I could feel her going through my pockets as I lay, half asleep, on the back porch. I swung hard and connected with her jaw to send her reeling. She stumbled and teetered off the edge of the porch and into the wheelbarrow.
"You son of a bitch!" she shreiked. "You motherfucking son of a bitch!"
"Why were you going through my pockets?" I yelled back.
The night was clear and cold. The stars were hard and close. She clattered out of the wheelbarrow to a horrible din that brought on the lights in the alley and softened the hateful eerie starlight.
"I wanted a fucking cigarette! You hit me you son of a bitch!"
"Where's my wallet?"
"I was gonna get some money out of it to go get some cigarettes."
"Where's my cigarettes?"
"I don't got your fucking cigarettes you motherfucker. Fuck you."
"Can I have one please?"
"Well, okay. But these ain't yours. These are some I found in my jacket."
She handed me a cigarette and sat next to me as I lit it and then one for her.
"You really clocked me pretty good."
"I was awake."
" I really thought you were asleep.You were snoring pretty loud."
"Playing possum. Can I have my wallet back?"
She handed me my wallet and we smoked. The lights in the alley twinkled off as the neighbors realized the commotion was over. The starlight hardened again.
I thumped away my butt and walked off the porch and into the night. She made no attempt to follow. Didn't even say a word.
I fished the bottle out of the culvert at the end of the driveway and took two hard swigs before taking off across the pastures toward the river.