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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mama's Medicine

Shawn are you listening?

I have a question to ask you. How do you get to Sesame Street?  I don't know. I asked Mama and she say follow the yellow brick road. She crazy. She know there aint no yellow brick road. Cause if there was she know she be trying to pawn it. She and her stupid head boyfriend. I hate him. He make Mama do nasty things. I saw them both in the alley on their knees making Rice and Patrick moan. Rice like Mama stupid head boyfriend. He call him his Bitch. I call him a Bitch and Mama slaps me in the mouth. I saw Rice kiss his lips. Mama stupid head boyfriend don't like that. Grandma say he show is a pretty nigga, cause he have green eyes and everything, but she say he ain't worth the pot he pissed in. You ask me he ain't even worth the piss. I asked Mama what do Rice and her stupid head boyfriend do in the backroom, and why do he make so much noise, and why do she sit outside the door? She slapped me in the mouth and told me to shut up.

I love Mama, but she's sick. She always shaking. She always talking about that she need her medicine. Sometimes I have to hold the belt real tight so that she can take her medicine. I love my Mama. I wish she get better so she can play with me like she use to. I pray every night that Mama stop shaking. I don't like it when she is shaking real bad because the big bad man won't give her no medicine, cause she ain't got no money. When I grow up I'm going to be rich and buy my Mama all the medicine she need.


This ugly fat boy in my class said once that my Mama was a crack head. I told him he a damn lie! He say yes she is because his uncle sold my Mama some drugs because she had sold him some food stamps and sucked his dick. I told him he a damn lie! He say that I'm a crack baby and all the kids started laughing. I don't like it when the kids laugh at me Shawn. It makes me sad and all  I want to do is cry but I don't cause I ain't no punk.

I told them, "I don't know why you laughing cause your Mamas  get welfare to. All you bitches Mamas get food stamps." They stop laughing. The ugly fat boy then said that my Mama sold her food stamps that's why we don't have any food. I told him he a damn lie! They start laughing and calling me a crack baby. I got mad. I told them "fuck you" and ran far away. I told Mama what they said and she laughed. She say," don't worry about it baby." But I ain't no crack baby! Just because I shake sometimes don't mean that I'm a crack baby, and my Mama ain't on no crack either. She sick. She need the medicine that man give her so that she will get better. She's going to get better and take me to the park so we can play like we use to. I don't care what them nappy head black kids say. What the fuck they know! They don't know shit. I waited for that fat nappy head boy after school. I hid in the bushes.  I waited and waited and when I saw the top of his fat nappy head as  he walked by, I picked up the biggest rock I could find and hit him in his fat nappy ass head. He ran home crying. I laughed.

Shawn, sometimes I dream like dolphins.

I dream about Sesame Street. I hate living in this house. I want to go to Sesame St. because I love Bigbird and Elmo. I want to go live with Bigbird sometimes when Mama hits me when she don't have her medicine. If I was to go to Sesame St, I would sing the Sesame Street songs everyday because it comes on almost everyday. I would visit Oscar the Grouch and he won't be mean cause he my friend. I would count with Count Dracula and he won't bite me cause he ain't no real vampire like on scary TV. I could stay with Ernie and Bert and we play games everyday. Shawn, it would be so fun. 


I hate it sometimes sleeping on the floor. My friend down the street sleep in a bed. He came to my house and laughed. We ain't friends no more. This house is cold too much Shawn. I don't have the blanket that Grandma gave us for Christmas anymore because Mama sold it. I had to use the sheet that Mama stupid head boyfriend pissed on. He nasty too much.  I asked Mama to wash it and she say wait to tomorrow. I waited to tomorrow but she never washed it. So I washed it myself with ivory soap and now it smell good. When I think about it I hate all Mama's friends. They come in and out late at night and I can't sleep. I told Mama I couldn't sleep and she say shut up and go to bed.


I want to go to school today but I can't. I passed out the other day at school. I was at the board doing a math problem and my head started hurting and then I couldn't breathe. I was so hungry that day because it was a Monday and Mama don't cook on weekends. She never really cooks. When I fell to the floor the kids laughed at me but my teacher didn't. My teacher like me and she say I smart. She also say I number one in my class. She told me one day that I'm so pretty to be so dark. What that suppose to mean? I asked her and she said nothing. She meant something. I told her I ain't pretty but handsome like my grandma say. I told Grandma what she said and she said," that white bitch  don't know what she talking about." Mama calls her the crazy white bitch. But I like my teacher. She bought food to the house that day I passed out at the board. Mama didn't like that but she still asked her for money and my teacher gave her a twenty and Mama was real happy. She gave her a hug and everything and told her that God will bless her.  I laughed.


My teacher is so nice to me but she ask too many questions. Questions I know my Mama wouldn't like. She want to know what my Mama do for a living. I say "nothing." She want to know if we get food stamps. I say "no." I told her we rich. I ain't like those other black nappy head kids. I told her my Daddy own a company  and he buy me things. I told her that he going to buy me a bike for my next birthday. I be ten. I told her my Mama love my Daddy. She asked me where my Daddy at. I say in Europe. I saw this girl once on Sesame Street and she talked real funny and she was from London, Europe. I looked it up on the map. She was pretty that girl from London. I want to go to London one day and visit her. She my friend.

My teacher told me to bring my Father to the "show and tell" one day. I told her I can't because he don't like kids, and that he sure ain't going to like those black nappy head kids in my class. I told her my father was white and black, that he mixed. I told her he just look white. I told her my Father is just like Bill Cosby and my family is just like the Cosby's kids. I wish sometimes I was a Cosby kid. Then I have a Dad and a Mom. Rudy's Mama on the Cosby show is never shaking and she never hits her. I don't see her in the alley on her knees. She doesn't need any medicine and if she did Bill Cosby is a Doctor so he can fix her and she want shake anymore. I love Bill Cosby and the Cosby's kids. They my friends.

Shawn why my daddy dead?

Mama said he died when I was four. Why he have to die? My Mama hated him. She always thinking that he is in the house. She say she can feel him. She say I smile just like my Daddy and then hits me in the head. A man killed my Daddy my Grandma say. My Daddy tried to rob this man and he killed my Daddy. I'm going to kill that man when  I grow up. I'm going to buy a gun at Big Tim's house around the corner and kill that man. I told my Mama this. She laughed. She say my black ass Daddy better off dead. She say that man did her a favor. She say if my Daddy hadn't died he would have killed her. That explains them black long marks on her back. She say my Daddy was a evil black bastard, with eyes that cut like knifes and hands that never stop loving her and when he died she danced on his grave. I think Mama crazy sometimes. Mama say I look just like his blackass. I tell her I love my Daddy. She say you sure is stupid to be so smart. She say at least we get a check every month because my blackass daddy died. What check? She spends up all the check every time it comes getting her medicine from Rice. My Mama stupid-head boyfriend laughs when my Mama talks about my Daddy. I hate him. I hate his eyes. I hate his face. I hate that he breathes. When I get older, I'm going to buy me a gun from big Tim's house around the corner and kill my Mama stupid head boyfriend.

Shawn, guess what I broke my leg last week.

My mama stupid head boyfriend left me alone at the bottom of the stairs. It hurt. I cried loud from the bottom of the stairs. My Mama didn't hear me, and she never came because she was in the alley. A old man took me to the hospital. I seen him before. He comes by often and he and Mama go to the bathroom, and he moans and yells and then he leaves. I don't know what he and Mama do in that bathroom but he gives me a dollar when he comes out. I like him. He found me at the bottom of the stairs. Mama wasn't home so he took me to the hospital. He sat in the hospital with me, stroking my forehead as the Black doctor just like Bill Cosby put on my cast. I asked him was he a Cosby kid and he laughed. I don't know why he laughed cause it was a serious question. I told him when I grow up I'm going to be just like him. He smiled and signed my cast and my name as Dr. Jamal Wilson. The man who brought me to the hospital smiled. The nurse lady made me take off my shirt. I didn't want to take off my shirt. She took it off anyway. I was mad. She asked me how did I get all those marks on my back. I say, "I dunno kno?" I didn't want to tell her my Mama sometimes get mad when she don't get her medicine but my Mama loves me. She just need her medicine and the man won't give it to her because she have no money. She can't sell nothing because everything is sold. She cries sometimes when she can't get her medicine. I hate to see Mama cry. I cry to. I cry because she hits me. I hate it when she hits me. She real angry when she don't get her medicine and  I only make her more angry when I tell her I'm hungry. The lady wouldn't understand. I tell her nothing. The doctor asked me how  I broke my leg. I told him I fell. I lied. I hate my Mama stupid head boyfriend. He pushed me down the stairs. I accidentally made him drop his medicine and he pushed me down the stairs. I told my Mama later on and she did nothing. She didn't even say nothing. I should have told that Doctor and he would have told the police and my Mama stupid head boyfriend would have went to jail.

Sometimes Shawn, I miss you real bad that it hurts my stomach.

I miss how we used to play. Remember when we used to play toy war with G.I. Joe toys that we stole from Kenneth's house around the corner. And we used to also pretend that we were Thunder Cats and sword fight with the swords that you beat up Billy for. I loved it when we use to wrestle and we used to fight. You were my best friend Shawn and my big brother. You always took up for me when these nappy head kids tried to beat me up. You was always there. I remember when we use to stay up late at night at Grandma's house and talk about stuff.  I remember when you taught me how to steal cause you could steal real good. You never got caught either. Everyday when you came home from school you would bring me candy that you stole from Stop n Go. I miss you a lot. It didn't matter either that we had different Daddies and Mama didn't know where your Daddy went. She said that nigga disappeared when she told him that she was pregnant. You didn't need a Daddy. Mama never got over your death. She still look at your picture and cry sometimes. You were only four years older than me and taller but we still look a like having different Daddies. I remember when they found your body in the streets. Grandma didn't want to tell me. She said you were sleep but you wouldn't wake up Shawn. Grandma said that bullet was meant for someone else and not you. Mama should have never sent you to the back to get her medicine. Grandma still haven't forgiven Mama for doing that. She told Mama to never send us back there were all the drug dealers are,  but you and I both know that Mama need her medicine. Grandma wouldn't understand. Remember when Grandma once tried to take us but my Mama stole us back. I wish Grandma would have took us far away then you will be still alive and we can play like we used to. Shawn I wish things were different. I wish you were alive. Shawn, what does it feel like to be dead? Does it hurt? I hope not. Shawn, I wish Mama was better. She keep taking her medicine but she ain't getting no better. I'm just tired Shawn. I'm  so tired of going to bed to gunshots and police sirens. I'm tired of getting laughed at when I go to school because I stink and my clothes are dirty cause Mama don't wash them. I just wish I was normal, like the Cosby kids. I wish I had a normal family and we play and had fun like the families do on TV. I wish I was at Sesame St. were it is clean and safe. Shawn, I was watching Sesame St. the other day and I swear Bigbird spoke to me. He said my name. Bigbird wants me to come to Sesame St. and live with him. But I don't know how to get there. I really want to go.

Shawn, I'm so sad today and it's raining.

I don't want to think about what I have to do today. I just don't want to think. I just want to go back to sleep and dream about cotton candy, rollercoaster and you Shawn. I want to go to school and do math problems at the board and talk to my teacher cause I like school.  I hate this world. I hate that my Grandma been crying all week talking about she should've raised my Mama right. I hate that my Mama is dead. The man sold her bad medicine and she died.  I found her shaking and white stuff was coming out of her mouth and her stupid head boyfriend just ran away. I tried to clean her up like I always do, like you taught me to do, but she stop moving Shawn. She even went to the bathroom on herself. She wouldn't wake up. She was real bad. I ran to the payphone to call 911. They came and I didn't want them to see Mama like that, cause she went to the bathroom on herself. They didn't even want to touch her. They put on white gloves. They kept slapping her face, and banging on her chest, and I just got so mad. I started hitting them for hitting my Mama like that. They held me down, and I was crying and cursing, but they wouldn't let me go. They took her. I called Grandma and told her they took her, and when we went to go get Mama, they said we couldn't. Grandma started crying, saying Mama wasn't coming home with us, because she's dead. How she going to die when her medicine was suppose to make her better. Shawn, I think she was taking the wrong medicine. She had to. Grandma keep saying it's going to be alright. She's lying. She know my Mama is dead and it ain't going to be alright! How Grandma going to lie like that. Everyone is always dying. You dead, my Daddy dead and now my Mama dead. I asked Grandma when I am going to die and she start crying again. I wish I was crying with Grandma. Then I won't feel bad. I'm just tired of crying. Shawn I want to die. Then we will all be in heaven and we can play together and go to the park in heaven.  I wonder is there a park in heaven. Is there a park in heaven?


I wish I was at Sesame St. with Big Bird and Elmo because they would know what to do. We will sing songs, count, do the alphabet and math problems. We will go to the park and swim, bike, play football and skate, and then we will go back to Sesame St. and visit all the other people. We would have fun and then I wouldn't have to go to my Mama's funeral. I wouldn't have to see my Mama dead. I wouldn't have to cry. I have to go now Shawn. Grandma is calling me and I have to get ready. Grandma bought me a suit to wear and she say I look just like grandpa. I wish you were here so that I could hug you and we could play with our G.I Joe toys. I miss you so much that it hurt too bad that I can't breath sometimes.


Shawn will you do me a favor, promise me if you see Mama in heaven to tell her I love her and I miss her. Tell my Daddy to that I love him and I miss him even if I don't remember him. Also Shawn, could you asked Jesus how do you get to Sesame St. and if he knows please, pretty please ask him to tell me so that I can go. That is all Shawn, I love you.

Male Secretary

"I don't belong here" is what it feels like most days.  I am a male secretary and everyone looks at me like it's my fault.

The alarm clock starts bitching but I'm already awake and it's another maniac Monday and the smell of responsibility is like hot shit rotting.  I know that I can't go back to sleep, because sleeping ain't going to pay the bills. It's more than just a cliché that I feel as if the weekend passed by in a blink of a lazy eye.  It's also unfair and just plain rude. It's always Monday, again, like some fucking cruel joke.

"How the hell did this happen to me" screams in my head like a three year old child that just been slapped for saying the same word he heard mommy screaming at daddy, something about fucking the babysitter. And the confusion lingers like my hangover and pounds at the back of my head violently. It's doesn't help that it's cold outside and rainy, a typical Chicago February. Even if the sky is dark and a depressing gray, I hide behind even darker sunglasses because they make me feel as if I'm protected. I feel abnormally vulnerable and raw in the morning like a vampire. Behind my dark sunglasses, I have the perfect excuse to not make eye contact with strangers on the crowded Chicago "L". I hate public transportation. It feels unnatural that so many people are unawake in the morning and rushing towards jobs they probably hate. On the "L," I close my eyes and drift off for fractions of minutes, but every time the train door opens, I awake startled, hoping that I didn't miss my stop. I try not to think about work, so I turn up the volume on my c.d. player. Finally it's my stop and I rush with the crowd to exit.  I feel hopelessly nauseous, but like a good boy who eats his vegetables, I swallow the feeling of the chunky vile vomit rising to my throat.  I get to the building in which I work and it's still there, mocking me and pretending to be indestructible. A naughty fantasy about dynamite and wrecking balls gets my dick hard, but when I pushed through the revolving door and walk towards the elevator, the thrill has gone flaccid. I step on the elevator with the crowd and press the button for my floor. I close my eyes to savor those last few seconds of freedom before the metal door to my hell opens and I become a slave again. I don't even have to open my eyes to know that is my floor, because I feel the agony like ice cold water running down my back. I turn off my music and removed the dark sunglasses. I pry my eyes open and just like a veteran Broadway star, I know the show must go on. I wait for the metal curtains to pull themselves back. Suddenly, I'm nervous and my mind goes blank. I panic in silence trying to remember my lines. I breathe in hard and out quickly, and just like sharp fingernails dragging themselves across the blackboard is the sound of my facial muscles screaming in torment as I violently pull them back to something that closely resembles a smile. I try to convince myself that if I'd just relax, don't fight it; it'll all be over with quickly. I can feel the vomit rising again and acid turning in my stomach. This time it gets to the tip of my throat and tries to hurl itself over, but I don't let it. I swallow. I put a mint in my mouth and try to awake that sparkle in my eye. The door opens and I step off. I become somebody else.

I say "good morning" to the first person I see, which is always the receptionist, who always smiles back without much conviction. It's obvious that we both hate our jobs, but we're polite about it. It's not like we work at a fast food restaurant or gas station where we could wear our anger on our sleeves. We have to drown that anger in perkiness and pretend that we're happy to be up so damn early in the morning; or that our lives have meaning. The minute I pass her desk and come to the door in which I have to slide my access card across in order to enter, I want to run. I want to run away as if I was on a dark street and saw a five hundred pound gorilla coming at me. I want to run like my life depended on it. I don't.

Honestly, I don't know how it happened, or came to be, nor do I care anymore. It is what it is and I guess somehow I adjusted like the white rat in the maze that's just happy to get his cheese, the paycheck.

I didn't think I get the job. I just didn't think I was male secretary material. I don't smile and I'm a black male; and my apathy can often be misconstrued as militancy or threatening. I'm naturally rude and extremely selfish. I'm not jovial or gregarious unless I have an almost empty cocktail in my hand and it's my third. I loathe polite conversation or just being polite, curse like a sailor and have the shortest attention span. I'm not supportive or nurturing, so I just didn't think I'd get the job. But I did, which makes me think, maybe I should go into acting. The irony is more twisted and tasteless than overpriced Twizzlers at the movie theater.

Everyone looks at me like it's my fault or at least that what it feels like.  Everyone looks at me like I must've done something wrong to be a man doing a woman's job. Even the other female secretaries, they don't trust me. I'm the only male out of fifteen secretaries. The other secretaries don't even make eye contact with me. It's like I make them nervous. They just can't seem to figure me out. When it's a birthday or somebody is passing around the picture of their toddlers, they huddle like football players and laugh. You can hear their giggles and the "he's so cute" but when I enter the huddle trying to blend in, they stop and become stiff. I know they don't want me there. I don't even want "me" there but I try to pretend to care because those are the rules. I smile in the morning because those are the rules. I say things like "cool beans" and "I don't want to be a bother" because those are the rules. I don't take a sharp blade to their necks and watch them bleed like the red sea because those are the rules.  I don't say that that baby in the picture is damn ugly, because those are the rules. I just smile sadly and then return to my desk to be alone. I tell myself that it hasn't always been a woman's job. I tell myself that it used to be a man's job when women weren't allowed to work or vote. It doesn't help. The fact that I'm Black doesn't make remembering history all that romantic or appealing considering the five hundred years of slavery and oppression.

My boss, I'm his first male secretary and I know he's not too comfortable with it. I try to smile and appear perky like the other blond secretaries but I'm a black male who grew up in the ghetto with cockroaches and bullets. It just feels blasphemous.

My boss has this picture of himself on his desk in one of those silver family frames mostly used for graduations or weddings. Instead of the cliché, it is a picture of him holding a dead baby deer in a headlock while his right foot stomps down on the mother's head. There are no captions or subtitles with the picture, but I get the sickest feeling that he killed Bambi. My boss, he would never ask me to get his coffee. He would always ask Sheryl, his former secretary, even after her big promotion. Sheryl was promoted to the Director of Finance after she went back to school at night to get her bachelors and MBA while raising three kids. She likes emphasizing the three children part when she tells the story. He says Sheryl knows how to make him happy and winks at me, and for some twisted sick reason I feel jealous. My boss is really fat like obesity and he has crossed eyes. He sweats like rain and breathes like thunder. For some reason he likes to record his speeches while he's on the treadmill and when I have to transcribe them I feel violated. It's just criminally wrong to have to listen to his sweaty fat voice first thing in the morning. I have to keep rewinding and slowing down the heavy breathing, so that I can understand his words. His husky voice seeps through the headphones like bacon grease. The entire inappropriate situation makes me feel like a sex operator who has a client that likes to get off by citing the takeover of World-Iron. I don't know if I want to smoke a cigarette or take up bulimia.

My boss is always asking me inappropriate questions like if I caught that basketball or football game last night. I don't know how to tell him that I don't watch sports, so I find myself studying the sports section before work or buying copies of Sports Illustrated to casually lay on my desk just to keep the lie alive. My boss calls me names like "buddy"  or "bud" with every sentence as if I'm his friend. I'm beginning to think that he thinks that's my name. My boss, Dan, is from Georgia where it's pronounced as incoherent drunk babbling like "jaw her!"  My boss, when he calls out my name, I'm not a grown man anymore with my own apartment and drinking problem but a small child or adoring pet, all bright eyed and wagging my tail as I anxiously wait for master to give me a command so that I can get a treat. When I hear my name, I jump from my seat and race to his office knocking down anyone who gets in my way. I find myself giddy with nervous anticipation and I don't know why. My boss, when he's talks to me he doesn't look me in the eyes. It makes me feel as if he is embarrassed for me because I'm a man supposedly doing a woman's job. My boss tries to comfort my masculinity by hitting me in the arm or going into long rants about sports and cars or grabbing his nuts when he talks about the "hot" receptionist with the big knockers. I just nod helplessly. I'm always nodding helplessly. My boss and I, we always get to a point of complete uncomfortable silence. My boss is always nervous around me and it makes me nervous. Maybe it's because I'm a black male and he knows that in a fight I would easily kick his ass. My boss once rushed in and threw his car keys on my desk telling me to go find his S500 because he double-parked it "somewhere." It took me four hours to find the car and when I returned drenched in sweat and very frustrated from the hot sun, I learned that the bastard had called the police and reported his car stolen. He named me as the primary suspect. Of course he quickly apologize and I was paid a visit by the Human Resources Director who decided that I should take the rest of the week off and stay at the company's hotel free of charge as long as I didn't sue. My boss just smiled and explained to me that he really loved his car. I tried not to take offense but couldn't help fantasizing about riding out to his home during my lunch break and throwing a brick through his front window.

I went to college but a lot of good that did me. It was a public state university which basically meant if my check cleared, they'd give me a degree. It was a monstrosity of a college with forty thousand students. It felt more like I had gotten into an assembly line than college. Mostly everyone commuted and complained about the relentless bureaucracy or how the class schedules were always so inconvenient. I think it was a school requirement that none of the math or science professors spoke or understood English. I also felt that in order to save money the school hired convicts from the local correctional facility to work in the cafeteria. They were always angry and would threaten your life if you asked for an extra slice of cheese on your hamburger or disturbed their four-hour lunch break. I really didn't learn much in college but how to work the system. I guess in retrospect that was the point.  I almost dropped out in the middle of my sophomore year but the thought of having to get a "real" job made me stay. I guess that was the reasoning why I went to college in the first place, because I didn't want to get a job at the local mall or go into the army, which at the time seemed like the only two alternatives.

Honestly, I panicked when it was time for me to graduate college because I was unprepared. I hadn't done any internships or gotten any type of job. I just took out as many students loans as possible thinking that when I graduated I would get that six figure job. I just knew I was destined to be rich. Well, that didn't happen.

The only job I'd ever had was for only fourteen minutes. I worked at the neighborhood McDonalds my senior year in High School. I was hired as a cashier but on my first day, I was commanded to clean the bathroom after some homeless schizophrenic came in and shitted all over the floors and wrote with it on the walls, "We are all going to Hell!!!" I took his prolific words as a sign to quit.

Approaching graduation I started to panic.  In a pathetic plea for help, I went to my assigned college career counselor for advice and was basically told that if I wasn't going to grad school, I wasn't the university problem anymore. I hadn't realized that I was a problem. The next week, I got a letter from the department of university housing telling me that since I wasn't a student at the university anymore, I was going to have to move off campus. It suddenly dawned on me how the homeless became homeless. It was because they went to shitty state colleges and majored in liberal art bullshit. Like most college students, they were seduced by the credit cards and students loans therefore fucking up their credit which lead to their life of poverty. College ruined my life!

After four and half years of cramming for tests, binge drinking, smoking weed and accruing almost forty thousand dollars in debt, I had to move back home to grandma's house. Ironically, she used to be so proud of the fact that I was the first in the family to go to college.

I spent the next two years pretending to get a job and complaining that there wasn't anybody hiring for my useless degree in Communication.  It wouldn't be until my back was against the wall and grandpa had threaten me with his shotgun that night I got drunk and told him I was going to be a male stripper that I decided I might need to do something about my life. It's funny how we get to that age where we actually say things like "I need to do something with my life." After two more months of doing nothing, I started seriously looking through the want ads and found the underground world of temping or as I like to refer to it, corporate prostituting. My pimp name was Heidi. She was a perky blond. Actually, they all were perky and blond or had some type of blond ambition with names like Jessica, Wendy and Holly. Heidi, my perky blond pimp didn't care if I had work experience or could barely type or had any computer skills because she said I had "personality." .She said her clients were looking for a virgin with a "can do" attitude. She actually used those words. It didn't take long for Heidi to put me on the streets. She found me a cushy job at a law office as a receptionist. The job paid decent money and all I had to do was answer the phone and transfer calls, so I stayed for a year.  It wasn't until I started becoming annoyed by the fact I went to college that I quit. I started to think that I was better than just answering phones, although I didn't know exactly why.

After two weeks and finding out that I couldn't collect unemployment  because I voluntarily quit, I found myself back on the streets looking for a new pimp. I was quickly learning that the world was fucking cruel and growing up was fucking hard, and if I didn't chose something soon for my fucked-up life, I was going to end up on the fucking streets smelling like piss and alcohol. I decided to start taking my life seriously so I took some computer classes and learn how to type and after two more years of temping, one morning I woke up and found myself a male secretary.  It was something that just happened like getting hit by a car or a sexual transmitted disease. It could've happened to anyone. When I was child I never said I wanted to grow up be a secretary, basically somebody's corporate bitch

At first, I rebelled. I hated corporate America. I never felt like I belong. I didn't like anything about big conglomerates or its culture. I just had a difficult time assimilating to a subordinate role. I also didn't like the fakeness of it all. I had to remind myself to smile in the mornings or just say good morning. I had to remind myself to ask about their damn ugly kids or plastic wives. It was painful. I just didn't care if it was somebody's birthday or whatever asinine bullshit somebody was celebrating that particular day. I had to force myself to make small talk and try to make it convincing. In the beginning it was all so unnatural like cranberry juice without vodka.. At first, I kept getting fired because somebody didn't like my attitude or complained I wasn't friendly. I was constantly told that I came across too militant and angry. Once, I was told by the human resource department that the reason I was let go was because the head of the company was looking for more of a "girl Friday" and not a "boy wonder." The bitch actually said those words to me. In other words, I just wasn't sexual harassment material.

Yet, it took five years of bullshit temp assignments before I decided to get a real job. It took five years of being patronize, being referred to as the "help" or feeling like the aging hooker who would do every little freaky thing the wife refused and pretend that I was happy with it.  I decided to stop selling myself cheaply. I had become the corporate slut nobody wanted to marry. I wanted to get married. I wanted benefits and vacation days. I wanted to be the wife and not the skanky bitch being fucked on the side. I just felt like if I was going to sleep with the fat sweaty bastard of corporate America, I wanted the ring and no pre-nup.

I was working another temp to perm assignment going on a year, and it was becoming quite obvious to me that they weren't interested in hiring me. I decided to take my supervisor out for lunch and get her opinion on how I could better assimilate myself into the "resistance is futile" corporate culture. My supervisor was another secretary but on the Executive level. Her name was Karen and she was a very attractive black woman. On Surface, Karen was very polished and refined but when no one was looking (the white people) she quickly became ghetto and just another sister doing it for herself. I was naturally intrigued by her fakeness and wanted to learn how I could be more like her.

It was a sunny day and a Friday when we were scheduled to meet at the generic restaurant everyone at the company used for meetings. Twenty minutes before our date, Karen sent me an email telling me to meet her in front of the building, stating in quotes and capital letters that she felt like "BEING BAD!"

We caught a cab to a soul food restaurant that wasn't too far from the office. She giggled in the car that the place had the best catfish and the strongest long island ice teas and that after dealing with the white people all day, she was terribly in need of a drink. I didn't say a word.

We got  to the restaurant and she was right, the place did have the greasiest catfish and strongest long island ice teas that I'd ever had. On an empty stomach, I was drunk with one sip and ready to quit my job and run naked through the park.

We were on our second long island ice tea and second basket of catfish and laughing hysterically when I suddenly realized why I asked her to lunch in the first place. Before I could begin or inquire, she started telling me everything that she felt was wrong with me. "You know what your problem is" she spat at me in micro pieces of catfish, "You don't know how to play the game." I was quickly bitch slapped with a memory of when I was seven years old and forced by my Grandpa, supposedly for my own good, to try out for "Little League" baseball. I remember the hot sun and the heavy feeling of shame because I threw like a girl and was afraid of the ball. My coach was, to put it mildly, eccentric and liked insulting his players with daytime soap opera references. "He think he wonder woman twirling like as the world turns, boy just stand still and catch the damn ball." "If you don't stop crying I'm going to general hospitalized your ass." "Stop being so damn young and restless and get out there and hustle." "Oh my lawd, all my children going to shorten the days of my lives."

Karen was still talking and I had forgotten all about her. I turn back the channel and she was saying that she could tell that I probably went to college but I still came across too "black."  She whispered the word "black" like it was a dirty secret. It hadn't occurred to me that I was somehow supposed to lose my blackness in college like getting cured of leprosy. She smiled coyly and touched my hand in that "I'm black too" type of way and then quickly withdrew. I found myself gripping the table to stable my self for her next "I know what's wrong with you."

She took a big gulp of her wicked ice tea and tried to convince me that she was on my side and was only trying to help. She added that because I was a young black male, I naturally came across threatening. She also said that if I didn't try to polish that roughness or did a better job convincing the white folks I was a good nigga, the kind that belonged in the house and not outside in the fields, I was going to find myself out in the hot sun picking cotton, emptying trash cans and digging ditches. I could feel the vomit rising to my throat. I wanted to slap the bitch. I felt disgusted and argumentative, yet I said nothing. She was still my boss. She didn't stop talking even if my eyes told her shut the fuck up. I decided to order another long island ice tea because I wasn't drunk enough. I made a mental note to remind myself to never skip work and go out drinking with her again. I guess she felt she wasn't finished, so she reached back over to my plate and grabbed a couple of French fries out of my basket and shoved them in her mouth. She grabbed my hand again with her greasy fingers and said "I know that you're gay." I tried to grab my hand back but she wouldn't let go. She said that most of the male secretaries are gay. I try to think of whom she was referring but I know that there weren't any other male secretaries but me. She said that the problem with black gay men was that they weren't out with their gayness like white gay men. She said that black gay men just love the down low and being secretive. She said that I should try to be less black and more gay. I'd heard of the term "gay for pay" before, but she was just making it dirty and sick.  I imagined myself returning to work on Monday in hot pink daisy dukes and Manolo Blanik heels. I found it odd, that she didn't even bother to ask me if I was gay. I wondered if everyone else thought the same.

After lunch, neither one of us went back to work. She kissed me two times on the cheeks and said that we must go shopping one day. I pretended like I had an errand to run so I wouldn't have to catch a taxi with her. I also thought about quitting my job because I knew soon she would want me to do her hair or redecorate her apartment. 

Five hours later, I was more drunk and sipping on a small bottle of Absolute vodka while crying uncontrollably in the dressing room of Hugo Boss. I was supposed to be trying on a pair of flat front light wool suit pants to go with the Classic Oxford dress shirts that I purchased from Brooks Brothers. I wasn't having a break down because I spent a ridiculous amount of money trying to be more gay, but because I felt like I failed myself.  It was like I had forgotten something important or to be somebody important, and yet I couldn't remember who or what or why anymore. I was just tired of fighting. I felt like Kunte Kinte in the movie "Roots." I felt like that damn whip had gotten too powerful and I couldn't resist anymore. I was tired of being beaten. I had to say "Tobey." And at that exact moment I looked at my watch to document my time of death. I guess it was arrogant of me to believe that I could ever be happy.

One year later.

 My boss, I think he's beginning to trust me. My boss, he goes into these long winded speeches about what he does as if he has to explain to me in detail every angle of the company, but he never did that with his old secretary Sheryl. Sheryl said he treated her like a servant. My boss, he never gives me anything domestic to do, it's all technical, and he tells me to not worry about the filing and copying and that I should get one of the other female secretaries to do it because I need to focus on putting together the presentation or building that database. The problem is that I like the tedious secretary work and hate responsibility or having to think. I think my boss expects too much of me. The other day, he tells me about a new position the company is creating and it's mine if I wanted it. The position is Database Coordinator, basically the same work I'd been doing but with a better title and more money. The catch is that I'll have to supervise the other secretaries. I feel the vomit rising up again but this time I can't hold it down, so I run to the bathroom and heave dry air. I stick my middle right finger down my throat and twirl it around like a ballerina until I get the effect I want. I expel physical frustration. I feel satisfied. It suddenly dawns on me that there is a reason why there aren't too many male secretaries and it's because they get promoted. I feel conflicted. I feel what it must feel like to be a white heterosexual male. I also feel sad because the world is so unfair. It took poor Sheryl ten years of going to college at night before she could change careers. Women who become secretaries usually die secretaries. I feel the devil laughing.

Friday, December 31, 2010

In defense of the tragic fag

If I can’t reproduce with
And when I came
Back to perspective
Empty the trashcans on Tuesdays and Fridays
Watch sci-fi On lazy Sunday mornings
with no kids
Am I just a memory?
of you
think you are
Still going
what y
our father preaches
Is that it?
Or am I just family you didn’t adopt
Didn’t Sign
the papers,
we were
just was fucking
We just fucking/
What about the years?
Waiting for the passage to end
the greedy bottom always needing a bigger dick
and I am not doing it no more

How is it you
Pay for breakfast but I can’t
Inherit your condo
Is this the war of love or is it
That I’m just that
you deposed your lust
then quickly clean
I don’t want to be clean

In defense of the tragic fag
Who stayed when they said he was pretty
To figure out he wasn’t pretty
They always pretty
They are always pornography
Why I can’t be the whore
Who stayed in the game long enough?
To be respected
In the defense of the tragic
Waist 30, face like the motivation
Before the release
Died from
What’s ever current?
Did you solve the riddle?
In the defense of the tragic fag who keeps thinking
Boys like me
When I never wanted to be
A boy like me
What happens when you figure I am a man?
Or you decide I’m just another tragic
Or is this poem about you

White tickets when black inscription
in line for meat
Take a number to get serviced
Remember kill a bleeding god
for heart
Don’t need to peal you for the verdict
That night when the fireflies were committing
To get closer to light at the end of the tunnel
I knew I loved you
That’s how I could only love you
How you so desperately wanting
To be those fireflies

I used to piss on your radio
The sad love songs of idiots
Didn’t like to get touched
How you made me want to be
Sleep gorgeously
You usually got my resistance
And then you said somebody
is going to love
Save me
I just wanted to piss on you
And secrets cuz we were more than the risk

If you fucked Sean

Is that the name he gave you?
I used to think every time I went to sleep
I would become somebody
Be yourself
What if wanted to be
nine years old at the playground without the cops
Being called
Funny we keep trying to go back
He’s always trying to remind of the great fuck
Funny how men keep getting bored of their dick
New pornography
Funny he told me I would never be
calls me that name
looking for that fuck
don’t remember
it takes a liter for me to forget everything
dick hard
like the destruction
love the destruction
want the destruction
it tells me I’m pretty
he plays games.

My ass stood at the edge of cradle like a baby rocking in precarious human black leather sling, hearing the lecture like hot piss in Texas in August saying drink it cuz this is as good as it gets. It would’ve been worse, if I would’ve chased door one. I wanted to scream at him that he was lying. He had no idea how to talk to me and I knew after that night we would never speak to me anymore. The hazel crossed-eyed handyman and his abandoned affirmed dream that a niggard boy like me only fits in that world that hangs on his wall. I smiled, still fighting for my happy-ending, still holding on.

I told him I didn’t invent the game, just perfected, and gave it a soul. What if I told you there is a game? And he would say he don’t play games. But what is the real definition of a game albeit rivalry for acceptance, rewards, glory and memory. The sperm leaves the dick for the race to fertilize the egg, & out of millions most time only one will see life. That’s the fucking game. Love is the fucking game. Acceptance is the fucking game. Niggard you still on the bench. You made cuz I didn’t play you game or beat you at your game. The gamble is different from the game. A gamble is poor self-esteem depending on luck to decide its future. Niggard, I am an athlete. I wake up to play this shit. And niggard, when I win, cuz I’m going to win, you will respect my game. The game is practicing for struggled talent to be victorious.

The fisting diet

The want
To purge, cleanse for trust, the mind
Encourage the body to not fear of letting go and letting in
The five fingers balled into aggression
Watching him sway
Fingerprints in the palm of his hand
In the mirror above
To massage the habitual discipline
Partaken for the struggle pleasure
Of bragging rights.

The want
Convincing of the first drink before heating the water
Two days before I planned for Thursday
The no ordinary fuck demands methodical preparation
The selfness of my vanity exerting power
Smiling like it’s so easy
When I practiced too much
So when you see my eyes
With your fist in me
I smile that shy pretty boy smile
When it’s really is my intention of wanting
The opening, a different form of connection
I had been pushing the boundaries
Love pushing shit
Like a bully
Shock value of see what I can do
Like David Blaine
What this bastard gonna do this time
There was never a need, just a want
To be a little more

And then it goes back to the want
Body modification of pushing the line a little farther
No real athlete is born overnight
And it’s just a sport,
Maintain the stamina
Make him think he has discovered some key
When you’ve secretly been practicing for marathon
To make it look so easy
Cuz there is no secret or key, just time
And wanting a different reality

We change we conscious force to
Catch up with particular kink