Blackhumouristpress's Blog

August 27, 2018

Make Believe

 

Kurt ran the plates of the young woman who was swerving while texting in an old Buick.  The car’s registration was expired, the driver’s license was expired and she had no insurance.  She cried as he explained to her that she would be ticketed and the car towed.

“If I had the money for insurance and to get the license tag renewed, I would have done it.  I am flat broke right now until I get my first check.  If you would find it in your heart to let me park here and take the bus home, I will get someone to take me in and register the car…”

Kurt, a police officer used to dealing with so much gang violence on Chicago’s west side, actually felt bad for the young lady.  It did not hurt that she was fit and pretty, dressed well and her car was clean and did not smell of booze or weed.

“Okay Ms. Tonisha…  I will let you get this automobile home without towing or ticketing you.  You have to get everything in order.  The next cop you come across will not be so kind…  I have a favor to ask of you and you do not have to say yes.  There is no gun to your head figuratively speaking of course…”

Now Tonisha felt that white people were the devil and those they were all of privilege, responsible for slavery and for all the misfortunes of the black community and the world.  Only thing worse than a white man was a white male cop.  She saw them as predatory profilers.  Kurt while driving his beat, thought that many blacks were animals that preyed on each other and pointed everywhere except at themselves over problems in their community.  Like most people, Kurt didn’t see himself as racist.  He has a black friend he drinks with that also is a cop and a former soldier.  Every white person has a black friend and they often begin a sentence while speaking to black people by saying- I have a black friend…  Kurt was never drawn to black women particularly but saw how beautiful Tonisha looked and thought hanging with her for the night would be fun and really amusing. The thought came to Tonisha that he was going to ask for a sexual favor.  She hit the record button on her phone.  The question was weird but there was an opportunity to make some money.

Kurt showed up at the banquet hall in a convertible Jeep in a suit, Tonisha in a tight fitting black dress, with pearls to contrast against the tight velvet dress.

“All you have to do is roll with me…  I want to have fun with this all tonight,” said Kurt.

Kurt was fit for a man of nearly 50 years of age.  Kurt had not been to his previous 10 and 20-year reunions but told some old friends that he had lost contact with that he would come. Kurt didn’t believe in Facebook or Twitter and nobody really knew much about him.  He had attended a high school in a northern suburb north of Chicago, joined the military and then became a cop.  He grew up a hockey playing Punk Rock kid with a bald head, tight jeans, Doc Martin Boots, plain shirts with suspenders and hated the world.  He hated his mom for marrying a man he hated back then and the anger of Skinhead Punk Rock, appealed to Kurt.  Thirty years later, Kurt was still playing hockey, was divorced from his wife and living away from his children in another state.  Kurt had a great disdain for the people he went to high school with.  They made fun of the culture he had adopted and didn’t accept him in their circles of friends.  Even the guys on the hockey team felt he was a weirdo albeit a good player.  Kurt put his nametag on and one for Tonisha.  Kurt gave Tonisha his last name on the tag.

“Do you like Champagne?”

“Um…  Hell yes.”

A group of men who used to be on the hockey team were sitting at a table together with their wives.  Kurt walked up and pulled the chair out for Tonisha and then pushed the chair in.

“Wow…  Thirty years…  My god, where has the time gone?  Toni…  These are all guys I told you about that I played high school hockey with…  Lester, Tom, Jim, Horse…  You don’t wanna know why we called him horse…  Bill the goalie.”

Tonisha could feel all the eyes of people old enough to be her parents, burning into her.  The men were thinking that he had managed to land a very pretty, young, black woman… Black woman.  They knew that Kurt was one of those bald kids who hated everything and everyone back in the day.  The Skinheads hated everyone who was not like them and thirty years later, their star defenseman married a black woman?  No way.  After drinks and more drinks, some dancing and then dinner, the questions started coming.

“Toni was driving fast…  I mean really fast.  Texting, swerving, changing lanes without signals, blowing red lights just to get away from me…  Because I’m a police officer, not just some crazed white dude after a pretty African-American princess…  Naw…  I’m just kidding.  She has a thing for ice hockey players and white dudes in general and she happened to be at the rink watching another white dude that she broke up with to be with me.  After a few years, we married and have… two girls…  Twins.”

The women looked at the young woman with a waist the size of a neck and wondered how she got that figure back.  The women there were older, lumpier, wrinkled and Kurt looked like the fountain of youth with a shapely and pretty young thing that would jump-start any man’s libido.  When the night was over, Kurt stopped at a pizza place that never closes in Berwyn and in fancy clothes; they stopped to have a slice of pizza each.  After hours of dancing and drinking, they had worked up an appetite.  Tonisha talked about mundane things with Kurt as they laughed and ate but she had to know why Kurt went through such an elaborate lie with people he used to know.  Tonisha stood to earn $100.00 and keep the clothes he purchased for her and yet she had to know his reasoning for such a bizarre night.

“Those people all live in a Facebook world.  They might take forty pictures of their annoyed wife and kids but they post that one where everyone smiles and looks happy to be together on vacation somewhere.  I’m so happy for you that your kid got a trophy or that you’re at the Grand Canyon…  That’s fantastic…  Why should I give a good goddamn?  It’s not real.  You never hear that their lives are fucked up and that they are stressed out, maxed out on credit cards and suicidal.  They want each other to think everything is fabulous.  I was interested to see if I look as bad, better or the same as those fucks.  I’m trying really hard to fight the effects of aging.  It was purely scientific.  I appreciate your help with this whole make believe night.  I know it’s silly but I really wanted to put on a show for these people tonight.  What are they saying to on another on the way home?  Wow, she is so young, so beautiful and so… Not white.  I may never see them again in my life but I left them wondering…  Come on, I’ll take you home.  Your mom is probably waiting at the window to make sure the cop didn’t kill you…”

Kurt flipped channels as he pet his dog that was sleeping on the couch beside him.  Baseball highlights, hurricane footage from Hawaii.  Kurt was drifting off to sleep when his cell phone buzzed.

I HAD A GREAT TIME TONIGHT.  MAYBE WE ARE FROM DIFFERENT WORLDS AND MAYBE THAT’S NOT BAD.

 

YER WELCOME.  YES.  DIFFER WORLD NOT A BAD THING

 

After close to a half hour a response from Tonisha came in.

I WOULD NOT MIND GOING OUT AGAIN IF YOU WOULD WANT.  I CAN GET BABYSITTING FOR THE TWINS ANYTIME ; )

 

Kurt responded immediately.

 

I WOULD REALLY LIKE THAT.  REALLY I WOULD : )

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March 25, 2018

Coexist…

It was some time after 9-11 that Lars Bjornson left his home in Stockholm to discover America. He wanted to eat hot dogs, see sporting events of sports he knew nothing about. He wanted to be in the audience of a Jerry Springer show. He wanted to see where Michael Jordan played basketball and where Al Capone once ran around. Lars wanted to see the tall buildings of Chicago and he also wanted to see the ghetto.

Lars rented a car and asked the doorman of the posh hotel he was staying at on Michigan Avenue, where he could go to see the real ghetto. You know… Poor people. The doorman thought Lars was a bit nuts but then again he felt that all of those really white, white people of Northern European countries, were truly different than your run of the mill American whites. In reality, it was not unlike going on a safari in Africa or visiting a zoo. Lars wanted to see blight, hopelessness, drug addicts and the mentally ill hanging around on street corners. The doorman spoke frankly with him.
“Hey man, there’s shit in life you just should not do. You puttin your life in yo own hands…. It ain’t like round here, dude…. Shit…. It’s yo life. Tell you watchu do…. Take any one of these streets named after old dead white dudes that was once president. Madison, Washington, Adams…. Randolph…. I don’t remember no President Randolph in school but it coulda been one them dudes who was president fo like a day and then got shot. You might wind up like them but you welcome to go. Four miles that way. You cain’t git lost.”
Lars was excited in a sick way not unlike when people go online to view people getting beheaded or shot and watching the life drain out of them. Lars wanted to visit the most dangerous city in an area where the most people get killed every year in the richest most prosperous country in the world. Lars was hoping to actually see a shooting happen in the streets. He slowly drove up and down streets that were strewn with debris, high weeds, barber shops with men hanging out in front of them, boarded up storefronts and liquor stores on almost every corner. People looked back at Lars not unlike when animals make eye contact with humans at the zoo.

Lars saw a beautiful young black woman at a bus stop, eating something carefully out of a bag. Her young, perfect body and model like face attracted Lars. He parked the car and strangely pitched the idea of the woman getting into his car to go to dinner, talk to him and then later have sex with him. For $1,000.00. Asha ( pronounced ASIA ) thought about all the things she could do with $1,000.00 and hopped into the car of the tall blond man from Sweden. Asha went to an expensive seafood restaurant and then back to Lars hotel room to do the deed. Asha marveled at her strange day as she put her clothes back on in front of a floor to ceiling window that looked out at Lake Michigan and the high rises that lined the downtown. It was a glimpse into a life she had only seen on television. She concluded that to be white was truly a boost up the tree of life that black people rarely get unless they have some redeeming value to white people. Lars thought to himself while he showered with all his jewelry, cash and credit cards where he could see it in the locked bathroom, that it was a really cool experience and that having sex with someone of a different color was something that everyone should experience once. Sometimes weird moments and actions lead to something surreal. Well… It did.
Two presidents and sixteen years later, Asha’s son Lars was about to play in the state championship basketball game. Picture a tall caucasian looking child with a tint to his skin with sort of yellow hair with large rotini like curls. Around his ankle was a tracking device for those that should probably be in prison but are allowed back out in society. Lars was arrested for carjacking. Several times in the past, Lars had successfully secured a car, drove it around, smashed it up and abandoned it. In Chicago, things such as that are sport for underprivileged inner city kids who see the disparity between those that have and those that have not. The last carjacking backfired when Lars and his buddies tried to carjack the car of an off duty cop who had a vintage 1970 Plymouth Challenger. Upon pulling a gun on the officer and hopping in, they found that the car was manual transmission and none of the trio knew how to drive a car with a stick shift. Lars looked up to find a gun back in his face. Lars’ two friends had no redeeming value to society at this point in their lives- high school drop outs, gangbangers with criminal history but Lars intrigued the judge. The judge listened to the tall boy speak who looked like he could be white but also could be black, looked at his African American mother and asked the boy rhetorical questions. Do you want to go to jail? Do you want to die young? Do you want your life to amount to nothing? Do you want to become something? Asha told the judge that her son was a very good basketball player and that 6’ 7, he had a good chance of getting a college scholarship and possibly professional basketball. Asha handed a handful letters of intent from division one universities from around the country that were interested in having young Lars play basketball. The judge saw a letter from his alma mater and grew excited. The stern looking white judge looked at Lars and said that he wanted to see him, his mother and his attorney in his office. Once in the judge’s quarters, the judge picked up his phone on his desk and made a call to the president of his alma mater who happened to be a friend, a golf buddy, a drinking buddy to let him know that he should send someone from the athletics department to come to the championship game in Quincy, Illinois to sign Lars to their university. Asha and Lars were stunned by how the serious looking judge was talking so casually to them.
“You’re going to love this school. It is one of the greatest schools in the country. You’ll get a great education in a good environment and you could really help the school by being on the team. They came so close this year! Sweet sixteen! Hopefully you can help them win a national championship…. So listen. Lars will have to wear an ankle monitor for a while. You’ll come back in a few weeks and I’ll clear him. No record. You have to stop fooling around, Lars. You have a promising life ahead of you. Don’t screw it up…. Tell you what…. I think I can make that game in Quincy. I have nothing on my calendar. I will be there with your mom.”
Somewhere in Europe, there is a man with an American son that he knows nothing about. Lars Sr. would be so proud to know that he helped create hope for a woman who was destined to live a dismal, mundane life. Stories such as this make white people feel really good when they know their own kind are helping in some small an indirect way to create prosperity and equality. Even if they didn’t mean to.

December 13, 2015

Chicago’s Finest… At a Bad Time

               

                “Every damn cop that ever fired a shot at something or someone will have a hearing…  Am I fucking clear to you?  All cops who ever pulled their gun out will have their day in court. Dig up everything you can find before others do and we will have a special committee to hear every case…  DON’T STAND HERE LOOKING FUCKING DUMB!  GET TO WORK!”

                And so it was that every cop alive that ever pulled or fired a gun, was put in front of a Chicago tribunal.  Those willing to purge themselves of wrong doing, might be able to keep their jobs if it was found that the lives of the officers were in danger.  It was sort of a truth and reconciliation tribunal like South Africa had after apartheid whereby white officers went before a commission and apologized for wrong doing and then went on with life without penalty.  Why?  So that the mayor could keep his job.

                The city called in the Altgeld 20.  Altgeld Gardens as it was called, was a housing project where poor African-Americans lived.  It was named after a former German born Governor of the State of Illinois.  Nobody in the early 2000s gave a shit about the name of their blighted housing project.  It was bordered by landfills, steel mills and constructed during a time when asbestos was widely used in the construction of the buildings.

 The police got a tip that the Gangster Disciples were gun fighting with the Black Disciples.  Why?  Drugs, territory, territory to sells drugs, retribution and so on.  Ten squad cars raced in a line down 130th Street towards where the gun fighting was taking place.  It was alleged that four innocent men were gunned down by police that night. The four innocent men were gang members who terrorized the residence of Altgeld Gardens.  This fight took place nearly ten years earlier and was captured on a VHS recorder from a window.  On the film, you can see the mostly white cops surrounding and shooting the gang members in a clearing among buildings, like fish in a barrel.  Anyone who did not drop their weapon immediately was shot.  It was the commission’s belief that none of the officer’s lives were in danger and for that reason, at a minimum, all who took place in the murders, should be fired and their pensions taken away.   Residents of Altgeld Gardens took turns reading accounts of the confrontation that day.  The last to speak was a little old woman by the name of Dorothy.  Dorothy had the same hair style that she wore back in the 1950’s.  She was a tiny old woman in a nice dress and a pill box hat held in with hair pins.  She sat on the witness stand with white gloves covering her hands and her purse on her lap.  She smiled a serene smile and waited her turn to speak.  The whole crowd of angry protestors and former neighbors of the since closed housing development laughed at what Ms. Dorothy had to say.

                “Now y’all fixin to crucify all these here officers.  Nevah the mind dat we killin each other an little ones who happen to git in the way.  There one man among all these officers who never pulled his gun and wadn’t even part the whole ordeal…  Officer Miller…  You want to tell them all or should I?”

                Officer Miller looked down and picked at a loose thread on his cuff.  He had a hard time looking at Dorothy or any other of the people in the room.  Officer Miller was horrified by what was about to be said about him.

                “Well then…  He won’t talk, I will.  I was watching ma television bout 9pm.  The lottery numbers was about to come up and I was all ready to look at what I got.  I don’t nevah win but I play.  Some call it gambling but I don’t see no harm in pickin a few numbers and maybe git a few dollars off it.  Ain’t like no casino.  Anyway, I had all ma tickets spread out and I was waiting for that woman to pull the balls that bounce around in the air puffer that make them move round.  I suppose I nevah heard them numbers cause all the sudden the door was knocked down clear off the hinges.  There stood Officer Miller.  He wad out breath an he aksed me where I keep ma crapper.  I toll him dat ain’t no way to enter a person’s home and ain’t no way to aks where the bathroom at.  I looked at him and say- excuse me?  The man was sweating and panting.  He removed his gun and begin to unzip his pants while he walk to the washroom.  He slammed the door began a moaning and crying.  I believe it wad comin from both ends on him.  Now this went on foh a good few minutes maybe five.”

                Officer Miller recalled stopping off for lunch and eating something with sour cream.  The cream was truly sour.  It hit Miller when the call went out that ten squads were needed to quell a gun fight at a housing project.  Miller began to sweat and it felt as though he had rodents running through his intestines.  He felt waves of nausea come and go and had to use all the muscles possible to keep from shitting in his pants.  Miller turned to his partner, Officer Termini and told him to stop the car.  Termini told Miller that it would not be possible.

                “Are you fucking nuts?  You want me to stop now so you can take a shit?!  If I stop, every car behind us is stopping too.  I can’t do it.  You’ll just have to fucking hold it,” said Termini.

                “You have to stop or I’m going to shit my pants.  I’m sick.  Something is wrong and I have to fucking go now,” said Miller.

                Termini drove faster and told Miller he could just shit in the field when the got there and hope that he wouldn’t be shot while relieving himself.  When all twenty cars pulled up, Miller went into the trunk and pulled out the battering ram.  It was a heavy cylinder shaped metal with two handles meant to break doors down with.  Miller found the first door he could reach and broke down the door without knocking.  Once in the bathroom, the shit poured from Miller’s ass while vomit flew from his mouth.  Miller turned his head while sitting on the toilet and filled the sink with vomit.  It felt as though the end of the world had arrived for Officer Miller.  After five minutes of expelling food and fluids from every orifice possible, Miller opened a small window and closed the door behind him.  His shirt was drenched from sweat.  Dorothy looked at the man who looked like he was about to pass out and guided him to the couch and laid him down.  She wet a washcloth and put it across Officer Miller’s forehead and held his hands.

                “You gone be alright, baby.  You jus sick.  You coulda knocked and I woulda opened up but now I understand what you was up against.”

                “Ma’am…  I’m so sorry.  I will have this door fixed immediately and get cleaners in here for your bathroom.  I feel so bad about this, ma’am.”

                While Dorothy and Miller spoke to one another, gun fire popped in the night like popcorn in a popcorn maker.  It was nothing new to either Dorothy or Officer Miller.  Both were used to hearing gun fire.  After all- it was Chicago and a part of Chicago where nobody white ever went unless they had to.  It was poor and gang infested.  Dorothy was just a widowed church going elderly lady who kept to herself.  The gangsters knew it and left her alone.

                “And so…  I don’t know what you all fixin to do to these here gentlemen.  They might be wrong or jus doin they job.  It ain’t foh me t’say.  I can tell you this- Officer Miller was in a bad state that day and he had nothing to do with deaths or gun fire dat day.  I ain’t got no reason to lie nor stretch the truth.  God as my witness- this man look like he wad gone die on ma couch.  Officer Miller was a man of his word.  He got someone to install a new door dat night.  In a day, I got it painted.  I had two Polish women come to ma place and clean the entire bathroom.  Nice ladies but none could speak a lick of English.  I aksed them thangs and they just laughed and kept saying yes.  I say girl, what’s your name an the one laughed an jus say yes.  I jus laughed and said thank you.  So y’all do whatchu want but this man here ain’t like the rest.  Maybe he a shot someone ifin he wadn’t sick but on dat day, this man could barely stand.  He innocent as the day he born…  And dat’s all I got t’say.”

                Officer Miller was found not guilty that day.  And faith in humanity was restored to the jaded if only for a day.

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