Politricks, celebrity, sway, the corporate world, America? Artifice. CNN is the E! channel for Republicans. And I remember when Facebook was called CB radio. Bottom lines are everything.
I come from the fringe. I am a tiny sliver of the American pie. I died twice as a baby boy – a combined two minutes flatlined and the fates threw me back, a guppy in shark-infested waters. Witnessed murder shortly thereafter, those images branded: big ass knife, spreading pool of blood. I can go on but you couldn’t handle it. No one wants to hear about child rape anyway, right?
Especially not in this sacred social venue – I don’t want to hiccup anybody’s newsfeed flow. So ok, I’ll move on.
Except to say this aberrant childhood, replete with all its paradoxes, left me with nascent super powers. Like the ability to spot bullshit in less than half a second – you lie, I fly. Even with this genetic predisposition to debilitating disease. Go on. Try me. And I’ll show you the portorican Superman.
I didn’t find Art, Art found me. Pluck. Save the spic from the gutter. Sans male role models, I found my own: a doom-laden choir of damaged, self-destructive manchilds were nevertheless brill. Pryor, Lenny, Kinison, Hunter S., Tupac, et al. The revolutionaries came later – Malcolm, Martin, Albizu (click here). They taught me by example: tell The Truth. Expose hypocrisy. No matter the consequence. And use every venue – film, radio, TV, street corner soliloquy, spray paint on the side of a building (slew of truths etched into high school desks by moi back when; one said FAMILIES KILL). Simply by doing that, you’re pushing the envelope. And will be shunned, alienated, mocked, deplored, punished. Fuck it – it’s the only road leads to freedom.
You start telling the truth to people and people gonna
look at you like you was askin’ to fuck their mama or somethin’.
The truth…is gonna scare the shit outta folks.
– Richard Pryor, as Mudbone
‘You know I love you, right?’ she says, but it doesn’t matter cuz she’s leaving next flight to Somewhere Else. He stares into her eyes from behind his own, walled up since knowing of this day. She places her lips to his forehead and lets them sit there. He feels nothing. He won’t allow himself to feel anything. She pulls away, turning, eschewing that last glance. He stands immoveable, looking passively at her countenance as it walks through airport doors, from sunlight into darkness, his mind TiVoing it all for endless slow mo playback later. Or so he thinks. Because already her needs have been circumvented by his own – his need to not be complacent, to not acquiesce to another tearful goodbye, to not carry her bags through those doors (like mechanical mouths, consistently swallowing his future), her head on his indented shoulder. She turns a corner, lost to him. He kneels where he was standing, looks toward planes ascending, wishing he were on one. And his fucking journey begins in earnest.
‘Inside’ people at clinics in Mexico would snatch ‘good looking’ (i.e., light complexioned) babies to be brought here illegally and sold to rich white couples on Park Ave and the Upper West Side. One middle man had a conscience, kids of his own, tears in his eyes, justifying it to himself and the two lunatic Crooklyn Detectives doing the interview by saying they were saving these rugrats from lives of abject poverty, drugs, neglect – a persuasive argument if you were easily manipulated (as he himself seemed to be), or never held a baby in your arms, or even seen one.
I watched from a picture window next door as this man was reminded of bottom lines: stealing is against the law, stealing a child even more so, especially if the child dies, as some did. The man remained still then, no more tears. He closed his eyes and that round was done.
I knew I shouldn’t have been there. I didn’t know why I was. Except it seemed in line with the chaos I’d felt inside. The chaos that surrounded me then.
I was in grief.
Sipowicz and Simone left that room and entered mine. The older one nodded at me and smiled. ‘How’s that for a sociopath?’ This in reference to my having dubbed J.S., a young actor friend of my ex-girlfriend’s, as such after he drugged and sexually brutalized her one summer night (July 13th, 2006, to be exact). I’d first come to them the following Spring, after having pieced together the events of that evening and finding out he’d done it before, to other female friends of his (each of whom had blamed themselves).
‘Sociopaths don’t try that hard to justify to themselves the wrong they do.’ My irony-depleted reply.
‘He was kidding,’ the younger one said.
‘A little levity,’ from the older, as he slapped my back and told me to get the fuck out before they got fired again.
I did. It was the third and last time I’d see them. Until my dream this morning. Which has left me craving beach. Or a hug.