Blackhumouristpress's Blog

June 1, 2016

Timebombs

It isn’t possible to send out E-vites before expiring and passing on to heaven, another life or nothing, depending on what you believe.  There are no parties with tears and hugs before getting on to a helicopter and waving goodbye to everyone the way President Nixon did when he resigned.  No smile, wave and peace symbols flashed with your fingers before passing on.  It happens suddenly or it drags on.  It happens peacefully or we agonize and panic.  There really is no good way out.  We really are time bombs and don’t know when it is that we go off.
Andrew Millar received the news that he was going to die from cancerous polyps in his intestine, throughout his colon and into his blood stream.  He felt as he always felt but upon finding blood in his shit quite often, he decided to visit the doctor who sent him for tests.  In the same time in the same town, there was a man name Andrew Miller who was also worried about blood in the stool, saw his doctor and was sent in for testing.  The oncologist that was reading the results of Millar and Miller, mixed the two up.  The doctor told Millar that he should wrap up anything he needed to get done in the next six weeks when actually he just had anal fissures and nothing more and told Miller that he was absolutely fine when in reality, he had about six weeks to live.  It was an honest mistake brought on by the distraction that the FDA and FBI were about to bust the onocologist for prescribing unsanctioned, cheap Canadian drugs that were not approved so that he could make more money than if he purchased the cancer drugs through approved sources in the United States.  Who doesn’t want to save money?
Now Millar was a Jazz guitarist that never quite cracked the fame ceiling and was able to sustain himself just on playing music.  Millar had to teach guitar to young men who wanted to learn Led Zepplin riffs, play Glen Miller ( no pun intended ) songs at nursing homes and Kool and the Gang songs at weddings.  To really pay the bills, Millar was a substitute teacher in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County.  Millar usually brought his guitar to try to calm the high school age kids.  He would ask them to name songs and he would play them and as time went on, kids no longer listened to much music that required guitar.  They would throw out Ariana Grande, Justin Beiber or other syrupy, bubble gum stuff that really didn’t have guitar in it.  The youngsters were not impressed with his talent.  He was just a dumpy old man who looked like he hated the world.  Millar wore frayed jeans with a collared shirt untucked so as to not accentuate his second trimester belly fat.  He had a receding hair-line and he hated that life seemed to be changing for the worse for people like him- white, male, under employed, baby boomers.  Jazz was his sanctuary.  He would show up for Jazz jams around the city where a couple or two would listen to really great musicians play out of a bible of memorized standards.  It really was the same shit over and over.  It seems that all the Jazz that anyone ever played, was created during a 15 year period which ended with the Bossa Nova fling in the 1960’s.  Other than that, Millar really did not like his life.  Being a substitute teacher is what he loathed the most in life.
Upon receiving the news that he was going to die soon.  Millar was getting ready to sell everything on Craig’s List that he could get rid of and move to Amsterdam until he died.  He was going to smoke hash when the cancer really took hold, fuck prostitutes without protection and play Jazz is some really cool clubs in a very seemingly cool country.  The phone rang early on a Monday morning.
“Listen…  I’m going to die very soon…  You know what I’m saying?  In six weeks or less, it’s taps for me.  I don’t need the sixty bucks a day after taxes just to put up with little fucks who think they have it all figured out.”
“Just this one last time…  I’m absolutely in dire straits right now.  I have illness, births, deaths and not enough people to watch these rooms…  What can I do to sweeten the deal?”
A bottle of Woodford Reserve Bourbon and the day’s pay.  Millar walked into the room to find the students sitting on top of desks, shouting, talking on cell phones and one young black man was dancing in front of a mirror.  The students were part of a “special” class where they were all just incident away from possibly becoming part of true special education environment.  Millar, moved the desks into a circle and then told the students to sit where ever they want.  Millar stood in the middle.  The students quieted down.  They were intrigued by the seating arrangement.  Millar looked down and supported his chin with his thumb and index finger.  He looked both troubled and deep in thought.  A female finally asked him what was going on.
“No bullshit busy work today.  Your regular teacher is dying or giving birth or just blowing this off because she is frazzled.  I have no idea why and it doesn’t matter to me.  I have my own cross to burn today…  I want you each to look at me and tell me one thing that comes to mind about me.  We will go clockwise…  You sir…  You’re first.”
“Old, fat, sloppy, angry, tired, lazy, white, poor, ugly, stupid, racist…”
“Very good…  You’re getting the game.  So let’s back up and guess what I was like as a ninth grader like all of you.  I was a nineth back in 1982!  Before cellphones, graphic porn, PCs, laptops and a slew of other things that have managed to baby sit all of you today…  Sir…  Start again.”
“Nerdy, skinny, small, scared, pasty, introverted, nose picker, masturbator, momma’s boy…”
“Well…  It’s as if you were all right there with me back in 1982…  Okay, now it’s my turn.”
Millar rolled up his sleeves, took out a small bottle of Woodford Reserve from his pocket, took a swig, wiped his mouth like a pirate, exhaled loudly, clapped his hands and then rubbed them together.
“You there…  Art chick.  Tall and blonde, nice brand new body on you.  You may have gone lesbian for shock value or will by the time you enter into a college.  Once the shock of lesbian wares off, you’ll have a black guy.  Not the safe Uncle Tom types that take up ice hockey and if you close your eyes, you’d swear you were talking to a nerdy white guy…  You know what I’m talking about homey, dontcha?”
Millar pointed to the young black man with braids, sitting with his legs spread and his arms crossed, wondering where this was going.  And wondering more- why?
“The oreo type that uses words like awesome after everything.  Maybe calls guys bro or dude.  He likes skiing and salsa dancing with his really white girlfriend.  They’ll take a cooking class together and Lamaze someday when they decide to spawn little zebras…  No not that type of safe black man.  I’m talking about the guy who washes his car daily, with special rims and a special stereo system that sounds like bombs falling on London with the deep bass.  His white gym shoes are a cherrished possession.  Maybe was in a gang or is in a gang.  Lives a rough and tumble life in south central LA but gets bused all the way out to Woodland Hills just so he gets to see where really white whites hide away from the real world.  Tattoos, malt liquor, weed and speaks in mumbling, unintelligible half sentences and could never look the young white art chick’s dad in the eye and say, “pleased to meet you”.  Not pleased to meet you actually…  Dude…  What else do we have here?  Ah yes…  You there.”
A muscular white guy with his team football jersey on who was squinting and picking at his nails.  He was intrigued.
“You young man…  The proverbial boy next door.  You won’t probably make it to division I or II football.  You’re too slow, too white and not meaty enough.  You need to put on about 100 lbs and six inches just so you can stand on a line and bash your helmet into another equally grotesquely large man until someday voices in your head tell you to kill yourself.  No, you won’t go pro but you could wind up a bouncer for a really chic dance club near Hollywood.  You’ll marry some petite shrew, divorce, see your kids two weekends a month, sell cars or real estate and learn that you’re not a salesman…  You’ll have an epiphany at the age of like 28 that you should go back to school to become a PE teacher and get a gig as a…  ready for this?  A high school football coach!  My advice- don’t wait until you cannot sell cars or homes.  Go to college and become a PE teacher right away…  What else have we here?  Ah you…”
A chubby Mexican boy wearing shiny black shoes, dress pants, a plain white T-shirt and a blue flannel shirt buttoned only at the top.  Millar walked by and put his hand on his shoulder before going to the chalk  board and wrote a word in large letters.
ASSIMILATE
“Vato…  What is this word in Spanish?  Someday when I’m long gone and white people go the way of the Dodo Bird, it will be a moot word.  A word not necessary anymore.  Y’see…  Old white fucks like me go home and watch old television reruns and wonder where that America went.  Half the shit in this city is written in Spanish.  The Germans, Dutch, French, Italians all learned English.  The Koreans, Polish and Russians have all muddled along but not the Mexicans.  We need to write polite versions of be smart and don’t run on a wet floor in Spanish.  Why not Dutch or German?  Because they Came here and learned the language and became part of America.  Who created Donald Trump?…  Excuse the expression…  You people by not assimilating.  ASSIMILATE…  The word of the day.  Not because you’re rapists and murderers or taking jobs beneath all other Americans…  None of that shit.  For every white or black or Asian children born, there are three Latinos, Hispanics…  Primarily Mexicans being born.  Blacks don’t realize yet that at 12% of the population, they are the minorities.  Not the Latinos…  And that tag makes me laugh.  What exactly is Latin about Mayans who were conquered by Spaniards and forced to learn a European language…  So you, gordo…  You got a charp Chevy Chort…  Maybe a 1964 Impala lowered to about three inches off the ground.  You hang out in your barrio and try to kill others who are not from your barrio, right, essay…  Who have I left out?  Oh yes…  The Asian.”
A smallish Filipino boy sat with his arms folded and was in awe of what was being spewed by the substitute teacher.
“So you speak like you’re black and love the hip-hop culture.  You drive around in a little noisy Honda all souped up to race around with other smaller Asian lads on weekends.  You have a Spanish surname, sound like you’re black and will wind up going to college to become a nurse.  You’ll marry another Asian and get together with only other Asians and will live happily as can be.  That is provided you don’t get a divorce and decide to return to Manila, dress like a broad and sing bad Madonna covers in lounges as a career…  If you do, things are all set up for you here now.  You can piss wherever you want.  You got a cock but feel like there’s a woman trying to get out of you…  Fucking piss anywhere you want.  In fact, I’d claim to be LBG or T just to get a civil servant job.  That new group will be in the front row for any sort of new affirmative action…  Well I could go on and on really.  I hope that I have reached you all in some small way and let you know how we older people see you.  Know that the best years of your life are right now and that when you have to fend for yourself, it will suck.  Can’t wait to be 21 so you can drink?  You’ll need a drink to deal with life in America…  The greatest, strongest, smartest, most witty nation in the world and that is only our opinion of ourselves… where everyone aspires to be just like us except people like this young lady here with the head scarf.  Maybe she will find the love of her life in a camp in Syria, strap a bomb to her chest and take out the French or holiday workers in San Bernardino.  You say that is racist and unfair?  How many Hindus or Buddhists are beheading westerners in the name of their religion?  So unfair to think that way…  I know, I know.  They come here to wear blue jeans and drink Starbucks just like the rest of us.  Maybe they’re just trying to keep us from being more miserable and fucking things up more than we already are.  Picture this as a commencement speech from an angry old man that is dying.  I’m dying and will be dead long before all of you provided you don’t keep your heads up your asses.  Stereotypes aside- you are what makes America what it is.  Love it or go fuck yourself…  I think the bell will ring soon.  Whatever you do, just try to be happy.  Life is short and one day you get to be my age and look at the youth and want to just slap them into reality.  I hope I’ve done that today…  Either way, you won’t forget me for a while…  Class dismissed.”
Millar got home and saw the number 2 blinking on his answering machine that he purchased back in 1988 that was linked to his landline telephone.  Millar had a suspicion about one of the calls and he was right.  It was the school principal and he sounded like he was going to have a heart attack or stroke.
“What the fuck did you do today?  You are not getting paid for today. You are not getting any Scotch. You are not coming back to this school.  You will probably get sued and wind up on the news.  I guess if there is any saving grace to any of this shit is that you didn’t show up with a gun and just kill us all.  You may have killed my job and any chance of becoming a superintendent someday and for that I have to say fuck you, you fucking dick.  You twisted fuck.”
Millar poured himself a drink turned on the computer and checked email.  There was a bunch of junk from the Mayo Clinic, invites to play gigs for twenty dollars here or there and then one from one of the students.  Millar read it and then re-read it.  He turned off his computer and then turned it back on and re-read it one more time.
“Dear Mr. Millar,
I won’t let you know who I am.  I don’t want to be categorized further.  I just want to let you know that maybe we were wrong about you and maybe you were wrong about us.  You are right that we won’t soon forget you.  I cliqued on the link to your music page and you are a great guitarist.  I’m not a Jazz fan but liked what you play.  We all would have liked to hear you play instead of try to stereotype us.  Whatever…  It’s done now.  Just thought you should know that just because you’ve lived longer, it doesn’t mean you have it all figured out and you certainly don’t have all the answers.  That’s all.
 Millar forgot to play the second message on his answering machine.  He went back and hit play several times.
“Mr. Millar, I would like a call back from you but in the interim, I have some good news for you.  You are not going to die in six weeks from cancer.  You results were mixed up with another man with a very similar name to you.  You are absolutely fine and should live a long and happy life.  Call me if you wish to discuss this further.  Please let me know that you received this message.”
Message received.  All of them.
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