Our Favorite Nigger (2)
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Our Favorite Nigger (2)

A couple of books had taught him to have a dream, a longing. Into a torn bag which he carried wherever he was, he took away four books whose pages made his heart to throb.

There they were at hand: Mr. Stevenson and his exotic treasure's seaching; the adventurous Twain; the darkness of Mr.Poe and the Whitman's poetry. He wished he could have the Bible, but at his leaving he just did not dare to take it from Mom's bureau.

In the northern city of......... he got a job at a dusty inn. He started up as diligent dish washer. But out of season he also served as a waiter... And one night, trembling all his body at the crucial moment, a big nosed female showed him what there was underneath her clothes.

We know that he was not very talkative; and even there had been someone who took him as a bit simple in the head. Mechanics movements and selfish gestures, it was kind of hard to intend to get into such a mysterious life. And just like it seemed to be, his routine was as austerely structured as any of his movements.

The inn's owner -who rarely talked to him- got tired of such a silent presence and at the beginning of one week fired him. Virgil thanked, picked up his torn bag and went out for the front door for the very first and last time.

The one who might be described as his closest work-mate, as he witnessed Virgil's leaving, after an impulse, didn't dare to farewell him. spited and kept on sweeping as he numbered the times he and Virgil had chatted amiably. They were not more than five, that's why he thought that a regretful attitude was too much in order to honor such an ephemeral friendship.

This guy still remembered Virgil one year and a half later when a tall old black man, with a gaunt appearance, showed up at lunch time and inquired of Virgil.

The inn's owner had forgotten Virgil right next hour he'd fired him; but some kind of coincidence allowed that Virgil's closest workmate heard -for he had been promoted as a waiter and could stay at the main saloon- to say the name of the man he didn't dare to consider as a friend of his.

Although he only could indicate the direction of Virgil's footsteps had taken, somehow he sensed his conscience brought him back the tranquility of a coward spirit if only revealed that simple fact. Cheered him up by his recovered collaborative spirit, dared to make some hollow considerations around the possible Virgil's fate.

Persuaded of his sayings, assured that Virgil had gone to live at Blossom, a neighborhood at one of the edge of the city, yet there was not any single proof for confirming this.

He wouldn't have desired to be that persuaded when the tall black old and gaunt man showed up again at the inn's front door.

This time the folk inquired for him.

The waiter spluttered an excuse; but the guy didn't seem to mean giving up his intentions.

-Who are you, anyway?- asked a very exasperated waiter.

-I'll be back- was the response-

-No, you won't...!- but the guy was already too far.

He continued getting back.

At first twice or three times a week, 'till he showed up for two consecutive days and the next once again.

Such routine repeated for about four months.

He came near to the dinner time, and remained beside the inn's front-door, quiet and still. He didn't come in inside. As for the owner's inn, he didn't throw him away 'cause took the man as a beggar.

Days went by and the third month was coming to an end and Rupert's patience -that was the waiter's name- was reaching its limit. For very first time since he had seen the old black man, he couldn't stand the damned pitiful expression of that face.

It was true the fact of his sincere empathy for the man, seeing him every single day at the same time and with the same features in that face... Woe is me!

But worst of all for Rupert was that he didn't have the most light idea about Virgil's fate.

Thousand lies he thought of, but sooner or later the man would know the truth...

So one day at the beginning of fourth month, when sun shone fully up in the blue-blue sky, an overwhelmed Rupert came near to the inn's front-door. The old black man, who had just arrived to the site for starting another day in still waiting, did not expressed any kind of conmotion nor even the lightest intention of having a conversation with the waiter.

Before that attitude, Rupert's bile twisted over and over... Better than ever, he thougth, 'cause that was the right instant for revealing a truth: he didn't know where Virgil was.

-Then why you told me you knew where Virgil was...- the tone was unbearably merciful.

-I felt pity on you, boy- replied Rupert, stressing an excessive informality...

Just a few time later we were told that both of them had been seen walking for Blossom Neighourhood's East Side. We also knew about the evident efforts that Rupert did in order to walk down the streets side by side with that kind of man...

Yeah, they said that he couldn't help walking two or three footsteps forward than the old black man did. We figure that Rupert's good will could not get any further.

Even though its odorous name may suggest us a sort of wide sense of contact with nature, Blossom Neighbourhood was not a site where the mankind's achievements were fully fulfilled.

To and fro, wherever you may look, a hopeless resignation scene was always waiting to be found out by your scary eyes. And you're insistenly looked by eyes which undoubtedly expressed distrust and anger. The pathway were wide and the pavement too tight; on summer time the extreme heat melts it and the rubber sole is stuck if one ain't aware of it.

At the next corner a dirt black child told them that he had known a man called Virgil a few monts ago.

-Where was that, nigg...? Where?

-At school, sir...

Despite some feeling of embarrassment Rupert dared to get into an old biulding where the dully walls seemed to be about to fall down.

A torn banner ,over the main front door, hung down with sorrowful decay. The Founder Fathers looked with sternness straight into you eyes from a drawing painted in an indoor wall with more will than skill...; and our beloved flag, at the top of the pole right in the center of a yard, was tenderly stirred by the morning breeze.

A childish clamor started to sound noisily as the couple got through the corridors.

-Hey, what you doin' in here!- shouted someone at their backs-... Who are you!

Was a huge black man.

-We're just looking for a man, bo..., sir,,,

The hirsute guy was dressed with a dark suit made of an ordinary fabric and wore a thin and obscure tie which mismatch with the whole appearance. He seemed to be a sort of preceptor or something.

He repeated the question:

-What are you doin' in here?

-We're looking for a nig..., a bla... A man called Virgil.

The black man's eyes sparkled and almost he yelled:

-We got a Minister with that grace, sir!

Rupert frowned and his companion dared to smile mildly, a little bit thrilled by the weak glow of a remote hope.

-Such as you've heard it, sir... Thanks Lord, we've got in town brothers capable to lead the flock...

Five years and four months later the Minister Virgil F. Johnston -a very conspicuous member of his community and a well known Our Lord Preacher throughout the nation- was killed by a honky-tonk's owner named Rupert D.Warren under strange and never confessed circumstances.

And despite of not being that lively and healthy boy who once had dreamed of a world beyond out the cornfields, his brothers and sisters mourned and buried him, except by Geronime, the eldest brother, who's still looking for him.


Street Talk

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