Blackhumouristpress's Blog

August 24, 2017

Cava, Clean Glasses and Nothingness

Filed under: humor,humour,Ice hockey,Uncategorized — blackhumouristpress @ 8:16 pm
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Sal washed bar dishes  first in soap then a solution of water and
bleach that kills anything that could hurt you.  He then let them drip
dry and then took a towel and dried each glass until there was no hint
of finger prints or lipstick or anything.  June sat at the bar, leaning on her elbows.
“I’m amazed by the detail to each glass…”
“Worst thing is serving someone and then they hand it back to you
because of lipstick, or a hair or Rumchata that dried or something.
They not only don’t want to pay you but now they’re disgusted and want
to go.  They then go home and jump on Yelp to let the world know that
there was a pubic hair in their rum and Coke.  The bartender was
indifferent and nobody should ever go to that establishment for that
reason.  I try hard to take away that argument.  Want to hate the
world and complain like a coward?  It won’t be about dirty glasses.
You could go home and say that I have mercenary qualities and looked
bored and you might be right but you at least got a clean glass…”
“And I like that about you…  I’d like a Cava.  Not a little souvenir
split but the whole fucking bottle.  Bring me a flute because I am a
lady…  Right?
“But of course… You asked for Cava.  Did you know that in French if
you separate Cava into ca va, you’d be asking someone how it’s going.
So let’s try it…  Comment ca va?”
“It sucks today.  I went to a funeral of a friend who just died of
cancer and then found a dick pic on the computer and letters and
letters to a mutual friend related to an affair.  I have not divulged
that I snooped and that I have seen the evidence and my fiancé
continues to lie.  I asked him if he would take a lie detector test
and he said that the idea of putting him through such a harsh test
just shows that there is no trust between us…  What should I do?”
“Um…  Do you want to stay with him?”
“I don’t know…”
“That’s a tough one…  True story…  When I was a young man, a man who
knew me and played ice hockey against me, was courting my wife.  Guys
I played hockey with told me,  my eight year old son told me in a
round about way and I didn’t want to believe it.  Once I became a
believer, I caught the two of them together at his place.  I destroyed
the apartment and beat him thoroughly and then left before the cops
came.  Would I do that today?  No way…  I would just walk away.  Jail
time, stroke or a hard attack is not worth it if someone is not with
you, truly with you.  Embarassing him on Maury Povich or on an episode
of Cheaters will not change anything.  No charge for that advice.”
June drank two bottles of Cava and talked about plants, movies, her
children, her fiancé again and death.  After more than an hour, June
noticed a book on the bar and asked about it.  It was a French book
entitled, L’Être et le néant.  Sal didn’t really want to discuss the
book.  June pushed and so Sal took a breath, rubbed his bald head and
looked up at the ceiling.
“How do I put this… Hmmm.”
June always did the talking and Sal the listening.  Sal was caught
off guard.  Sal never let on how he viewed the political landscape and
whether he was for or against the president.  Jazz and ice hockey he
was happy to discuss but all else was never divulged.
“If I were to describe myself, it may come off as self-deception
about the human reality.  I could make myself falsely believe not to
be what I actually am.  Or  deny my freedom by becoming what you
perceive as a bartender.  This means that in being a bartender, I
might believe that my social role is equal to my human existence.
This book explains that an occupation, race or social class should not
define who you are.  I am a person and not a bartender…  I could
become anything.  You sell real estate but is that really you?”
“Fucking deep shit and in French no less.  And that’s interesting to you?”
“I’m interested to be aware while I doubt much of everything in life.
To know is to be and we need to be and know what we are…  There is a
lot I know and a lot I don’t know. I am and actually I don’t know why
I am.  Can I define what I know?  Can I define what I am and wish to
be? There are things I know that I know. There are known unknowns.
That is to say There are things that I now know I don’t know. But
there are also unknown unknowns. There are things I do not know I
don’t know… And so I read about it…  In French.  It’s all really
fucked up but it sounds not so bad in French… N’est ce pas?”
“I don’t think I will ever ask you another question, Sal.”

“I’m totally okay with that, June.  I’m a good listener.”

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May 9, 2017

Happy Birthday to the White Earth

Percy sat in the room with a smile, looking unlike all the others in the room.
Eloise didn’t want her father, who was an assistant to the assistant
to the director of the EPA to discuss the fact that he had voted for
Trump and in a sense, was working for Trump.  She wanted no political
topics, discussions or debates to take place during the party for
their child who was turning one year old.  Little Sarah Mordecai
Terreblanche-Arnofsky.  The name Arnofsky, Jewish and Russian in
origin was the last name of the father, but not the husband of little
Sarah Mordecai’s mother.  Terreblanche, a French name, came from
France, then in the Acadia region of Canada then all the way down to
Louisiana where Eloise was born and raised along with her parents and
their parent’s parents before them.  And the name in English
translates to “White Earth”.  Oh and Mordecai?  Eloise and her husband
did not want to steer their biologically female daughter towards
acceptance of female identity.   They both feel that one day, Sarah
Mordecai should choose what gender she wants to be.  The gifts were
all neutral, most homemade gluten-free and vegan sweets.  The cake was
not really a cake but a bowl of honey mixed with picked fruit and
granola.  One of the Moroccans in attendance brought the recipe over
from North Africa.  In fact three men were playing dissonant sounding
Arabic music in a room with a hookah.
Percy poured himself a glass of wine, went out to the balcony and
looked over towards San Francisco from the condo he paid for in
Oakland.  Percy walked into the living room where all the young people
with their toddlers were sitting on the floor with their children.  A
young couple with ratty, matted dreadlocked hair wore shirts that read
“Resist!” in large letters, their small child also had on an onesie
with the same word on it.   Rainbows, Black lives Matter, Oakland is a
sanctuary shirts.  The guests ate vegan pizza, smelled of some sort of
oil and body odor.  Music indigenous to the middle east played.
Everyone was young and very militant.
Percy went to Oakland Coliseum to watch the A’s play a baseball game
earlier that weekend.  He wore a green and yellow shirt with a green
A’s hat.  The television in the living room had no volume on a
baseball game was on.  Percy ate carrot sticks and watched the game.
A young man in a beard, who shook his head a lot up and down, pulled
down at his beard and decided to engage Percy in conversation.
“I’m guessing this whole things ain’t your scene, man…  Everyone was
on edge wondering who the square was.  Maybe ICE.  Maybe FBI”
“Oh, I don’t know, young man… Square things can be a little round at
times…  You’re close.  I’m with the EPA”
The young guy laughed at the levity and tapped Percy’s knee in
approval thinking that Percy was only joking about being from the EPA.
Percy wasn’t joking.
“I looked at your whole get up man, and I was intrigued.  I mean
like, I just needed to know where you’re coming from, your bag, your
perspective.  You’re wearing baseball stuff and all.  I’m looking at
you and I’m thinking you look like the type that might have voted for
Trump…  So did you?  Are you part of the NRA?  Are you against a
woman’s right to have abortions?  Do you deny global warming?”
Percy lifted his glass of wine like he was toasting the young man,
took a drink, tilted his head to the side, adjusted his horn rimmed
glasses and gave a cryptic answer that only drew the young man more to
him.
“  Sonny…  I’m working with a realtor as we speak.  I’m trying to
find prime land on the equator on Mars.  I want a warm spot like
Phoenix…  You know like a balmy minus 10… Did you know?  No, you
couldn’t possibly know…  Anyway…I was raised in a house by a black
lady back in the early seventies who did all the cooking.  She had a
wide space between her two front teeth and she had bout twenty cats
running round the place.  If you wanted to finish your food, you
didn’t dare give a crumb to the cats til you were done.  If you did,
them cats would be all over you.  I had a mom and several men that
were suitors of some sort that courted my mom.  We lived in a home
where everyone contributed something and we ate together and the
adults hated the war and Nixon…  Did you ever live in a house like
that?  These were real Hippies.  They fucked each other in a loving
way, took a lot of dope and shared.  The music was good and people
really hated the president, the government and the establishment.  Can
you dig that a square like me was raised like that?  When you were a
tadpole in your daddy’s nutsack, my mom wore no bra, slept with
colored men with real Afros and wanted equal rights for women…  Now
this is the truth.  No bullshit, young fellow…  If abortion had been
legal in Illinois in 1965, I would not be sitting here talking to you
right now.  Yes sir…  I’m the son of a true, died in the wool, love
child.  She was only 15 at the time, if you can fathom that deep
thought…  Remember that nothingness is an experienced reality and
existence is transitory and fragile.
The young bearded man forgot that he had asked Percy whom he had
voted for and went on to describe an upper middle class upbringing in
a gated subdivision.
“Wow, young man.  That is truly a white milk, middle class,
homogenous, vitamin D, insulated life you lead.  Do you remember the
first black person you saw in real life?”
“It was probably at Dodger’s stadium in third grade…”
“Far out, man… I grew up practically a poor black child although you
would not know it to look at me…I grew up listening to Smokey Robinson
and Sly and the Family Stone.  We had a thing going on not unlike
Jonestown in Guyana.   Very cult like not unlike what is happening
today.  Free speech is acceptable as long as I agree with what you’re
saying,,,  Color didn’t matter.  Status didn’t matter…  You know, man?
People dying in Afghanistan and Iraq since before you could grow
whiskers and nobody cares if those young guys trying to make to the
end so that they can get their dough and go to college.  Nobody
protests the fact that we’re in a state of constant war.  Trump is the
problem…  Right?”
“Right on, man…  You said it!”
“Let it be soon, don’t hesitate…  Make it now, don’t wait.  Open your
heart and let my love come in.  I want a moment to stop when I can
fill your heart more love and more joy than age or time could ever
destroy…”
“That is some deep fucking shit, bro…”
“Yeah?  You can thank Smokey for that one…  Thing is that once the
war ended and people came home, shit began to fall apart.  Everyone
was worried about their shit…  It’s cool to take a stand when you have
food and shelter.  When you don’t have that shit…  Well, now…  It’s
survival of the fittest.  Origin of species, only the strong survive
and so on…  That’s just how it is.  A fire breaks out in this condo,
who lives?  Those with the best fight or flight response.  There are
people dying of famine in refegee camps in Africa…  Children dying and
some chubby white dude trying to win a Pulitzer is snapping off photos
of a kid about to die…”
“You’re one deep motherfucker…  Really man.  I mean, you show up here
and I think you’re going to be about as flat as the wall over here and
you’re deep as the ocean…  Keep talking , man.  I dig your vibe…  Do
you smoke?”
“The young man lit a joint and held it out to share with Percy.
“Not anymore, son.  I only smoke salmon now…  Where was I?  Old
people have issues with short-term memory loss.  Could have years of
smoking doobies as a youngster.”
Percy paused to hug his daughter who walked by with the baby in tow.
The young bearded man begged Percy to continue to talk.
“Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he
is responsible for everything he does. It is up to you to give life a
meaning.  Better to die on one’s feet than to live on one’s knees and
that has nothing to do with submission or some homosexual
tendencies…  I’m cool with whatever you’re into, man… Freedom is
what we do with what is done to us… Putting your business in the
street, talking out loud… You better bring the chick around to the
sad, sad truth… The dirty lowdown.”
Percy mixed Boz Scaggs with Sartre and looked the young man into his
eyes like he was way out there.  The young man had no idea that the
old man was just yanking his chain, pulling his leg, putting him on.
After the Moroccan treat and ice cream, presents and singing, Happy
Birthday, Percy decided it was time to leave his daughter’s home that
he paid for.  Percy made it possible for his daughter to teach
philosophy at a junior college and still have a nice place to live
with her boyfriend whose job it was to try and stop ICE agents from
gathering up and deporting illegal aliens.  Undocumented…  You know
what I mean.
The young bearded man followed Percy out to a rented convertible car
and asked how he felt about President Trump.  Percy revved up the
engine on the rented eight cylinder Dodge…  A huge gas-guzzler.
“Son…  When you bought the boat and you’re rowing the boat, you’ll
take offense to those that will coast at your expense…  Just remember
this- Richard Nixon might have been the best suited man to have ever
been given the job of president…  Think about that and wonder why I
would say such a thing…  Some writers I know are damned devils.  From
them I say don’t believe the hype.  Their pens and pads I’ll snatch
coz I’ve had it…  Don’t … Don’t believe the hype… Peace be with you…
Man…”

October 10, 2009

Women in Bars

Filed under: Short Story — blackhumouristpress @ 4:02 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Sarah and Angela made plans for two Fridays in a row to leave their homes in Grosse Pointe to have a drink in Hamtramck which is a little island of a town encompassed by the city of Detroit. After a few cancellations, they met at Small’s. In the main room was a noisy garage band. Sarah and Angela found a table under a television where Fox Detroit was agonizing over the unravelling of the Tigers in the last days of the 2009 baseball season. Neither of them was interested in that nor anything else going on in crowed bar that cool autumn night. Catching up was all that they really hoped to do.

Sarah was the mother of four children and was married to a second generation Greek man who owned his own garage. Demetrius inherited his father’s garage that was started back in 1959. Demetrius made a good buck and lived a fairly simple life.

Angela was the mother of two children, one of which played ice hockey on a team with Sarah’s son. Angela and Sarah became friends immediately and carpooled to hockey games and practices and eventually became each other’s confidant.

Sarah ordered a Long Island Ice Tea and Angela had a Corona Light. A young fat man with mutton side burns, many tattoos and a backwards Lions hat on, put ten dollars in the juke box and played every Ramones tune available. Sarah blinked hard and shook her head.

“Have you figured out when boys become men? This little cherub probably still lives at home and plays drinking games in his parent’s basement in between X Box tournaments with his equally unmotivated friends who are living at home with their parents,” stated Angela, while leaning her chin on the palm of her right hand.

“Um my loving husband is sitting right now in my living room with his brother and cousins, watching a Red Wings game on a seventy two inch television. Four fat Greeks wearing Chelios jerseys, eating wings and drinking beer. I could walk naked in front of all of them and they’d never notice. His fucking brother is such a goddamn pig too. He makes that sound when you’re sucking snot up from somewhere in your throat. It is so damn gross and then he swallows it.” Said Sarah.

“I hate it when his parents come over and the wives of his cousins and brother. Everyone is Greek and they all speak Greek and I’m just running around making coffee for the old people who are ripping on me in Greek because I’m not Greek. Thank god I’m not Greek. Something happens when those Greek chicks have kids. Their hips expand and they grow moustaches. I shit you not. Even the good looking ones get fat asses and facial hair. When I first met his parents they assumed I was Greek and then they wanted assurances from me that the kids would go to Greek school on weekends to learn to read and write in Greek. My Greek god turned into just a fucking Greek. Him and his cousins, brothers, their wives, his parents and their Hellenic hip disease… Honest to Christ almighty. I’m immersed in the fucking white sauce of life.” Said Sarah, while Angela laughed uncontrollably.

Sarah was short with brown hair and carried a few extra pounds. Sarah’s inspiration unbeknownst to her was Angela. Angela had her last child a few years back and began to work out religiously. Angela’s husband had told her that he could not get aroused since she had become more matronly than he had anticipated. Angela signed up for spin classes, Pilates and swam. Everyday she tried to get in between a half hour to an hour of exercise. Within six months, Angela had lost forty five pounds and looked and felt better than she had in years. Angela’s husband still criticized her one too many times. Angela had found more than exercise to occupy her time.

“I have something I have to get off my chest,” said Angela after taking a swig of her beer. “I’m seeing a Polish poet who works during the day as a plumber”.

Sarah laughed as though Angela had told a joke. Angela wasn’t laughing. Sarah reached across the table and grabbed Angela’s forearm.

“I want to hear about this and don’t leave a fucking detail out,” said Sarah.

“I told Tom for weeks to fix the P trap under the sink in the kitchen. I thought he had done it and I open the cabinet to get cleaning solution to clean up a spot where the cat has taken to pissing over and over and the cabinet had fallen apart totally. I could see the foundation through a hole where there used to be wood. I was so pissed. I go into the den and he was looking at porn or something on the internet. As soon as he heard my feet stomping towards him on the hardwood floor, he turns off the monitor… So fucking childish… Anyway I ask him why he never took care of it. He shrugs like my other kids and says he forgot. I was so mad that I went to the hardware store to get the parts myself. I connect it all up and water is spraying everywhere and I’m about ready to cry. There I am under the sink with a pipe wrench and I have whining kids asking for pudding pops and Tom gets upset because he’s trying to watch football and the kids are yelling. He gives them each a granola bar and tells them to play downstairs. Mind you, I’m under the sink with black shit all over my arms and he never attempts to stop watching football which he could tape if he wanted to and help me with something that he should have done. Instead he tells me that I’m going to fuck it up and sure enough I do. Instead of crying, I put on my running shoes and took the kids to the high school track with me and they walked while I ran. I ran three miles and came home and made cookies and never gave another thought to the damn leaking pipe. Tom runs the water and it’s now spraying all over everything under the sink. He says with his smug assed smile that he knew I would fuck it up. My sister tells me to call this handy man named Marek and he comes over the next morning. This guy walks in and I just knew even before he said one word that we were going to connect. He disconnects what I put on and adds some Teflon tape and it works perfectly. Marek tells me that I did a good job except for the tape and he gets ready to leave and doesn’t charge me. I force the guy to take a fifty and I’m thinking that’s that. A week later, I’m right here in Hamtramck at Trowbridge having coffee one night and low and behold my plumber is reading poetry. He’s wearing a pair of jeans and a t shirt and nervously reads his poetry in English with his cute Polish accent. There were maybe a dozen people there and I waited until he was done and bought his book of poems and had him sign it. Well one thing leads to another and we get together and he reads my poems and I his and then one night we go to dinner and wind up back at his place for hours. I can’t tell you how many times we made love. It was love. You know when you’re fucking and when it’s actually the act of love making. Every time is so good and I can’t wait until the next time,” said Angela.

Sarah had her mouth open as if someone had poured cold water on her. Sarah asked the obvious question.

“Tom? Tom understands that I’m there but I’m gone. He can smell it on me that something has changed. He had the balls to say to me the other day that I act too good for him now that I got in shape. I told him that I’m the same person I was when my ass was too fat for him. There’s just less of me than before. Have you started running yet? Are you doing the 3K with me at Thanksgiving?” Asked Angela.

“I’ve been begging Demetrius to let me have a dog. I want a dog that will jog with me. Maybe a Doberman or something that’s built to jog. I’m up to a mile a day. It takes me twelve minutes but I’m getting better.” Said Sarah.

“So if you want a dog just go buy one,” said Angela.

“It doesn’t work that way when you’re married to a macho Greek. He says if I blow him once in a while, I can have the dog. I’m blowing him twice a week now and last week I wind up getting a cold sore and he’s so sure that he’s going to get herpes on his nut sack that he makes me give him a hand job. Can you believe it? Like junior high, honest to god. I get olive oil and am jerking his cock while ESPN is on the gigantic television. He’s just about to cum and Stavros calls for me to bring him a drink of water. Demetrius gets so pissed and then I gotta start all over again. My damn right arm was cramping and I offer to go in the shower with him since I’m on the rag and he’s horrified that I suggested a little shower sex. I told him it will be fun kinda like mixing a porno with Psycho. He could watch my blood go down the drain. Anyway he tells me to shut up because he can’t concentrate. Finally he cums and I make sure it goes straight up in the air and lands on his precious Red Wings home jersey. He jumps up and mops the come off like it was fucking ink. He thanks me and I tell him I better be getting a team of mush dogs like they have in Alaska,” said Sarah.

At that moment a young cocky guy walks up holding a beer. He had longish blond hair and wore a Fedora with ripped up jeans and a sleeveless shirt. He lifted Angela’s purse up from the stool next to her and sat down uninvited.

“What’s up, ladies?”

Sarah liked the attention but Angela did not appreciate it. The young man could not hold a blow torch to the Polish/plumber/poet and she let him know in so many words.

“Um Kid Rock… You may not have noticed that we have chosen this table away from everyone else because we wanted to be alone. We don’t want you to go away thinking that we are going to crawl out of here and into a bed with each other because we don’t play for that team. Had you been in tuned to clues, you may have noticed too the rings on both or our ring fingers which is a symbol in our society of marriage. Now marriage may not matter to you and that’s cool but we really don’t want or need the company right now. I’ll buy you a drink if you go away,” said Angela harshly.

The young man walked off and Sarah and Angela continued to share details of their day to day lives. They shared things about their children, things they wanted out of day to day life and the physical changes they hoped to make in their homes. They shared intimate details of their lives and cherished the time they set aside to check in with one another. The speed and demands of day to day life made their meetings a necessity for sanity and order. They hugged as they got to their cars and promised to meet the next Friday. The next Friday did not happen nor the Friday after that. It would be a little more than a month before their next opportunity to connect. You can be sure that they’ll both have something they’ll want to discuss. They always do.

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