Das memórias de Zé de Damiana – Parte 2

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Foto autor não identificado, decada 50, o balaio, arquivo: Getulio Teixeira

Das memórias de Zé de Damiana, trabalhador e ativista político  em Macau [RN]. Parte 2 – Entrevista de Zé de Damiana em janeiro de 2010 para a monografia do Professor Jailson, extraímos alguns trechos que estamos publicando neste sítio. Eu era muito jovem e meu trabalho era entregar pão e ganhava vinte mil réis no mês. Eu só achava ruim a segunda-feira e o sábado que eram dias de sofrimento. Eram os dias que se fabricavam mais bolacha de coco e pão doce e os comerciantes Vicente Gomes, Adalberto e Manoel Brás faziam grandes compras. Era quinhentos para seu Vicente, trezentos para Adalberto e mais quinhentos para Manoel Brás. Eu levava em balaios, na cabeça. Quando era à tarde, não tinha forro pra cabeça não! Chega, afundou minha cabeça, olha aqui como está baixo! Um dia, falei com dona Vicência, a dona da padaria para me arrumar um serviço de ajudante de padeiro. E ela me disse que eu não aguentaria, pois era um trabalho mais difícil, mas insisti e fui para lá ganhando quarenta mil réis no mês. Fui me aguentando ali até que Raimundo Florêncio que tinha uma padaria na rua da Frente me ofereceu cinquenta mil réis e fiquei trabalhando lá por algum tempo. Eu tinha uns 16 anos e um dia meu cunhado que trabalhava na salina ficou sem o companheiro que caiu doente. Eles trabalhavam em dupla. Ele veio e falou assim: Zé, rapaz, estou com meu companheiro doente e não acho uma pessoa pra colocar o sal pra fora comigo! Dá pra tu pedir as contas na padaria e trabalhar comigo? Eu disse que não aguentaria o balaio porque era muito pesado, pois ele tinha de 14 a 15 cuias. Uma cuia tinha 5 litros o que dava de 70 a 75 quilos no balaio. Então ele falou que ia desmanchar o balaio e fazer um com onze cuias, ficava na média de 55 quilos. Aí dá pra nos trabalhá! Ele disse. No primeiro dia, os amigos dele disseram: – Rapaz, você mata esse menino! Você mata esse seu cunhado! Tá judiando com o rapazinho, faça isso não! Aí, meu cunhado me disse: – Não corra não meu cunhado, se você correr eles vão dar uma vaia em você. Ai eu disse: – Em mim ninguém dava vaia não. Eu vou aguentar! No primeiro dia quando foi de tarde, ainda me lembro como se fosse hoje, botamos trinta alqueires. O alqueire é 13 quilos o que dava quase 400 quilos, mas eu fiquei com o ombro doído. No outro dia eu fui e continuamos e no fim da semana ele fez as contas. – Pega esse dinheiro, é teu! – E esse dinheiro todo é meu? – É, pega aí! Era dezesseis mil réis. Prá quem ganhava cinquenta mil réis no mês era muito dinheiro. Aí eu me animei. E ele me disse: – Se você quiser segunda-feira tiramos mais sal. Eu respondi: – Pode tirar que eu vou! Era a salina do João Valentim de Almeida, o português. É aí fomos trabalhar, quando foi sábado o dinheiro cresceu né, me lembro como se fosse hoje, botamos 180 alqueires de sal, ai poxa vida, aí fiquei trabalhando com ele. Primeiro tinha que cortar o sal com o ferro de cova. Aí cortava o sal, lavava e empilhava. Se o sal ficasse com mancha o feitor mandava você lavar de novo.

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