When the sun grew high and the day too hot, we trudged to the end of the field. There we unloaded our burden and picked up my day’s wage.
Back across the highway, I borrowed a bicycle and rode to a mom-and-pop grocery store. I bought cans of Spam, Ravioli’s, baloney, bread, instant coffee, and a case of water.
On my little hiking stove, I warmed up the Ravioli’s, made instant coffee in the now-empty ravioli can, and ate one of the best meals of my life. Hunger satiated, but still, achingly tired, I reclined on my bedroll, sighed, and drift in and out of dreamless sleep.
Dogs barked in the distant cool of the night. Music twanged, vibrated, and carried across the fields.
All was right with me.
That morning I got up, put on my pants, which were all torn, went to the blockhouse to wash, came back, put on an old nearly worn-out straw hat, and went across the highway. Every muscle and bone in my body screamed for surrender.