8 June 2017

The Gypsy Lady

by Andrew

There is a gypsy lady in the little village I'm in. She always has new clothes, which means she must have some money. And gypsys always have some money in their pockets, according to Borrow. But she is not a gypsy. I just call her that to myself. She is Brazilian really. She told me. And I was surprised because she sounds Portuguese. And they sound completely different, Brazilians and Portuguese. And she sounds Portuguese.

Anyway, she was asking me for some money one day. And I told her, that I have no money myself, that I can't even afford to return back to my country. And she laughed.

I am outside, she said, please. And I said I am outside too. And she laughed again.

I should not have told her these things. But she liked me. And I had a bit of money in my pocket too anyway.

For about 2 weeks after that, after she'd first asked me for money, I saw that lady every day probably. But I saw her a couple times before she had asked me for money too. She was buying cigarettes once. And then another time, she was dressed in a fairly nice, black, linen get-up, thanking some English peregrinos in English for some money they'd given her. And the other time, she was sitting at the cafe drinking some kind of dark liquor, puffing a big cigar, wearing some pajamas.

So, she stopt asking me for money at least. But that woman was everywhere. She would not leave me alone, always asking loudly enough that the entire village could hear, had I found any money yet to return to my country.

And then I was walking out the cafe one day. A man on a horse, both dressed in colorful costume, pulling a tiny wagon behind them, approached me. He said something, the man. I said I don't understand much. He held-out his hand. He was asking for money, a begger on a horse—a friend of the gypsy lady I'd decided.

The dog of A——, I'd jokingly named him to myself, Agi, approached us both, the gypsy and me. And I have since changed my opinion of Agi, that he is one of those few tolerable dogs, those strong but quiet watchdogs. He reached up and tapped the gypsy on the shoulder. The gypsy turned. Agi held-out his hand and asked him for some coin, the gypsy. They said something in exchange I didn't understand, and the gypsy and his horse moved-on, their cart creaking behind them.

But Agi is mad at me. He drunkingly invited me into his home the other night for some soup. And then he passed-out on the floor drooling. So I was sitting there finishing my soup when the rest of his family came-out of their quarters for their dinner too. I just smiled and waved. His mother, I assume it was, motioned to me that he'd been drinking and shook her head and gave him a little kick in the gut. Then she offered me some bon-bons, which I of course accepted and ate. I stepped over Agi there on the floor, washed my bowl, gave my thank-you's, and left.

But Agi is mad at me because he stumbled-back into the cafe later that night and didn't have enough money to buy a beer, and I'd not buy him one. So it was him I bet who found my bag where I leave it hidden and scattered its contents on the ground. But there is nothing in that bag anyway but some string, a tarp, and some underwear.

But I'd not seen the gypsy lady in a couple weeks. And I can't say that I was disappointed. But in that time, I had indeed found money for a return to my country. And now that return is just under 2 weeks away. And what money is in my pocket is what money I have.

I know this village fairly well now having walked it every day for nearly 2 months. And I know exactly where the gypsy lady lives, though I've never seen her coming or going, nor has anyone else ever informed me. I just know.

So I knocked on the door intending to give her some work—and therefore some money, which I had felt a bit terribly about, denying her before. She was dressed plainly enough, dark clothes, some slippers. But she was wearing a scarf like the French wear.

She stood there scratching her chin. I pulled from my pocket all the money I had. Her eyes got big. And I told her, that it's yours. I leave in 2 weeks. What I don't spend is yours. So it'd be more profitable for you, you see, to see to it that I don't spend much money.

She smiled and I thought she would begin to cry, the water in her eyes. She shook my hand with both of hers, and then she invited me inside. She said she had been cooking it all day, some type of soup it was, chicken. Nothing would please her so much than me sitting with her to have a bowl.

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