When one have a lot ta say, one’s always looking for an audience. Whenever your audience walks away from you all a time, with little pretense fo’ being minimally polite about what’s going down with their day, without so much as a glance back at you, the heartbreak factor can figure into the equation pretty quick, if a person ain’t careful ’bout their own feelings.
Depends on who it is, too.
I gotten so’s I just expect certain people to walk away from me, as a matter of course, no reason whatsoever. I don’t let people like that be so far into what I’m feeling, dat they ever get the chance to break anything anywhere near my heart. They don’t always got to know about it, but I don’t let them get dat close till I be feelin’ different. I be at the point wi’ some people where I’s don’t care what they be carin’ about.
I get P.O.’ed sometimes.
One of the things about living where I is, here at Powder Ridge, is that there be so many people here who don’t seem to care nothing ’bout whether they hear me out or whether they don’t. They just treat me like they think I don’t notice they always findin’ ways to git away from me, regardless of what I be sayin’ to them. There come time to talk, and it weren’t like that at all. There be plenty of people around here like that, too.
Mostly, they don’t mean ya’ no harm.
They come to work for a paycheck, and I hain’t supposed to notice they be tryin’ to behave as though they care ’bout me, as if I don’t happen to be paying too much attention to what they be doing to make somethin’ happen too much. They always behave as though they got something else on their minds. Maybe they think I’m paying too much attention to them, but that’s where they’re wrong. It’s just that I’m noisy ’bout speakin’, when I have time to speak ’bout.
It means something to me to be speakin’.
I pay plenty attention to such people, maybe too much. I be going to pay closer attention to some those people’s that be in this place, in the near future, and be tryin’ to focusin’ too much energy into the idea of saying nothin’ too much to any those sorts of people in the first place. Gotta remember. They got a job to do and whatnot.
They not be listening to me anyway.
They could care less whether I be havin’ several famous relatives, or where I be from, or any of the rest of it. All they want is what they want in the first place. The game is about their agenda, not mine. Now I be talking about one specific idiot, who don’t know to do his job e’yday, and any ole thing on his job, anyway you look at it.
He be lazier than Hell.
He don’t really care about me, or who I be as an individual, or who I be related to, or what I be doin’ that’s meaningful to me, or any of the rest of dat Bull crap. Who they be kiddin’? They just want my attention when I’m under their care, so OK, I be given them my attention at the right time.
See, I been talkin’ about one male employee, an’ one female employee, ‘n’ there be a big difference between those two people. I don’t want to mention any names, ’cause I don’ like stirrin’ things up. I don’ want to give ‘way any identities, ’cause it be their job and whatnot. See?
It’ don’t be like the guy loves me or anything. Hain’t my dang brother or nothin’. Who do they think you’re kiddin’? They’re just blowing sunshine up my wazoo about how much we got in common, to focus my enthusiasm so’s they cin git what they want when they want it. They have some kind of agenda they want me to meet.
So, I look for his agenda. It be that simple.
I met this guy today, who did his level best to make up to me, as if I be somebody t’ him. He gave me all this sunshine up my wazoo, an’ all this razzmatazz ’bout how many t’ings we have in common in life. Who is he kidding? Well, no we hain’t, and the only t’ing that interests me about this guy be he seems like he’s good at what he does when he wants ta be.
He’s got a fresh approach what I be interested in.
I’m going ta be a good student, and pay attention.
But I hain’t goin’ ta fool myself into believing that he and I have very much of nothin’ in common, ’cause we hain’t. The other t’ing ’bout him be that he don’t care I’m an author, or who I be related to, or whatnot. He just wants my attention fo’ his own agenda, so I’ll show up when I’m supposed to, and focus on his agenda while I’m there.
He got absolutely no confidence in my attention span.
Heck with him.
That’s the whole territory of it, right there.
He wants me to want to remember to show up in the morning. So, I’ll make a concerted effort to show up, but I’m not going to believe a word what he says he has in common with me, ’cause the fact be we got very little in common. I told him I be an author, and he could have cared less.
Well, that guy don’t get too far into what makes me, me, from now on.
He can take a walk.
I been meanin’ ta tell ya’ sumpin’.
I been up da crik and down da avenue smoking fogs and drinkin’ Mad Dog 20/20, wi’ da Yo’s, da Blood’s, an’ da Bro’s, an’ I know what da **ck I’m talkin’ ’bout. See. It be me, an’ Skeeder Davis, an’ Hoot K’nipe was down da avenue tryin’ ta score a li’le brick o’ hash fo’ our heads, an’ ole Skeeder Davis was nervouser ‘n’ a priest in a ho’ house, an’ thunk it we sho’ld a bin packin’ a rod to be down on Dat avenue, when we wasn’t packin’.
It be dangerouser’n Hell down dere.
I guesst we’d done a-ight, Yo, ’cause nobody down dere bothered us none. Ah figurt all the Yo’s down dere could tell dat da three White boys in dat ole car drivin’ ’round i’ der neighborhood weren’t doin’ nothin’ ‘cept tryin’ to cop somepin stupid fo’ dere heads, and they just thunk it to themselves, so we could go right ahead ‘n’ cop sumpin’ anyway. We weren’t int’ nobody’s bidness, ‘ceptin’ dealer man’s bidness, and dat di’n’t hurt nothin’ a’ nobody but us.
It was our own dang bidness t’ try it.
So, da three o’ us would go down on dat avenue ev’yday, like we was crazy or sumpin’, and all the Bloods ever did was be talkin’ ‘mongst demselves ’bout how crazy we was, an’ Ah figgert we got ‘way with it more times than were our share, but nothin’ bad ever come of it, ‘ceptin’ we’d get wasted in our own, l’le ole car, and dat din’t hurt nobody but us.
We weren’t ne’ery popped for hit, n’ither.
So, we got ‘way scott free wi’ a brick a hash ev’ry day.
It wouldn’ta worked out for three White boys so easy in Prison, ’cause it’s w’ere the Bro’s rule, and White boys gotta watch what de do dere, according ta the boss man, an’ da’ boss man’s dark skinned. He hain’t no White boy on da inside.
White boys run t’ings out chere, but darkskin folk run t’ings on the inside. White boys got to join up wi’ da Brotherhood in Prison, o’ mine his own bidness good, o’ sumpun’ bad’ll happen to him some kinda way. Ah mean, Ah hain’t nerry been ta Prison, but Ah bin up da’ crik oft’ ‘nough I done heard ’bout what hit be goin’ on down der.
An’ Ah don’ want Yo t’inkin’ Ah be no kinda jail bird, ’cause I hain’t.
They be a diff’rence ‘tween goin’ up da crick and goin’ up da river, if Yo see what I be sayin’.
I ‘magine usin’ that much thick street dialect makes it hard for a body to understand what I be tryin’ to saying, so I’ll use a lot more whole words and a lot less contractions for the rest o’ this t’ing chere, but I just wanted you to see Ah know street dialect pretty fluent’. It be right out of the war zone, from the inner city folk down between driving North Avenue, and driving Pennsylvania Avenue, in the heartbeat o’ darkest Baltimore City, down where I be coppin’ hash, back in da day.
I knowd enough them city boys down there, as to be called Tarzan by some, when I was de only White boy on an all Black ward out the crazy house, where some those boys hang out in cold weather. It was a l’ll rough being the only one on da whole wart as was plain White, but one day da social worker took me out inta da day room, and tole everybody dere I was scaret of Black dogs!
I couldn’ believe dat lady talk like dat!
I ’bout mess’t myself. She asked da fellas to tell me what they thought of me. One o’ dem said I seemed like a nice guy over all, ‘ceptin’ seemed like I was always wantin’ him to fight somebody for him o’ sumpin’. Well, dat was a mixed up message, so I told him right in front of everybody all’s I was tryin’ to say was, he and I be friends.
None of the Dark skinned fellas, anywhere, ever hurt me any. I’s be good friends to lots of ’em. Well, couple of dem rob’ me on da street once, but they din’t hurt me. Matter of fact, it was other White boys what hurt me so bad when I was coppin’ my buzz ‘n’ all. Hit be better hangin’ out with da Dark skinned fellas, cause all they’d do’d be smoke some herb with me.
It was only da one Light skinned fella wanted to by some sauce once. Mostly, they be into herb.
Dat was cool till I straightened out. ‘Course, I hadn’t had to go on the inside all dat much ever since I been straightened out, neither. It’s possible to go on the inside when you only go up tha crick. There be a big difference ‘tween goin’ up da crick an’ goin’ up da river. Do yo feel me?
I di’n’t learn’t talk like diss from da TV.
So, now Ah hain’t be in no crazy house no mo’. I be in the Ritz, with plenty of crazy White people around. They all think they be eatin’ slop when they be eatin’ high on da hog. They be crazy. They all think their mess don’t stink, just ’cause they got to pay some money ta be chere, but I be right chere ta tell ’em we git better foot dan any kinda other crazy house I ever lived in.
Plus, they leave ya alone pretty darned good around chere too.