THE INCIDENT OF THE BRANCHES
one day cara and i went to eat lunch with elizabeth.
the place was renowned for its biscuits, though I saw none on the menu.
12:00 AM the food was good, but they were stingy. 6.50 for a plate of nachos and damn they were good but the tomatoes and lettuce was extra!
(lard in the beans. mmmmmm)
12:01 AM cara and i are walking home from said meal when we came across the very same couch that i am sitting on, lying on the side of the road
12:02 AM we spoke for a moment with the woman who was sitting on the porch of the house it was in front of. we asked her if it had been outside for long. she lied and said it hadn't
or maybe she wasn't lying, she just didn't understand our question
i'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt
12:03 AM we really needed a couch.
at this point we had no furniture in our house except for one matress
house full of dust.
but a couch!
how to move it?
12:04 AM we thought to ourselves, well we could call our new friend desmond who we did all that free work for
but he's probably still working and it was so close to our house...
12:05 AM maybe we could just ask the guys working on our house to help us out and bring it around the block in their truck.
(it was a little too far about 4 blocks, and too hot to carry)
so we told the woman we'd be back in ten minutes, and continued on our way
12:07 AM we didn't get a block before we came upon two guys backing a small blue truck into a church
12:08 AM the one older black man got out of the truck and he was sweating and he looked old around the edges
12:09 AM he said to us: you girls need some work?
we said well yes we do
12:10 AM but for what?
movin these branches
well how much are you paying?
12:11 AM and then i piped in
well we do need to get this couch moved...
see it its just down the block
if you help us move this couch, we'll help you haul some branches
12:12 AM and he looked at us ( the other guy, a little younger , mexican, paunchy, brite green shirt
and he said, well i guess we should move that couch first.
and we did.
12:14 AM we went around the block dropped off the couch and came back to the branches
so it turns out this dude had a contract with the baptist church to cut down some trees in their play yard.
looked like his crew hadn't shown up, and he and the old man certainly weren't going to move all those branches
12:15 AM now mind you it was like 110 degrees
when the sun was high it was real brutal
you didn't want to move yourself from one place to another, least of all haul a bunch of big heavy branches back and forth
12:16 AM but we had taken to their flattery of our lifting skills at moving the couch earlier, and thought perhaps that we could make a buck or two in addition.
12:17 AM so we started hauling
Angus: fucking hot though
12:18 AM me: meanwhile mike, the mexican guy is talking me up.
so you got a boyfriend or a girlfriend?
12:19 AM he tells me he's the boss of this company that times are tough, there not paying him enough for this job, he wishes his girlfriend worked as hard as we do. "she's lazy."
12:20 AM Angus: hah
me: also we shouldn't walk around too late in this neighbourhood, ya know.
and were moving branches
12:21 AM about every 4 minutes, gary, the older guy, wants to take a break
we go over and drink water from the hose on the side of the house
12:22 AM no water that does not come out of the fridge is cold in austin, buts it's still refreshing.
12:23 AM we fill the whole truck up with branches and the guys tell us they'll just drop it off at the dump and be back. they've been throwing around talking about buyin us beer and hirin us on future jobs and throwing us money later so were working hard.
12:24 AM and they say, just sweep up the rest of these branches here and put them in a pile.
do we need to move that other pile in the back up to this pile?
12:25 AM before they pull away mike and i trade phone numbers. i
12:26 AMm a bit suspicious that they might bounce, though he's been talking about smokin me up and you know im interested
cara and i busted ass and moved all those branches in to a pile
12:27 AM it was not easy
i was wearing flip flops
and we started to put that other pile into the new pile but cara was wise and she said: this is too hard.
i'm done time for a break
and we waited
and we waited
and we waited
12:28 AM but i had his phone number...
he said he would buy me a twelve pack
12:29 AM and finally we saw them pulling around the bend
we put the rest of the branches in the truck.
12:30 AM mike says to me, you know you guys should come over and chill sometime i just broke up with my girlfriend
and that beer?
yeah yeah come walk down to the store with me
12:31 AM "WHY YOU GOTTA LEAVE THE BLACK MAN BEHIND"
"you bring the truck gary"
(i feel weird and try and say something funny or nice)
12:32 AM in the store mike tries to buy us a twelver of bud light.
cara intervenes: are the regulars the same price?
12:34 AM he tell us he'll call us tomorrow about moving more branches. maybe some future work. we'll chill you know
12:35 AM cara and i are walking back towards our house with the beer, giggling to ourselves, when he calls out HEY
and hes motioning for us to come back
w'ere walking back
12:36 AM can i get two of those beers?
12:37 AM and thats the story of the couch i'm sitting on.