“I know, John.” I said it so softly he might not have heard.

“Easy, you need a woman,” John said. “A woman who wants a home an’ ain’t gonna take no shit.”

Bonnie Shay came to my mind. She smiled and carried no weapons.

We picked up John’s car and drove back to his house, me in Alva’s Buick and him behind his own wheel. I knew that Alva had made some headway against me, because John didn’t invite me in.

“I’ll drive you home, Easy,” he said.

On the way I asked him about Grace.

“I did what I could, Easy. After a day and a half she called that white man and he came and got her. She said she was gonna try’n go straight.”

We drove almost the whole distance in silence.

Two blocks from my house he said, “You can’t be out here actin’ like you can do anything an’ get away wit’ it, Easy. You ain’t drinkin’, but you might as well be, the kinda life you live.”

PHARAOH GREETED ME with a snarl at the front door. The children were already asleep. I sat down in a chair with a glass of lemonade. The little yellow dog curled down, just out of reach, and bared his fangs. He’d tasted my blood and was hungry for more.

As the days passed I began to accept him as a part of my life; the dark, dangerous part that always threatened. As long as Pharaoh was around snarling and cursing I’d remember the kind of trouble that a man like me could find.

I ONLY HAD TWO CHOICES. One was straight whiskey. Instead, after nine days, I dialed a number.


“Hey, Bonnie. It’s Easy.”

There was a long silence and then a cough.


“I wanted to say hey,” I said. “I mean … I wanted to see you.”

“I’m sorry, Easy, but I’m leaving for Paris tonight.”

“For good?”

“No. Just for a few days. But I’m changing my home city back to Paris at the end of the month. I’ll still be working this route but I’ll be staying there.”


“Well,” she said. “I’ve got to get ready.”

“Uh, yeah, but …”

“But what, Easy?”

“But I need to see you, Bonnie. I mean, I really do. I can talk to you and I need that, I mean I really need it.” I could only hope that she understood how hard it was for me to beg.

“Can you hold it for a few days?” Her voice was gentle.

“Yeah. I been holdin’ it seems like forever. A few more days won’t mean a thing.”

“I’ll be back Friday morning. You could call me then,” she said.

“What time?”

“Any time, Easy.”

“An’ we could talk?”

“Sure. If you think you can. I mean, seeing everything you know about me.”

“None of that matters, Bonnie. I trust you. I know you did what you had to do.”

Neither of us said a word for the next five minutes.

“I’d like to talk, Easy.”

“An’ we could get together too,” I said.


When I hung up I felt as if I was an astronaut who had completed his orbit of the earth and now I was pulled by some new gravity into a cold clean darkness.

Вы читаете A Little Yellow Dog
Добавить отзыв


Вы можете отметить интересные вам фрагменты текста, которые будут доступны по уникальной ссылке в адресной строке браузера.

Отметить Добавить цитату