Blackhumouristpress's Blog

May 29, 2019

Hold The Phone…

Filed under: america,cell phones,humor,humour,poem,Uncategorized — blackhumouristpress @ 2:34 am
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I’ll take a picture of my food in exchange for validation. It’s make believe and I want you to believe everything is good and we’re happy. Ask any friend you’ve never met via the Internet.

 

Smile goddamit! This cost a fuck load and we’ve been on the road for ten hours passing Wall Drug, the Badlands just to see those presidents on a wall. And what’s it all for?

 

To feel as though there is purpose and direction as you jog on that treadmill of life to nowhere. Study hard and you’ll get somewhere you cannot stand to be with your jaded family. Your wife’s not listening, she’s on Instagram and the kids got the phone cam pointed towards them making duck lips and the peace symbol.

 

It’s all a symbol of misdirection in the age of technology and your phone knows the way. Your phone is your friend, the entertainment for the evening. You on the couch, her in the bed and when you sleep you can clear your head of all things you saw and all the things you read. There is so much out there for you to discover in life. Luckily it’s all on your phone.

May 22, 2019

Your Expiration Date

Picture that you knew the day you would die. Think of it as being born with an expiration date. The young ones who pass as young children would get smothered during their short time on earth and those who knew they wouldn’t go on until age 90, would live reckless. Nobody would have to ponder how much time they had left. They would know.

Spencer married at an early age and had children early because his parents were told that he would die 2-8-91. He had two small children and had even discussed with his single brother that he would eventually marry his hot wife and raise Spencer’s children as his own. They had a party for Spencer back in 1991 when he was 24 years old a few days before his expiration date and then nothing happened. There was no car accident, no heart attack, no random gun shooting or nothing. He reasoned that maybe something got screwed up on the computer. These things do happen, you know.

Spencer went on for years thinking that everyday was probably the last and then one day when he was drunk and reading Sartre. Spencer’s wife had taken off with the kid’s basketball coach and he was alone. Spencer started to think that there was some sort of a mistake and the date of his death was probably going to be 8-2-19 and that all the numbers had been scrambled. Spencer was pretty sure that the date is coming and with it being late May of 2019, he had to get some things done and cleared up before cashing in or out.

All those years of anguish and anticipation of the inevitable really prevented him from really living. Spencer bought a motorcycle, joined Internet dating sites, he travelled the country watching sporting events and talking to random people in bars about really deep shit. He got on Facebook and found that girl that he secretly pined for in high school. She looked like the lead singer from the band Bow Wow Wow and liked surfer-looking guys with Van Shoes and OP shorts. They had long stringy hair and liked to skateboard and surf. Her name was Melissa and she was Filipino and she was so pretty that it was hard for a pimple faced Spencer to ever get the nerve up to approach her, to talk to her, to ask her to go to the movies, to be his girlfriend. Spencer had gotten himself in the best shape of his life even though he was pretty sure that the end was coming in August. He reasoned that the grass would be cut and the house immaculate on the day the house gets repossessed.   Spencer hired a detective to find out as much as he could about this girl that was trapped in his head from back in 1985. Here is what he found out- she married three times, had six children, is a big time gambler in Las Vegas and lives in an apartment in North Hollywood, California.

Spencer got off of his motorcycle clad in leather like Mad Max, holding a bouquet of roses. Sitting in a lawn chair of the kidney shaped pool that belonged to the apartment building was Melissa. She was not the thin thing that he remembered but Spencer didn’t see that. He saw the beautiful face that he fell in love with as a teenager. She was looking at her I-Phone with a furrowed brow when Spencer’s shadow cast over her. She looked up and could not make out the figure through the sun. Spencer presented the flowers and got down on one knee like a knight with his helmet on his knee.

“Time is short but there is still time and for my whole life, I’ve wanted to be with you… I won’t leave here today without you.”

Melissa gathered up a few small things and got on the back of the motorcycle. There were a few young Mexican children playing in the parking lot. Melissa tossed the bouquet to a group of young girls and they drove off towards Las Vegas listening to a song by Bow Wow Wow called Do You Wanna Hold Me.

Do you wanna hold me, hold me tight
And I cry all night, there’s only one solution to this life
There’s someone there to tell me what it’s like
Do you wanna hold me, oh yeah, do you wanna hold me, oh yeah
Do you wanna hold me, hold me there.

May 14, 2019

A Letter to Unwanted House Guests

I would be remiss if I let you walk away and not say something to you. When I was sixteen years old, I ran away from home and went to live with poor people on public aid that were willing to take me in. To show my gratitude, I helped clean the house and do chores like all the other natural children of the house. Even at that age, I thought it was exceptional that people with very little, were willing to include me in their lives. With that said, when your daughter came to me to ask for a $500.00 advance to help pay for the rent at a motel flop house after you were evicted from your apartment, I did for you what someone once did for me. I let you move into my home.

 

Being your daughter’s boss in a small restaurant and bar, I blurred personal and professional. I spoke with her often about social issues based on the news of the day. I was asked more than once if I felt any guilt for slavery or white privilege. It was a bit sassy for a young woman of 19 years of age to so brazenly tell me that white people are the devil but especially white men. I should have never gotten involved in hindsight. For my generosity, I never received even so much as a thank you from you or your daughter. Your daughter telling me that her last day working for me will be tied to her last day living in the apartment above my restaurant- my home. I had no choice upon hearing that except to tell her and you to get out of my place immediately.

 

You both are devoid of empathy but picture this- I did hospice at my parent’s home for my mom for a month. She died on a Monday and on a Thursday, my girlfriend came in unexpectedly and went through my place like the Gestapo and found that Anne Frank and her mother had been hiding in a bedroom together, looking at their phones eating Popeye’s Chicken in bed. I never got a kind word from either of you for sharing my place with you. Now as your daughter may have told you, I am not the most liberal minded person in the world but I did something so blindly liberal that you may have mistook at face value human to human generosity with some sort of white guilt. I have none of that shit. Possibly you never got around to thanking me because you felt you were owed this in some sort of way. Maybe that’s racist of me to come to that conclusion. Maybe you’re just ignorant and ungrateful people who are incapable of understanding that someone did you a big time favor by taking you in. After all, everything today is racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, homophobic and if you are white, you have to be willing to go through some sort of truth and reconciliation purging session to cleanse one’s self of privilege. I can tell you that if your daughter thinks she can be surly and judgmental with people that help her, she will get a go fuck yourself response from most people. White or otherwise. My fuck you moment came when I texted both of you to know when she was coming to work on a really busy night. The response- I will be late. The question- how late? The answer- we’re not close. The reply-I didn’t ask you where, I asked you when. Her reply- don’t be rude. Don’t be rude. Don’t be rude is what the 19 year old girl who has been cloistered up in my apartment for free with her mother and says to me when she will be 90 minutes late for work because she was witnessing a friend take prom pictures. That was the limit for me. This was after the death of my mother and the discovery by my girlfriend that you had been shacked up in my apartment. I lost my mom, my girlfriend and then was told by my star employee that when she finds a place to live, she’s quitting.

 

In conclusion, I do not want you to think that this is a racial thing. I was married to a black woman and have a child who is about as black as our ex-president. It might be that black button that every white person presses when pressed about whether they are racially cool. I have a black friend. I married a black woman and so on. I have to sort out in my head if the things that transpired were things that could have happened by any obliviously ungrateful people regardless of the color of their skin or if this goes hand in glove of many with the stereotypes that exist out there. Maybe I will never know. I do know that your daughter is destined to be living with her daughter one day off of the generosity of some fool if she does not wake up and find more ambition than watching mindless shit on her phone all day and learns to work hard. Youth is transitory. I don’t think I need to tell you that.

April 11, 2019

She’s Leaving Home

Filed under: dementia,hospice,Short Story,Vietnam — blackhumouristpress @ 1:46 am
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The two men sat in the dark room with symphonic music playing. Lying in the bed with the white noise of oxygen being pumped into their mother’s nose.

“I think they fucked this whole thing up… If she can’t swallow any longer than how the fuck did she eat yogurt and drink water?” Asked Wade.

“There’s no way of knowing if it’s going into her lungs or stomach…” said Jimmy.

Jimmy is Wade’s son but was adopted by Wade’s mother while he was in Vietnam and so Laurie was the mom of both men. Wade was adamant that his mother was Jimmy’s grandmother and referred to her as such. Jimmy, tired and stressed over standing watch over a dying woman snapped at his dad and brother.

“Look… When someone adopts you, that person becomes your parent. You and my real mom gave me to her and so that makes her my mother too… Why don’t we just call her Laurie? That way I don’t have to hear you call her grandma. She’s not your grandmother and she’s not mine either.”

Back in the old days when Jimmy was a boy, Laurie would make Jimmy spend time with Wade. Wade, a Vietnam Veteran affected by Agent Orange, had a short attention span, problems with anger and an inability to hold a job. Wade never had to ever take care of another human in his life until now with his mother doing hospice. Laurie was a tough woman who fought cancer several times and won. Wade was a man who was burned over 65% of his body in a house fire and lived. Jimmy had a high threshold for stress.

“Wade… Do you remember the guy you shot in the foot?”

“Oh yeah… That fucking guy…”

The man’s name was Gene and he was a drunk Marine who was sitting in the backyard of a drunk Army/infantry veteran. Gene called Wade a pussy and told him he was too much a pussy to shoot anyone. Wade took a sip of his beer, pulled out a handgun and put it to the foot of his drinking buddy and pulled the trigger.

“Whatever happened to that guy?”

“He was as nuts as Mr. Peanuts. They put his ass in a mental institution. I don’t know if he’s dead or alive.

Wade yelled to his hard of hearing mother who was lying in bed holding a stuffed animal, staring straight ahead. He took a sponge on a stick and tried to jam water into her mouth. Lodged in the corner was a ball of yogurt that was being stored not swallowed.

“Looks like Laurie is saving that yogurt for dessert later,” said Jimmy.

Both men quietly thought about the days when she was younger, pretty and vibrant. Laurie was a bundle of energy at all times and could never do enough for her boys. Wade looked at Jimmy in his tank top with his arms folded. Jimmy’s arms looked strong. Both men worked out, ate well and wanted to try to not suffer in old age as much as possible.

“How much can you bench now?”

“On good days when my joints don’t hurt… 235 maybe 240… I remember when them two Greeks kicked my ass and I had to get stitches on my eyelid. You were lifting out in the backyard with your shirt off. It was summer time and Laurie was hanging clothes out on the clothesline. I came to you and asked if you could get me started lifting. You looked at me and told me never to wear stupid clothes anymore and eat more meat… I gained 35 lbs. of muscle that year. Nobody wanted to fight me anymore after that…”

Laurie picked at the blanket that covered her with one hand and reached out to her mother and grandmother who were standing in a field with the wind in their hair. Both women waved to Laurie and she waved back.

“Well, I say we call 911, get her to a hospital and do another swallow test. This is horseshit. If she can swallow, she can swallow.”

“Wade… The car is running but it’s not going to drive anymore… You know what I mean? It is what it is. She’s doing better because she sees you and me now instead of the nurses at the nursing home twice a day. She has advanced Alzheimer’s. It’s a matter of time. I don’t want that but it’s coming. We’re watching the sun setting with clouds. When the clouds pass and the sky gets lighter, we think the sun is coming back. It’s not coming back. It’s setting here and rising somewhere we can’t see.”

“That’s some deep, poetic shit, Jimmy. Put that on a greeting card, make some money.”

“I’ll put your picture on the front for people to laugh so that they won’t think it’s too heavy…”

“Fuck you…”

For as much as Jimmy disdained the man who was really his father, he was impressed with his ability to go on. His ability to persevere. His ability to conquer without fear. Jimmy understood that Wade was afraid to lose his mom. More so that Jimmy.

“Where are you going?” Asked Laurie, faintly.

Laurie’s mother and grandmother turned and held their hair in the breeze. They were young and vibrant like they were back in the 1930’s with crimped, short hair.

“We’re getting things ready for you… We’ll see you soon.”

Wade started to tear up as he looked at Laurie. With a crackling voice and sniffles, he explained harsh things that happened in his life that never left him.

“We captured a gook that got some of our guys killed. We tied him to the back of our truck and let him bounce around until his body was pulled apart and only his trunk was left. I watched a guy next to me die after a hole was put through his head. I watched people die in that burn unit from their injuries. I screamed myself when they scrapped my skin with a wire brush and had to cream my whole body and give me morphine… Those were hard things. Losing your mom is the hardest thing I have ever gone through and I’ll never forget her.”

Jimmy began to tear up. He was crying too. All he could do was shake his head in agreement. They would both miss her.

 

The Beatles

She (we never thought of ourselves)
Is leaving (never a thought for ourselves)
Home (we struggled hard all our lives to get by)
She’s leaving home, after living alone, for so many years.

March 29, 2019

Inverted Universe

There is an other universe where alternate endings happen. The Germans and Japanese won World War II, the Soviets remained Soviets and apartheid still exists in South Africa. In this alternate universe, John F. Kennedy never was shot, neither was his brother, Richard Nixon was never president, the Vietnam War never happened. Oh and the Dead Kennedys named their band, California Uber Alles.

In the deep down south, a cable company in a quest to find something interesting for people to look at like the zoo, found a man Virgil who found oil on his land, sold it and lived a gaudy life that seemed funny and odd to people who live in urban or suburban environments.

Virgil married the daughter of his sister but his sister was really his mother but his mother gave Virgil to her mother because she was only fourteen. His birth mother told Virgil that his cousin was actually his sister but it was too late, he had gotten her pregnant and they had strange looking slow children with wide set eyes. Virgil would invite city folk, mostly black gangbanger types to go fishing and hunting with him and that was the angle of the whole show- take a homie hunting.

Now Virgil wanted Donald Trump to win the election of 2016 with all his being. He wore Trump hats and shirts. He had lawn signs and bumper stickers on his large trucks. When Donald Trump lost the election, Virgil would go on right wing radio shows and talk about how there was a definite conspiracy with hackers to change the results of the election. Illegal aliens and terrorists being allowed in, all had a hand to throw the election to Hillary Clinton and Virgil and many people like him were quite vocal about not accepting at face value that their horse wasn’t tripped, their horse just lost the race. Then one day it all happened.

“It was reported today that the cable television show star Virgil Hibbets of the show, City Meets Country, was attacked by two hooded black men. Virgil had come out of a local barbeque restaurant with a slab of ribs in hand and fought the two attackers. They were described as young black men in their teens or twenties. They attempted to pour tar and feather Mr. Hibbets. As you can see in the grainy closed caption film captured outside the barbeque restaurant, tar is poured on the head of Mr. Hibbets while a second man dumped feathers upon him. They then punched and kicked him and drove off in a car with New York license plates that were captured in this video. There is a Bernie 2016 sticker and Hillary 2016- I’m with her sticker on the back bumper of a green Nissan Leaf.”

The right wing was incensed. Virgil went on Hannity and Laura Ingraham’s Fox television shows and spoke about the incidents.

“Now these evil communist perpatratahs come outta one of them hybrids. They faces was obscured by they hoods… They took they hands and made the letter H like some kinda gang thang and shouted out dat this is Hillary country. They called me a fat crackah and pro-ceeded tah pour tar upon me and then feathers. The tar got into mah eyes… You kin imagine how much mineral spirits ah needed to get the tar off? Mah eyes still ain’t right… The climate in this ah here country is a di-rect result of the politics of the day. It’s horrible tah think dat people would attack me fuh a difference of opinion…”

For a short while, people believed Virgil and then after a while, they started to put together the whole thing and it just did not make sense. Where did the Nissan Leaf come from and why was it in Mississippi? Two young black men who happened to be passionate Hillary supporters in a part of town where if you were black, white people would look at you as if to ask if you were lost. The next thing was that Virgil’s cell phone had been wiped clean. It wasn’t done professionally like Hillary’s with BleachBit. This was just old fashion erasing and not understanding that erasing is not enough. Before long, they found out that the two black men were not black but actual white men who worked for Virgil and wore black shoe polish on their faces. There was closed caption films of the two men buying clothes that black people might wear at a mall in Jackson and another film of them buying tar and feather pillows at a Home Depot outside of their town.

Virgil was confronted with the evidence as were the two men who worked for Virgil and before long, they were all arrested. Virgil having deep pockets bailed himself out and the two who were paid a whopping $3,500.00 by check to help Virgil get back into shape. Call it personal training. CNN, MSNBC, CBS and so on took Virgil to task and rightly so. Virgil’s explanation was that the network that hired him, was thinking of dumping his show and to draw attention and sympathy, he came up with the whole thing. Horrible to think, right?

In Jackson, two weeks later, without cameras, the judge in a speed trial took into account that Virgil had a clean record and never even had so much as a parking ticket in the past. Virgil had to forfeit his bond money and they took as community service, the food bank work he had done as a young man with the minister, Billy Graham. Virgil emerged from the courthouse draped in the American flag, holding the hands of his two little children who looked a little off. The press yelled questions at Virgil. He quietly with a tear in his eye put his hand over his heart and thanked god, his mother and those that love freedom and the United States of America. God Bless.

March 13, 2019

The New and Improved Mayor

Guido Guiliana was known around his village just west of Chicago as “hizzoner”. Guido had been mayor for over twenty years and for years; he had a lock on things. The village pushed through a video gambling initiative and it just so happened that Guido’s friend Mel or Melsie happened to be a middleman for the leasing and operating of the gambling machines.

Twenty years earlier, the town was very blue collar and sort of old world white. There were union electricians, plumbers, police officers, firemen, builders and so on. Now it was becoming a place that millennials chose to move into to get away from city taxes. The Hispanics and blacks too were creeping in and low and behold, the upstart councilman who questioned the mayor’s collusion and steering on building contracts just happened to be black and an opposition mayoral candidate. This election was no longer a sure thing.

Now Guido was quite worried about losing that side money when a street needed paving or someone needed work done to their house and permits and shoddy work was passed while his shell company made money. The biggest cash cow was the video gambling.

Picture old women with oxygen tanks taking breaks from their addiction to smoke out in front of establishments with neon signs that read “gaming”. Yes, smoking with oxygen being piped into their noses. There were many patrons that fit that profile that were putting money into Guido’s pockets. Guido was making a penny on every dollar that was put into a gambling machine in town. It afforded Guido the money to buy cars and homes he didn’t need and to have side women.

Guido met a beautiful young thing at a nail salon run by a black woman whose clientele was primarily black. The mayor would go in to get his nails polished and glossed. For years, the woman who did his nails was a large and unattractive black woman, who smelled slightly of skunk, had wisps of facial hair and weazed when she exhaled. The new girl was truly smoking hot.

Felicity was young and had a young fit body. She was pretty and laughed at everything the mayor said. Felicity eventually went with Guido to fancy restaurants and clubs where other Italian mayors hung out and drank tropical drinks in a dimly lit lounge that was supposed to be Polynesian but was really Filipino. As time went on, Guido took trips all over the country with Felicity and put her up in an apartment that he could spend the night at periodically. Felicity began too look at the situation and wanted the full benefit of spreading her legs for the mayor. She wanted the house, the cars, the title and so on. What Felicity didn’t know was that the mayor was helped in many ways by his wife’s father who was a mob guy and so he could not dump his wife for a black chick, a young black chick, without drama or death. Felicity allowed herself to get pregnant and have a beautiful baby boy that was sort of a caramel color. Felicity also was smart and thought ahead at all times.

Mrs. Guido Giuliani or Luciana or Lulu as most called her, had a clothes boutique with a café attached that Guido had set up for her so that she would have a little something. She hired a pretty young black woman by the name of Sue. Lulu would come home and talk about Sue and how helpful she was and what a good and tireless worker she had. Guido was not putting two and two together as they say. One day he got the surprise of his life.

“Honey, the girl who works for me is going to stay with us for a little while. She had been living in one of those horrible places you rent by the hour with a small child. I thought we could give her the sub-basement where my mother lived…”

Sue… I mean Felicity walked in the house and extended her hand for the mayor to shake it while holding the toddler in her left arm. The baby pointed at Guido and said “dada”. Guido could feel his heart beat in his eyes and began to sweat. Sue corrected her young son.

“That’s not dada… He looks a little like dada but you know what they say… Y’all look a lot alike.”

The situation was tortuous for Guido. There he was trying to win a close election and keep his companies alive that serviced the village exclusively and now his side bitch had maneuvered her way into the house. There was very little Guido could say or do and Sue was masterful at playing the game. Sunday dinners were special times.

“I’ve always wanted to see the world… You know place like Miami, New Orleans and Hoboken.”

Guido had been at a mayoral convention in Hoboken. Felicity knew this because she was there. It was a game where Guido had to hide Anne Frank but the only problem was that Anne Frank was right out in the open, with a child and another name. Guido upon talking to his drinking buddies and other Italian small village mayors, decided to just roll with it. Frankie, the mayor of one town over, put into terms that made sense to Guido.

“Guido… You fucked up. No other way to put it… Waddya goanna do? Apologize and cry like a little bitch? You wanna stand at a press conference crying, your wife crying, your adult children crying and have the black chick standing with the press holding your baby like it was the fucking Maury Povich Show? Fuck it… She ain’t busted you out yet… Just go wid it. It’s a new era. Anything fucking goes… Just go wid it.”

If you ever go to Chicago and go a few miles west, you’ll find a really racially cool mayor in a village that used to be old school but is becoming cool, hip and cutting edge.   If you see the mayor, say hello. He’s really a good guy and one day, you might need him and he might need you. You never know…

December 1, 2018

Teachers Have Bad Days Too

Filed under: america,humor,humour,Short Story,Uncategorized — blackhumouristpress @ 9:54 pm
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Terry had an absolute miserable day teaching. She was hired to teach guitar and keyboards as an elective to high school children in an impoverished area of the city. The pay was good but it was nothing more than babysitting. Her classes consisted of Hispanic and black gangbangers with neck tattoos, some with ankle bracelets to monitor their every move by the police, some pregnant, most high and all profane.

“Eh eh Ms. Bitchtits… This motherfucker ain’t got all it strings. How my bout to learn this shit when y’all done gave some defective shit. I don’t see Pedro motherfucker over dere wit his leafblower on his motherfucking back missing no strings on his shit… That discrimination, Ms. Bitchtits.”

Pedro took offense to the leaf blower comment as he tried hard to form a G chord without cramping his fingers.

“The only one with bitch tits all up in this bitch is yo fat ass, motherfucking Fat Albert motherfucker. What kind of crazy bitch mom names their kid Sirarthur? Yo momma was cracked out when she gave you that bitch name.”

A fight broke out. Two guitars were casualties. The school security separated them and took them out. A string of other outbursts occurred through out the day. Run of the mill swearing, playing music on their phones, eating in class, sleeping in class and general disrespect for the Terry brought her to tears on the way home.

 

Chris was a private school teacher in a really rich suburb where there were eight students in the class. The kids spent most of the day on social media or skyping friends in other schools. Kids ignored most of what Chris was trying to teach the children. Chris had a student named Floyd who dressed in black with died black hair and a safety pin through his bottom lip. He wore shirts of death metal bands you never heard of and hated everything. His parents were divorced and the dad had an older Costa Rican woman taking care of him while travelling the world on business. Floyd was in prep school but got thrown out of so many that they brought him home. His stepmother detests him and the dad just gives his kid more money to placate him. The assignment was to read allowed what the perfect day would be. Floyd read his in front of the class.

“My perfect day would be to tie up my parents in their fucking sauna and turn the temperature up to about 150 and leave them in there for a good while to ensure their reproductive organs were officially shot. I would then come to school with a dozen large sows and let tear gas off in the school. I would sit out front with a six-pack and a lawn chair on the school’s front lawn while the pigs and girls squealed like pigs and then I would probably take target practice on the knees of those running from the mayhem. No murder, just a little maiming. Of course this is just a fantasy, you see… For I have no sows at home.”

Chris dialed the police and the police showed up before Floyd could finish his essay. The police hauled Floyd in. His father was in New Zealand and the stepmother was fucking an Internet buddy in San Diego and so the Costa Rican au pair had to sort it all out. The father, who donated thousands, maybe tens of thousands to the school on top of tuition each year, pledge to see that Chris would be fired when he returned. Chris drove home crying.

Chris met Terry through a friend of a friend. At the time, they were both dating men but went on to become partners. They were once really romantic but Chris began to gain weight and Terry had become a health nut. It was just a few days ago that Terry had to break the news to Chris that the funky smell in her vagina was due to all the shit food she was eating and a little bit of poor hygiene. Love had been on the rocks and now they both had a really bad day. They walked in to find that their cats were fighting and had broken porcelain figurines that had belonged to Chris’ grandmother. The gloves came off the moment they both got home.

“I hate these cats… I hate them, I hate them… We couldn’t get fucking dogs because we live in a building that won’t allow them. So these destructive little fucks have ruined something of mine once again that can’t be replaced. I have had a day from hell and I don’t have room in my life right now to be dealing with destructive fucking cats,” shouted Chris.

“Fuck you… You teach at a country club. Try one day in my goddamn shoes and you need more therapy than you’re getting now,” said Terry.

“How dare you use that against me… You are a hateful bitch… When your parents get here, I will be staying at a hotel. I am not putting up with your criticism and theirs together. You are all unhappy people and then you shit on me. Your parents raised you to be a mean combative bitch. You’re just like them. I’m outta here.,” said Chris.

“Yeah… Will you be sending the what are you doing tonight text to your old boyfriend?” Asked Terry.

“What are you talking about? We’re just friends. I don’t hate Paul. It just didn’t work out.”

“I get all the neurotic bullshit and he gets to buy you a few drinks, slip you the genuine article and you both go on with life. I’m not blind,” said Terry.

“I’m not having this tonight. I had that weirdo kid talk about tear gas, wild pigs and shooting people in the legs today and now his rich dad wants my head for calling the cops…” said Chris.

“Welcome to modern teaching, sister. Yo this Motherfucking, bitch, niggah, bitch, niggah, motherfucking bitch ass mothefucking motherfucker… Now that’s commonly used just for description… Every minute of everyday. So you got a rich Goth psycho. You must be stressed.”

“Fuck you, you fucking bitch!”

In the lobby of condominium were the parents of Terry who had difficulty coming to grips with their daughter’s change of life but were ready to shrug it off and wish them all the happiness in the world. The button to the intercom had stuck. Chris had pressed the button with maple syrup on her index finger earlier that morning when the Amazon man arrived with a package and that darn button never released. For a great while Terry’s parents just quietly stood in the foyer and listened to domestic car crash taking place. The parents quietly agreed to each other that they were really no different than any other couples. And that’s just how it goes on really bad days.

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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August 17, 2018

Let Them Eat Beets

Wonder drugs are really wonderful except when those darn side affects take affect. You know- hives, bleeding gums, swollen pancreas and feet, insomnia, sensitivity to light, night sweats, day sweats, heart palpitations, loss of libido, a hard on that never subsides that could service a harem… You get the idea.

 

The Millers were some large white people. The father, wheezed when he breathed. His neck was hidden between a half dozen chins. He would roll into the local 7-11 to buy those nasty tacos and wings under the heat lamp, a bag of chips, a double big gulp and that candy bar. I’m sorry, two candy bars.

“Vun for 69 cents, two for a dollar,” the Indian proprietor who announces as Bill the patriarch would get ready to slip his card into the reader.

The children were the American version of Hansel and Gretel. Middle school age cherubs that wore adult clothing. They sweat in cool weather and their eyes disappeared whenever they smiled. Hamburgers, frozen pizzas and ice creams were their staples. Their parents would cruise the aisles of the local grocery store in motorized scooters while their children waddled behind them begging for extra snacks. Very little fruit, very little vegetables and a plethora of artery clogging garbage to stuff their faces in front of their phones and the television. Bill outweighed his wife by fifty pounds and both of them were over 300lbs. When the four of them would get in the elevator on the way to the doctor’s, they would quietly do the math in their heads. The four of them were dangerously close to the maximum weight allowed by the fire marshall. Bill had a terroristic beard with a man bun that went up into a cute fountain like a center punch in the middle of his head. They would pull up at the local buffet on Mondays and smile at the register girl and Bill would always say, “You’re about to lose on this deal.” You get the idea. They were the archetypical fat Americans. They were sloppy, slovenly, sloths completely content with obesity until Bill happened to be reading about a man who looked like him and lost 250 lbs. He thought that he might just be a handsome devil under all that fat. The thought of working out hours a day and yanking fat and sugar from his diet seemed a life not worth living. Bill needed artificial will power or something to overpower his laziness.

 

Bill knew of a woman at work who lost an amazing amount of weight but appeared to have developed Tourette’s. The woman looked amazing but she had no filter. To prevent herself from saying too much, she would cover her own mouth and mumble through her fingers. Bill approached the woman in the parking lot and offered her a large sum of money if she would hook him up with the non-FDA approved drug from Mexico. The colleague agreed to the deal. At first, Bill felt nothing and after about a week he noticed that things began to change. Bill had a taste for salads with lemon instead of dressing, No burgers or pizza. He wanted to walk and lift weights instead of sit in the lazy boy and read his phone. After a month, Bill was running and doing a stationary bike, rowing machine and elliptical at the gym for hours at a time. No junk food at all and he walked around shaking a plastic container filled with a protein shake. It was an amazing transformation. Before long, Bill’s wife and kids were all taking the same drug. They became fitness machines and testimonies to clean living and exercise. Everything was great, right? Oh, yes… The side affects. The family did not lie down at the end of the night and sleep a solid eight hours. They did not sleep even half of that. They would periodically collapse and take a twenty to thirty minute nap here or there. Some times it would hit them at work like narcolepsy and they would involuntarily fall deeply asleep for fifteen minutes and feel refreshed and ready to take on any task at 110% effort or more. None of them realized that their resting heart rate was over 100 and that they were shortening their lives by racing their hearts at all times. The other side affect was brutal honesty and an inability to lie.

Bill weighed in at 185 lbs. at about six feet in height and about 6% body fat. He walked around wide-eyed with tense jaws and said the wildest things out loud. At home, it was astounding the things the family would say to each other. It didn’t matter much until they got together for dinner with their good friends, The Quentin’s. The Quentin’s were nice people. All of them had red hair to the point of orange. The kids had whitest of white skin and freckles on top of freckles. The Quentin’s had a rainbow flag in front of the house with a lawn sign that said, “Black Lives Matter” and “Hate has No Home Here” and “No Human is Illegal”. The Millers kept quiet that they voted for Trump and liked Trump and were really happy about their tax cut, their improving 401K and that Bill’s company kicked back $1,000.00 to him recently. They knew the Quentin’s were really liberal and were frantic about the changes that they could not control. They would always make off the cuff comments about Trump and Trump lovers such as ignorant, backward, fascist, Nazi, xenophobic, homophobic and so on. The Miller’s would politely listen and then try to change the subject to vacations or sports the kids were playing. The Quentin’s made ribs with a bean dip and potato chips, coleslaw and then cookies and chocolate cake. Bill and Tammy showed up with a beet salad and some sort of bland tofu. The Millers ate it like it was the greatest thing and the Quentin’s sort of snarled at it. Julie Quentin jokingly made a comment, which opened the door to brutal honesty.

“That looks like punishment, not a meal.”

Bill wiped beet juice from his chin, smiled and spoke first.

“You’re gonna eat all the calories you need for a week in one sitting? Your temple is a bank and I can tell you that you are putting way too much in the bank if you know what I mean. You have to be fatter than the last time we got together. If you’re not fatter, you certainly look fatter”

“What the hell, Bill!”

“I mean that all that shit you’re eating makes you feel like shit inside and then you think shitty things about the government and the whole world and then you go back and have a piece of cake and think, gee… I wanna kill the president…”

“What the fuck is wrong with you, Bill?”

Tammy jumped in to continue where Bill started.

“Julie, Julie… Listen… You’re unhappy because you’re fat and fat because you’re unhappy. It stems from your inability to accept reality. Your resist sticker on the back of your car tells it all. You are resisting reality; you’re resisting happiness and a better life. You think getting a “No Hate” tattoo in Arabic makes you not hate? No, you hate great and I know you hate hearing the truth. We sit here and listen to you both go on and on about everything you hate and you assume we are with you and we’re not.”

Julie stood up and placed her palms on the table and began to yell in the face of her good friend Tammy or former good friend.

“What kind of mind controlling Nazi shit has happened to you? You lose the equivalent of a whole human being and now you get preachy with us? How dare you!”

Julie’s husband took a drink of his beer and said nothing. Bill winked at him and took a sip of his lemon water. The women went back and forth, yelling and pointing until the Miller boy looked up from his phone where he was watching a steroidal man discussing how to make muscle fast. The lean 13-year-old boy, made a statement.

“Adults are always talking about hoping and praying for things… You know what I hope for? Aliens… Not the illegal ones…   I pray they come down and put you all in zoos. Aliens can watch you do all the crazy, sick shit you do sexually on the Internet and maybe they’ll throw a steak in your cage… If not a steak, maybe a beet salad.”

The fighting ended really quickly after that.

June 25, 2018

The Gap Between Us

  •                  

Bob, like many Americans, came into a little money after Uncle Sam took his chunk.  Bob bought stock in things that ate up other things and got bigger and before long, he reasoned that his little 1950s starter home with low ceilings and a leaky basement, separated by neighbors on each side by about ten feet, was just too confining, too ordinary, too small.  One day Bob got off of the highway into inner city Detroit and looked at blocks and blocks of land that were gone.  What remained were streets, some sidewalks and foundations to where houses once stood.  Bob began to do some investigating and found that the land could be purchased for very little and so Bob bought up a whole once side of a street.  There were fifteen foundations total.  Over the course of a year or so, he built a tremendous house that would have fit in during the Victorian era.  A foyer with a 20 foot ceiling that looked up to a spiral staircase.  There were ten bedrooms, an indoor pool, several covered porches and gardens of flowers and produce for his wife who loved to garden.

“Susan… We are selling this place and moving to Detroit,” said Bob, off the cuff while reading the newspaper.

Susan pulled the newspaper down so she could see Bob’s face and asked him to repeat what he said.  It sounded to her like he said that he was selling the house and that they would be moving to Detroit.  Bob confirmed what he said.  Later that day, Susan cried all the way to Detroit from the northern suburban abode.  As they passed lot after lot, street after street of missing or abandoned homes, out of nowhere like a palace in the desert or the Motor City Casino which has a fabulous Las Vegas light show at night if you happen to be standing in any vacant lot within an eye shot in Detroit.  Susan sat up and took note of the beautiful home, a deluxe Victorian style home with a front porch and newly sodded lawn, a fountain out in front and gardens the length of a block.  Susan laughed and cried.  Bob held up a set of keys for her to take.  Everything was great.  Just great.

Now in these strange political times, Bob found himself on the other side of the invisible wall that had not been built yet by our president.  Susan found the president to be uncouth, brazen, foul, racist, xenophobic, sexist and emblematic of everything that a male could be that must be changed in our offspring.  Bob on the other hand, found that our current president was a breath of fresh air.  He liked the patriotism, he liked the America first attitude, he liked the there-has-to-be-rules credo that had taken hold.  Susan would watch MSNBC in one end of their large home and Bob would watch FOX.  Their politics began to cause a schism in their marriage and it got so bad that Bob and Susan could not talk to each other very much or very long without fighting.  They would look at each other and think-how could you be so naive, so stupid, such a goddamn door mat or how could you be such a racist, sexist, pig with no heart.

One day, Bob came home to find a family in his living room, eating ham, potatoes and pie at a coffee table while watching television.  They looked up at Bob but said nothing.  Susan came in with a silver platter full of more food.  The house guests seemed indifferent to the free food and not the least bit grateful.  Bob commented angrily.

“Susan!  Who are these people and why are waiting on them hand and foot, delivering them free food on a silver platter?”

Susan ignored her husband and passed out juice and more ham and desserts, one of the men asked for a beer.  Susan jogged to the kitchen.  As Susan began to open the door, Bob slammed it shut.  This angered Susan.

“We are rich and privileged people who have more than we deserve or need and these people just want a better life for themselves.  It is so wrong to share with others?  To let the have-nots have a little something?”

“Wait a minute!  I own this place.  I have legal title to live in this place with you and nobody else.  I pay for this food, I pay the taxes here, I made this place what it is and you just want to let anyone in here!?”

“You are heartless, selfish and a goddamn Nazi…”

“A Nazi!  What the fuck?!”

“Yes… A Nazi.  Rachel Maddow said that any of you people who blindly follow that man who is not my president, are nothing more than brown shirted thugs that are willing to do anything to support him.”

“Get these people out of my fucking house before I have them thrown out by the cops.”

“Oh yeah, that’s great.  Have the people who stomp on their rights come in and kick them out… Such a humanitarian.  Well I have news for you.  I am married to you… For now… And I will let in whomever I want, when I want.”

Susan came back with a beer and there were suddenly more people in the living room who were related to the people that were initially allowed in.  Susan needed to get more food.  Bob called the police.

Now when the police came, they listened to Susan and then Bob and they had to break the news to Bob that his wife had a right to guests as a home owner.  Bob asked the cops what if the people don’t want to leave.  What if they want to stay?  After all his home was much better and safer than where they came from.  The situation could not be easily resolved.  Bob was so angry about more and more people taking over his home and Susan felt it was humane to share what she had with those who had less.  Susan wanted to take care of them all and when Bob wasn’t around, she would tell them that they had a right to be there and that she would see to it that she share her “privilege” and ensure that they could never be sent away.  Bob would take their things and throw it out on the street and demand that they get the fuck out of his house but when he wasn’t looking or around, they came right back.  Bob wanted to build a wall with a moat and have alligators and big dogs to keep the people out and he told the undocumented residence such.  A bunch of them brazenly told him that they had as much of a right to live in the house as him and that a wall wouldn’t do shit to keep them out.  Things had reached a low point.  Bob hated Susan and Susan hated Bob.  Bob wanted to make his house great again and Susan wanted justice and equality for all.  Eventually this had to go in front of a judge.  The judge looked at both of them after hearing both of their sides and talked to them calmly.

“At some point, you will have to be reasonable people and come to a compromise…”

Bob asked the judge a question.

“And if we don’t come to a compromise?”

The judge responded.

“Well, you risk destroying what you have… And that would be ashamed.”

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