Okay so this is really random and doesn't relate to anything, but it popped in my head as I was having a conversation with myself about someone else. Yeah, I talk to myself, but it's like thinking out loud. Nothing crazy about it. I've come across many people in my day who I would characterize as ruthless individuals. Let's deconstruct this word morphologically. Think back to middle school. The suffix -less means without. So the word ruthless means without ruth. Now what he heck does ruth mean? Have a great day.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
This just in: Don's post on Sunday was heads above the rest. Nothing but the truth! If you haven't read it, get over there and check it out. Now we continue with our regularly scheduled post.
I'm just a country boy from the south who's him* is a preacher. We went to church on Sunday, Bible Study on Wednesday, service twice on Sundays for special programs, Vacation Bible School, Sunday School, Choir Rehearsal on Tuesdays, Easter practice--suffice it to say church was a big thing growing up. When I was younger I didn't really like going. Somewhere around age 14 or 15 I started liking to go to church. Even now I enjoy going. It's because I was able to develop a personal relationship with Him. It's really not so much about religion; it's more about having a relationship. Don't think that you have to do all that form and fashion stuff that people do at church under the pretense of being religious. If you have a relationship with Him, it'll show in your daily life. (If I'm preaching you can stand up and say Amen.) Have you ever encountered someone and you just felt like there was something different about them? Some sort of presence or an air about them that is hard to describe, but is very much so tangible. They had that it. Even if you can't describe or articulate what 'it' is, you know it's definitely something different. I submit to you that those are the people who truly are trying to walk the walk. Turn with me, to Proverbs the fifth chapter---just playing.
Anyway, church was a big deal. How do you find out more stuff that you can add to your church? You to go the church conference/convention in another state where a bunch of other church people get together and teach each other new buzz words and practices that are popular in their neck of the woods. It's like if no one in your church was speaking in tounges, if you go to the church conference and find out that that's what everybody else is doing, then when you come back to your home church you start doing it first and everyone thinks you've gotten closer to God and then they try to do it to because you're not gonna be closer to God than they are. Church people are like that. I've been around it all my life.
So this particular year we went to a church conference in Delaware. My parents already knew the pastor who was over the conference. I don't remember how they met, but they were already well acquainted. The conference might have lasted three days but we just stayed the rest of the time until Sunday where our church from home came to Delaware to have a joint service with the church in Delaware. Our church provided the music for that particular service.
The pastor and his wife were very hospitable. They introduced us to some of the members in the church who also entertained us during the week that we were there. My siblings and I ended up almost everyday hanging with this one family. Let's call them the Mitchells. The mom was so sweet and thoughtful. You should see her praise. She'd stand on her high heels and go from side to side like she's two stepping and make circular motions in the air with both her hands palms facing inward toward each other. The dad was a humble man, very mild mannered. He would shout like he was doing the funky chicken. There were two daughters in the family. One about 23 and one about 16. I'm around age 16 at the time. So yeah I wanted to get at the 16 year old. Let's call her Jennifer. (That was actually her real name). In order to get a girl to notice you on the 'church circuit' you have to act like you're really into church. Each night after the conference there is a evening service that starts around 6 or 7. What we (the guys) would do is find a girl who you like. When they call for the altar prayer, we'd go down front and get special prayer. That would encourage the girls to come down front and stand with you for moral support. If you got a girl to come down and stand with you, then she was yours. Other tactics included crying during the service. That whole "I'm sensitive" thing worked oh so well on those
fast ass wholesome church girls. You only needed to shed a tear though if you were in her direct line of sight. If you couldn't be sure that she could see you, there's no point in crying.
So anyway, the Mitchells would come and get us during the week and we'd go to the beach or out to eat or to their home. One particular afternoon we went to one of the Mitchell's friends house. We were left alone and the adults went to town to shop or something. So at the house was me, my two brothers, and Jennifer. The adults trusted us to just play video games and hang out and whatnot. Where was Beyonce then? *singing* You must not know 'bout me..*end singing* When they left I was like, yes!! Let's paint a picture. I'm 16. She's 16. We're home with no adults. And you want us to just play video games? Uh...okay. If that helps you sleep at night. If all we ended up doing was playing video games, it wouldn't be for lack of trying to engage in other, more gratifying activities.
At first we were all downstairs because that's where the video game setup was. My brothers were 14 at the time and were heavily into video games. I still played but that was not what I had planned to use that time for. I started my plan. I asked Jennifer to show me the rest of the house--mainly the upstairs. She agreed. So we looked in the people's bedroom and at the other rooms upstairs. We went into one of the bedrooms to just chill. I asked her what she wanted to do. She's like I don't know. I'm thinking to myself, well I have an idea. Before I jumped into anything I was trying to figure out how much she had done at this point in her life. So I asked some probing questions. Basically I determined that she was a virgin and was scared to take the leap. I didn't even press that issue. I decided that I should just seek some oral pleasure.
I asked her to do it. She acted like I asked her to slap her mom. She started on this tirade about how she thinks that's nasty and blah blah blah. I was blowed, but more than that I couldn't think straight or clearly because a good bit of the blood that oxygenates my brain had rushed elsewhere. I was hornier than a mug! It was so bad it was about to start hurting. I needed to skeet bad as hell. At this point I'm thinking to myself why the hell would you follow me upstairs if you gonna be acting crazy? This ain't Flip That House. I don't give phuck about what the house looks like. I'm getting desparate at this point. I'm still trying to convince her. I'm bargaining for smaller increments of time like saying just for a few minutes and stuff like that. Still a no go. I needed to be touched so badly that I made a last ditch offer for her to just let me put it on her neck. I don't know where that came from but I just needed to touch something. I was so brick and horny I might've skeeted on her neck as soon as it made contact. She wasn't feeling that either. Needless to say I was deeply disturbed. Good thing we didn't really jump off into anything because it wasn't long after that the adults returned. They questioned us as to why we were upstairs and not downstairs with the boys. We gave some flimsy answer and all was forgiven.
On the ride back home (Ms. Mitchell was driving me and my brothers back to our hotel. About a 40 minute ride) Jennifer asked me if I was mad at her. My reply was simply, "Don't talk to me." I mean, how you gonna play with a sixteen year old boy's horniness like that?
In case you read this, Jennifer, you owe me. You got off the hook that time. Maybe that's why some people end up (finish my thought).
Oh yeah, the thing yesterday, I cussed (cursed) somebody out at work. I have absolutely never cursed someone out. I always say stuff like, "I ought to curse him/her out", but i'm never really serious. First time for everything.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Forgive me Father for I have sinned. I always mention it in causal conversation. I've threatened to do it before, but I was never serious. Today I actually went there. I can't believe I did it. She shouldn't have pushed my buttons. That's still no excuse. Maybe I'll apologize tomorrow. Maybe not. She kinda deserved it, but that still does not justify my behavior. I usually don't let things bother me, but she caught me at the wrong time. I guess it was just a matter of time before it happened. Words have power. Having romanticized it in the past, I gave life to that deplorable wont. On some level I'm ashamed. Though I carry myself with piety, my behavior today was sanctimonious. Inexcusable. Inexplicable. So out of character. It was like an out-of-body experience. Maybe the next time she'll keep her dang mouth shut, so that it won't happen again. Actually, no, that's the wrong way to look at it. I'm the only person who can control my behavior. It's really not her fault. I did it because I wanted to. The dragon within was incensed and awakened and spewed a venom so potent that she left like a wounded lamb. She almost had to be carried out. It was her brazeness that made it so harsh. I wonder what my supervisor is going to say.
Real post coming tomorrow I think.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Remember the friend, and I use the term loosely, who I wrote about who tells these ridiculous lies? No? Okay, maybe not if you're new, but that just means it's time for you to do your homework. Dig in the archives. I was reading some stuff from last year (and I realized I missed my blogiversary) and I had my own self laughing. Some of the stuff made me mellow, but it allowed me to see where I was and where I am now.
Let's call this friend Angel. She went to Minnesota to stay with her boyfriend's family. To me that's pretty serious stuff. You're going 1000+ miles away from home to live with your significant other's folks for about two months in their house. Well while they were there she'd call me from time to time just to let me know how things were going and whatnot. Most of the time I'd ig her calls because if I'm not in the mood to hear a bunch of stuff that I don't find credible or relevant I just won't take your call. Sometimes if I know you're gonna tell me a bunch of lies and I'm not in the mood to hear a bunch of lying, that might get your call ignored as well. Hear me clearly. I like to be entertained, so many times I'll take the call just so I can see how many lies she's going to tell this time or see if I can get her to change/modify/enhance a story that she's already told me before. I know she's a chronic liar, but every now and then just to be JayBee I'll call her on a lie and watch her squirm and try to back peddle and use a conjuncting lie (just made that up) to try to make all the divergent stories converge.
At some point over the course of these two months or so she called me and told me her boyfriend, hereinafter Wayne, was being controlling and mean to her. She claimed he didn't want her going out during the day by herself. Mind you he had to work during the day along with his parents so basically that left her home alone with nothing to do. I guess she could watch t.v. and vacuum but how much of that can one person do before they are bored out of their mind? This went on for a while and on one of the calls she told me she went out during the day without his knowledge and he found out. Well that caused an argument that turned physical. Because of her noncompliance with his directive he told her from now on she'd stay in the basement while they were away at work. The basement locked at the top of the stairs so basically she was a prisoner in their home.
After the lockup she'd call me whispering telling me what was going on. Sometimes she'd abruptly hang up the phone and call back in a few minutes and say things like she thought she heard someone coming. I left this out. Somewhere in all this mess he told her she wasn't to talk on the phone while she was alone either so that's why she was whispering.
Here's what's wrong with the whole my-boyfriend-abused-me-and-locks-me-in-the-basement story. First of all, if someone has become physical with you and you choose to stay, there ain't no need of telling anyone about it. The persons with whom you share your story are going to look at you like you're crazy especially if that someone is me. I know the damaging affects of abuse. I can in nowise condone you staying in that situation waiting on it to happen again. I am a 99.8275% firm believer in the if it happened once it'll happen again thing. Maybe 0.1725% of the time there might be an exception.
There has already been a word coined in the English language that labels the concept of someone holding you somewhere against your will. It's called kidnapping. If you expect me to believe your story, keeping in mind that your credibility with me is zero, why the phuck are you calling me? I'm hundreds of miles away. Call the freaking police. They are the ones who are trained to deal with situations like this. Not me. I'm just a school teacher.
If Wayne has you locked up, why the hell did he just not take the phone out the basement? In that way he could ensure that you had no contact with the outside world. Unless he thought you were scared to death of him, why be so brazen as to risk you calling the police or your family or JayBee who could give a phuck less (if you've never heard that expression, it's worse than not giving a [whole] phuck; it's less than a phuck)?
Unless his parents are from Venus, I don't think they would condone their son locking you in a basement for nine hours a day. When he let you out of the dungeon, I'm thinking dinner time, you never once said anything to his peeps about what Wayne was doing to you everyday?
Of course not, Angel, because it was all a lie. And just like the other gross lie, (if you didn't click the link read the other story) it made absolutely no sense. There were too many holes and unanswered questions. It's actually kinda insulting when someone tells you a lie and hasn't taken the time to think through all the questions they might be asked so as to develop plausible answers. It's like oh, so you think I'm as stupid as you, huh? Surely you don't believe down in your tortured soul that I believe this crap. Let's say it was true and I'm totally off on thinking you're being untruthful. You should have called Ghostbusters. They're real too.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
What do you do when you leave the club late at night and have nothing else to do? Before you go grab something to eat with ya peeps you get someone arrested. Whuh? Ya’ll didn’t do that? Oh, so it was just me and my friends? Well, here’s what happened anyway.
A group of five of us decided to go out. We chose this mixed crowd club in downtown. The thing I liked about this spot was it wasn’t as hot as the sweatboxes that we usually go to were and you didn’t have to worry quite as much about bouncers/popos coming through the party cause somebody done started some ish. If you don’t know, and I’m not generalizing this is a fact, white girls love to dance on a pole, especially if they’re drunk. Talk about laughing and having a good time watching them drunk white girls make their best attempts at twerking. You could find a couple of nice ones who have some melanin too. Good times to be had by all.
Anyway after we left the spot this particular night we were driving around downtown because were started to hit one more club before we called it and got something to eat. You know how downtown they have those one way streets and stuff and you have to go over a block or two and loop back up to get where you’re going? I mean, it’s like that in a lot of the cities that I’ve vistited. So yeah we were navigating and saw this white boy in the middle of the street. From what I remember he was about 5’9” 150 lbs with some matted brown hair. Nothing that really stands out. Twan was driving and said casually, “I’m bout to act like I’ma hit ‘em.” Although he said it casually everybody knew, well at least I knew, that he was definitely going to make good on his statement.
He accelerated and slowed down when he got close to the guy. I think he waited a little long to start decelerating but I guess that was to make the ‘scare’ more real. The white guy—let’s call him Scott, doesn’t flinch. He stands there in an altered state of consciousness and then begins to verbally assault us. He let’s loose a string of expletives and like a tree planted by the rivers of waters lets us know that he shall not be moved. This of course pisses Twan off so he backs up and says this time he’s not gonna stop. I’m like oh hell. What in the world? I hope Twan doesn’t hit this dude. I don’t remember what we were saying in the car to Twan but everybody was kinda indignant that Scott didn’t move from in front of the speeding vehicle since he was after all standing in the middle of the street. I mean it was late at night like 2 a.m. and even though there’s very little traffic, when you see cars you need to Ludacris.
Twan puts the car in drive and picks up speed towards Scott. Even though it wasn’t that long of an amount of time it seemed like a while because we continued to get closer to him and I didn’t feel the car slowing down. Eventually I was like slow down man don’t hit him or something like that. Twan was like no this ma phucka needs to move. Twan slams on brakes when it’s almost too late and the car appeared that it was still gonna tap Scott. In a fit of desperation and seeing that his life was probably about to take a turn for the worse, Scott jumped in the air and landed on the hood of Nesi (Twan’s nickname for his Nissan Sentra), ran up the windshield onto the roof of the car and made a dismount once he reached the trunk. When he stepped on the roof of the car the roof caved in near my head. I felt like I was in danger because he could have stepped on top of my head and hurt my neck or something. It was at this point that I felt Scott had gone too far.
It was clear to us that Scott used his spare time to partake of some of the sniffable organic stuff that the plants on God’s green earth provide. This dude was stoned—I mean so high it didn’t make any sense. Twan was silent. Not a good sign. He and I are alike in that regard. As long as I’m still
bitching at talking to you, I still care and you still have a chance to win me over. If I stop talking leave it alone. All hell could potentially break lose cause at this point I no longer give a phuck. Twan broke his silence and was like oh phuck no. This ma phucka done walked on Nesi. He put the car in reverse so that he could get out the middle of the street. Meanwhile Scott is kinda meandering in the street all the while shouting more curse words and pretending that we were trying to hit him. Clearly stoned.
Twan exits stage right from the driver’s door to go to his trunk. Still on stage (inside the car) we’re all discussing what just happened and how wrong Scott was for jumping on the car yada yada. Twan is loading his gun. Right about this time a police officer drives by. I beat on the back window to alert Twan and he slowly closes the trunk. Mike gets out of the car to flag the officer down, who I’m sure was gonna come over anyway to see why these black dudes and a white dude were in the street with the white dude shouting at the group of black dudes. Twan approaches the officer and tells him how the guy just ran up on the hood of the car.
Scott is standing near too so he’s trying to over talk Twan and keeps telling this ridiculous story about us trying to hit him and all this nonsense. By this time I’m out of the vehicle too because I feel like a victim cause he stepped near my head. I suggest to the officer that I think the guy is high and needs to be tested. I mean I don’t know much about drugs but I wanted to plant the seed if it wasn’t clear to the officer that this dude is on something. The officer didn’t respond to what I said. I don’t know if it was because it was already obvious to him or if he didn’t agree with me. The officer is trying to get the whole story and Scott gets so loud and obnoxious that the officer has to cuff him and put him in the back of the police car.
At some point during this whole information gathering session T took Scott’s shoe and dropped it down a storm drain. The shoe came off when he ran on top of the car. Scott saw T drop the shoe down the drain and became even more loud and belligerent and told the officer that T dropped the shoe down the drain. When the officer shifted his focus to the car to see if there was any truth to Scott’s assertion, T acted indignant. He was like what shoe? What are you talking about? That sent Scott over the edge. He started hollering even more and eventually kicked the window out the back of the police car with his shoeless foot. Only a stoned out fool would do some ish like that.
The realism is that that’s just what we needed to convince the officers that Scott’s story was bogus about the attempted hitting and to believe that he was high. That could have went either way because from the officer's point of view there were five black dudes and one white dude. It could have appeared that we were doing something wrong. The officer was like he’s definitely going downtown now for destruction of property. The officer dismissed us and said he’d handle it from there. We drove off relieved that everything went our way and grinning because we definitely were culpable in what happened. What did we do next? Waffle House foo! Nothing like some omelets, orange juice and laughs to end the night. Especially since none of us left the club with anyone.
Monday, April 21, 2008
I'm a tag virgin, but Pocahontas tagged me. Since her hair is so luxurious right now, I had no choice but to oblige.
Here are the rules:
1. Link the person who tagged you…
2. Mention the rules in your blog…
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.
Here are some unspectacular quirks about JayBee:
1. One of my pet peeves is hearing people mispronounce words. If you want to raise my ire just say aks instead of ask. If you committed this cardinal sin of mispronunciation, someone I used to know would say, “If you aks me I’ll die, but if you ask me I can answer.”
2. I’m allergic to shellfish. I’ve never been able to successfully ingest anything with a shell on it. When I’ve attempted in the past I gag horrendously and my throat sometimes swells.
3. I do not like excessive amounts of noise. The only exception is when I’m hanging out. Sometimes even then I think the noise level inside clubs and bars is too much. In the classroom any noise other than the calming sound of my voice is not welcome. That includes, but is not limited to, talking, tapping, beating, sniffling, coughing, laughing, etc.
4. I’ve only been in love twice. You know they say the third time’s a charm. Maybe the next time it happens I’ll be crowning the future Mrs. JayBee. That is of course if everything checks out (including the credit score).
5. I’m a mild control freak. I don’t like for other people to drive because I think I do it better, plus I trust myself more than you. I don’t like to be absent too much from work because I don’t trust anyone else to do my job as well as I. I pretty much like people to agree with me even if they don’t agree. I reward people when they do just as I’d like them to.
6. When I go to funerals I give “awards” for most dramatic presentation. No, I don’t relish in peoples’ grief. I just like to be entertained. I like the you-ain’t-dead-daddy-take-me-with-you type performances. At my grandmother’s funeral no one really ‘showed out’ as we like to call it. If I had the day to relive, it would be acting a monkey fool at the funeral. I’m so serious. At the recessional when the funeral was over I did start to grab at the casket when it rolled by just to set it off. I didn’t do it. I wish I had.
So there ya have it. Some uninteresting quirks about me. I’m tagging:
Chris, The girl that I never had, [Pop That]Cherry, This Crazy Monkey, Da Vinci, and M.E. – maybe she’ll post something now
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Don't you just love Again by John Legend? Just got off the highway. I got another speeding ticket. This time it was for 82 in a 65. Okay. See that's reasonable. No I'm not happy about the ticket, but at least I can understand this one. I didn't say much this time because I was hoping that he'd feel sorry for me and let me go. He didn't let me go but he did reduce the price of the ticket from $175 to $76. Keep in mind the ticket for five miles over is $155.Here's what I thought about. If I'm gonna spend $130 in gas and pay about $100 for a speeding ticket when I drive, then it would be the same as me purchasing a plane ticket. The only thing is I'd have to rent a car once I arrive. The alternative of course is to slow my azz down, but that's probably not gonna happen. I wonder how many points I have on my license. I might need to go to driving school to see if I can get some of those points shaved off my record.Can we all get together and buy JayBee a radar detector?
Anyway, that's not the point of this post. How do you tactfully tell someone to leave you the heck alone? There's someone on my job who has attached themselves to me without my consent. Everytime I look around I'm getting an unsolicited phone call or text message. I know you say, well JayBee you must have given out your number. You'd be correct. I did. I was just being polite though. When I give someone my number I'm not looking for them to call all the time, especially not at first.*Insert quick English lesson. "A lot" is two words.* You know how when you're starting a friendship with someone sometimes you talk a whole lot and at first and then it fizzles and sometimes things take time to build before they really pick up. Well, this person has created this alternate reality where it's like we've known each other for a long time and I still feel like I don't know him. *notice the pronoun--I did that for ya'll who relish the details* He'll invite me to hang out and I'm like giving him the brush off. When I finally agree to hang out, it's like it becomes front page news. Why you got to run around the job telling people that we hung out or letting it "slip" in casual conversations with other people that we're supposed to be doing something?
I don't have to tell people on my job what my plans are after work. Why do you feel the need to do so? On top of that you make sure that you find a way to be in my face at least twice a day. I mean, ma phucka teach something. Let me do my job and that'll free you up so that you can do your job.
What I resent is when he's running around telling people that we went this place or that place it makes it seem like there's this buddy buddy friendship thing going on and it's clearly not that deep for me. What's lost in translation when he's recounting tales of when we hung out or whatever is how many times I said no before I finally, reluctantly agreed to go anywhere in public with you. It just makes it seem like to others, and we know that JayBee doesn't seek or need external validation, that we're just super cool and in this thing together. That's simply not the context of our relationship. I see you as a colleague. You cannot force a friendship. Am I culpable? Yes, absolutely. Perhaps I did not demarcate the boundary lines in such a way as so be clear just how far I intended to engage him.
I'm annoyed when I walk down the hall and you pop up Again. I'm annoyed when I'm teaching and you interrupt to let me know that you have something to tell me later Again. JUST TELL ME LATER (or don't cause I won't give a phuck anyway). I try to be polite, so I guard my body language and that's perhaps why he doesn't understand that I'm just not feeling this whole trying to be cool thing like he is. I don't need anymore people in my circle (not with all my blog buddies!). I just wanna go to work (not really but I have to), do my job and go the heck back home.
In other news, I saw Tyler Perry's play The Marraige Counselor. Thought it was entertaining. That same Tyler Perry formula, but hey, it works for him. It was my first time going to see one of those live plays. So good to see all my peoples out and about having a good time and not having any arguments. Such a far cry from the night before across town when I heard there was a shooting at that fashion show thing at the Compound. Glad I didn't roll over there.
Friday, April 18, 2008
In case you haven't heard, there was another celebrity sighting last night at the Copelands in Buckhead. You must not watch the news. JayBee was in the place last night! The media frenzy was unreal. No one was taking photos of me walking into the spot, but once I got on the inside the camera flashes didn't stop. Damned paparazzi! I was famished because I went to work and then drove to the area without eating or drinking anything. If any of the ATL area bloggers were in the area don't feel cheated. You wouldn't have been able to get in. The crowd swelled after I got there. Maybe some other time.
Here's where a part of the celebrity treatment falls apart. They took forever and a day to come and take my order. I was seated in the bar area but not at the counter facing away from the bar. The dude behind the bar straight acted like he was super busy. Finally I had to pull someone and tell them my I-just-drove-300+-miles-story so that someone would come over and hopefully expedite this whole thing. After all, I didn't want to have to keep taking pictures or sign any more damned autographs.
It so happens that this guy named Antwan hosts a networking event at this spot every Thursday for black professionals. Before I found out what was going on, I couldn't figure it out. I was observant. I noticed people carrying gift bags. I noticed women and men approaching the dude in charge and exchanging greetings. I saw a woman with upholstery swatches or maybe they were curtain fabric or something. I was thinking that maybe someone was getting married and buying a home and they called together some vendors to help them make their selections. I was way off.Anyway when curiosity got the best of me I asked a lady who was seated a couple of chairs down from me. She filled me in on all the details and introduced me to the dude in charge. I didn't even ask for all that, but there's nothing like that southern hospitality.
At some point after I finally began to replenish my strength with some sustenance, I was joined at the bar by this dark skinned cutie. Definitely fit the profile, with long hair to boot. We talked about why she was in town and why I was in town, about her
irresponsible behavior son and a host of other things. We probably chatted for about two hours in between she and I both taking calls on our phones. I enjoyed the conversation but wasn't pressed so as I was preparing to leave I casually mentioned that maybe she and I would run into each other again at this event, since we're both planning a move in the summer. She didn't seem receptive to that. I guess because she felt like it was too risky to leave it to chance, so she asked me for my number. Is this standard practice? I'm still not 100% over the way things went down with her, so I'm not really "on the scene", but I didn't know women were asking dudes for their number--especially an attractive woman who I'm positive could have a slew of dudes.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Shakespeare said a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet. This is about whether something is a lie. I wrote fib. Remember when you couldn't say lie as a youngster?
Is there such a thing as a lie of omission? A colleague and I disagreed on the point. I said if you choose to leave something out, that’s not a lie. It is an omission but not a lie. To me telling a lie is an active thing. Failing to mention something is more passive. I concede that it might be deceitful, but it, in my opinion is not the same thing as willfully telling a lie. Basically, I had to do an interview about my supervisor. I said some things in the interview that could be considered a stretch. I didn’t tell any lies, but I certainly didn’t show my principal in a bad light either. Although there are things that I don’t agree with sometimes, I chose not to let that be the focus of the dialogue between the interviewer and I.
The interviewer is working on an advanced degree and needed to interview people on the qualities of an effective principal. Anyway, like I said I just chose to focus on the positives. Think of it as journalistic spin. However, my colleague maintained that in not telling about the negatives, which I really don’t have a whole lot of problems with my supervisor, that I was lying. What upset me most is that I absolutely do not like anyone attacking my character. Your good name is all that you have. Plus another one of my mantras is, “If I can’t believe everything you say, then I can’t believe nothing you say.” I truly believe that. What bothered me most is in knowing that I believe the aforementioned, then that gives her cause to disbelieve anything else that comes out of my mouth. It’s not so much that I need her validation. As a matter of fact, nothing could be further from the truth. It’s just that for many people perception becomes reality, hence the phrase perception is reality. I don’t want her or anyone else’s perception of me to change. I absolutely cannot be associated with lying. I’m a lot of things; a liar is not one of them.
Merriam-Webster defines a lie as: a: an assertion of something known or believed by the speaker to be untrue with intent to deceive b: an untrue or inaccurate statement that may or may not be believed true by the speaker
Based on the definition, failing to include information is not a lie. It is, as I have admitted deceitful. Merriam-Webster defines deceit as: to cause to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid.
Some people may argue that this is semantics. There is however, I think, a difference between a not revealing everything or holding something back and telling an out and out lie. Plus I had a vested interest in doing what I did. It is not appropriate to tell bad stuff about your supervisor. I’m the type of person that I like to handle things in house. So, if I have a problem with you, I’ll step to you and let you know so that we can work it out. More likely than not, I would never put you on blast in front of “company.”
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Only three others share this secret, our friends the Sorceress, Man-At-Arms and Orko. Together we defend Castle Grayskull from the evil forces of---oh wait, I just had a HeMan flashback. Seriously though not a lot of people know what I'm about to share. It is our life experiences, environment and level of exposure to sundry things that shape who we are, influence how we behave, and provide a framework from which to draw expressions used in common vernacular. One of my expressions is "I don't hook for free." Let's examine where that came from.
Lisa was my skinny aunt who was maybe fifteen or sixteen at the time. I was roughly five or six. I wish I had some baby pictures on hand from that age. I was so cute! Anyway, not the point of the story. Actually Lisa wasn't really my blood aunt. She was my grandfather's adopted daughter. Rumor had it that she was actually another man's child but he adopted her anyway. My grandfather and Lisa's mother had three other daughters together, but Lisa was always rumored to the illegitimate child of Deloris, Lisa's and my other aunts' mom. Everybody engaged her like they did everyone else because for sure the four girls were sisters even if her paternity was in question.
We stayed in a small town in southeast Georgia. The population was 702 at the 2000 U.S. Census. That small. There was a set of railroad tracks that separated the "sides" of town. My granddaddy's property was about 2.5 acres and had two houses on it. We lived in one house and he lived in the other one. Since the houses were only yards apart sometimes we ate dinner at either house. It was not uncommon for my mom to cook at our house and then walk down and cook at my grandfather's house. Mind you, he had four daughters living with him, but my mom would still cook over there sometimes. He was particularly fond of her potato salad and pig feet. Yeah, that kinda country.
I don't remember exactly when it happened, but it happened over a period of time. When I would come inside from being outside playing or when Lisa would come outside to get me from playing we'd go "make up granddaddy's bed." That was the name assigned to the deed. What it really meant was we were going to go in granddaddy's bedroom and hunch, at first. Then it progressed to me having to take off my clothes and attempt to penetrate her. She guided me though the process of how to "make a woman feel good." What a foolish proposition to think that a 5-6 year old boy could make a teenager, much less a woman, feel anything.
I knew absolutely nothing about any of the other mechanics necessary to engage in copulation. I can remember her becoming annoyed when it would slip out and she'd have to put it back in. The realism is that you can see how that could happen at 5-6 years old. If I didn't seem into it she also become annoyed. I knew what we were doing was wrong, but I was young.
It didn't always just happen when we were home alone. Sometimes my grandfather would be in the front room asleep. He slept so hard because he worked at a factory and did hard labor. She would usually put the night stand in front of the door to prevent anyone from barging in on us. After a while I began to tell her that I didn't want to do that anymore. Each subsequent time she would tell me that it would be the last time and that she was going to buy me some Ruffles Sour Cream and Cheddar potato chips and a Sprite. These happen to be some of my favorite junk food snacks even now. She even told me that my younger brothers didn't mind making up granddaddy's bed with her and that she had already bought them their chips and soda. In my ignorance I reluctantly agreed to continue with hopes of securing my prize for my obedience.
Like Chinua Achebe entitled one of his books, "Things Fall Apart." We had no reasons to expect anything to go wrong because we had gotten away with it for so long. Notice the pronoun shift. Even though I was young, I knew this was wrong. I did not try to stop it. I could have told my parents, yet I let it persist. The last time it happened my mother came down the hall pushed the door slightly, felt the resistance of the night stand, but was able to peer into the room and see what was going on. I know she got a full eye view because I would see her eyes through the crack. I was scared and nervous as hell, because I knew this wasn't going to be pretty. I'll skip the details on the fall out but I'll say it included a belt, a knife, some blisters and closer monitoring.
To top it all off I still didn't get my chips and soda. When people ask me to do something and I remark, "I don't hook for free," this is where that saying came from. I don't like to be taken advantage of. I like to know what you're going to be able to do for me before I put myself out. Some people might think this extremely crude that I would make light of this situation. To the contrary, I just can't profit anything from dwelling on the past. I allowed myself to be abused for the promise of some goods in return. That's pretty much was hooking/prostitution is. I remember the first time I said it to my supervisor when I agreed to be chair of the leadership team. She was looking at me like she had no clue what I was talking about. For a brief moment I thought I had gone too far, but after I asked her if I was going to get an extended contract, she came back (she looked out of it for a second) and told me yes. I mean, the situation is different because I was a child, but it's pretty much the same. I don't have any hard feelings toward her and I think I'm pretty well adjusted. Prior to reading this, would you have ever guessed?
The subject of child molestation, especially among black families is taboo, but happens so much more often that most care to think about or admit.
Off the subject, but what is it about saying, "This shouldn't leave this room," or "Don't tell anybody," that makes people just run and tell whatever you asked them to not tell? I know that usually when people say that to me, I interpret it as only tell the one person who you always tell stuff. Sometimes though depending on the seriousness of the issue it really means don't tell anyone at all. A situation happened this past week on the job when we were in a meeting and asked to not divulge what had been discussed. It got out and I had people coming up to me on Friday asking about what was said at the meeting--including the building principal. Why can't people keep their mouths closed?
Monday, April 7, 2008
We were bored so we decided to get off campus and see what we could get into. Although we were all 20+ we decided to go (word we buried)-knocking. In case you’re not familiar with this, you just run up to people’s homes, knock on the door or beat on the window really hard, run off somewhere where you can see them and they can’t see you and laugh when they come to the door looking for whomever they thought was at the door. Sounds right foolish when you put it on paper, but for us it was amusing. So that was the plan this particular Thursday night, which is college night at one of the local haunts, but we decided we weren’t in the mood for that.
We headed to Teon’s house since he was a native and parked. We chose to walk a few streets over from where he lived so we’d be somewhere we people in the neighborhood might not know who he was and tell his mom. We began knocking on doors and running. It was all good until this one dude didn’t think it was funny and he fired a gun in the air. It was just a warning shot, but it scared the hell out of me. The sight of the spark that the gun made in the still of that crisp autumn night is forever indelibly etched in my mind. Think I didn’t show Carl Lewis up that night? I ran like it was no tomorrow. All three of us did. When we stopped running we huddled on a street near a wooded area to catch our breath and to each express how frightening it was to hear and see the flicker of that gun. This is not the first time we had engaged in behavior like this, but this was the first time someone fired a shot. The most someone had ever done up until this day was throw something through their window. That particular night when we walked off, we were laughing like, that’s their dumb azz cause they gotta fix that window.
Anyway, that night after we caught our breath we still hadn’t had enough, but we decided to table the (word we buried)-knocking for the night. At the time not too far from the wooded area where we huddled the land was being prepared for construction. You know how they push that dirt around for like 2 months before you actually see any pipes in the ground or concrete blocks? Yeah, that’s what it looked like. Behind that was an old folks home that had already been built. There was one of those big dump trucksout there. Antwan decided to get in the truck (at me and Teon’s behest) and start it up and run it into the old folks’ home. Someone had left the keys in the truck so that’s how he was gonna be able to start it. He tried to turn the engine over like three times but he couldn’t get it to come on. It would make the sound like it was going to crank, but it wouldn’t completely fire. Apparently, the people in the old folks home were watching us because we saw the blinds flutter and soon heard sirens.
We ran like hell across the dirt that was there for the grocery store and into the wooded area that we huddled at earlier. There were like three cop cars because we saw the blue lights as we were dipping off in the woods. Of course I think I’m smarter than the police so I was like we need to run in the water so in case they have dogs they will lose our scent. Let a joker watch one episode of Matlock. Anyway, we heard footsteps that were not our own. We figured the police were on foot trying to scare us. There weren’t probably really gonna traipse through the woods to find us but they were definitely gonna try to rattle us. But me, I’m not gonna be rattled—even when I’m in the wrong. To a fault I can be wrong and strong and think nothing of it. We were navigating the woods but being ever so careful as not to make too much noise. We were signally each other and all trying to make sure that we all made it out of this thing safely. Eventually we no longer heard the additional footsteps so we figured the coast was clear. We ran up out of the woods and got back on the main street. (Ladynaynay this happened on the corner of Rock Quary and Raleigh Blvd just as a point of reference.)
Me still over analyzing things and thinking that I was “on the run” suggested that we all switch shirts and try to make ourselves look different in case the po-po rolled past looking for three black guys who fit our description. The realism is that if they did roll past they still would have known that it was us, but in my mind I thought I was one-upping the man. We just needed take our azzes home and do some studying.
Once we got back to T’s house we did ride back up to the scene of the crime and the police were still there. There was only one car now, but we really felt like we had beaten the man. We rolled on the Waffle House, (by the way if you don’t know bout the Waffle House shame one you) got a bite to eat and tripped about the events of the day.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
So I'm on my way to see a friend of mine in Durham. We hadn't seen each other in about three months which is rather unusual for us. I was supposed to arrive at 3:30 at the meet up spot but I didn't end up leaving my house til after three and the drive is about forty minutes. It was a little rainy but the drive was going well. A state trooper appeared from out of nowhere and everybody slowed down in homage to the blue lights. Me, as long as I'm not doing anything crazy I'm pretty much gonna maintain my flow. The trooper was in the passing lane and I was behind him. He tapped his brakes and I slowed up and got in the right lane. I was doing about 70 and my car slightly inched ahead of his. Here go the dang lights.
I rode for a minute making faces at him in my rear view mirror, indicative of my shock that he would pull me over. When I came to a stop he started shouting something at me over the loudspeaker. I couldn't understand what he was saying and he just kept shouting the same inaudible command. I thought he was telling me to get off my cell phone but I wasn't talking on it. Finally I was able to make out "bridge" so I figured that he wanted me to pull a little more forward so that we could both be off the bridge. Once I stopped again, he got out and started with the police 101 talk.
Him: Is there any reason why you're going so fast?
Me: I'm only going 70.
Him: Well the speed limit is 65. I'm a state trooper and you were going to pass me.
Me: (indignant-thinking to myself who gives a phuck; you got a car just like i do. cars are meant to go)Who does that?
Him: (frown on his face because he didn't understand)Huh?
Me: Who gives people tickets for going 5 miles over the speed limit?
Him: The speed limit is 65. And why were you on my bumper. Is there any reason why you were following so closely?
Me: I didn't think I was that close.
Him: You were too close. When I tapped my brakes you slowed down.
Me: I slowed down because I thought someone in front of you was slowing down.
Him: License and registration.
Me: (I pause and act like I don't know where my information is and reach in the glove box and hand it to him, but not before I add this)I'm late getting somewhere. Can you expedite this?
Him: (no response just looks and walks to his car)
I whip out the cell phone to tell Tonya that I'm going to be late because I got pulled over. Of course Captain Redneck takes his time writing my ticket. He was probably trying to run my name through all 50 states to see if there was anything he could get me on. If this had been a year ago, he would have been successful. I'm completely legit now. Gots all my papers. When Captain Redneck has returned he gives me the ticket for $155 and tells me my court date, yada yada yada. As he turns to leave we dialogue again.
Me: Let me say this to you.
Him: (He pauses and puts his head back down to the passenger side window)
Me: When you were shouting at me through the loud speaker I couldn't understand what you were saying. I thought you were trying to tell me to get off my phone but I wasn't on the phone. I was very nervous because I don't know if you watch t.v. where you live but I do. I know what white men with guns do to black men when they get stopped and I didn't want you to shoot me.
Him: I wouldn't shoot you unless you shot at me.
Me: (ignoring that b.s. and annoyed at being interrupted)Your tone was very aggressive and I didn't like it. The way you got out of your vehicle was too aggressive as well. I thought you were gonna take out your billy stick and hit me with it. You need to understand in the context of you being a white man with a gun and me being an unarmed black man how I must've felt when you were shouting at me. I didn't want to make any sudden moves. That's why I put my hands up and opened the door when you were shouting because I didn't want to give you any reason to think you needed to shoot me. I still don't see why you stopped me because I was only doing 5 miles over the speed limit.
Him: (sensing where I was going with this)You getting stopped has nothing to do with you being black. You just need to slow down.
Me: Well, I didn't get stopped by officers before I purchased this car.
Him: Just slow down.
Me: (put my car in gear and told him I was leaving. He was still bent over inside my window.)
Him:Be careful when you merge back onto the highway.
Me: **crickets**and an attitude for him making me even later
I really don't think I overreacted and tried to make it something that it wasn't. It angered me that he would be so dismissive because he's never had to walk one mile in my shoes. I do not like the police. (Except for one_man) I have not had good experiences with them. I truly believe that his major reason for stopping me is that he thought I was disrespecting him by passing him when he's a state trooper. Who cares? I had somewhere to go and as a law abiding citizen I don't feel like I have to stop driving because a state trooper is on the road with me. That would be like if I was have an observation and I wasn't teaching hopping up and trying to act like I was doing something. I don't even roll like that. FTDS.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Everything was going as well as it could until I turned 15. The summer before freshman year of high school I tried everything that your parents tell you to stay away from. Smoking, drinking and sex. I enjoyed two of the three, hated one and didn’t get serious about one of the two until I got to college and the other one of the two I got more serious about toward the middle of college. That’s a bootleg riddle. First person to get it right gets—let me see…..the assurance of knowing they were right. Meanwhile, not the point of the story, but yeah, I was as the old people say “smellin’ myself.” I became more contentious at home, argumentative with my parents at times, especially him*.
Although a lot had happened and my parents had numerous reasons to be sick of me, there was an incident that prompted the séance. I was home chillin’ cause it was the summer time. I didn’t attend any enrichment camps or anything like that. That’s why some people have an advantage over others. They expose their children to things that are going to expand their minds. Maybe if I had been at a camp or something, then the incident wouldn’t have happened. Old people say an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. There was a neighborhood girl in whom I was interested. Not like I was in love or anything remotely close to that—I was 15 years old. You know what I was thinking about. So we began hanging out. Hanging out led to sexual talk. One day I remember on the playground (we were just up there talkin’) I pretended that I had to use the bathroom. I was ready to see how she would react to seeing it. I whipped it out and just held it for a while. Of course nothing came out cause I really didn’t have to use the bathroom. I was like oh well I guess I didn’t have to go all the while I was getting an erection because here I was with this girl I liked with my piece in my hand kinda just sitting in this awkward silence as she looked at me and I looked at her. As I was about to put it away, she said that I didn’t have to. We exchanged a little back and forth and then ended up at my house in my bedroom. T.I. You know what it is.
Of course we had sex on my brother’s bed—not mine. I guess that was kinda triflin’. We had been going for maybe about seven or eight minutes before we heard a car door slam. Actually I didn’t hear the car door. She did. When she told me she heard something I was telling her she didn’t hear anything cause I wanted to finish what I had started. Thinking back on it now, there was no condom involved either. So stupid. Honestly, condoms didn’t become involved in sex for me until I was like 22. It’s just God’s grace that I don’t have a kid or anything grandma’s washing powder can’t get off. Anyway, she kinda pushed me off her while urging me to look out the window. I did. It was him* carrying grocery bags. I had about 7 seconds to get her out of the house, get up front, spray something just in case and act like nothing had happened. Needless to say I couldn’t pull that off.
We both ran up to the den in the front of the house. Our den had a door on it so she closed and locked the door just before he* entered the house. He started bamming on the door telling us to open the door. I was seated across the room farthest away from the door. She was sitting right next to the door in a chair but was frozen with fear. I kept telling her to open the door but she just kept shaking her head no. Finally I got up, did the flip up in my shorts (I think the fellas will know what I’m sayin’) and opened the door. He* started with the 20 questions. What was all that noise? What’s going on? I heard ya’ll running. He’s* asking and answer his* own questions. Nesha decided to say that we were in the back playing my keyboard. I’m thinking to myself this broad is sooooo stupid. My adapter had been broken for like three months so there was no way in hell we were playing the keyboard. He went to the back to test the keyboard and surveyed the room. Somewhere in the middle of this Nesha was dismissed and he told me that he didn’t want her back in our house ever again. When he came back he said that the adapter was still broken and the bed was messed up. My clever story was that we were wrestling. (We were, kinda). He* didn’t buy it and he made me do manual labor. Anyone who knows me knows how much I hate pulling weeds and shit like that. I had to wash all the cars too and cut the grass. I hate that kinda shit. Hire someone ma phucka.
Later that evening he* called my mom who was in Tacoma, WA, at the time to tell her what happened. I was so pissed off about him calling her. I could give a phuck less about what he thought, but I highly respect my mother and want her to have a good opinion of me. I had already been in a lot of trouble because of my mouthiness. Basically I was just acting grown. I had something to say about everything. When she got back, they came up with this bright idea to have an intervention to “save me” from what I’m not sure—maybe the devil.
Like I said, getting caught in the house was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Truthfully I never would have gotten caught if he* wasn’t stealing company time by grocery shopping and bringing food home. It’s really his* fault. Ma phucka. So at the intervention they called the whole family together. There were six of us. Four siblings and my mom and him*. These people are ultra religious so of course we go to the Bible to start the lashing. I remember them having some prepared notes to make sure they covered all my list of offenses and whatnot. They read off all the infractions, which were numerous. After the reading of the charges against me they read some verses from the Bible. The one that sticks out the most was “Why do the heathen rage?” He* even had a book by the same title and pulled some stuff from there to tell me why I was such a heathen and why I was raging (acting out). Basically they said it was a demonic spirit that had me bound and that’s why I was being so bad and that every time I did something else I was feeding the demon and making it stronger. They had had enough and were going to try to pray it out of me. My mom said her piece, which was much softer but she was very concerned about the person I was turning into. I knew that this was not my mom’s idea, but she went along with it I guess to appease him*. Ma phucka.
They even sung some church songs. I don’t remember what they sang but it was almost like a mini church service minus the offering. As they were talking I remember having something like an out-of-body experience. I kinda looked around at the five faces staring at me and the two faces doing the talking/preaching/teaching/seancing/casting-out-demoning and I was like these ma phuckas are really crazy. Like I knew before that they had some idiosyncrasies, but now I felt like these people were CERTIFIABLE. Don’t get me wrong. I’m crazy ‘bout my mama, but I thought her going along with this was not a good idea as this “intervention” or whatever was a bit extreme. The whole thing was absolutely surreal. I was just sitting in the room like this cannot be happening. I wondered what my real family was like and if I had been switched at birth. I mean, okay I was wildin’ out a little bit, but seriously, all this was unnecessary. At certain times while they were talking they would ask me questions. I wouldn’t answer. Of course this made them mad and they were saying the demon won’t let him talk. I was thinking how crazy they had to be to think that something was keeping me from talking. I wasn’t speaking because I couldn’t believe what was happening. I just felt so out of place. There was a stranger in my house. It took a while to figure out, but the realism was that the stranger was me.
Ever since that day things were a little different. We’ve never discussed it from that day to this one, and until now I had not relieved it again. It was one of the defining moments of my youth because I realized how people would use the Bible as a weapon against you and believe that they are justified. To this day I’m awfully leery of someone who always references the Bible. Don’t get me wrong. I go to church most Sundays and I enjoy it. It’s just I think of people who do this kinda stuff as fanatics. Just like when I ask someone how they are doing and they tell me blessed and highly favored. BREAKING NEWS: This just in. You can be saved and answer “fine” when someone asks how you’re doing. You won’t lose your salvation.
I kinda stopped giving them so much trouble after that but only because I didn’t want to sit through another cast out demons/bring down the strongholds ceremony.