The bird calls were chirpy sweet and the coffee stiff enough to suit me, the risin' sun on my face ...a fine mornin' when Rowley's boy, RJ (Rowley Jr.) stepped up on the Front Porch and hollered in the door to me out on the Back Porch.
"Any cawfee left, Miss Belle?"
Me: " Sugar, doan ya know it is Saturday ..I mean,
youse a lovin' to sleep late sort an' all?"
RJ: "Miss Belle, I gotta git on in to work by 9 today.
Mama drove Daddy up to the cane presses in Micanopy --he still in his cast an' all. Guess they hit Java Jack's on the way since ain't no cawfee in our pot."
Me: I handed him a mug of joe wif' three spoons of sugar an' a frothy crown, "Coulda made
RJ: "Seems to me a fella what's gotta work deserves some mornin' cawffee. Why'nt Mama think of that? She knowed I had to git up today."
Me: "Well, reckon she was thinkin' on yore Dad."
RJ: "I guess...Dern it, I hate goin' to work on Saturday. An' I hate slavin' fer Ole Man Pottinger! After sloggin' through four years at East Central Community College I deserve
a break, but Daddy say I gotta pay rent! Pay rent? To yore folks? Well, I say a son deserves better'n that."
RJ: "To tell the truth, Aunty Belle, I'se pretty riled up on the matter of work. Take today. yeah,
I gotta work on Saturday and Pottinger woan pay me no overtime rate fer it either--how
ya like that? I say an employer oughta give his men what they deserve!"
RJ: "What? Doan YOU think a body oughta git what they deserve? "
Me: "Lord, chile' I hope not."
He threw me a look of puzzlement.
Me: "Warn't that you I seen yesterday at the Jitney Jungle at Julie Lane Mahern's check-out
station? Ya'll look to me like youse nigh unto sweethearts."
RJ: "Mebbe we is. Ah, Aunty, it ain't the Jitney no more--not since '95--it's the Kash n' Karry."
Me: "An' that were round 3:30?"
RJ: "Yeah. Seen Doc Pullen 'bout this loose tooth Mitch done give me Tuesday night at the
pool hall. Dropped in on Julie Lane afterwards. Ain't she purty? Seen them laigs on that
gal? Ooh ooh doggie! "
Me: "After Dr. Pullen ya' din't git on back to the shop? Ya knows how busy that place is on
Friday, folks needin' tey cars for the weekend."
RJ: " Well, that ain't mah worry. Ole' Pottinger say I could go to a 2:00 dentist
appointment iffin' that were all tha Doc Pullen had open, and bein' as I ain't yet as't Julie
Lane to the Shriner's BBQ tonight, I had to stop over at the Kash N' Karry to as't her.
After that, it were too late to go back to the shop.
Me: "An doan ya have Wednesdays off? Ain't that why ya's got Saturday hours?
RJ: "Well, I ain't got Wednesdays off. Thas' the day I take mah final classes to git mah AA.
Daddy say iffin' I doan git it this time he's through wif' me- he woan pay my car insurance
or even let me stay in the house, nevermind no rent." Then, softly, "I cain't git over it. Does
a son deserve that kinda treatment, Aunty?"
We sat a spell jes' watchin' the the
sunlight gild the trees on the new day.
RJ: "Well, mam, I hate it, but reckon I gotta be goin'. A fine Saturday like this an' I gotta work."
Me: "You mean, you get to work. Even on Saturday."
RJ: "Wha'? Doan a body deserve they weekends to theyself?"
Me: "Rowley Jr., iffin' most of us got what we deserved, we might be surprised."