I heard the same sentiments from a couple of women I sat next to everyday at work. I was a little taken aback because these women were always being extra-friendly with me. Anyway, I expected that from the older of the two women. The younger one took me by surprise because she tried her best to portray an understanding of the plight of black people. She joined the conversation by stating that she did not believe in the mixing of races. This woman was a Jessica Simpson look-alike or wannabe, whichever way you see fit to categorize her. She stated emphatically that she would not allow her daughter to date a black man. I did not say anything at first, but when she insisted, I had to respond. I wanted to know why she felt that way, but she did not have a viable answer for me. I insisted, and she said that the children are the ones who suffer, so I informed her that it was people like her that made it hard for children of mixed origin.
She was speechless, her eyes rolling around in her head as she searched for an answer. She finally attacked my failed marriage, stating that it did not work because of our color difference. To tell you the truth, I had to stop and take a breath so as not to explode. Once again I had to explain to her that it was people of her mentality that made mixed relationships hard to maintain. I also let her know that it was not the ethnicity that ended our marriage. But still she insisted. Hell, I even heard her say that if a black man painted his dick white, she still would not sleep with him.
I was not defeated in my effort to show her that color played no role in how people feel about each other. The following day I embarked on a campaign of flirting. I was more tenacious than a politician, and from the beginning I knew I had her attention. I used my writing skills to woo her, using exotic images from my island. Every day she would come in and try to get my attention. She would swoon like a schoolgirl, always looking for my approval with what she wore or what color her hair was, and believe me she changed it daily. I laid on the poetic charm until I knew she was addicted to the attention, and then I stopped. Her reaction to me stopping was a little hostile, the wrath of an ignored woman. At one point I was walking by her when she told me to kiss her ass. For someone who would never date a black man, she sure seemed a little perturbed about losing the attention.
Here in the crispy cool morning, I find my daydreams, here in the crispy cool light, I start my new chapter.
At boys school I went to we played a game called Green Leaf. Simple game really, most of the time it was just two of us playing. The premise is that you have to always have a green leaf on your person or get their ass kicked. I always won, meting out beatdowns regularly. You see I used to always have a green leaf in my pants pocket. That was until one Saturday when Mommy Charles was washing my pants. “Anderson!” She screamed, I always knew that she was angry when she used my full name. Why are dere green leaves in your pockets, now your pants have green stains all over it,” I went into my bedroom and hid. That Monday, before I could get to a tree to pick a leaf my friend, lets call him Ian, came up behind me and shouted “Ggggggeeeeeennnn LLLleeeaaaaffff!” I took off running, he gave chase, “Ah say green leaf!” I got to the school and tried to hide but he found and unloaded a barrage of punched onto my arm, I tell you what, for weeks I was not able to raise my arm above my head. That game between me and him lasted for years until he moved to a different school. A yeah later, on my first day of secondary school, I was looking smart in my new uniform, strutting like a sagabuoy. All of a sudden I head Grrrreeeeennnnnllleeeeaaaffff!” I turned around to see Ian springing towards me, I took off but he caught up with me and blasted me with cuffs. For the next two years we beat each other black and blue. Running through the school, the city, the woods, even if one of us was playing cricket or soccer, when we heard green leaf, time to run. This continued for two years until Ian moved to Brooklyn, to tell you the truth, I was glad, I was tired of getting my ass beat up everyday. Five years later, I was a married man living in Brooklyn. It was a cold winter day with snow on the ground. I got off the subway and was walking to my job at the Fulton Mall when I head “Gggeeeeenn Leaf!” I thought, man that voice sound familiar. Then I heard someone running, instinctively I took off, slipping and sliding in the snow. Bumping people sometimes pushing them. “I say green leaf!” Ian shouted, laughing, gasping for breath. As I slide across the side walk I thought, what the hell, I am a grown man, this is not h=secondary school. Here I am in New York, running from a grown man as he shouted green leaf. People must think that a dealer was running from his client. I turned around just in time to see Ian slip and fall. He was laughing. He got up and came towards and I braced myself. He lifted both arms and stumbled into me and gave me a bear hug.
Grums stood at the top of the hill, he was dancing only his feet did not move, the upper half of his boy leaned like a coconut tree in strong wind. Then as if the wind pushed him, he stumbled down the mud path, who is grums you may ask, well Grums is the Crazy Lady’s boyfriend, on yes, that woman had a boyfriend. He got little way down the hill and stopped, looked around. A woman and her seven year old son started to walk down the hill behind him, but I do not think he saw them because he unbuttoned his pants, whipped his penis out and began to relieve himself. “Mommy, Mommy, Grums have a little ting!” The boy said pointing, “Boy, you want me to wash you mout out wid soap?” The woman said, turning to Grums, You is ah dutty bastard,” Grums stopped relieving himself and turned to her, “Wuman, you know he like it,” he said, the lady stepped to him and slapped him. Grums staggered back, almost falling. The lady walked away, “You betta run, you betta run!”Grums prancing around like one of them karate fighters he saw in movies. His pants fell to his ankles, he bent over to pull it up and one of the village’s trouble makers ran past him and kicked his naked butt. Grums stumbled forward but by some miracle managed to stay on his feet. He continued stumbling on, he walked past the corn patch and tried to pick a cord, but the corn survived. He walked by the empty field, a goat looked up, still chewing on some weeds. “Wah de hell you looking at?” Grums yelled at it. The goat looked at him. “Wah, you wan fight?” Grums yelled, then lowered his head and charged at the animal. The goat took off. Grums chased, hishead lowered, holding up his pants as he went. The goat got to just befopre the corn patch and stopped, Grums stumbled to a stop. The goat faced him, kicked its back legs and charged. I tell you what, I have never seen Grums move so fast. He ran around the corner next to our house, stopped and looked to make sure the goat was not behind him. He stopped in front of our gate, Hey tall buoy. I go go see me wuman,” he said laughing. “Get away from me gate nah mon,” I said. “Oh you jus jealous, I go go in dey and I go wuk dat ting,” He said gyrating. He was laughing so hard he let go of his pants and they dropped to his ankle, The neighbor on the other side of me laughed as Grums pulled his pants up. “Wey you laughing at?” He said and started to walk towards the man but changed his mind when the man started walking down to him. He got to the front of the Crazy Lady’s house and stopped, swayed back a little then walked up to the front door. Just as he was about to open the door Rasta walked out, yes, Rasta, the Crazy Lady’s new boyfriend. “Who you eh, who you!” Grums screamed, Rasta did not say anything, Crazy Lady stepped out from behind him. “Dat me new boyfren,” “You wah, you wah?” Grums screamed and took a swing at Rasta. Rasta pushed him and he stumbled back into the road. Preacherman walked by, his bible held close to his chest, he stopped looking at Grums, his pants down around his ankle, shouting curse words at Rasta. “You mudda!” Grums shouted, pointing at Rasta. The dreadlock boy ran past Preacherman and pushed Grums, he stumbled back about ten yard and sat in a bush of thorns, the man let out the loudest scream I ever heard. Preacheman ran over and pulled him out of the bushes, “It hurt for so, it hurt for so, tek dem out tek dem out!” He screamed. Some villagers were holding Rasta, Crazy Lady was laughing, and Preacherman was pulling thorns from Grums bare bamsi praying under his breath. I tell you what, I never laughed so hard in my whole life.