Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Under the Sun

Why is it that, when you are a writer, people automatically ask you for grammatical advice concerning church programs and stuff? Even today a friend of mine asked for a stamped envelope. He thought I have tons of those around since I am a writer. I could only deliver a stamp.

Out of envelopes.

So . . .

Nothing else going on. It was an eventful day. Global warming is in full swing, it is mid-April and feels like mid-June. 87 degrees today. I set all the plants out and the roses are starting to bloom. I am going to have to spray them for fungus and stuff later.

The Garden Man came by today. He just cuts our grass, but I have the feeling that this chore and others is about to fall to me. There is something about him that I like. Can't figure it out. He is attractive. He just moved to Mufreesboro which is where everybody is moving. People are still buying in Antioch, LaVergne and Mufreesboro, while the rich guys are buying up this once coloured and vacated river bend of a city.

The HOV lanes now extend from the city to MTSU. Man!

I ran into Garden Man on the front sidewalk. He mulched the front of the house today. My mother has been talking about mulch for months. Turns out he only had enough to do half, when my mother thought that the quoted price was for the whole job. There is much a miscommunication between the two of them, the two of us -- Garden Man and my mother -- Me and my mother -- Me and Garden Man's stepfather (my next door neighbor) -- Garden Man's Mother and Me . . . I think the only two that get along are Garden Man's Mother and my Mother. But even there, I see some distance. Some Southern code of sexual and gender specific ethics. We all go to the same church. We all have a past together.

I heard Garden Man arguing with his stepfather, which I do with my father on a regular basis now. Come to think of it, I heard a childhood friend and his father screaming outside the house down the street in the adjacent circle. It is like all three of us are going through the same thing. If it is anything like what I am going through with the "Civil Rights Generation" parental leadership that I have, it has to do with love and money -- I think all three of us are chasing a different dream that goes beyond being a civil servant and having a mortgage. I just don't want to be thankful for what I got, I want a life!

Anyway, Garden Man is taller than me, slimmer than me, and has this wonderfully toned body. He is dark and smooth. His complexion is neither blemished nor speckled. He also has a bright smile and a pride . . . that Race Pride. It makes him a good gardener for our little slice of middle class Africana on the hill. I look at him and know that if I lived 50-years-ago in the struggle I would have jumped somebody's bones -- specifically his in a two piece grey suit and sunglasses. A man smelling like cologne and pomade does complete some budding fetish I am afraid. I think it goes back to the barber shop, when I was six. My first hard on's had to do with this guy rubbing his fingers around my ears to give me an edge up, which was disrupted when he was picking out my "kitchen". I like the way he smelled, and I liked the green water he rubbed on my minute scares, and the extra dabs behind the ears. I sensed that he thought I was attractive, maybe it was him admiring his work, I though he admired me. I saw him sometime ago after years.

He still admires me I guess.

Garden Man tells us all sad gossip. In the house down the way a woman is losing all of the men in her family to all the devilish haunts that snatch down black male babies aged 9 to 92 -- stabbings, sugar, salt, "in-and-out-of-prison" . . . etc. Garden Man is good for telling us what is happening in our neighborhood. How it is changing into something that we can't really recognize anymore. At least on the inside, the houses look the same on the outside, the grass is cut the same, edges of land are manicured and ornate with blooms, but we are aging out. There is no one to really populate it I guess.

People my age just moved away to Atlanta and never turned back. We are filling up with this back draft, this feeling of Third Worldliness is descending very slowly on me, I am not sure what others see, by I see a decline with a gradation that is as slight as bitter turning to white chocolate over the course of a thousand years. Yet, we feel it everyday.

The flight of the urban to the suburbs is bring a different world to these streets.

I wonder if I am becoming classist or if I already am. There is a part of my education and radical roots grounded in 1990's New York that causes me to psychically mutilate my mental body. I grasp at theoretical whips and chains like a monk ashamed that he looked at a ripe young ass in the middle of the street, or licked the bacon fat off of his fingers during Lent. But there is a fault. Radical theories of class do not flesh out true relationship between people. A few words, concerning powers do not tell it all. Great narratives do though. If we still have a use for them. I don't know what has happened to my love of words. I don't know what became of my certainties. I don't know what has become of questions of culture.

Like Jerome and me.

It is going to be a hot summer.

We used to say: "Let's make this summer hot."

Summer will be here before we know it.

Translation: "Let's go to the club and spot trade on the subway."

Still looking for work in Nasvhille. Kind of sick of it.

It was the late 90's. It was a time I thought was permanent.

It has not gotten any easier or clearer as to where I should plant a seed.

Me and my best friend Jerome.

But I know of a couple nice places to have a beer and that is alright.

I wonder what happened to him.

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