It was terribly hot, that summer.
The wax candles I used to put away in my kitchen’s highest cabinet had melt and were no longer not only the same shape, but not even usable.
Days were long like only July days in Georgia can be, damp and sticky like flypaper, and there we stood, stuck in our houses, the closest to our fans, the better.
Not even the nights were of relief, as the Ku Klux Klan had started again with their raids. I was getting used to sleep with only one eye closed. Every dog barking could herald a new assault, every unusual noise could mean troubles.
I had learnt not to make me notice too much, just saying hallo and goodbye doing my grocery, a few words after the service and then directly home. I had started being vague also when I found new ladies to help: I usually informed them that I lived in that part of the town, and they were usually satisfied with that information.
After Corinna’s son was killed and she had received so many threats of being burnt alive in her own house had she dared saying anything about that night, this is the least I can do to protect me.
Now, I have saved a lot of money, you know, and If I work another pair of years I can afford the trip to New York, where my sister lives.
Just the trip, then I’ll have to work there, too. Selma, that’s my sister’s name, keeps writing me letters recommending me to listen to the radio and to try to imitate their accent as much as I can: “they don’t understand and they don’t stand people talking slowly and lazily as you do in Georgia”. So I have to train with their stupid and quick and fake accent, if I want to find a lady to help there, in New York. Every night preparing my meal I listen to the news and try to imitate them, the New Yorkers. Sometimes I burst out laughing, and I wonder what I could look like if someone were here to spy on me.
Two years, two more years, and then I’ll go.
It will be hard, I know.
I’m old and time does not come back.
I’m already 47.