Jesse Sanchez lives in the baby blue single-wide near the office where Carol pays rent. I think she lives there with her dad. Though, I’ve never seen him. He always seems to be at work whenever I go there. The best thing about Jess is she always does what I tell her to. If I say, “Jess, go steal that ol’ lady’s laundry basket,” she just up and steals it. If I say, “Jess, make me one of your famous peanut butter sandwiches,” why there it would be. Oh, and she has a pool. Okay, it ain’t much more than a baby’s pool, but on them hot summer’s days it comes in quite handy-especially since this here park has no pool of its own.
We’ve stayed at many different ones, trailer parks I mean, in Georgia, South Carolina, New Mexico. I think we was even in Arizona for a time. I was little then, so it’s a bit harder to recall.
Here we were now in St. Petersburg, Florida, and this damn park has no pool. Just shows we done hit the shit, as my ma would say to me. Carol, my ma, is a true character when she wants to be. Other times, well, she can be down right nasty as a badger. Those was the times when good ol’ Jess would become my best friend.
Today we was hanging around her pool, and I was teaching her to smoke. I been smoking for going on a year now. Stealing cigarettes from Carol ain’t easy. I swear she counts ‘em. Today she got her check, and we got us a big box full. Makes her not quite as stingy. Oh, she knows I smoke. She’s the one who taught me, one night when she was drinking Georgia Moon Corn Whiskey. I remember the name of that concoction because it was Uncle Johnny who done brewed it at night. He’d take me with him when ma was doing one of her disappearing tricks. He’d be making his shine and singing “by the light of the silvery moon.” It used to make me laugh. He was a real card, that Johnny. He wasn’t my real uncle or nothing, but I still think of him as family. Treated me right, he did, not like some of them others. Anyway, Carol said made a girl look mysterious and glamorous, like in them picture shows.
Carol knew quite a lot about actresses in picture shows. She went out to California when she was 16 years old to become one. She just ran away from home, which she said wasn’t no real home anyway, and landed herself right smack onto a picture set as an extra in a Doris Day movie. Can you believe it? There was my ma with the likes of Doris Day. She said she met my pa out there in Hollywood. I think he was a big time actor. Don’t know for sure, cause she just calls him a deadbeat and says we ain’t allowed to even mention his name. That ain’t hard, cause she never told me his name.
I did hear her talk to him on the phone one time when we was real strapped for cash. Told him all about me she did. We moved right after that, so he never did get the chance to come meet me. But he’ll come looking all the same. I just know it. I bet he’s got hisself a big swimming pool out there in Hollywood.