Fall 1964 • Vol. XXVI No. 4 Fiction |

My Song, “Sour Grapes”

Oh yes, I was on the legal side of the law for a change. Picking grapes is about the one thing in France you don't need a work permit for. I'd picked plenty of crops before I ever got into France: cotton, for instance, in Texas, and tomatoes in Florida, and strawberries in California. Apples everyplace. I got good picking fingers from picking guitar, and I can stand and squat and bend with the best of them. My sweat dries quick, too, and that keeps me cool. And it was a good gang I was working with—not mean, like a work gang sometimes is, or cheating, like French people can be, or down on blacks like the whole world. Too far south near Africa for them not to be used to black colored people. So I got by. But I segregated my lunch to myself: noontime sandwich down under a viaduct off from the fields, shady, beside a dried-out creek bed. Man living regular in a crowd got to get off to his self sometime in the day, try his own society for size. Rest his feelings as well as his bac

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