Date or Red Flag

Attempting to date for me was like collecting an assortment of crazies. Here it is 2013 and I am still a magnet for them. It was about eleven at night when I got a message on Facebook. It read, “Hey buddy.” I was puzzled as to why she was contacting me. I knew her. She was a manager at one of the places I worked. I wouldn’t have answered but she seemed stable enough, so I asked the deadly question, “How are you doing?”

She embarked on a tirade of misfortune. She had cancer, her mother was dying of cancer, her boyfriend dumped her four days earlier. I was taken aback. What the hell? I had never really spoken to her at length before, but I thought maybe she was just having a bad month. She told me where she lived and it was a block or so from my apartment, so I suggested that we should go for a walk so she could vent. I know, I know. It’s the nice-itis coming to the surface again. Anyway, I gave her my phone number and she called. That was when the conversation turned strange. She asked me if I saw her model pictures, and, from that she started talking about her breast size. Then she told me how many men she’d slept with; she had slept with twenty but that did not make her a whore. By this time I was already walking to her apartment or I would have faked a cough and stayed home. Then out of the blue she told me she was broke. I thought OK, what does that have to do with me? She babbled on some more about her problems for a few minutes. Again, out of the blue she suggested that we should go to a bar. I remember thinking, who the hell is going to pay for this? I was already outside her apartment, so no turning back. She continued to tell me that her brother died of a drug over dose three weeks earlier and her sister was in rehab. I was asking myself what the hell I had gotten myself into. She stepped out of her apartment. She was pretty; no more than four feet nine inches tall, dark eyes and long, dark hair and yes, she was drunk. So here I was, a seven foot black man, walking down the street with a pint size drunk white woman. We got to the bar and no sooner I was in there than a friend of mine took me outside,

Bro, that girl is crazy as shit,” he said. I told him I figured she was.

No bro, you don’t understand. Last week she told us that she was a CIA agent and she was serious too. ”

I thought, confirmation; I was with a walking Looney lady. I went back in, bought one drink and started trying to find ways to get out of this. She told me that her boyfriend and his father had locked her in their basement so she would not leave him. It was then I suggested that we go outside because I could not hear her. The second we stepped outside, she started paying attention to some kid and totally ignoring me. The young man was apprehensive; he kept looking at me to make sure I would not kick his ass for talking to my woman. Me, I was slowly backing up. I got the chance and took it and said I was going back inside to talk to my friend. While in there, I saw the young man looking at me because he realized why I left. Then all of a sudden a beat up old truck pulled up and she walked over to it and to my surprise jumped in and took off. I promise you, you have never seen a seven footer run so fast in your life. I got home, turned off my phone and shut off my computer. There is no way I wanted her to contact me ever again. 

15th Installment La Diablesse

The outfit was white and the shirt sagged on me when I put it on, the pants were bout two or three inches too short and they flapped against me ankles as I walked over to the mirror next to the dresser, I looked at meself, hell man; I felt like a damn clown all I needed now were big red shoes. I walked back over to the bed and sat down nervously waiting for what was to happen next. I thought bout the stories I had heard bout Obeah meetings, Dummy James had lost he voice after putting a spell on some woman who had jilted him, I mean, what was the man thinking, if you took one look at he face you would know why he damn woman left him. Anyway, the damn spell must have backfired or something because after he came back from the obeah man he sounded like a seal in heat when he talked. Let’s not forget Crazy Lucy, the woman lived in a broken down house on the street near the school I attended when I was about ten years old, man I tell you, that woman was crazy for so, I mean, she had this wild look in she eyes and some of me schoolmates had said that she frothed at the mouth when she got vexed. She had stepped in a potion she had laid out for she lover’s mistress and now one of she legs was twice the size of the other. I remember walking by that house afraid to look at her, she would chase we school kids with a broom all the while screaming that we was the devils children and we would burn in the pits of hell. At night when I went to bed I still heard she voice echoing in me head, I mean, these were two people I grew up hearing stories bout and I sure did not want to end up like them.
I got up and walked over to the window trying to clear me mind, the shadows of the tree branches stretched out across the yard like God’s fingers tightening he grip on the earth. I was becoming impatient, I mean, when the hell were they going to start this ceremony? Then as if they knew what I was thinking, the door opened and Alison and the old lady who opened the door for me earlier walked in.

“Is time,” Alison said she was wearing a black dress that came to just above she knees, the bright red turban wrapped tightly round her head complimented the plain design of her dress. The old woman was wearing a white dress with red pin strips on it and a black turban that looked like it was twice as big as Alison’s.

“Dis me aunt,” Alison said, bobbing she head in the direction of the woman, the woman smiled a very small smile and before I could ask any questions Alison reached over and turned off the light. The sudden darkness startled me and I had to follow the silhouette of the two women as they walked into the other room. The sent of the incense was not as strong as it was earlier in the day and only the candles burned casting ghostly shadows across the room, I walked cautiously keeping an eye on them bloody dolls.

We quickly went through the room and out the back door, the night air was cool and refreshing lifting some of the anxiety I felt in the house. Me toes sank into the moist mud making me realize that I had forgotten to put on me shoes so I stopped, but the women kept on walking.

“I have to go back,” I said, as I turned and ran back to the house. I stumbled through the candle lit room, I swear man, one of them bloody dolls winked at me. I went into the bedroom and I did not stop to find the light switch, I just fumbled round in the dark until I found me shoes, ran back to where the women stood waiting their body’s mere shadows in the sliver moonlight. They began to walk as I came out the door and I had to put on me shoes while on the run, breathing hard stumping me toes on rocks that stuck out on the path, good lord, I wish them two witches would slow down, I mean, here I was falling all over the place and they do not even care. They pressed on like soldiers on a life or death mission.
The wind grew stronger as we went higher up the hill, the trees swayed like crazy and those tall bamboo trees howled like hungry wolves. The path suddenly changed and I found meself stumbling downward, the sound of fire filled the night and dark clouds of smoke floated into the air just ahead, the moon changed from a silver colour to gray as the smoke covered it. Then I heard the drums it was a slow deliberate rhythm that seem to resonate through me body. The path came to an abrupt end and we walked onto grass and the sound of the drums was replaced by the murmuring of people, sweat rolled down me face and I shivered a little in the cool night air.

The two women walked faster and I had to jog to keep up with them. We came into a clearing where people stood round in a big circle with a huge bonfire in the middle. I stopped, what in the hell was that fire for? Sparks flew into the air and into the crowd causing them to scatter in all directions. I was surprised at how many people were there, they stood anxiously waiting for the ceremony to begin and to me discomfort they all turned and looked at me as I walked into the circle. A sense of panic went through me god help me, cause me fate was sealed for sure. I looked round at the people, were they all here to see me ceremony or was it normal for so many people to attend these things. In their eyes I saw how important this was to them, I mean, here I was a lost soul being brought back to the fold an educated fool who needed to be taught the ways of his ancestors, for the first time in me life I saw how strongly these people felt bout they beliefs.

Alison and she aunt had disappeared into the crowd and I found meself standing alone among all these strange people. They talked among themselves occasionally casting glances in me direction, man, I was so uncomfortable me knees felt like they was rubber, here were these people true believers and here I was a skeptic, a desperate man looking for some consolation after realizing that there are some things in the world that he had no explanation for. Some of them smiled at me I bet they knew me grandmother after all she was well known in these parts as an accomplished healer.

I walked across the middle of the circle trying me best to avoid the sparks coming from the fire, I walked into the crowd on the other side and tried to lose meself in them they parted, giving me room to get by, the men shook their heads and the women smiled as I went by. Suddenly the drummers picked up they beat and the crowd became more excited, oh hell, looks like the ceremony was bout to begin.

Last Lick

It was a breezy day, not too hot, just right for a walk, that is why I found myself standing looking up at the Crazy House. I was still wearing my blue shirt and Khaki pants, I did not even go home to change. I knew if I did Mommy Charles would never let come up here to go pick Golden Apples from Miss Hugh’s garden. Here I was, with Trevor and Michael, all three of us too afraid to walk by that building. We heard stories about how the people in that mental hospital would grab children and nobody heard from them again,

“You go first,” Trevor said, pushing Michael,

“Mon you crazy, you belong in dey too if you tink I go walk by dere,” They both turned and looked at me,

“Oh bloody no, yuh tink I want one ah dem come grab me eh?” We stood there looking at the building, it was big, well big for three thirteen year olds. After a few minutes Michael said,

Why don we all go at de same time eh?” Trevor and I nodded and slowly we started walking. I could hear they hears beating, sweat rolled do or faces. We go parallel to the from door and we walked on trying not to look at the building. Suddenly, a man ran out of the building and the chase was on. He was yelling, or was it laughing, I don’t know but it sounded terrifying. Now I was real skinny with big feet and I chose at that moment to be clumsy. I tripped on my big feet. Trevor and Michael did  not stop. So here I was laying on my stomach as the shadow of the man appeared in the road next to me. I turned around, his eyes were read and I swear I saw droll running out the side of his mouth. He stopped, looked at me like I was a mouse and he was the cat, you know that crazed look. Then suddenly his expression changed and he looked normal, like any other adult, he bent over tapped me on the shoulder and said,

“Last Lick,” Then turned and jogged back to the house. I lay there stunned, Trevor and Michael ran back and helped me up. The man stopped in front of the door, waved at us and disappeared inside.

Killer Plants

“What is this?” Henry asked as he looked up at the rose bushes. They stood about seven feet tall and their stems were about five feet in diameter. The scent of the rose blossoms permeated the air choking them a little. They were not the only flower that bloomed in the giant flower garden. Hibiscus bushes as tall as the roses stood up, their orange and red blossoms shimmered in the limited sunlight. All kinds of animals mulled around as if hypnotized by the beauty and aroma. Henry reached up and touched one of the rose petals. Drips of water rolled of the pink petal and onto the palm of his hand. He turned to Adofo,

“This is crazy, maybe the evil spirits are playing tricks on us,” he said and looked around confused. Henry left the rose bush and walked ahead turning around as he did,

“Still this is beautiful,” he said, as he closed his eyes and sniffed.

“This seems peaceful let us relax a minute and have lunch,” Adofo said as he looked around cautiously.  Cougars, mongooses, predator and prey moved around aimlessly. Henry heard a rustle next to him and he opened his eyes. The cougar he saw earlier stood looking at him.

“On second thought let’s keep moving,” Adofo said and Henry followed him.

They got to an area where the giant flowers changed species. One had bright red petals that glistened as if it had just rained. It was not tall, but its leaves and its core spread out on the ground in a circle about five feet in diameter. The cougar had followed them and had stepped on the plant. Suddenly the granular hairs on the petals wrapped around the animal. It growled and struggled, but the hairs tightened even more. Its head disappeared into the plant’s leaves then reappeared; its eyes were bulging as the killer plant squeezed its torso. The other animals began to stampede as the cougar roared and fought. Henry stood frozen with fear as the animals began to bump into him.

“Come on run!” Adofo shouted and moved towards Henry. A herd of wild hogs ran by ramming into Adofo. He stumbled backwards and yelled. Henry turned towards where Adofo had fallen. The stampede of animals ran into the jungle, and after the rush, Henry saw that Adofo had gotten to his feet but was leaned up against a tree struggling

“Let go, Adofo screamed. He was entrapped in a plant, his eyes bulging as he struggled. It was bright red and sparkled a little in the light. A small hood like spoon dangled at the tip of its leaves. Adofo was stuck in a funnel like zone of the gigantic leaf.

“Damn possessed bush!” Adofo screamed. The hairs on the leaf were pointed downwards making it hard for him to get his footing. The lower half of the funnel was large enough to swallow Adofo into the plant.  Henry leaped into action and used his machete to cut at the plant’s roots. 

“Hang On!” Henry shouted. Adofo gasped for breath as he slipped further down into the funnel. Henry swung the machete the

“For Christ sake, cut, cut, cut!” Henry screamed. Finally, the plant went limp, and the funnel flopped to the ground, and the hairs wilted immediately. Henry cut Adofo out of the thick leaf. Adofo exhaled as he struggled to get air to his lungs. Henry tried to pull him up, but his arms were covered with slim. He stopped trying and stood over Adofo as he composed himself. Adofo was finally able to stand up and wiped his eyes, and blew slime from his nose

You Don’t Need a Date you Need Therapy from the novel I am a Dirty Immigrant

Attempting to date for me was like collecting an assortment of crazies. Here it is 2013 and I am still a magnet for them. It was about eleven at night when I got a message on Facebook.  It read, “Hey buddy.”  I was puzzled as to why she was contacting me. I knew her. She was a manager at one of the places I worked. I wouldn’t have answered but she seemed stable enough, so I asked the deadly question, “How are you doing?” 

She embarked on a tirade of misfortune. She had cancer, her mother was dying of cancer, her boyfriend dumped her four days earlier. I was taken aback. What the hell? I had never really spoken to her at length before, but I thought maybe she was just having a bad month. She told me where she lived and it was a block or so from my apartment, so I suggested that we should go for a walk so she could vent. I know, I know. It’s the nice-itis coming to the surface again. Anyway, I gave her my phone number and she called. That was when the conversation turned strange. She asked me if I saw her model pictures, and, from that she started talking about her breast size. Then she told me how many men she’d slept with; she had slept with twenty but that did not make her a whore. By this time I was already walking to her apartment or I would have faked a cough and stayed home. Then out of the blue she told me she was broke. I thought OK, what does that have to do with me?  She babbled on some more about her problems for a few minutes. Again, out of the blue she suggested that we should go to a bar. I remember thinking, who the hell is going to pay for this?  I was already outside her apartment, so no turning back. She continued to tell me that her brother died of a drug over dose three weeks earlier and her sister was in rehab. I was asking myself what the hell I had gotten myself into. She stepped out of her apartment. She was pretty; no more than four feet nine inches tall, dark eyes and long, dark hair and yes, she was drunk. So here I was, a seven foot black man, walking down the street with a pint size drunk white woman. We got to the bar and no sooner I was in there than a friend of mine took me outside,

Bro, that girl is crazy as shit,” he said. I told him I figured she was.

No bro, you don’t understand. Last week she told us that she was a CIA agent and she was serious too. ”

I thought, confirmation; I was with a walking Looney lady. I went back in, bought one drink and started trying to find ways to get out of this. She told me that her boyfriend and his father had locked her in their basement so she would not leave him. It was then I suggested that we go outside because I could not hear her. The second we stepped outside, she started paying attention to some kid and totally ignoring me. The young man was apprehensive; he kept looking at me to make sure I would not kick his ass for talking to my woman. Me, I was slowly backing up. I got the chance and took it and said I was going back inside to talk to my friend. While in there, I saw the young man looking at me because he realized why I left. Then all of a sudden a beat up old truck pulled up and she walked over to it and to my surprise jumped in and took off.  I promise you, you have never seen a seven footer run so fast in your life. I got home, turned off my phone and shut off my computer. There is no way I wanted her to contact me ever again. 

Lady from Cinci from the novel I am a Dirty Immigrant

Now if you think that story was bizarre, on my way back, I stepped onto the bus and the only seat available was next to this lady. The people sitting behind her looked at me and laughed but I thought nothing of it. The second I sat down I knew I was in bloody trouble. There was a stench coming from her general direction. It smelt like fish that sat in the sun too long. I looked around for another seat but the bloody bus was filled to capacity. No sooner had I sat down than she started talking. Now don’t get me wrong; I am not one to look down on people, but this woman looked like she belonged in a mental institution. She was in her early thirties and by the deep crevices on her face one could tell that life had kicked her around. I acted like I could not speak English but the damn woman was persistent. I looked over at her and I hate to say it but her face looked like God had lost patience sculpting her, squatted and farted, thus leaving this unfinished product I saw before me. Now that was not so bad but my suspicions were confirmed when she spoke. Her breath smelled like an outhouse in the middle of the back woods. I spent the whole trip looking the other way, holding my breath. Now you would think that I would get some relief but hell no. Early in the morning I heard a moan and a gentleman came running to the back holding a baby. I smelled it before he got there. Bloody baby had a full diaper, brown mess dripping out, landing on the floor. The baby’s ass came to within an inch of my face

When we arrived back in The Blue Grass City, I hurried and grabbed my bags and started making my way off the bus. Well the crazy woman started screaming, saying that I should take care of my kids. Seemed she believed that I had left her with our kids to fend for herself. Looks like even some black people believe that black men all look alike. You should have seen the looks of reproach I got. And the fact that no one knew if we were together or not made for a bigger scene. Some of the sisters yelled curse words at me, saying that I was just like a black man abandoning his kids. I was so flabbergasted I fell off the bus, landing on my knees in the same parking lot of that same city I almost froze my ass off in. When I looked up, there was a group of rednecks looking down at me. I felt like I had jumped out of the frying pan right into the fire.

Crazy Knows No Nationality

When I was growing up I knew a crazy woman like that who also thought she could cast spells. All us kids believed she was an Obeah woman that could make an extra foot grow out of our ass. She would sit on her doorstep waiting for us to walk by after school. That woman had the reddest eyes you will ever see. Her hair was knotted up and bald in some spots. The veins on her arms were always swollen as if ready to burst and she always ground her teeth like a rabid dog. When we got close, she would stand up holding a crude cane with a black piece of cloth tied to the top of it. I remember trying to be brave, walking at first, looking at her from the corner of my eyes, my heart pounding so hard I felt my eyes throbbing. But when I came along side her doorstep, I would take off running and she would start chasing me, “I go put a curse on you, you little devil.”

I was running, screaming like a pig being chased by a butcher. That happened every day for years until one day I walked by her house and the door was closed and there was no movement in the house. I never saw crazy Lucy again.