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Parts Dirty Immigrant Storyteller

The Brothers From the novel I am a Dirty Immigrant

Let me tell you about some of the encounters I had with the brothers. Though not as negatively profound, there still was an attitude of “you are not one of us”. One thing I learned real quick is that if a black man dates a white woman, some black men assume she is a “brother lover” so they did everything to conquer her.

In the fall of nineteen eighty-six, The Coal Miner’s Daughter and I were standing in line at the cafeteria of the school. One of the football players, Specs I will call him, decided to “Mac” on her. I guess he thought there was no better time to try. Hell, I was standing right there, so I guess he was trying to make a fool of me because he occasionally turned to his jock buddies laughing. They wanted to teach the immigrant how it was done. The second time he turned to his friends, The Coal Miner’s Daughter handed me the tray and walked off. He stopped talking to his friends turned around with this stupid grin on his face. “What time you want me to ……….,” he asked as he turned around and stopped dead in his tracks when he realized he was talking to my chest. I could see the disappointment in his eyes when he he saw that he was not looking into the chest he wanted to. “Is seven good for you?” I asked, then blew him a kiss. His glasses almost fell off his face as laughter filled the cafeteria as his friends dogged him.

I was called every name in the book by some of these gentlemen. African booty scratcher, dirty Jamaican, starving Ethiopian – of course none of the above applied because I am a frigging Spice Islander. I was not mad about the way they treated me. I knew that people who felt like they were being oppressed usually deflected their lack of security on others; been there, done that. Now you may derive from my tone that I am a little perturbed with the brothers. Well to a certain degree I am. Where the hell were they when a white president ordered the invasion of a black nation? Did they take to the streets? Did they express solidarity? As a matter of fact the army that invaded the island was sixty percent black. Now there is a perfect example of keeping people separated by culture. The only brother that showed interest in our plight was Harry Belafonte. Thank you my friend; it was the humane thing to do.  

Categories
Parts Dirty Immigrant Storyteller

What you mean I eat Possum From the novel I am a Dirty Immigrant

I worked a lot of hours and I always worked the night shift. Thank God for Mountain Dew; I drank enough of it to fill up a bloody Olympic-size pool.  One of the places I worked was an apartment complex on Eleven Mile road. One night I was working when a rodent started screeching in the darkness.  I stepped out of the guard hut and saw two yellow eyes staring at me. It walked into the light and I thought, damn, this beast looks like something I’ve seen before. When the beast realized I was walking towards it, the bloody beast charged at me.  I turned and ran back to the hut and dove into the small window, landing on my head, my size seventeen feet sticking out the window. For a second everything went black. I dragged my feet off the window sill, my hip bouncing off the concrete floor. I stood up and looked out the window, joints cracking and head throbbing. This strange but familiar screech escaped from the beastly monster, echoing through the complex, sending chills down my spine. It stood on its hind legs looking up at me. Bloody thing looked like it was trying to climb in. I made sure the door was closed, sat in the chair and waited as the beast stood at the window most of the night, taunting me. Every time I looked out, it snarled, showing its rows of sharp teeth. The whole time I thought, “Damn, that bloody animal reminds me of home.”

The next day I told my brother about the incident. He smiled and then told me that he had seen a possum out there. That was the first time I realized that I had eaten the infernal animal. I had heard about people eating them in Kentucky and West Virginia but never realized what it was; back home we call it a Manique. Here I was laughing at rednecks for eating those nasty beasts. Here I am, a man who once feasted on the same meat. In my defense, my father had tricked me into eating the thing. I even used to go hunting them. We used to go to the woods at the back of the prison. One person would have a flash light and the others would have a Bangonet, a long bamboo spear. The person with the flashlight would shine the light into the possum’s eyes as it ran across a tree branch. We would poke at the beast with the Bangonet as another person with a burlap bag waited for the beast to fall into the bag. The point is, we are a lot alike. It is the bloody ideologies that make us believe we are different.