Then he lost his bearings and yelled, I TAKE DAMN GOOD CARE OF YOU NIGGERS AND YOU WANNA RUN FROM ME!!! I’LL SEE YOU DEAD FIRST. Me being me mumbled, God is watching you. He walked over to me and said, what hell did you say nigger? I looked him right in his evil blues eyes and said, nothin’ massa, I didn’t say nothin’ sir. Sometimes being a man means knowing how to be a boy. But the God in me knew this devil was not long for this Earth.
The hardest and most dangerous job by far was the job of the bailer. They had to band the cotton together in 200 pound bails with steel wire. This wire was unforgiving to the wary and absentminded. The tension it took to keep 200 pounds of cotton together was a lot more than you would think. If that wire was not secure correctly the fastener would come lose and it didn’t care if your fingers, hand, arm, leg or any part of your body for that matter was in the way. Whatever was in the path of this thick gauge wire was coming off. I once saw some bailing wire cut a mule almost in half and buried itself two feet into the ground. You could always tell the bailing crews. They were the gimps and made that way by being careless around that damnable bailer. They always looked broken and scared, they didn’t have anything to get up for in the morning because like many of us, any day could be the last. I wanted to work the bailer just to get out of the sun and away from the bickering women. But they would never let someone who wanted to bail work the bailer. Something had to be wrong with that person or they had some plans that may have not been good for someone.
As the season was coming to an end the work picked up if that was even possible. We would have to pick faster as to not leave any of this white hell behind. I often thought about how could it be that everything white in my life was poison. Was it suppose to be this way and if white was hell then what was Black? I worked with a gentle older lady who had aged rather well, her face held strength as well wisdom and it was impossible to tell her age. She had that look that spoke a million words in one breath and a lap that would welcome all the younguns and they all came. They called her Auntie. She had worked these fields her entire life and she knew my mother and would tell me about her when we talk freely. It seems my mother was not what I had thought her to be. She was very much more and after hearing these stories about her I was glad she was dead and no longer apart of this white man’s world. My mother worked really hard and took care of a lot of suckers for mothers who couldn’t or to mentally deformed to handle motherhood. When it was found out that she was helping these other girls with their younguns, she was severely whipped and made to work the fields like an animal. The person that made this happen was none other than that same demon that had the runaway drawn and quartered. She just happen to get pregnant with me during these long days and relentless work conditions. Of course me being me again, he had to leave this life and I had to be the one who sent him on his way. I had hate and anger in me that was eating my guts out like straight lye. I hated the sight of sight and curse the light that made it possible for me to see the sight. I was a walking frown, a frown with no teeth and split lips bleeding and drying up and then splitting again. My hate went directly to my bones and made them as brittle as cooled lava. I cannot rely to you how the cancerous the hate growing in me was, just know that it was and I had to let it go.
My lovely, beautiful, brown skinned lady had come to visit me one day without the permission of her owner and was scared to death of getting caught. I asked why would she do that. What she told me ended my only reason for putting one foot in front of the other. The only reason I took another breath after the last one. She told me she had been sold to some other white man who wanted a personal slave to keep him and his wife company and take care of their house. The work would be easy but the plantation was in another state and I would likely never see her again. He would be back at the end of this week right here to get her. That was not going to happen. I told her to hurry back and keep quiet as if she was glad about the change. My head was swimming. I had so many thoughts running around in there. It was understood that we had to go and be damned the consequences.
I went to work that morning like nothing was any different, but something was very different and my life would be very different after today. I first had to see that my mother’s killer slept forever. After we finished the days work I feed and watered the animals like always and hung around to see if I could see what that old bastard was up to. I saw him talking to some young girl and she was grinning like liquid sunshine had parted her legs and held them in place. I was beside myself at the thought of this greasy pig making another half breed to look at my children like they were less then snake scales. This was not going to happen again, not tonight. After lights out is when all the real slave making happened, it was encouraged and it was welcomed by most. I was risking life and limb by walking out of my shelter and into the night where any manner of overseers held post for any person who thought it a good idea to make a run for it. After that display with the horses no person had even considered trying to run and that made for a pretty relaxed patrol at night. Most of the overseers where trying to find a woman to sewer. I walked right up to the big house and sneaked inside.
to be continued, I’m sorry I had a long day a lot of writing. People really took me up on my offer to help them out for V-Day. I will conclude tomorrow.