Blackhumouristpress's Blog

July 27, 2010

The Detroit Coast

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            In MTV’s never ending quest to take everyday people and set them in a biosphere of human reality, they chose the city of Detroit for their next hit television reality show.  The extraordinarily good looking, toned and tanned young men and women of South Beach, Venice Beach and so on, were pretty much cut of the same cloth wherever they went.  It was too much of the same thing over and over.  Athletic individuals blessed with good looks and good genes, were always going to party hard and get laid easily.  A twenty something aged producer who had helped create other reality shows for MTV, was able to sell them on placing real Detroiters in a real home, within the city limits of Detroit, within a stone’s throw of the Detroit River.

            In a city that had more than 900,000 vacant lots or abandon homes, MTV was able to buy up a whole city block for about the price of buying a single family house in a modestly well to do suburb in most cities of the United States.  Once the property was purchased, a twenty foot iron fence with sharp fleur de lis decorations on the tips, made the fence impossible to scale without impaling one’s self.  This fence went around the perimeter of the entire city block.  Security guards in cars and on foot, stood guard around the property around the clock while construction crews built a beautiful single family house within a matter of weeks.  Perfect grass without any weeds was laid out from rolls of sod.  Trees, bushes, flowers and even a sidewalk that lead to nowhere were all part of the set to make the home look as real as possible for the real people who were about to move in and share their lives together.  On television.

            From the back yard, there was ample southern exposure for the young residents to lay out by the in ground cement pool.  From the patio that was equipped with a monster sized, deluxe grill and patio furniture, the skyline of Detroit’s downtown was nearby to the south.  To the east was the shore of the Detroit River.  To the north and west was the urban blight that most people were familiar with who lived in and around Detroit.  Vacant lots or abandoned homes that had been burned and were decaying over the course of some forty plus years since the riots were visible from the fabricated home within the compound.  Weeds grew waist high in cracks of the streets and sidewalks.  For the most part, there were no homes with anyone living in them.  There were a few where residents that remained and maintained their homes despite the fact that they were isolated and secluded from anything that resembled an inner city neighborhood.  Some of residents that lived by the MTV home marveled and wondered what was going on as they sat on the front steps of their homes, drinking malt beverages.  Was Detroit really about to have an urban renewal?  Were suburban whites going to move back to Detroit to take advantage of the dirt cheap land and build homes, parks, schools, grocery stores, community centers and maybe a Starbucks?  Was Detroit about to undergo a massive change the way Chicago did back in the 1990’s?  No, not at all.

            Trent- A twenty two year old African-American born and raised in Detroit.  Trent works as a fitness instructor and personal trainer at a health club in Royal Oak.  Trent also works as a bouncer at a Royal Oak club on weekends.  Trent drives a Chrysler 300 with 18 inch rims and a sound system that could rattle the fillings off of someone’s teeth a block away.  Trent likes Rap music and is hoping to record some of his own stuff.  Trent is hoping being a celebrity on the show will afford him the chance.  Trent is tall and slender with a shaved head and a stud earring on his left ear.  He has several tattoos and thinks he looks good in the color red.

            Gwyneth- Not Gwen (she opted to use her full name like the celebrity of the same name once that celebrity became famous), is twenty one years old and a senior at the University of Michigan.  Gwyneth is really a sophomore due to the fact that she had dropped so many classes to avoid flunking out.  Gwyneth jogs and works out at a gym occasionally.  She was born and raised off eight mile road about ten miles west of the city of Detroit, in an insulated burg of other predominantly white people.  Gwyneth loves the club scene in Royal Oak and sometimes likes the oldies night in Ferndale when they play the old school stuff from the 1990’s.  Gwyneth is average height with small perky breasts, narrow hips and a shapely posterior.  She drives a Ford Focus that her father bought her and really likes to listen to Lady Gaga.

            Tommy- A twenty three year old from Warren, Michigan who was living with his mother, stepfather, stepbrother and stepsister in a small ranch house about two blocks north of eight mile road.  Tommy considers himself a Guggalo or disciple of the Insane Clown Posse.  Tommy is thin and devoid of muscle tone with a sunken chest.  He has a goatee and a moustache.  Tommy has somewhat of a mullet haircut with a blond tail in the back.  He wears sleeveless flannel shirts over Insane Clown Posse t shirts that are also missing sleeves.  Tommy has a tattoo of a clown with a hatchet in his hand with the letters ICP across his right shoulder.  Tommy has a cracked front tooth and is the father of a four year old daughter who lives with her mother and her mother’s family in Wyandotte, Michigan.  Tommy sees his daughter on supervised visits once a month.  Tommy works as a busboy at a Red Lobster in Warren.  He is hoping to be a server soon.  Tommy rides a bicycle.

Sukhunta- Age twenty two who is a second generation Cambodian woman who was raised in Berkley, Michigan.  Sukhunta attended Wayne State and is now a primary school teacher in Detroit.  Sukhunta is contemplating being a special education teacher and wants to visit England.  Sukhunta loves Ska and Reggae music.  She drives a Vespa scooter most of the year but when it is too cold and snowy for that, she drives a mint condition white AMC Pacer that she purchased from a guy on line in Arizona.  Sukhunta loves James Bond movies prior to 1976, all classic movies prior to 1970.  Sukhunta is short and plump with a bobbed hair style and makes her own clothes.

Amir- A twenty one year old man born in Lebanon who was raised in Dearborn.  Amir runs one of his father’s mini markets in inner city Detroit.  Amir is engaged to marry a girl whom he has never met from Beirut.  He talks to her on Skype and sends her emails daily.  When his fiancé finishes high school, Amir will go with his family to have the wedding in Beirut.  Amir loves baseball despite never really playing it and drives a fifteen year BMW with 162,000 miles.  The car once belonged to his father.

Trina- A twenty two year old female born in Detroit.  Trina is voluptuous, busty and has a large ass that she calls, The Juice.  Trina works at a hair salon off of Woodward.  She has twin boys age five that stay with her and her mother in Detroit.  Trina loves to sing and dance. Trina has full lips and almond shaped eyes.  Trina oozes of sexuality and confrontation.  She wears her hair slightly red and curly like corkscrews.  Her nails are long with decorations on each nail.  Trina is hoping to be signed as a singer upon becoming a celebrity on the show.  Trina drives a 1998 Chevrolet Caprice with two baby seats in the back.

            Amir is standing in front of the mirror about to brush his teeth.  He is curling his lips at the condition of the bathroom that he must share with Trent and Tommy.  Amir finds a curly hair on his toothbrush that had been in a plastic case.  He has concluded that Tommy plucked one of his own pubic hairs and nestled in the bristles of Amir’s toothbrush.  Amir is very upset.

            “This is fucking bullshit…  That motherfucker hates everyone except other trailer trash motherfuckers like himself.  He’s gonna get up and light a fucking cigarette, make some fucking coffee and swear at his mom on the phone before making a fucking mess, getting on his bicycle to go clean fucking tables.  The guy is a fucking moron…  You all must have picked him for comedy.  Any day he’ll be in jail for stealing someone’s fucking dog and trying to get away  with it on his ten speed… Fuck it…  I’m not going to brush my teeth today.  I’m going to be like Tommy and not brush my teeth…” said Amir.

            A man behind a camera asks Amir why he’s so angry so early in the morning.

            “Why?  You asking me fucking why?  I wait forty five minutes for Trent to finish jacking off or whatever the fuck he does in here while blasting music.  I mean, he’s got no hair so it ain’t like he’s combing it, right?  Okay so you shit and shower and shave…  Does that take an hour?  One guy never does anything but piss and shit and the other monopolizes the bathroom and then when I gotta get in here and rush in like ten minutes to do all I need to and then there’s a light brown fucking pube imbedded in my goddamn tooth brush.  It’s no fucking mistake.  That motherfucker hates Muslims.  He fucking asked me if I sleep in a tent in my backyard in Dearborn…  I’m like what the fuck are you talking bout, man?  He said he saw some shit on television about Bedouins in Morocco that are nomadic and sleep only in tents.  I’m like, yeah motherfucker.  I’m milking fucking goats and selling oil…  Fuck it… I’m outta here,” said Amir.

            Amir goes to the kitchen where Trina is talking loudly on the phone while eating Frosted Flakes and painting her toe nails.  Amir wants to pour himself a glass of milk and studies all the glasses up to the light to see if they were truly clean.  Trina sees the faces Amir is making and says something to him.

            “All them glasses is clean.  You ain’t gotta be coming all up in here making them faces.  You don’t like the way I clean em, you got the sponge and soap right there, you kin wash them yo-self.  I ain’t the maid in this bitch.  It was my turn to warsh them and I did.  You see me eating Tony the fucking tiger off the same dishes I done washed the night befoh, right?  Aight then…  Don’t worry bout that and just pour you some milk.  Come in up in the kitchen, cain’t say hello or good morning but gonna be inspectin the damn dishes like he from the health department… Is it you or your people just ain’t friendly in the morning?” 

            “My people?  Let me ask about you about your people and let me hear how that sounds to you…” said Amir.

            “Then take yo monkey ass out here…  You be all smiles just as soon you git to yo daddy’s store and you selling forty ounces and Pampers…  Yeah, thank you come again, motherfucker…”

            “Fuck you, bitch.”

            “Say something else and I will get up out this chair.”

Gwyneth enters the kitchen and awkwardly hugs and kisses goodbye a guy she picked up at a club the night before.  Gwyneth isn’t sure of the man’s name. Trina has her own room but Gwyneth has to share a room with Sukhunta.  Sukhunta is upstairs complaining about having to hear Gweneth making sex sounds in the room.  Sukhunta is wearing a pair of black leggings and Doc Marten boots.  She is listening to The English Beat at a low volume and is trying to decide which skirt she wants to wear.  Another camera crew films her getting ready.

            “Um…  I have no problem with sex.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love sex and I think it’s great but when you’re like being woken from a deep sleep to the sound of someone being tortured, that’s just a little gross… Okay?  I mean why didn’t she just go to his house?  Is it because he’s living with mom and dad still?  Couldn’t sneak her into the basement or something?  Nobody just goes to motels anymore.  You go to some motel off Gratiot.  It’s like forty bucks and you get to watch people fuck on television while you go at it.  No…  Ms. Congeniality has to get shit faced and bring the soup du jour home and then I wake up to smell of farts, tequila and rotten breath from them across the room.  You know what?  It’s just courtesy.  When you believe you’re at the center of the universe, you just don’t worry about bothering others I guess…  What do you think?  Plaid skirt or the checkers?  I really want to wear the checkers but I don’t know if the principal will think it’s just a tad too casual.  I dunno… I’m gonna be late again.”

            The show lasted a full season.  Trent wound up sleeping with all three women at one point or another.  Tommy and Amir got into a fist fight and Tommy needed to get stitches.  Tommy said he would be back with a gun but nothing came of it.  Trina was almost dismissed for having her twins spend the night on nights when filming was supposed to take place.  Trina’s mother had a new boyfriend and wanted some alone time with her boyfriend and had Trina take the twins for a few nights in the house.  Gwyneth was having issues with depression and went for extended periods of time when she could not face any of the other residents in the house.  Sukhunta emerged as the sane voice of balance and reason who could effectively talk to all the other residents and find a way to be friends or at least co-exist to some extent with the others.  Occasionally they all went out for Greek food or to a hockey game at the direction of the MTV crew but for the most part, it was chaos and that was what the public liked most.

            The show did very well and had lived a life span of a year.  The next big new show was going to feature hidden camera gags on unexpecting people at large.  The MTV crew was in negotiations with George Clinton about doing a Hugh Heffner-esque show about an old Funk musician living with several barely legal women who agree to share him equally.  The Detroit house was all set up for the next great idea.

July 21, 2010

Wonder Drugs

            Officer Gomez, Sandra Gomez stood five feet six inches and had brown stubble for hair.  She had a strong jaw yet a very attractive face.  She became a Chicago Police officer five years back.  She served as a young Marine in Desert Storm in the early 1990’s.   As far as women police officers go, she looked butch but yet had a stunningly beautiful face.

            Sandra was a second generation Ecuadorian who looked European.  Her parents had left Ecuador when she was very young.  They had a hacienda like home in Quito that was equipped with servants.  The servants were poor Quechua Indians.  Three Indian women took care of the home and the children.  They wore big skirts and Fedora hats.  Her father heard from friends who did really well in United States with real estate and so the family moved to Chicago.  They moved to the United States and it really never turned out to be that lucrative for them.  Everyone thought that because of their last name, that they were Puerto Rican.  Sandra’s father considered changing their last name to Jensen, which is Norwegian for the son of Jen.  Sandra’s mother, who’s maiden name was Hidalgo, thought that taking on a Scandinavian name was ridiculous.  The family struggled like many immigrant families do but they were happy and well balanced.  Sandra’s family eventually went back to live in Quito where life was much slower and more patient with older people.

            Sandra started to lift weights towards the end of high school.  She had a boyfriend that would slap the back of her arm and laugh when it jiggled.  He told her that he loved Hispanic girls with a little meat on them.  He told her that he was not interested in skinny white girls.  Sandra one day saw her boyfriend coming out of a restaurant with a skinny white girl with blond hair, with her arm wrapped around his.  It had been weeks since he initiated sex between them and Sandra suspected something.  Sandra began to run everyday.  It was hard at first to run two blocks.  By the time she joined the Marines, she was able to run an eight minute mile. 

            Sandra like many women who had low opinions of themselves, felt that she could always do better.  Sandra discussed with an owner of the small store front gym that she would like to be more toned and more muscular.  This store front owner began to give her injections of a steroid that was purchased for dirt cheap in Mexico.  Within three months, Sandra was stronger and looked stronger.  Her stomach was defined and her arms were muscular.  Her breasts became domed shape rather than plump and full.  Sandra could run faster and lift more weights.  The gym owner told her how much money she could make on the side by doing wrestling and stripping aside from entering body building competitions.

 On Monday nights, the gym owner would rent out a suite at a luxurious downtown Chicago hotel and invite men to wrestle women like Sandra.  They would pay $200.00 an hour to writhe and wiggle on a rubber mat, covered with oil.  The same gym owner was able to convince the women to do lesbian porn movies too.  Sandra and the other women became hooked on the way they looked and the gym owner was their pimp.  Sandra’s job was to arrest people who took, sold and distributed other illegal drugs during work but she saw nothing wrong with what she was doing.

            “Sir… You the owner of this building?”  Asked Sandra while pointing her pen at Mort.

            “I’m just the manager of the building,” said Mort, while fixing his glasses, sporting a ball cap that read, “Bass fear me”.

            “I thought this guy here was the manager… What’s your name again?”

            Dwight replied.  Sandra asked to see his driver’s license because she thought he was trying to be funny.  Sandra had decided that if it was not his name, she was going to find a reason to bring him into the station.  Fortunately for Dwight, it was his name.

            “No, I’m the janitor, he’s the manager…  They need managers to watch the janitors and then the big boss watches everyone.  Nobody trusts each other… This is how it works. I don’t need him and he don’t need his boss but everyone need a job.”

            Sandra closed her eyes and held up her hand for Dwight to stop speaking.  The night before, she had wrestled a group of Japanese men who were executives for a drug company.  Their job was to come and tell the Americans who ran their company for them in the United States, that they were being bought out by another drug company and that 50% of the current workers would be let go.  Their company had just developed a drug that helped people with narcolepsy, stay awake.  It worked so well that young twenty something aged clubbers were using it so that they could stay up all night.  Their slogan was a catchy one.  They had a Charles Nelson Reilly look alike with a magic wand, spreading pixie dust over the head of some poor person who was unable to stay awake.

            “Wakie wakie, eggs and bakie…” said the Charles Nelson Reilly impersonator with a magic wand, while laughing hardily with a double chin.

            That became the catch phrase all over the United States and Canada.  The scientists had actually screwed up.  They were trying to make a drug that helped people with insomnia sleep.  It had the reverse effect.  Insomniacs were up for days and felt great as if they had slept.  One of the scientist decided to try it on narcoleptics and voila.  One billion dollars in tests for the FDA and the fledgling drug company had struck gold.  On billboards, on the sides of busses, on the radio and television, was the distinct laugh of Charles Nelson Reilly, a moderately famous dead actor who was flamboyant yet funny. 

 Those who worked for the company thought that they were secure.  The three Japanese men were there to bust the bubble.  There was another company that was purchasing them and only needed a portion of the work force.  C’est la vie.

            Sandra had to wrestle the three hatchet men from Japan men who were in their early thirties.  Through their interpreter, they asked Sandra if it would be possible to have sex with her at the same time.  They were willing to pay her close to $3,000.00.  For them it was a deal since their money was exchanged from Euros.  Sandra declined.  They offered her and extra $1,000.00 if they could masturbate on her.  She went along with that.  The gym owner had cameras set up in the room and caught every second of it.  It became his promotional film for Japanese executives.  It was on the internet but was not easy to find.  Sandra never found out.  Sandra was towelling the spew off of herself at roughly one in the morning while the three Japanese men, grinned like fools and bowed to her as she got dressed and exited the hotel room.  The money was helping Sandra to buy her dream house along the shores of Lake Michigan.  She had several thousand saved in certificates of deposits.  She was a million away but getting closer all the time.  The dream house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright back in the twenties.  It was a swell looking abode. 

            Sandra took her notes of the robbery at the building and left.  She had two hours left on her shift.  With under an hour to go, she would be called to a dumpster where a baby was found dead.  A teenaged mother, fearful of losing her twenty four year old heroin addict boyfriend, put her newborn baby in a plastic bag and threw the baby in the dumpster behind her building.  A homeless man looking for scrap metal and scrap food, found a catatonic new born in a plastic bag.  Sandra experienced many heinous things as a Marine and as a police officer, but that one took the cake.  Sandra worked an extra four hours.  She was the one who had to take into custody the young woman who suffocated her week old child.  In the apartment was a small child, watching Miley Cyrus on the Disney Channel, while sitting on a urine stained mattress in a bedroom.  Sandra fought hard not to break down and cry.  She told herself that it was a job that somebody had to do and it was one that she signed on for and that anything and everything would be possible.

            “Hey sweetie…  We’re going to go for a ride, okay?” Said Sandra.

            “I want to finish watching Hannah Montana though,” said a cute little girl who was almost seven years old.

            “I know honey…  But we really need to take a ride now.  I promise you’ll get to watch your show again soon,” said Sandra.

            “It’s my favorite show…  I want to be like her when I grow up,” said the small girl.

            “Yeah?  I think I wanted to be Wonder Woman…  We gotta go now.”

  Life always looks so much better on television.

July 9, 2010

Tightrope

Syed decided that if he was going to work for an American oil tanker transporter, he had better change his name to something that did not sound so terrorist sounding to American ears.  Syed became Sam and Sam came from Morocco and could speak perfect Arabic and French.  Through schooling in Paris, he learned to speak English nearly as well as his two native languages.

            Sam grew his hair extremely long and learned to strum chords on a guitar and before long, he was spitting out phrases in Spanish and American girls thought he was Spanish instead of a North African Arab.  Sam always did the same thing; he would walk around town with his acoustic guitar until he found a place that was friendly enough to let him bang away at Gypsy Kings sort of Spanish style music.  Before the end of most nights, he found himself in the bed of some woman in the town where the boat was docked. 

            Now this was no ordinary boat.  This boat was 1000 feet long and could hold 1billion gallons of oil.  It took quite a while for the boat to fill up and while the boat was filling, Sam went to town.  Sam signed up for a new route that took him from North Africa to Portland, Maine.  They would stop in the North Sea first and then off to Africa.  It took about a month of solid travel from Maine and during that time, Sam would sing and strum his guitar and watch old movies in English.  The idioms made no sense to him, but he was able to follow what was going on.

            It was Independence Day weekend in 2008 that Sam stumbled into town in hopes of playing his guitar and finding companionship for the evening or two.  Sam walked around the wharf area with his guitar slung over his back.  It was a warm summer day with a nice cool breeze.  Sam had forty eight hours to kill and he was determined to occupy as much time as he could in the arms of some woman.  Sam wasn’t picky.  He had women of every color and every shape in the past and did not care even if they were ugly.  They just had to be open-minded and passionate.

            Sam had little money but decided to sit down on the dock and strum away on his guitar.  People gathered around to hear the man with the nice voice, banging away on an acoustic guitar with his matted hair stuck to his face while he closed his eyes and became one with the music.  The manager of a nearby restaurant saw the people crowding around and offered Sam a job for the night playing his music in the foyer while people stood about holding drinks and waited thirty minutes or more for a table.

            Anna heard the unique music and watched the foreigner strum with fervor as his long sweaty hair stuck to his face.  She was working hard serving tables at the restaurant that was once a boat but was now a docked restaurant.  At the end of the night, the young man sat at the bar of the restaurant and could see his tanker’s lights across the harbor.  Sam was happy to have a job but really wanted to move to the United States and try to be a musician.  Anna was sitting at the other end of the bar, wrapping silverware in napkins.  She interrupted the daydreaming sailor.

            “Whaddya cawl that music?”  Asked Anna.

            “I don’t call the music anything…  It calls out to me and I answer,” said Sam with a smile.

            Anna had just decided to quit playing ice hockey on a Division I scholarship to the University of Maine and quit school in general.  Anna had taken up the guitar and learned enough chords to begin constructing her own songs.  Anna would attend open mic nights at coffee houses and bars around Portland and was posting her recorded tunes on Myspace and Facebook.  She had hoards of fans and friends but nobody was really buying her music.  It just so happened that later that night, Anna was going to be playing at a small bar off of High Street.  Anna played three songs and on the third, she asked Sam to accompany her.  Needless to say, Sam never made it back to the ship again.  Sam moved into an apartment with three other friends of friends of Anna’s who were mostly rich drug addicts that believed living did not entail working.  Working got in the way of life.  Sam had a few music gigs that he played at restaurants during the week but nothing that could sustain him on his own. 

One day while sitting on a bench at the wharf, waiting for Anna to get off of work, he noticed all the seagulls and the seagull shit that looked like splashed paint on the peaks of commercial buildings and condominiums.  Sam got the idea to go into business for himself and was able to land over a dozen accounts where by he would get on the roofs of the buildings and scrub and scrape the shit off the buildings.  It was a perilous job and one that commanded decent money.  Before long, Sam was making good money ridding the city buildings of Seagull shit, playing music and was dating Anna.  Life in America was great.

            Anna enjoyed her companionship with Sam and felt that she had a good lover and a great friend all rolled up into one.  Anna was quick to run away from things that did not make her happy and playing Division I ice hockey at University of Maine, made her unhappy and so she quit despite the fact that she knew it would break her father’s heart.

            Anna’s father, Bob, was a Lobsterman and had his own boat and made his own living working for himself.  Bob had won a settlement from the hospital that had accidentally killed Anna’s mother while she was in the hospital back when Anna was less than two years old.  Anna’s mother went in for tests and died of a punctured lung.  Bob was totally distressed over losing his childhood sweetheart and was forced to raise his daughter and only child alone. 

In the settlement, Bob received enough money to buy a two bedroom house in Cape Elizabeth, Maine which is some ten miles south of Portland and a boat with traps to catch lobster.

            When Bob wasn’t working, he was coaching ice hockey and playing it himself.  Bob coached all the teams his daughter ever played for which were teams of boys with Anna being the one girl.  Anna became very good and eventually was chosen as a national prospect by the USA Olympic committee to compete in a festival of prospects in Lake Placid, New York.  Those national camps helped to land a full ride scholarship for Anna at the University of Maine.  Bob was happy as hell to know that the only person that meant anything in his life was going to play ice hockey and live near home while going to school.

            Bob had dated a slew of women and had his share of one night stands but Anna was always the focus and women were not allowed to try and mother his Anna.  Anna grew up as her father’s little buddy.  Everywhere that Bob went, Anna would follow.  Sometimes on the boat on days off of school, the ice rink, restaurants, church and so on.  When the day came when Anna graduated from high school, the realization that a whole phase of Bob’s life was coming to an end, scared Bob.  Bob wondered what there would be beyond raising Anna.  Bob was surprised by the next phase.

            “You want that fucking swami living in ah gawd damn house…  Look, I don’t care how American he’s trying to fucking be, he’s one of them A-rabs and they’re Muslim and before you know it, your gonna be wearing a gawd damn head scaahf and bending over towards the east.  He’ll wind up taking you and your kids to Saudi Arabia and you’ll wind up like Sally Fields, trying to get the damn kids outtah the country.  You don’t think I know what these fucking guys do?  They try to blend in and then blammo!  They go to strip joints, drink baah and then crash fucking eh-planes into buildings.  Ask him if he owns a box cutter or ever wanted to fly a gawd damn plane…  Better yet, ask if he’s interested in landing one.”

            Anna became incensed by her father’s racism.  Now that Anna was a full fledged adult that was making her own money but still depending on her father to provide a home, pay her car insurance and her car note, Anna felt at ease to lay it on her dad and she did.

            “I love that so called swami… Okay?  He’s a good fucking man who isn’t like those idiots you drink with at the baah with aftah work.  You want me to marry a lawbstah man?  Is that it?  Well I know all them guys and they all fuck around and are fucking drunks.  I don’t want that for me.  This man understands me and I love him and I don’t give a fuck if he was born with a Ruby on his forehead.  You want me to move in with him somewheres else or can he stay with us?  You decide, pop…”

            It wasn’t long after that conversation that Sam was living with Anna and her father.  Bob bought a couch that had a bed in it and made it very clear that there would be no sleeping together in Anna’s room.

            “Ya gonna hafta forgive me Anwar…  I’m the old fashion type.  I couldn’t fall asleep at night thinking about my little girl fornicating with the sheik of Arabi.  Not shore what fornicating means? Look it up.  They talk bout it in the bible.”

            Bob hated the idea of having Sam live in his house with him and Anna but hated the idea of her moving out even more.  Sam would watch soccer on Portuguese language stations and strum his guitar at night.  Bob would wake up before dawn and make coffee and look over at the brownish man with long hair asleep in his living room and wonder what the hell the world was coming to. 

            Anna and Sam got along great for the most part but occasionally Anna wanted her space and this concept made Sam frantic.  Sam did not understand the necessity to be left alone now and then and took it as a schism in their relationship.  One day Sam confronted Anna on her moodiness.

            “What is going on?  I demand to know why you cannot look at me or talk to me?  Is it another man?”  Asked Sam.

            “You know what?  Fuck you and your demands.  I don’t work well with demands or commands.  I’ll talk when I’m ready.  If you don’t like it, get back on that ship and go back to Africa,” said Anna, knowing that she hurt Sam.

            Now Anna was torn suddenly.  She felt trapped by immersing her life into that of Sam’s so much so that when she came home, she felt like she had two fathers.  Anna felt a little trapped and bogged down by the commitment to live and be with Sam without any idea what direction they were really going.  For as open minded as Sam was, he was still a bit macho for a young woman who played ice hockey for most her life with boys.  Anna was not having it.

            A good looking young guy, who navigated his yacht around the world from Australia, happened to come to port in Portland and just happened to eat at the restaurant that Anna worked at and happened to take a liking to Anna.  This handsome, rich young man from Australia said all the right things and had piles of money to help his calm demeanor.  Tom had noticed that Anna was uncommonly beautiful, in good shape and yet oblivious to her physical attributes.  She was simple and plain in her conversation even though she was uncommonly pretty. 

            After several days of no eye contact, small pecks on the lips and short one word answers, Sam decided to snoop about.  What he found was Anna talking at the bar after hours with the rich yachtsman from Australia.  Sam wanted to come in from outside the window and confront Anna but he didn’t.  Sam knew that if he did that, he risked losing her.  Anna did not care for possessive behavior and would have cut Sam free most likely.  Instead Sam went back to Anna’s house, sat on the couch and began to drink beer while watching a soccer match.  Sam wasn’t really watching the game even though he was looking right at the screen.  Sam downed a six pack of Bob’s Belgian beer that was in the fridge.  Bob came staggering in at a little after eleven in the evening.  He had finished playing a pick up game of hockey, had a few drinks with the boys and headed home.  Bob was singing, Summertime by Sly and the Family Stone off key as he kicked off his shoes and greeted their Scottie dog who was ecstatic to see him.

            “Hot fun in the summertime…  Quiet ride in the country and everything is cool,” sang Bob.

            Bob noticed the drunken faux Spaniard with teary eyes and an empty six pack of his beer next to him, looking unblinkingly at the television in the dark.  Bob couldn’t think of what to say or ask.  Instead he went to the cupboard and got out a bottle of whiskey and two glasses.  Bob plopped down on the couch next to Sam and poured the two glasses half way up with rather expensive whiskey from Scotland.  He nudged Sam until Sam took the glass.  Ordinarily Bob and Sam stayed out of each other’s way as Bob hated the idea of Sam and Sam assumed it was racism that kept Bob from warming up to him.

            “You know…  I married the second girl I evah diddled…  Diddle is a polite way of saying the high haad one, the meat pistol and so on.  I was all of nineteen when I married Anna’s mum.  We stayed with her parents and her daad hated my ass.  It wasn’t til aftah Chelsea died that her old man understood that I really loved her…  You know what I’m say, Abdul?”

            Sam took offense to the nickname and had no inhibitions about telling Bob what was on his mind especially after so much liquor.

            “You think I’m some piece of shit from the Middle East, right?  Ride a fucking camel, snake charm, wear fucking robes and all that, right?  I speak three languages well enough to get a job in about forty countries and have two degrees.  I may be some sort of a let down to you but I know what I am and what I have going for me…”

            Bob put his arm around Sam and kissed him on the cheek while he poured more whiskey in his glass.  Sam was so stunned he didn’t know what to think or say.  Bob did the talking.

            “You evah see them guys who walk on a wire way up in the fucking air?  They call that thing a tight rope…  You wanna land my daughter completely, you gotta walk a tightrope.  That means you can’t act to tough or too wimpy.  You gotta take charge and occasionally let her take charge and you gotta know when to take ovah.  I know this stuff.  I been with hah since she was bahn.  I was there the moment she was bahn…  I don’t hate you, kid.  I wish you get a ha-cut and get a regular jwab but I know you’re a smaat kid thaat loves my daughter.  I can sense when someone wants just a piece of ass and when someone feels something…  That much I do know” said Bob, while taking another shot.

            Anna had come home and pulled in the circular drive and was about to open the door when she could hear her father and Sam talking to one another from the open living room window.  Anna decided to eaves drop.  She was shocked by what her father was saying and how he was trying to be a friend and father to someone he appeared to disdain.

            “I love Anna so much.  I want to marry her and have a life with her and kids and shit but I don’t wanna struggle…  You know what I mean?  I wanna be happy and have stuff,” said Sam.

            “I’m gonna give you some tips from an old man who knows a few things…  You will nevah have enough.  If you get a million, you’ll need two million.  Life will nevah be perfect and no matter how well you get along, you’re gonna piss each othah off from time to time.  That’s just life.  You two are young and you got your whole lives ahead of you as far as you know.  That’s the thing about life, you just nevah know when your last minute is coming and so you gotta live like you’re on borrowed time…  I suspect my daughtah thinks you’re just coasting and hanging on to her cause you ain’t got better options.  If you love haah, be fucking bold and do something that shows you got something between ya legs and in ya hawt…  Drink up, man.  This shit cost forty dollars a bottle and I know I’m gonna hate myself in about five hours and thaats just how it goes sometimes…” said Bob.  “Remember all I said.  You be the man when you need to be and sit in the back and listen occasionally an your gonna be fine.  Tightrope…  Learn to balance and you’ll be the king.”

            Bob eventually staggered off to bed and slept in all his clothes that smelled of sweat and seafood.  He didn’t mind and neither did the Scottie dog that snuggled up to him.  Anna came in a minute or so later and stood in the doorway crying.  Neither Sam nor Anna could say anything for a moment before clutching one another as if they would never see each other again.

            It was a little more than a year later that Sam and Anna sat on the grass of the Eastern Promenade Park in Portland, Maine, waiting for the night to come and the fireworks to begin on Independence Day.  An elderly couple walked by and stopped to appreciate the sight of a new life.  The couple both smiled and the elderly woman bent down and smiled as she held the hand of Sam and Abby’s baby girl.  An old knobby hand holding a tiny little hand and for a moment, the eyes of someone who had experienced so much in life and someone who was just beginning to live met.  Nothing was said just a smile from the old woman.  She noticed the blue eyes on a child belonging to two brown eyed parents.  The woman had to ask as many often did.

            “Who has such blue eyes in your families?”

            Sam answered before his wife had a chance to.

            “Our baby has my wife’s father’s eyes…  And his heart too.”

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