Flying Catterpillar is the next guest writer for Mix It Up Mondays. If you would like to read more by Flying Catterpillar, She can be contacted via her blog.
For a very brief spell I was courted by Lamar. He said "I hate books. I don't know when’s the last time I read a book." I should've known this one wasn't going far. He is handsome. He looks like he could be my brother…maybe he is. I don't know my mother in the physical form and every time I ask somebody about how she was when her mud looked like it was melting, they always give me the same spill about how dead people are so sweet. I know very little about my mother and the little that I do know is all good stuff.
Ma Sanchez always says “baby, yo motha was such a sweet heart and boy could she dress, she used to love shopping at that thrift store that used to be ova dere’ on Mulberry street, if Pat was anything she was different, she loved to be different.”
Pappy always says, “yeah ya moms didn't have many girlfriends, there was Cynthia and ummm what's that lady's name? she used to always hang with her but I forget her name, ask Ma Sanchez she should know the lady’s name; but yeah, ya moms was quiet I guess that’s where you get it from, she always kept to herself; now she was easygoing but, once you crossed her it was over that's that bull in her - she was a Taurus… she always had a book in her hand; she was silly, I remember I tried to teach her how to drive and she jus kept playin around, the sista can't drive i guess that’s where you get it from; oh, and she was always on the bus boooy, shoot I met her on the bus, she was standin' there lookin' all cute wit ya sista Frenchy... I memba for her birthday i surprised her and baked her a cake and she cried, that was touching...yeah you had a sister name Yasheekah and she died before you were born…when I was in a cast and I couldn't really get around too tough ya moms brought me a card and a minature toy car, the card said if i was rich i would buy you a mercedes.”
And my Aunt Tone always told me about how my moms used to work at Bamburgers, the old Macys downtown Newark and how mom took her to get her first real grown up bathing suit. That’s all I know about my motha…that’s all I know…
My mother is me. legs and all minus the bull tendency. I'm a Leo, we try to keep the peace but, if you crossed me I won't talk to you for a spell, then i'll begin to feel guilty and want you to smile and laugh with me again, so i'll hunt your attention with my charismatic leo ways - I never thought I was a typical Leo until I got mad with someone. yeah, so everything sounds jus like me, all the good stuff, but i want to know the juicy stuff. Lord knows I got me some secrets. Like I’m 23 and a virgin, Like I still feel guilty for playing show me yours and I’ll show you mines with my fake cousin Arty in the closet. Like I still feel guilty for letting the boys in the back of the class see my underwear in first grade. Like I want to get fucked something gentle. Like I eventually liked the way it felt when Uncle Manny touched me and kissed me. I want to know the good stuff. Stuff like could this young man that hates books really be my brother? Heavens, he may be my brother by both my mother and pappy. You know pappy got the baby in Virginia, Tangenika? She 17 and pappy ain't seen her since she was 1. You ask him why he ain't seen her and with a blank stare he replies "Sicely (that’s my half-sister Tangenika’s mother) done did me wrong Munch."
Lamar got them Chinese food and soy sauce lovin' eyes like me and pappy. And pappy's family is good with they hands. Uncle Ted was a drunk mechanic, Uncle Pete, Uncle Harold and cousin Dwight are all good with they hands. And Lamar is just a genius when it comes to computers. But Lamar’s not like pappy’s brothers, he's good with his hands but he's not like them. He’s reserved, it's in his bone structure, the way his cheek bones protrude across his face like the wood faces baba dawdou has hanging in his office at the community center. Uncle Ted and Pete resembled the masks a lil' bit but it was only by default. Their masks are no longer beautiful art from a distant land that could be displayed on a wall. They are more like replicas whose beauty gradually declined over the years.
Pappy refuses to debate with me. He thinks that age makes him wise. His old adage of children should be seen and not heard really fucked me up. I came here with gifts to share, but he don’t get it. He refuses to see my ma’s blood seeping out of my pen, he refuses to listen to my silence. He don’t get it…that blood clot in my ma’s brain exploded and leaked into the left tit that I was suckling on. Milk ain’t taste the same sense.
Pappy was young once. Really young. He used to wear an afro in the 70's to get girls but he wasn't down for the revolution. He took a job with the IRS. He always says thanks to affirmative action I got this job, yeah they were lookin' to diversify the IRS, so they came and got us brothers that sold insurance. Some of us didn't even have college degrees, but look at us some 15 years later and a lot of us are damn near close to making six figures a year. Every time I see pappy he's broke with a new gadget; big screen TV, that vacuum cleaner thing and that crunch contraption that's supposed to find new compartments for all that backed up fecal matter in his mid section. I don't find pappy mentally or spiritually attractive. He's handsome though, very handsome, like he got some history in him, like his grandfather lived all this new age shit. He got a soft heart, he cries at the drop of a dime. But that connection ain't there like it was in the life before. How can connections regress? Maybe I was a whore when I was mommy. I mean I went from the extremes of having a baby by Tommy, Frenchy’s father, the psychedelic pimp also known as Marlo the Latin lover of the seventies to having a baby by some linear, soft hearted skinny man that looked like his great grandma was snapped in National geographic with a wire tube hanging from her ear lobe to her top lip...No, I couldn't have been a whore. I look too young to have been a whore. I was good cuz I don't look a day over 16. Brother Dawdou, the director of Umoja community center on 11th street told me that if you look young in this life, then that means that you were good in your past life. So got damn it me and mommy wasn't no whore, maybe we were saints...but they fucked up too...ahhh, herbologist, like Monty from 14th and Mandala...helping lost souls get on Bobby Hemmitt's level all for a minimal fee. Maybe Pappy was a really good customer and he was nice to look at and he was just there, stuff happens sometimes, life gets lonely, even when the world says you're beautiful.
Needless to say Lamar stopped calling. I think it's because of mommy's picture that hangs on the wall in my room. The big one, the one that pappy says you went to New York and took especially for him. Lamar remembers the you that I used to be. When we were together he always would stare at that picture of you and ask me about you - the old me. I tried to answer all of his questions but I don't know much. I’m off balance. The last time that we were together, he looked up at your picture and he said that you are beautiful, mysteriously beautiful. He said "that half smirk and half smile makes her look like she's holding a secret." I was touched by his observant sensitivity, so I leaned into kiss him and he gently pushed me away...he looked disgusted and confused. We haven't spoke since...
By: Flying Catterpillar
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