Blackhumouristpress's Blog

July 5, 2011

Karmalyzed Capitalism

            Molly was given LSD at her first party as a freshman in college and from that moment on, the world changed for her.  Molly became more aware of who she and was more in tune with the world around her and her senses.  Suddenly all that was right was wrong and wrong really seemed like the right thing after all. Things looked better, smelled better, sound better and tasted better than when she was living in a straight middle class life in America. The three bedroom bi-level in a post World War II suburb filled with men who belonged to the Masons, Moose, Elks and John Birch Society and women who ironed, shopped and watched soap operas by day and worked to please their men by night sort of life.  Suddenly the idea of aspiring to find a good candidate with whom she could replicate her species, seemed wrong.  A white, protestant, pro-Nixon, pro-Vietnam War, pro-women’s club, pro-monogamous, homogenous, nuclear family, with a man with a good smile and perfect hair, who would carry his lunch with him to the train station on his way to his desk job downtown, just seemed completely wrong and if given the right hallucinogenic drug, upside down can seem like the correct view of the world.  That’s what I’ve heard.

            Molly went on to take a lot of drugs, had a lot of sex, and became a communist and an activist for any and all causes that seemed anti-establishment.  While spending time in Oakland, California, Molly had fallen in love with several Black Panther activists.  One of the activists was successful at planting his seed within her while living together in a commune.  Molly gave birth to a mixed raced boy by the name of Huey Newton Washington.  Huey was named after the leader of the militaristic Black Panthers but carried Molly’s last name, the same last name as the first president of the United States and a slave owner; a true dichotomy.

 Molly loved Huey with all her being but found that Huey was cramping her ability to tap into her ability to find her “bag” and “do her thing”.  Having Huey was “groovy” and “beautiful” but it became necessary to really go to the Mecca of inner spirituality with a rebellious orthodox Jewish boy she was dating at the time, to India while Huey went to live with Molly’s parents for the rest of his childhood.

            Molly went through six marriages and lived on three continents and close to twenty countries but always made a point of sending her son postcards from all the places she visited and lived to remind him of how much she actually and truly loved her son.  From a great distance.  Most letters went something like this:

December 9, 1981

            “Greetings my one true love and reason for being in this life on my way to a higher level of human develop before I one day reach the pinnacle of understanding and knowing here on Earth.  My son, it is immanently important that you let your spirit soar.  That you become truly one  immersed in your spirit so that you can tap into your gifts bestowed upon you by God and come to understand that the only freedom truly in the world is that of total awareness in being and knowing who and what you are.

Currently I am in Hoboken right now which is in New Jersey.  I am working by day as nurse’s assistant in a hospital and a Yoga instructor by night.  I wanted to take the time to tell you that although I have not been there to witness ever little nuance a mother expects to experience in the development of their child, my love for you has never waned.  You are a part of my soul.  I gave birth to you and in doing so, gave you a part of me that will live on in your after I have departed this life for the next.

  On a separate note, John Lennon was killed yesterday and we had a slew of people come into the hospital who tried to kill themselves over his death.  One young man with a Mohawk and safety pins through his cheeks, tried to kill himself over a musician named Darby Crash who was in a Punk Rock band called The Germs.  Ironically he picked the same day to die as John Lennon.  I must say that I’m out of the loop on music these days and don’t quite get the Punk Rock phenomenon right now.  I do know that heroin is dangerous and hope that you are doing all the right things with grandma and grandpa and are saying no to drugs mostly.  They are good people and you are lucky to have them.  I will write you soon.

Love Mommy

            Huey played basketball and baseball as well as football and a little soccer but was run of the mill in all.  He was one of those black children that appeared to have been adopted by whites and in doing so, was stripped of his identity.  Huey did well in school, became an attorney, married a blond woman, had a family with children, and lived in a nice house with nice cars.  On the surface, all seemed well.  Huey was slightly paunchy and was too busy for regular exercise, ate fast-food, had a high stress job and was constantly on the go.  One day while arguing with a client on his cell phone, while sitting in traffic on the freeway, shaving and trying to eat a burger and fries, something tightened in his chest.  Fortunately for Huey, traffic was nearly at a standstill and so in the middle lane of a packed interstate, Huey put his car in park, opened his car door and faced on coming traffic with a look of horror and panic on his face while clutching his chest.  Motorists went around him while honking, flipping him off and yelling at him through open windows. Two black Ambulance drivers just happened to see him while coming back from meal at a Popeye’s Chicken.  Catfish was on sale with large fries and a 34 ounce soft drink.  The grabber, if you’ll pardon the expression was the special issue cups that were two ounces larger than a standard 32 ounce plastic cup and was tapered to fit into cup holders on both domestic and foreign vehicles.  They were left over special cups from black history month.  Bill, the ambulance driver, took sips of a soda from a plastic cup that had the image of a singing Paul Robeson.  Bill could have cared less about his special issue cup or Paul Robeson.  All he knew is that it was ethically wrong to pass up another man who might be dying and ethnically wrong to not stop and help out another brother.  Bill’s unselfish act saved Huey’s life and made it so that he and his mother could meet again after nearly twenty years.

            Death and funerals bring family together usually and although Molly was in Tibet at the time that Huey was married and was in Peru with the Shining Path Guerillas when both of Huey’s children were born, Molly always sent something like a card or a gift.  One year the kids received a hand made blanket from a Quechua Indian and another year was a Hugo Chavez action figure that still remains intact in it’s packaging in Huey’s garage.  It was the one item that was never sold in over four garage sales that Huey’s wife held.  In any event, the reunion between son and mother was interesting if not touching.

Molly- son…  This is a sign from God that the life you are living is not the life worth living.  Dilated pupils, high temperature, heart rate and blood pressure through the roof, insomnia…  It’s like a bad dope trip, son.  I’ve seen it happen many a time.  Capitalism kills.

Huey- Mother, I don’t take drugs.  I don’t even take the damn blood pressure medicine because it kills my ability to be a man.  I have to make some adjustments.  This is my body’s way of sending me a message.  I’m going to come out of this and become healthier.  I’ve always just said no as you always said I should in all your letters from around the globe.  You can’t fault me for trying to make a living and support my family.

Molly- Saying no to drugs is just the tip of the melting iceberg, son.  How bout saying no to poverty, greed and blinding capitalism that has lead you down this path of self destruction?  Your processed meals and need to get somewhere you think you need to be in order to fit in with something that someone else envies.  That’s what will kill, son, the need to keep ahead of the Joneses.  There is blood on my hands with all this.  I needed to find me at a time when I was young and unsure of my future and what it all meant. I cast you into my parent’s world knowing my roots and how you would not be of a clear enough mind to see past the finely manicured suburban lawns.

            Huey was about to rebut his mother who showed up as the victor and standard bearer for the true path in life necessary to take when suddenly a light fixture that was fastened to the ceiling became detached and hit Molly on top of her head.  Nurses rushed in and rushed Molly to the emergency wing of the hospital.  Molly was pronounced dead within an hour.  It was a sad freak accident that a twenty pound fixture had come detached from the twelve foot ceiling and came crashing down squarely onto Molly’s head. 

            A nurse phoned the hospital chaplain who was on his way up to break the news to Huey when something amazing and miraculous happened.  Molly sat up in bed, removed the sheet that covered her face and began to speak perfect Indian in a dialect consistent with inhabitants of Bangalore.  As time went on, Molly did talk shows with an Indian translator and although her mind processed her thoughts in English, Indian came from her mouth.  For those Americans who turned to transcendental meditation, Hinduism and Buddhism, Molly had become the reincarnated deity.

            It is difficult to say exactly what happened to Molly.  Was she reincarnated?  Did God put the Indian tongue in her mouth to help those on the path spirituality or just one of those freaky cases of Foreign Accent Syndrome?  Huey recovered and began to eat at Wholefoods and took up jogging.  Huey decided to go to New Jersey to visit his mother at her store front temple where people from around the world would come to see and hear words of wisdom from the odd woman who once spoke only English and could only speak Hindi. For a small fee of course.  Molly had become the Mother Theresa for crackpots.

  Huey spoke to his mother through the translator and told her that he had forgiven her for leaving him so many years ago and that he wanted to leave the anger behind and start new and fresh with a whole new way of living which would have meant trying to do away with pent up anger and resentment from unresolved things that he carried since childhood.  At the end of their meeting, Huey embraced his mother and they both became teary eyed.  Huey promised he would return to see his mother again soon and that he wanted a relationship with her.

            “Life is short mother and there is no need to carry the weight of things we both cannot change.  The past is the past,” said Huey.

            Through the translator, Molly said that she was pleased by Huey’s transformation and looked forward to getting to know her only child after nearly forty years.  As Huey was leaving, the translator stopped Huey to give him a card that had ten printed icons of the Hindu god Vishnu. Vishnu was holding a scepter in one hand and had the palm of his hand up in the other.  One of the icons was punched out by a card punch.  The translator explained the card’s significance as Huey studied it.

            “Your mother has opted to not charge you for today’s visit.  Your card has been punched today.  After nine visits, you can redeem this card and on the tenth visit, your visit will be completely free…  Thank you, please come again and may your spirit guide you and continue to grow.”

            Huey was truly speechless. 

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September 26, 2009

Independence and Dependency

Filed under: Short Story,Uncategorized — blackhumouristpress @ 9:32 am
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Independence and Dependency

Wade volunteered in 1968 to fight for the United States of America in the Vietnam War before the government came calling.  His twin brother Warren, left on foot and crossed into Canada through Maine.  One moment he was in Maine and the next moment he was in New Brunswick.  It didn’t look or feel any different at the time.  Warren hitchhiked to Halifax, Nova Scotia and found a job hunting Cod on a really big ship in the Atlantic Ocean.  His brother Wade went hunting small Asiatic people who didn’t know they wanted democracy and freedom.  They wanted equality in the form of communism and in some strange, unexplainable way, it was a threat  to people like Wade in Southern California and other regions of the United States.  That’s what he believed at the time anyway.  That’s what he was told then.
Warren met a bunch of young people who were rebelling against their Scottish upbringing in the highlands of Cape Breton.  They bought a VW bus and decided that they were going to grow vegetables and wine and stuff near Victoria, British Columbia which was only 5000 miles or so away.  Warren smoked a lot of pot, took a lot of pills and fucked a lot of women.  His hair grew to the middle of his back and he had a beard.  Warren learned to play the banjo and got really good at playing Bluegrass music.
At roughly the same time, Wade was walking through the jungle that had recently lost all it’s leaves after a B52 dropped defoliants from the heavens.  Miles and miles of jungle with not a leaf on a tree.  Wade and a colored soldier from some southern state where people protested and white people tried to beat them, came up on a village.  The colored soldier who’s name was Cleveland and had never stepped foot in Ohio, was approached by a small Vietnamese boy who was running fast towards him.  Neither Cleveland nor Wade could understand anything the boy said except the word, candy.  Cleveland who was twenty feet from Wade, suddenly blew into pieces with the small boy.  Wade guessed that the people in the near by village that he and Cleveland were checking on, had strapped a bomb to the boy to kill not just one soldier but possibly many at once.
Warren met a woman in Victoria who held all the beauty and poise that he ever thought would be possible.  Her father was a missionary in Cote D’Ivoire in Africa.  Her name was Joan and she had been born in Africa and lived among Africans and taught poor people about god.  A god that had become Dutch over the course of almost two thousand years.  Joan’s father came back to tend to family business in British Columbia and Joan visited North America for the first time in her life.  Joan fell in love with Warren as hard as he fell in love with her.
Now back in that village, Wade returned with other young men who were thrust into a part of the world that was as foreign as the moon.  None of them understood that they were in a civil war.  None of them understood that most of the people just wanted to live and be left alone.  The people in the village that they massacred believing that they attempted to bomb the American soldiers, were just simple rice farmers who were threatened by the communist troops and killed by Americans who jumped to conclusions.  As they walked from the village, it was Wade who saw the three foot deep, six foot in diameter hole in the ground that would have been consistent with a mine at the spot where Cleveland and the young boy seeking candy, blew to pieces.  Wade never shared that information with the others who had mowed down dozens of innocent crying peasants.
“Remember that my brother is one of god’s children no matter how he may appear and no matter what he may say,” said Warren to his family while driving to their parent’s home to celebrate the United States independence from Great Britain.
Back during the Vietnam War, Warren was the one who smelled and had long unkempt hair and a beard.  Warren was the one who withdrew from society and took drugs and alcohol.  Wade was the god fearing, god loving, patriotic, Nixon loving young man with a buzz cut.  Sitting in the backyard of their parent’s home in Orange County, california, was Wade on one side without a wife, without children, without a home, without a car, without a job.  Wade appeared to be a street bum more than anything.His hair was graying, long, unwashed and uncombed.  Anti-depressants and alcohol, helped to numb the effect of no life and no future for Wade.  Sitting across from Wade was Warren; clean cut and smiling the smile of a well to do evangelist.  His wife and children for as much as they smiled, were very uncomfortable in the presence of Wade.  He smelled and his face sagged.  Wade’s eyes had the look of a zombie.  Wade appeared to be alive but he had checked out years ago.  He mumbled incoherent things to someone who wasn’t there.  Warren reached across the table and took Wade’s hand as the whole family clasped hands and bowed their heads while Warren gave the blessing.
“We thank you, lord… that we can live in such a great country and have such wonderful things with so much hope and so much prosperity.  We thank you, oh lord, for giving us independence and have guided us to where we our today over the course of some 200 plus years… Thank you for allowing us to be Americans.  The greatest nation in the world… Amen.”

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