Blackhumouristpress's Blog

November 12, 2013

Happy Veterans Day

Filed under: Detroit,Ethnicity,humor — blackhumouristpress @ 8:17 pm
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Wade watched his son walk out alone through the tunnel. He saw a skinny kid with a lot of feathered hair. He thought his young son looked like Shawn Cassidy, an androgynous looking teen star. Luke held out his hand to the man who looked like Charles Manson in an olive green army coat. The man with intense eyes left his son’s hand to hang in the air until he dropped it.
“You came from Frisco?”
“Yes, sir.”
“Are there still a lot of queers in Frisco?”
“I don’t know. I live in Oakland. My mom works at Berkeley. She said it was cheaper to fly out of San Francisco than Oakland.”
“Berkeley huh? Lot of fucking hippies at that school. You’re not a Shawn Cassidy fan are you?”
“No sir. My sister is though.”
Wade was a Vietnam veteran who had come back from an eighteen month, two tours of duty to Detroit. He was an infantry sergeant whose job it was to walk from village to village through the jungle after Agent Orange, a defoliant, was used to cause the foliage to die instantly, making it possible to see the forest through the trees as the saying goes.
Luke looked at the beat up looking house in a beat up looking area of a town he was born in but had not visited since being an infant. In the front yard with knee high grass; behind a six-foot cinderblock wall with razor wire at the top and a sign that read, “Trespass if you want to go to heaven today”. In the yard were three Doberman Pinchers. The three dogs growled at Luke. Luke was frozen with fear.
“If you act like a scared little pussy, you’ll always get your ass kicked. Don’t think them dogs don’t know you’re frightened like a girl. Just be cool and they won’t fuck with you… Hey, you got my money, motherfucke!r?”
A chubby man with aviator sunglasses and a thick black moustache was loading his belongings into a car in the driveway at that same moment. He had been renting a bedroom from Wade and decided to vacate upon not having rent money two months in a row.
“Well, I have just recently become gainfully employed and will be able to send you money from Cleveland just as soon as I get my first check.”
Wade held up his index finger motioning his renter to wait a moment.
“Wait here. I got a little something to give you before you go. Don’t take off yet.”
Wade went into his bedroom, brought out a double barrel 12 gauge shot-gun and pointed it at his renter. The truck lid was open. Wade shot a hole in the trunk as his former renter raced off in his car.
“Rule fucking one- be a man of your word and don’t bullshit people especially if they are not stupid enough to swallow bullcrap. He thinks I would kill and I would. He won’t ever send me a nickel. He deserved the scare for being a lying ass deadbeat. You hungry?”
Wade took Luke to a Coney Island and let him order a hot dog with fries and a soda. He thumbed through a book called Dianetics by a man named L. Ron Hubbard while smoking a cigarette. Luke, an eleven year old boy wondered why it was that the man who was his father, never asked him any questions. What’s your school like? How’s your mom? Does your sister ever ask about me? After about five minutes of silence, Wade started to speak.
“I had a friend named Lester. A bad ass Jew boy who lived in Southfield. He had a Dodge Charger and wouldn’t take no shit from nobody. He went to reform school and when he got out, his family wouldn’t let him back in the house. I had a job with your mom’s father working at a Plymouth plant and Lester was living with your mom and I. Well old Lester had no fucking job and he was at home all day with your mom while I was working. You were a baby and about a year later, your sister was born. When your sister came out, she was born with a hook fucking nose. I’m wondering where she got the hook. Maybe a Jew with a hook nose himself? I know your sister is Lester’s kid. She looks like Lester in all them pictures your mom sent me.”
Luke went on to hear the same story several more times before he returned home. Upon returning home, Luke confronted his mother with the question about Lester being the father of his sister. Luke’s mother slapped him and replied that Lester was a pig and the very idea of being accused of being with him, made her violent.
Two men came in to the restaurant and began quietly robbing everyone at the Coney Island. Wade took notice and put down the book on Dianetics. Eventually the men walked up towards Wade and Luke. One man plopped down across from Wade, next to Luke as he picked his teeth with a toothpick.
“Hey man, we collecting money foh little brothas of the poor. We poor brothas and we collecting. Take out all you got in your pockets and just be cool, dig?”
Wade took a drink of his coffee with his left hand and rammed the barrel of his gun into the crotch of the man sitting across from him calmly.
“I was in a village you ain’t never heard of or cared about some 10,000 miles from here. Some motherfucker strapped a bomb to a kid who came up and begged for candy and then died and took two friends of mine with him. I then rounded up ever man in the village, put a gun in their mouths like the one against your balls right now and sent them to see Buddha. I would have no fucking problem pulling the trigger right now and splattering your nutsack all over the wall behind you. I went to fight so that motherfuckers like you could coast, right? Great country. Now you two motherfuckers clean your pockets of the shit you just took and set it right here on the table. I might then let you walk the fuck out of here.”
Luke couldn’t eat anymore. His teeth chattered uncontrollably. His father asked if he was cold. It was eighty-five degrees out. Before Luke returned to Oakland, his father threatened people who looked at him, bumped into him, cut him off in traffic and even pulled out a sawed off shotgun to shoot at what he thought was pheasant in a field in inner city Detroit. Luke never came to visit his father again. Years later, a nurse from a hospital in a burn unit in Las Vegas was able to find Luke via Facebook to let him know that his father had been burned over 65% of his body in a house fire. Most people die from the intense pain, Wade was a strong man who could endure great pain. All his life he endured the pain of living a life that went wrong. Was it society and war or just an inability to adjust to speed of life in America? There’s no answer.
Luke read through magazines and sent text messages to his wife back in Northern California. Wade opened his eyes and saw a baby girl on the screen saver of his son’s laptop. Luke was unaware that his father was conscious.
“What’s your baby’s name?”
“We named her Joyeaux… It’s French. We call her Joy for short.”
“Everyone has fucked up names today, don’t they? Who does your baby look like, you or your wife?”
Luke smiled and looked at his dad before responding. He wondered how it was that the man looking at him was more of a stranger than a random person on the street. Luke asked himself often how it was that this man never contacted him and apologized for never being a part of my life. He reasoned that you cannot miss something that means nothing to you.
“Well dad… I have to be honest with you. Joyeaux looks like Lester… How bout that?”
Dedicated to my dad, a Vietnam Veteran. A man I’ve known since birth that I still really do not know.

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