Blackhumouristpress's Blog

September 5, 2019

From Hockey to Yoga

Ali sat in a massage chair at a mall waiting for the Lululemon store to open. The name Ali is short for Alistair and Ali was tired.   How tired? He played hockey late night and then went out to have one with some friends after their game. Ali never got mad a the dumb decision making of the once a week guys on the team who panic when they get the puck and dump it or fire a shot at your head instead of making a pass. The same type of player will look you in the eye when you’re open and decide that they have a better option- a 1 on 3 perhaps with stone hands that will assuredly end in losing the fucking puck… Sorry, the thought of that makes me a little crazy. Where was I? Oh yeah…

So Ali was parked at the Lululemon store Saturday on Woodward in downtown Detroit. He sat in the car as his wife took their twin girls inside to try on over priced yoga pants while he watched a parade of Tigers fans walk towards Comerica Park to catch a game. There were bars on wheels where a dozen people pedaled a device around downtown while drinking and listening to Salsa Music. That seemed like a good time to Ali. Ali got a text.

 

SO THE GIRLS ARE A SIZE TWO AND THEY HAVE BLACK. IT WOULD COME OUT TO ABOUT $160.00 WITH TAX FOR BOTH OF THEM.

 

Ali would have liked to sit in the bleachers for $10.00 but he was sitting in the car waiting close to an hour while stick figure twin daughters tried on over priced Lycra. He had a response for his wife.

FUCK THAT… WE FIND SOMETHING AT THE GAP.

 

Ali’s wife had a response…

 

HOW MUCH DO YOU SPEND BUYING YOUR BUSTOUT BUDDIES DRINKS AFTER HOCKEY GAMES? HOW MUCH DO YOU TIP THE CUTE LITTLE THING BEHIND THE BAR? I’M GONNA GUESS THAT WITH THE COST OF HOCKEY, DRINKS AND TIPS, YOU’RE PRETTY GODDAMN CLOSE TO A COUPLE A PAIRS OF YOGA PANTS.

 

Ali stood his ground. He said no to the girls and settled for headbands and scrunches for their wrists and not their hair. The twins were disappointed. He took his wife and the girls to Mexicantown. The ladies wanted to go to Greektown. They ate their Mexican food in angry silence. When they got home, their 3-month-old puppy had shit all over his cage and smeared it all over his fluffy coat. The house smelled… Well, like shit. Ali’s wife weighed in while he cleaned shit off of the cage and she hosed a howling puppy in the backyard.

 

“You will go buy those fucking pants tomorrow… Hockey last night, hockey tonight and hockey tomorrow. Summer league playoffs, right? And possibly stopping off for one. Isn’t that what you guys say to one another? Let’s stop off for one and then you close the damn place. I have to hear how tired you are and how sore you are. Bullshit to that… You either go back downtown tomorrow or go to the mall. The girls asked for one thing each for their birthday and even though Lululemon seems expensive to you, I can tell you that it is less money than the CCM triple XXX asshole stick with the 100 flex and Crosby fucking curve you sent me into buy… I’m supposed to know that you’re a fucking lefty too? And so I go back to get a righty for a mere $250.00. I saw the price of that and almost fainted. You pitch a fit over $160.00 for your daughters’ pants. I have news for you- those yoga pants will last a lot longer than your overpriced stick that Crosby gets for free after you pay the fucking ransom for it… Are we clear on this?”

Ali got into a fight at the night game early in the 3rd period, took a shower and waited at the bar for the guys. He wanted to punch his wife but found someone on the ice to take it out on. Ali told the boys at the bar that they needed to cover him because he needed to buy yoga pants in the morning. He got home at 1am. The puppy got excited in the cage at the sight of Ali and not only shit but pissed. It was about 2am when he got the cage cleaned up. He picked the pup up and let him sleep on his chest while watching the NHL channel until he fell asleep on the couch. About 7am, his daughters came down the stairs like it was Christmas morning. Ali, smelling a bit like gin, snapped at his daughters and told them that they needed to get to school and that there would be no opening presents until after school. The girls were nearly in tears and his wife stood above him on the top step with folded arms and tight lips.

Ali decided to get to the mall up north and buy the damn pants. Two pairs. He guessed that 9am would be opening time but was wrong. He sat in the massage chair while old people walked around getting exercise before stores opened at 10am. Ali knew he was in the doghouse and constructed a beautiful text.

 

I FORGET A LOT OF SHIT THAT I EXPERIENCED IN LIFE. IT’S SORT OF LIKE SEEING A MOVIE YEARS AGO. I SAW IT A LONG TIME AGO BUT FORGOT MOST OF IT. I WILL NEVER FORGET THE DAY WE MARRIED OR THE DAY THE GIRLS WERE BORN. I REMEMBER EVERY DETAIL OF BOTH DAYS. THEY ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT DAYS IN MY LIFE. I AM GETTING THE PANTS AND WE WILL GO TO MEDIEVIL TIMES TONIGHT… THEY WILL BE IN BED BY 9:30. I WILL OPEN THAT EXPENSIVE BOTTLE OF WINE WE BOUGHT IN NAPA. I WANT YOU TO WEAR THAT BLACK NIGHT GOWN WITH THE DENTAL FLOSS UNDERWEAR. I WILL PEEL THOSE OFF OF YOU AND FLING THEM LIKE A SLINGSHOT ACROSS THE ROOM. I WILL LIGHT THE CANDLES AND PLAY THAT MUSIC YOU LIKE… I HAVE TOLD THE GUYS THAT I CANNOT MAKE TONIGHT’S GAME EVEN THOUGH IT IS A PLAYOFF GAME. YOU AND THE GIRLS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN HOCKEY TO ME AND THAT IS SAYING A LOT. I LOVE YOU.

 

Ali loved hockey a lot and it might have been a tie between hockey and the women in his life but he did the right thing and for that, he wanted a pat on the ass. And every man wants one.

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August 24, 2019

Raider Nation in a Green Bay Tent City

Wayne would watch the people traipse across his lawn during football season to the Mecca of NFL football stadiums- Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He wondered how he could extract some of that cash that was flowing freely on game days. Sell beer or peanuts? Allow people to park their cars on his front lawn? Sure that would be good for $20.00 and maybe two cars could fit over the sidewalk. The idea came to Wayne to put up a tent in his backyard and post it on Airbnb. Picture a tent, a big tent and then picture a house you would not want to go into.

Wayne was a Vietnam veteran who was 100% covered by the government for his exposure to Agent Orange. Wayne would walk through the jungle devoid of foliage after a plane would drop the defoliant. At the time, it was no problem. He was under 20 year of age and vibrant. As time went on, he had crazy mood swings, inability to concentrate and problems procreating. He lived in the house with a mail order bride who could not speak English. She could speak Thai. The house crawled with bugs and the bugs didn’t bother Daisy, the Thai wife of Wayne. She kept the house clean except for the room where Wayne slept with the three German Sheppard dogs. Wayne had a hard time sleeping and staying asleep so he slept in what would have been the family room if they had a family on a mattress on the floor. Wayne watched graphic porn and Westerns and slept with loaded guns under his pillow in the family room with the dogs. Daisy slept upstairs in a clean room with a clean bathroom. During the day, Wayne would rough fuck his wife who he could not speak with and then he would go to the gym. Oh he would scream things in English with the logic that if he yelled loud enough, she would understand.

 

Wayne was indifferent to football but understood that it was a religion in the area and thought to make enough money to pay for him and Daisy to go back to Thailand to see her sick mother.

There were blow up beds and beanbags and a black and white television that only pulled in two channels locally in the prestigious tent. There was a plastic pool in the backyard with a fire pit and he got Wi-Fi as the bonus for whoever decided to pay the $200.00 a night when all other options were not possible.

It was a beautiful August evening in Green Bay. The Packers were playing the Raiders. Jaime, who did jail time for offenses with an unregistered gun as a young man, learned automotive in jail and opened his own garage in Oakland. Jaime was that rare success story. He wore a black hair net under his Raiders hat with a straight brim cocked to the right. He wore a plain white tank top shirt under a starched white shirt with only the top buttoned. He wore baggy trousers and shiny black dress shoes. Jaime got a ticket to Milwaukee and hired an Uber driver for $200.00 to drive him 90 minutes north to Green Bay. There were no rooms to be had practically down to the Illinois border due to vacations and the Packer game. Jaime settled for the tent.

Jaime looked at the accommodations with his wife Teresa and made a declaration.

“Mother fucking pinchy Hillbilly motherfucker is charging $200.00 a night to fucking camp out in his backyard… And motherfuckers like him went to the moon? I say bullshit to this bullshit…”

Teresa was used to their small stucco ranch in Oakland that was kept immaculate. The lack of screens on the window and the barking of the dogs scared her. The naked lady magazines on the floor of the bathroom that had piss stains on the bowl, shit like concrete splattered on the bowl, whiskers in the sink and chunks of meat pulled from between Wayne’s teeth were stuck to the mirror.   Shock and horror.

After the game, Jaime stood in the backyard talking to his help at the garage back in Oakland. He was telling his guys to get right on one car and tell the old bitch with the Oldsmobile that they were waiting on a part. Wayne sat in the backyard in a lawn chair drinking a beer, glaring at Jaime, who was wearing a Ken Stabler jersey over his Cholo clothes. The Raiders won by a field goal. Wayne attempted to make conversation with his guest but it went wrong, as was often the case.

“Do you and your senorita come from Mexico or did you make the trek from Guatemala? You people all look the same to me. I went to Tijuana once back after the war. I got the clap down there banging the broad who starred in the donkey show… They still got the donkey show down there?”

The ridiculous stereotyping and ignorance incensed Jaime

“Motherfucker… Did I see your white ass in Deliverance? Where you the dude fucking that fat motherfucker in the ass? I was born in Oakland. I am as American as your white ass and let me ask you something, pendejo… How does a motherfucker like you land a 12-year-old bitch looking like fucking Beetlejuice? How much you spend on yo woman?”

Wayne laughed at his houseguest, excused himself and returned with a case of Wisconsin beer and a bottle of tequila. Over the course of six hours, Wayne learned what it was like to live on the mean streets of Oakland as a Mexican gangbanger who did jail time and then became an entrepreneur. Jaime learned what it was like to have served in a really bad war and what it was like to kill people, take drugs and just try to make it day to day in a foreign land as a teenager. Jaime learned what it was like for someone like Wayne to have done something for others that wasn’t appreciated or wanted. They found common ground outside an Airbnb tent in Green Bay… And lived happily ever after. The end….

August 23, 2019

Anything Goes

Filed under: humor,humour,Ice hockey,Short Story,Uncategorized — blackhumouristpress @ 1:28 am
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JP met Curt some time back at an early morning skate. Curt didn’t like his name so he had everyone call him Bouddha. Curt was unaware that he spelled Buddha wrong. He even got a tattoo with “Bouddha” on it. JP was the separated and went to live in an apartment with Bouddha. They were an odd couple to be sure.

 

JP held out hope that he would get back together with his wife.   She wasn’t interested. JP got word that his wife was seeing a hockey player from another men’s league team. It was a terrible scene. JP checked the door open with his shoulder to find his wife on a futon in a studio apartment watching Slapshot in bed, in the arms of another man that he was familiar with. JP beat the man for a while until his hands hurt and then grabbed a souvenir 5030 Sherwood wood hockey stick that had been once used by the actually Paul Coffey. He snapped it over his knee and clubbed the man who lay under a sheet naked like a baby seal. JP heard his wife calling the police in the other room and decided it was time to depart. Before leaving the apartment, JP grabbed the television and ran at the living room window and pushed it through. The television hit the concrete from the second floor and sounded like an atomic bomb exploded in the serene night air. Waiting next to the minivan practicing stickhandling with a golf ball was Bouddha. Bouddha was wearing a white leisure suit that he bought at a thrift shop and had some spiffy white shoes to go with it. His platinum dyed hair went well with his ensemble.

“Oooh damn… Hot damn! Did you shoot off a gun?”

“No, man… His television had an accident. Let’s get the fuck outta here.”

The two went a Polish nightclub where cleaning women looked like runway models by night. Bouddha found a woman who looked a bit like Renee Zellwenger from Bridget Jones Diary. Bouddha kept calling her Bridget and they danced and drank. Bouddha took off his suit jacket and silk shirt with big lapels and danced in a tank top under shirt. White of course. It had holes all over and looked like a rag. One of his nipples poked through the shirt. Sitting alone drinking a rum and Coke was JP, replaying everything that he saw and did. Bouddha came up to him with Bridget and a smaller woman and forced JP to dance with the woman, a friend of Bridget’s.

 

At 4am the bar closed and the sky was becoming light blue. They all went back to the apartment of the smaller woman named Linda. She could sense that something was on the mind of JP. She invited him to her bedroom but told him that there was no way that he would be getting some. She rubbed his back with some sort of essential oils with his shirt off and he fell dead asleep. Meanwhile in the other room, Boudhha made something as close to love as he ever would make and then wind milled his nuts and cock while they listened to Van Halen loudly at about 6am. Bouddha packed the musket several times and pounded Bridget like he was a prizefighter. Love… Or something close.

 

The next evening at hockey, JP and Bouddha played a game with the police team even though they weren’t police. Bouddha scored two goals and JP played defense and passed the puck a lot. The cops beat the firemen and after the team went to a local watering hole. JP confided in a cop named Percy what he had done and wanted to know if there would be a warrant for his arrest. After a few drinks, JP and Bouddha followed Percy to the station to look up on the computer if there was in fact a warrant for his arrest. They sat across from Percy who was rubbing the scruff on his chin as he looked at the computer screen with a furrowed brow. He shook his head a few times and then looked up at the ceiling.

“Listen… I gotta take you both into custody. There is a warrant for both of your arrests. JP… This clown who was fucking your wife pressed charges and you Bouddha… It says here you got into a fistfight at a bar on Western last year. You gouged the guy’s eyes and then stuck your fingers up his ass… I shit you not. They got a warrant for your arrest. Assault and battery as well as sexual perversion… I’m going to have to arrest both of you. There’s cameras everywhere and they know I looked you two up on the computer… I have to arrest you both. Listen… I can bond you both out within an hour before they send you to county. I just gotta get to a cash machine.”

JP and Bouddha were handcuffed and put in a cell alone. After 20 minutes, Percy came back and uncuffed them. They both thanked him profusely for bonding them out. They asked how much it cost. Percy had an answer.

“Priceless… The look on faces of you two assholes was enough for me. There’s no warrant for your arrests. That bastard knew he had a beating coming and took it like a man… And you, you blond disaster… You couldn’t remember if maybe you put your fingers in some guy’s ass during a fist fight?”

“Well… Sometimes… Anything goes.”

August 2, 2019

Saudade or BS in English

Elise waited for Bill for about an hour at the bar of a new gluten free, vegan restaurant in that hip new area of the city where anyone over the age of forty, looks out of place. She had two organic wines from a small winery in Oregon and felt safe knowing that there was no DDT, herbicides, pesticides or Agent Orange in her wine. She was rail thin with long, straight hair that she constantly put behind her ears as she read from her phone.

Bill posted pictures of himself on a dating site. Bill was not a thin mountain man looking guy. He was sort of a chubby man who loved to correspond with women he never met and had no intention in meeting. After hours of writing back and forth with Elise, poems and even a song he composed on his acoustic guitar, the time had come to meet. Bill forced the meeting when he descriptively described what he was going to do to when he got Elise in a bed. It went something like this-

 

I will cover the bed in rose pedals. Carlos Antonio Jobim will be playing softly. The aroma of lavender will fill the air from the candles that will alluminate the room just enough for you to see my face and I to see yours. Nothing will need to be said. I will start kissing your arms so gently that it will feel as though I’m hardly touching you. I will kiss your neck so softly while holding the base of your neck. I will gently kiss your top lip and then your bottom. We will become one. I will whisper sweet things in your ear in Portugues- É pau, é pedra,
é o fim do caminho
É um resto de toco,
é um pouco sozinho

 

Elise read and re-read the message that made her a bit moist every time she read it. Bill had no intention in showing. He knew no Portuguese, owned no candles and lived in the basement of his mother’s home. It was all just a game to him and he thrived on the correspondence. Nothing more. While she waited for Bill, he dropped the bomb on her. In Portuguese. Loosely translated- I found another woman. I ain’t coming.

 

Eu encontrei o amor da minha vida … tristeza profunda para lhe dizer.

 

 

The bartender who looked a little bit like the 1970’s relief pitcher, Rollie Fingers or Salvador Dali with a ridiculous waxed mustache. A skinny man with a healthy libido who saw an opportunity to land another good looking sad chick sitting at the bar having a melt down. He asked Elise if he could read what was written. Two more wines and beet salad on the house and the Uber driver whisked them away to the studio apartment of the bartender. He happened to play ac

acoustic guitar. He happened to know Jobim songs in English. His neighbor had a rose bush and he had one Yankee candle that he lit that smelled a bit like citrus that masked the smell of unwashed clothes. Was love found and nurtured from that day on? I would have to say no. There are many men who set the table just for other men to eat upon.

July 10, 2019

Catfish… Yum Or She’s Perfect on Paper

Jake had friends that had met women from other countries on line and it really worked out well for them. There was Chuck who corresponded with a Thai woman working in Cairo at a hotel. Chuck back around the time Morsi was deposed by the military in Egypt, went to collect the love of his life and bring her back to his two-bedroom palace in Detroit. It didn’t matter that for six months his wife needed her phone to correspond with Chuck. A whole lot less fighting.

Paul went to Bogotá in Columbia and found a beauty of a woman who liked to cook and liked to clean and do whatever Paul was in the mood to do. Being twenty years his junior was a strong plus.

 

Jake decided to try his hand. Jake met Ann on a dating site for intelligent people. Jake was so intelligent that he never stopped to think that maybe corresponding with strangers in Dubai, might not be… intelligent.

 

Ann- Hey, my name is Ann. I saw your profile and you look totally for what I’m looking for in a man.

 

Jake saw a tall, thin, woman with a beautiful face and was hooked like a fish.

 

Jake- My name is Jake… I live in Milwaukee. Where are you?

 

Ann- I am the daughter of a Basque fisherman who lived in Belgium. I grew up speaking Basque, French, Flemish and German. My Amona, that is Basque for grandma, would have me all summer in San Sebastian. What about you?

 

Jake- We went to Door County a lot. It’s in northern Wisconsin. Your English is really good.

 

Ann- Merci

 

Jake stood at the computer waiting for Ann to say something and then after a few hours, she gave her telephone number but claimed in didn’t work in Dubai. They kept corresponding via the site. Jake had a few drinks one night and received a picture of Ann in a bathing suit and was out of his mind with desire. Ann would write to Jake often and then not for a while. Jake would stare at the screen like a dog watching a door for their master to return. After weeks, things seemed to be heading in a positive direction and the desire to meet Ann grew so strong that Jake was consumed all day long with thoughts of being with her. It was like those men you hear about in jail that receive letters from women on the outside. Those men are willing to break out of jail just to meet those special women. Jake was of the same mindset.

 

Jake- Listen I have free time and have always wanted to come to Dubai. I have a passport and I think you and I have something special between us. I dream of you with my eyes awake.

 

Ann- Oh my god! I totally feel the same way. I want to serve you breakfast in bed and massage you. I want to come to the states and eat at Outback with you.

 

Jake- Outback?! Um… I don’t go there ever. Have you been there?

 

Ann- Well we can go somewhere else too. Hey, I don’t want to spring this on you but if you do come, would you mind terribly taking care of something for me?

 

Jake- What’s that?

 

Ann- I have some money that I left in an account in Kenya that I cannot leave the country to get it. Would you mind terribly making a stop for me? I will tell you which bank to go to and they will give you the money we need to start a new life together. I cannot wait to leave Dubai and begin our new life in Milwaukee. I want to eat sausages, eat cheese and drink beer. When you get here, I am going to make love to you until you beg me to stop. I cannot wait to feel your hands all over my body. We will be one and it will be the greatest experience of our lives. Hurry my love.

 

Jake would have gone to the moon for her and just about did. He hopped on a flight to Nairobi. Upon landing, he grabbed the first cab he could find. He woke up hours later with his hands tied behind his back. Across the room were two men watching a soccer match on a small television, both were smoking. Jake asked what was going on. A large man with braids and a large gap between his front teeth stood and rubbed his belly.

“I am more attractive in a bathing suit… Let’s talk about getting some money.”

Love is often not what it appears to be and that is sad when you think about it.

June 19, 2019

Going Against the Grain

Marsha wept as she rhetorically asked John where they went wrong with their son Gore. Gore seems like a crazy Goth name to give to their son at the time but actually he was named after Al Gore. Around the time of the 2000 elections, Marsha stopped dressing like Siouxie from Siouxie and the Banchees. She made John start dressing like a man who could make money instead of a over grown kid in ripped jeans and offensive Punk shirts from their high school days.

 

Marsha was a stay at home mom and the head of the PTO while John became a realtor. They had a swell home and every five years, they bought one that was even bigger and more expensive. They raised Gore to respect people of all colors and to not make fun of fat children or over the top effeminate men, not torture small animals ect… Marsha was way ahead of her time back in the early 2000’s. She explained that we are all equal in god’s eyes even though Marsha decided that there was no god. Marsha was raised Catholic but rebelled in high school. It was about the time she wore Doc Marten boots with her Catholic school skirt, died her hair jet-black and wore black lipstick. John met Marsha at a Black Flag show and fell madly in love with her. They had so much in common. They hated their parents, society, Ronald Reagan, Michael Jackson and Madonna. They were against anything that their post World War II parents were for but over time like most Americans- they had to get on board, become a cog in the wheel of the dynamo that is these United States.

Gore was against everything that his parents were for too. John and Marsha were Chicago Cubs fans and Gore liked the White Sox. John and Marsha liked their Punk Music from the 1980’s and Gore liked Country. John and Marsha got paunchy and sedentary and Gore ate healthy as a teenager and lifted weights until he was the biggest and strongest guy in the school. Gore wrestled, played football and ice hockey. John and Marsh had been anti-jock back in the day.

Gore had a graduation party with friends that were going off to the military or college. They hunted and owned rifles. They drove American cars and trucks. They all seemed more at home in Nebraska than suburban Chicago. Gore took off his shirt before jumping in the family pool. On his back was a tattoo the length of his back that had Donald Trump making the “OK” sign with a circle between the thumb and index finger. Trump is wearing a suit with a red tie and is winking. It read- Donald Trump 45th president of the United States of America. Made America great again.

 

Marsha was horrified. Her girlfriends from something called the “Fight Club”, a group of moms angry about the election and their husbands were in attendance. The members of the fight club sat drinking wine and eating chips with dip. They had been talking about mundane things until they could not help noticing Gore looking like an underwear model with his shirt off. He was a like a Greek statue with a six pack, strong arms and chest. What was tattooed to his back sent them heading for the exit. The moms protested the president by wearing cat hats downtown. They had lawn signs that said things like love is love and no human is illegal and science is real. There was no way they were staying any longer at the party.  Marsha was horrified and filled with anxiety of what might happen next.

Sitting in a lawn chair with a Fedora hat on, holding a beer was an old man. It was the father of Martha. The moms all left close to suddenly and said nothing to Martha other than they needed to go. Martha worried that one of them might go on an open forum of suburban moms and let everyone know that her son was a pariah, a xenophobe, homophobe, misogynistic racist, a Trump loving… Republican. Marsha was tearing eyed as boys and girls jumped into the pool listening to hillbilly music. Her father laughed. She turned to him and asked what possibly could be funny.

“Oh I was just thinking about when you brought John over for Christmas dinner way back when. He had a safety pin through his face and his Mohawk was orange. He wore a t shirt with cut off sleeves… I’ll never forget that shirt. It said Killing Joke and underneath it was the pope on a German military truck being given a Nazi salute by German soldiers on both sides. My mom, being a woman who never missed mass, cried for a month when John Kennedy was killed. She got up and left. She couldn’t believe that I let you date that guy. She told me that I had to stop you. How likely was that? Well you married him.”

“And what is so funny to you exactly? That my friends are going to make me wear a scarlet letter by posting shit on the internet?”

“Come now… You can’t control your kids entirely. They go against the grain… I think you should get a tattoo of Bernie Sanders shrugging his shoulders with the caption- What Hath God Wrought.”

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 9, 2019

To Be Honest With You…

Roland was a no nonsense sort of guy. He was sort of one-dimensional when it came to ice hockey. Hockey was everything to him. Whether it was the NHL or five and six year olds playing in the park district. Roland was also fixated on the truth and living an honest life.

Roland’s daughter was married to guy who was really a great guy and he got along well with his daughter Cassie. Russ, Cassie’s husband started Internet dating with a woman from Brazil and just up and moved. There was a letter about how much he loved Cassie but there was something better for him in another country and when it came to love and true happiness, it was necessary to be selfish. Roland left his home in Detroit to live in suburban Chicago near his daughter. Roland talked Cassie into letting Roland enroll her daughter Gwen into hockey a few years back and Gwen was becoming a formidable player.

Many people talk about hockey’s old days but Roland lived it. Roland played in a semi-professional league that had Saturday night games in towns in Michigan like Marshall and Battle Creek. He would make his $50.00 a night and show up to work on the Chrysler assembly plant Monday morning. Twice Roland stitched up his own face between periods. He had a chipped front tooth and several scars on his face.

On the first day of spring league, Roland was astounded that eight and nine year olds were so beginner. At eight years old, most young hockey players have been skating for four years. Roland was going to have to start at square one with many of them.

“On face-offs, we all have a job to do. Standing there waving to grandma is not one of them. Waddling around like a penguin is not one either. There is no right field in this sport so we don’t walk out to a remote outpost… Am I reaching any of you?”

All youth teams put their hands in the middle at the beginning of the game and between periods and had a obligatory cheer. The coach asks things like- who are we? Monsters! What are we gonna do? Win! Roland had them all put their hands in the middle and then asked them who had ever been in a fistfight before.

“What’s the best way to win a fist fight?”

The players looked at him like they didn’t understand English. Nobody answered but Gwen wanted to because she had been asked this many times by her grandfather since she began skating at the age of four.

“Gwen?”

“Um… You wanna get the first punch and then you don’t wanna stop til they stop moving and if you get them by the nutsack, you wanna squeeze til they scream.”

“Right… On the count of three, yell squeeze… 1, 2, 3… SQUEEZE!”

Gwen had a hat trick and three penalties for hooking, tripping and checking in a non-check game. She would often tell her grandfather that she was going to get a Gordie Howe hat trick for him- a goal, an assist and a fight. Roland’s team lost 9-3. Roland got on the kids about not trying hard enough, about positioning, about trying to skate out of their zone with the puck and turning it over, the lack of passing and lack of determination to get the puck. As Roland left the locker room, a mom approached Roland.

“Hi… We haven’t met yet but I’m Stevie’s mom.”

Roland thought about Stevie coming into the locker room with the English au pair acting like he was a dinosaur, making dumb sounds and not getting dressed until Roland yelled in his face until his lips quivered. That only happened once.

“I wanted to ask you what you think of his skill and effort and what he can do to improve because he really loves the sport…”

“To be honest with you…”

Most people, who begin a sentence that way, say it to give them time to lie, to water it down and be less than honest with you. Not Roland.

“I would start with boxing or martial arts to toughen him up. He’s afraid of contact and this is a contact sport. I would then tell him that to buy all the equipment and pay to be on a team is like equal to buying a used car and for the money, do you really wanna do this? I could go to Jamaica for two weeks comfortably for what it costs to outfit you and watch you walk around the ice instead of skate. I would then tell him that if he does not push himself to his fullest, you’d pull him. I suspect between Mary Poppins who brings him to practice and the games you rarely make, this is sort of like babysitting for you. When hockey is played correctly, it should sound like a symphony… This team is out of tune and no tempo… Stevie is blowing clams out of his horn… You get where I’m going?”

“Wow… Is this how you see it?”

“Listen… Nobody just wakes up and decides they are going to play hockey unless they can skate and I mean skate well. Then when you got that down, you have to develop hands and a skill like chess with your heads so that you’re not constantly giving it away… Hockey is like a foreign language. To have a conversation, you have to learn the language… To be honest with you, Stevie isn’t practicing his horn… Many on the team are learning to say more than their name… Stevie doesn’t much care if he has an accent or if he even learns to speak Dutch… You following me?”

Yes, but not happily. But for sure… honestly.

April 11, 2019

She’s Leaving Home

Filed under: dementia,hospice,Short Story,Vietnam — blackhumouristpress @ 1:46 am
Tags: , , , , ,

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.

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