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Sam had been sittin' there a long time
How'd get talked into that?
Some dumb concert,
empty music, no dancin',
up half the night.
Figured he did learn one thing though,
a bunch of beer
and a whole bag of pork rinds
do amazin' things to an old man.
He just sighed,
put his elbows back on his knees,
rested his head in his hands,
and waited for the next round.

Chapter 3

Joe's Jacket

Joe bought his leather jacket
at a flea-market.
It's suede with a lot of fringe
and had seen better days.
The buttons had been cut off,
the pockets were hanging by a thread
and the lining was shredded.
Dirty Tom had worn it ridin'
through every state in the union
except Alaska and Hawaii,
worn that sucker out.
DT wanted forty dollars for it,
and Joe just laughed and walked away,
DT said "Hey man, I been through a lot with
that leather." Joe kept walkin'.
"Aw right, thirty!"
Joe kept walkin'.
Joe slowed, took two more steps,
and turned around. "Deal."
Cost him a hundred and four
to get it fixed.
When he's ridin'
Joe glances  at his shadow,
likes the way that fringe flows in the wind.


Joe spent most of the summer
workin' construction in Taos.
Hard to do for a man with no tools.
Bought what he needed at a pawn shop
and kept 'em in the closet of his room in Questa.
Made pretty good money buildin' decks
and patios for the rich folks' cabins.

By August he got to missin' Sam.
That's when he got the letter,
still laughs picturin' the ole boy
wrestling that mattress up his tree.
Thought for a minute,
decided he had enough saved up to
head East.
Next mornin' Joe bought a bag of tamales
at La  Senora,,
sold all his tools
except the block n' tackle
(mailed that to himself at Sam's address),
got the motor serviced, and took off
to see Irene in Amarillo.
She'd mentioned a dragon, or tattoo,
or somethin'.
Anyway, sounded like fun.
And a beer at the Blue Front Cafe
with some of the fellers would do him good



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