That night I took Tammie to the harness races. We went upstairs to the second deck and sat down. I brought her a program and she stared at it a while. (At the harness races, past performance charts are printed in the program.)

“Look,” she said, “I’m on pills. And when I’m on pills I sometimes get spaced and I get lost. Keep your eye on me.” “All right. I’ve got to bet. You want a few bucks to bet with?”


“All right, I’ll be right back.”

I walked to the windows and bet 5 win on the 7 horse.

When I got back Tammie wasn’t there. She’s just gone to the ladies’ room, I thought.
I sat and watched the race. The 7 horse came in at 5 to one. I was 25 bucks up.

Tammie still wasn’t back. The horses came out for the next race. I decided not to bet. I decided to look for Tammie.

First I walked to the upper deck and checked the grandstand, all the aisles, the concession stands, the bar. I couldn’t find her.

The second race started and they went around. I heard the players screaming during the stretch run as I walked down to the ground floor. I looked all round for that marvelous body and that red hair. I couldn’t find her.

I walked down to Emergency First Aid. A man was sitting in there smoking a cigar. I asked him, “Do you have a young
redhead in there? Maybe she fainted . . . she’s been sick.”

“I don’t have any redheads in here, sir.”

My feet were tired. I went back to the second deck and began thinking about the next race.

By the end of the eighth race I was $132 ahead. I was going to bet 50 win on the 4 horse in the last race. I got up to bet and then I saw Tammie standing in the doorway of a maintenance room. She was standing between a black janitor with a broom and another black man who was very well dressed. He looked like a movie pimp. Tammie grinned and waved at me.

I walked over. “I was looking for you. I thought maybe you’d o.d.'d.”

“No, I’m all right, I’m fine.”

“Well, that’s good. Goodnight, Red. . . .”

I walked off toward the betting window. I heard her running behind me. “Hey, where the hell you going?” "I want to get it down on the 4 horse.”

I got it down. The 4 lost by a nose. The races were over. Tammie and I walked out to the parking lot together. Her hip bounced against me as we walked.
“You had me worried,” I said.

We found the car and got in. Tammie smoked 6 or 7 cigarettes on the way back, smoking them part way, then bending them out in the ashtray. She turned on the radio. She turned the sound up and down, changed stations and snapped her fingers to the music.

When we got to the court she ran to her place and locked the door.

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