down some when we reached the fairgrounds, Lamoure and I, it was after five o’clock. We laid there in the grass behind the iron fence, and a building, the building somewhat hiding us, in the cool shade, it had been a hot day, and we had both told our parents we were staying over at each other’s home, and taken off to find a new adventure, and so here we were, snug as a bug, in the fairgrounds, camping out, thinking of things, and getting rested for the night, and rather at ease and satisfied.
I could see the sun going down at the other end of the fairgrounds, looking through an opening in the branches and leaves of a nearby tree, while laying on my back, and the moon fading into sight, with its gloomy gray interior.
There were arc lights from the streets that spiffed light through the iron bar fence, and down and across our faces, somewhat breaking up as it bartered its way around the fence’s open spaces. And from somewhere came a little breeze. A couple of gray doves, were perched on a branch of a tree nearby, jabbering as if in trying to settle a dispute.
I was potently sluggish, tired and for the most part lazy, and comfortable—I didn’t want to move from this spot. Didn’t want to get up. Well, after a half hour of this laziness and Lamoure and I talking about this and that eating some beef-jerky and drinking some water from my canteen, Lamoure dozing off, we both thought we hear something, “Perhaps a bum!” I said to him. He stirs some, rouses up and looks about. A moment later, I hear it again, and Lamoure looks down the street some, towards the midway area, we’re both smoking Camel cigarettes. He looks at me as if he knows what the matter is now.
“Police!” he said.
Well I knew, no police came into the fairgrounds, it had to be the grounds man I figured.
I could see his white shirt, as I tried to sit upright, to greet him. So I sat there cross-legged and waited. Thinking how it always happens, adults come around once you get comfortable, and spoil your fun. I knew he’d chase us out. But I had a good enough time I figured up to now, and just seeing him coming quicksilver trying to figure out how he was going handle this, that is, to chase us out of here, was worth the wait, I was too tired to run, and I suppose that’s what he expected.
So, says I, when he got a few feet in front of me, and Lamoure standing up looking awkward as a jaybird trying to find his nest, “I suppose we got to leave?”
“Yup, but what in tarnation are you doing here in the first place?” He asked, in a rather friendly tone.
I changed to a more humble posture, thinking maybe we’re in luck, he’ll let us sleep here for the night, so I says, “We’re just camping out, and we’re not going to disturbed anyone!”
He wasn’t very well satisfied with that, and there wasn’t any doubt in his face now, we were leaving. And we left.
With our canteen, and jackets, and a blanket, we trekked down alongside, outside, the fairgrounds fence, it must have been a mile, and a few past that, we were per near five miles from home. I was pretty hungry, but it weren’t going to do for me to start complaining, neither one of us had any money, just a pack of smokes between us. Then when we got down a ways, by the University Farms, it was pretty late, and we found a carrot garden, and we didn’t lose no time, we pulled a half dozen of those carrots from their roots, we went and looked for a place to sit down, found an old log, at the edge of the garden, looked out across the field, the sky looked black as driftwood, the stars twinkling, like little lanterns, then wiped those carrots clean and ate them as if they were T-bone steaks.
We got home at 3:00 a.m., I went up and laid down in my bed, and drifted off to sleep, a long monstrous big sleep.