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I'm not sure my parents could afford it, but we had a cleaning lady come once a week. She was the mother of one of my classmates, Francis. One day she invited me over to play with him and have lunch. It was the summer between 5th and 6th grades. We rode my bike downtown, taking turns pedaling. Later we tried to play checkers, but it was too hot, so with all the logic of eleven-year-old boys we played football instead. His mother, washing clothes by hand in a tub in the back yard, cheered us both on.
running the water
until it cools off
There's no air-conditioning in the house. No fans. Francis pours iced tea while his mother makes sandwiches for us. They're tomato sandwiches - slices of tomato between slices of store-bought white bread that have been spread with old bacon grease. I don't like tomatoes but I eat my sandwich as if it were the best thing on earth, and then I go home.
the holes in the screen door