See, I had known him all my life, as a T&T drinkin’, walk-around-town drunk. Never seen him with no woman, and I aint heard of no woman tryin’ to be with him. So for him to tell me about a wife, well, that was somethin’ I aint never heard of. I wiped my chin while he just looked at me.
He said, “What’s wrong with you? You don’t think I had no wife? Didn’t y-y-you hear me t-tell you ‘bout all them wimmen I knowed?”
Well, he had a point.
I said, “I’m sorry, Unc, just nobody never told me you was married, that’s all. Tell me ‘bout it, was she good-lookin’? Was she fine?”
He leaned back, meal finished, and started with his pipe again.
“One last smoke, then I’m gonna send you to the sto’.”
He puffed, and he says, “Pretty? Fine? Boy, lemme tell you, d-d-dat woman had the biggest set of titties you ever wanna see! You know ol’ man Bradford wife? Think her titties big?”
He spat on the ground, an’ say, “Sheee-it, boy, Bradford wife packin’ p-p-peanuts. Peanuts! My wife had big ol’ titties! Man, my wife’s titties so big, she sent ‘em out on errands! One at a time! She named ‘em, y’know. The left one was, le’ssee, Sally, yeah, that’s it, an’ the right one was, uh, Betty! She talk to ‘em too, just like chirren. ‘Betty, move out the way, you pinchin’ Sally!’ Boy, boy, boy….I used to love it when she strap ‘em up, y’know, make ‘em stand up like so’jers, yes, indeed! She had that little tee-tiny li’l waistline….I used to wonder how her food pass down. But then—“ he started movin’ his hands out—“she had them hips….man, them what they called breedin’ hips, them good shakin’ hips. And don’t talk about her azz! What!?! Her azz so big, it cast its own shadow! When I put her on the Greyhoun’ bus, I had to buy two tickets! Big ol’ marshmeller azz!
He look at me e’ry now an’ then, just to see how I was takin’ it. I know he addin’ on some, but that’s just how storytellin’ go. I mean, I knowed aint no wimmen titties bigger than ol’ man Bradford wife. Lessen she work for the circus.
You wimmen gets mad when we men talk about the way y’all is made. I don’t know why, it’s the way God made you.
Read yo’ Bible, in the book of Genesees, God had made all the animals with a mate. Fido, he had Fee-Fee; Elmo the bull, he had El-see the cow; Billygoat, he had Nannygoat; y’know, e’rybody had somebody, well, e’rybody but po’ Adam. Adam sittin’ there with all the fruit trees around him, apple, pear, banana, persimmon, mango, I mean he got it made! He lookin’ ‘round, e’rybody got somebody to play with but him. E’rybody all coupled up, an’ Adam, he sittin’ there like a fifth wheel. God look down at him, an’ He shook His head, cuz that aint right. Adam sit there too long, he get to singin’ the blues. Caint be singin’ the blues if you in Paradise.
So God, He fix a big glass o’ wine, handed it to Adam.
What you mean, the Bible don’t say that?
It say God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam. It didn’t say how He done it!
Okay, let’s see…okay, God slip him a Mickey, an’ knock him plum cold…
You happy now?
Where you come from?
Yeah? Well, you need to go back. Go on, let grown folks talk.
Anyhow, God put him to sleep, cut his rib out, and took it to his studio, started moldin’ an’ craftin’, stuffin’ here and there, you know, puttin’ the cushion where it go. So when God finish, He take what He made down to Paradise, see how Adam like it. Adam wake up, rub the sleep outta his eyes, and he notice what God got standin’ there nekkid in front of him.
A big ol’ fine, sexy thang, 38-24-36, nekkid, with a bowl o’ fruit in her hand! Brown-skinned, long, curly black hair, with a big ole smile on her face.
Well, Adam got so excited, he started preachin’! He say, “For this cause…uh-huh….. shall a man leave…….well, well….. his daddy and his momma, yessir…..and the two…….shall become one…can I get a witness?”
That’s preachin’, cuz what Adam know about a momma and daddy? Adam aint had no momma nor daddy!
So he took a good look at that fine Black woman, sprung out a good foot or so, and he say “the two shall become one.” Shee-it, Adam was ready to do his thang!
So don’t get mad when we talk about the way you made. Use what God give you. Be proud of yo so’jers, make ‘em stand up. Walk like yo’ caboose is loose.
We men likes that.
Where was I?
Oh, yeah, Hime look at me, to see how I was takin’ it. I’m noddin’ my head, goin’ with the story. I know good an’ well her titties aint that big, she fall over when she walk if they was.
He says, “And boy, was she pretty! She had that look, you know, like she know she was the p-prettiest woman in the room, but she warn’t payin’ it n-n-no mind. She smile, an’ the room j-j-just light up. I fell in love with her, dint take long, neither.”
He puffed on his pipe, and I wonder how much tobacco left inside. If he send me to the store, I was gonna tie him to the step, don’t ask me how. But I was gonna hear the end of this.
“Now, Neph, this was the time when I was drivin’ trucks, hustlin’, makin’ good money. Y’know, when you haulin’ cross-country, not e’rything in yo’ rig belong to the m-m-man on yo’ paper. I’m runnin’ to Miami with a load, my return load might have a coupl’a pound of smoke an’ powder, y’know? Oh, boy, back in dem days, I made mo’ money mulin’ than truckin’. Never got stopped, neither.” He nodded his head, thinkin’ about it. “But, you gotta remember, boy, that was back when it was okay, long as you dint try to stiff nobody, just haul an’ hand off to the man, an’ he pay you, give you a little taste fo’ yoself.
So, I’m makin’ good money, got a fine, pretty woman, life be good. I sets her up, buy her a nice little house, buys it, paid cash money fo ’it, put it in her name, cuz I’m on the road alla time, somethin’ happen to me, it be hers already.”
He stopped, an’ pointed his pipe at me. He says, “Boy, don’t ever do that. Always have you a place to lay yo’ head where nobody kin put you out. Stay with yo’ momma, momma get mad wit’ ya, she kin put you out. See? Buy yo’ house, make sho’ yo’ name on it somewhere.” He clench his jaw aroun’ his pipe, and for a second I thought he would snap it plum through. I could tell he was getting’ mad, just thinkin’ about it.
He says, “We livin’ good, bill paid on time, I mean we doin’ fine! An’ me, I’m happy, got this pretty, fine woman, shoot, when I’m home, I drop it on her twice a day, I’m happy, she happy…or so I thought.”
He looked up, and I followed his look. I had been listenin’ so hard, I hadn’t heard the sound of the engine. Momma had done drove up. Oh, doggone! Now I wouldn’t get to hear the rest of it, f’shure.
Momma slam her car door, come out with a paper bag in her hand. She walk down toward the porch, then, lo an’ behold, she peep our way, and start walkin’ towards the barn!
Hime snorted, then he say, “Now what in the worl’ she huntin’? Aint nothin’ but Zora done give her a call, cuz she don’ know w-w-what we talkin’ about. Well, let’s send this chicken to the n-n-nest.”
Momma came up quick, but the sight of a sober Hime kinda slowed her up. Took her tongue, too. She stood there for a second, then she says, “Aint nobody gonna speak?”
Uncle Hime say, “We sittin’ here. Y-y-you the one come up. How you doin’?”
Momma look at me, and says, “Boy, what you doin’ here?”
I says, real respectable, “Talkin’ with my uncle. Got somethin’ good in the bag?”
She answer, “Just a thimble and coupl’a spools o’ thread.” She hesitated, then she ask, “What y’all talkin’ bout?”
Hime look at her, then he kinda growl at her,”What you say?”
Well, she look like she would druther eat soap, but she was stuck with it. She say, “W-what ya’ll talkin’ bout?” She try to stick her chin out when she say it, but she wouldn’a skeered a puppy.
Hime pointed his pipe at her, an’ say, “I-I’ma tell you like I tole yer Ma. Go inna house, the boy be ‘long directly. Go!”
Momma look at me quick, but I just shrug. She knowed better than that, anyway.
Hime spat, then stuck his pipe back in. “Wimmen. Now she goin’ in there, an’ her an’ Zora gonna cluck their tongue, prolly call Mary to try an’ shake ya loose. Anyway, one day, I’m in N-n-new Orlin, haulin’ dry ice from M-m-m-memphis. I thought I was gonna turnaround to Mobile, but the company c-cancel. I had told the ol’ girl, Charlene her name, I was gonna be home Monday, but since my t-turnaround c-c-ancel, I figger I supp-rize her.
Well, Neph, the supp-rize was on me. It was about one o’clock inna mornin’, I never forget. I walk in, tippy-toe, gonna flip the light, jump in, y’know. Good thing I flip the light, cuz if fin I wouldn’t, I’da landed on two people! Yep, she all wrapped up wit’ a nigger, I dint know who he was! I could tell the way she was clownin’ dat he warn’t forcin’ hisself on her, naw, if anythin’ she was killin’ him! I says, I says…naw, never mind what I says, it’s what I done! I reach in my pocket, an’ pull out my pistol. She scream, but it don’t matter none, she can scream all she want, scream don’t stop no .38. I was always good with a pistol, shootin’ rabbits an’ s-s-such. I put two in her, swung it on him, dropped one daid in the nuts. ‘Now,’ I tole him, ‘that’ll learn ya.”
He tapped the pipe, then dropped it on the step. “Law came, they put me inna jug. But one o’ those jailhouse lawyers tole me to plea not guilty, lessee how he said it, heat o’ passion. He warn’t lyin, there was plenny heat. Went befo’ the jedge, jedge lissen to the po-lice man tell what he saw, jedge tap his gavel, an’ off I go.”
He laugh, kinda bitter this time.
“Nigger woman daid, don’ make him no never mind. Be a Whi’ woman, come All Saint’s Day, you be buyin’ whitewash.”
He handed me a dollar. “I try to forget, e’ry whichaway I kin. No matter what I do, I caint get Charlene outta my mind. All t-t-t-that blood…..”
He put his head in his hands and start to cry. He raise up, an’ he say, “I pray, an’ I pray, ast the Good Lawd to f’give me. An, y’know what? I b’leve He done did it.”
He stopped, tears just runnin’ down his face.
“But, me….I jes’ caint f’give myself…”
I left the dollar there.
Man ought’a get a free bag o’ tobbacca once in his life, don’t’cha think?