I was changing the work situation. Farr Associates Leadership Workshop was all set up and I got the messages all around and went far down till I was living in the motel across from the Greensboro Historical Museum. The credits say who I was with. I spent another week on the motel room to finish the video film I made that ended up titled Contractors Creed. It’s in the lineup of Transcendian on youtube. I’ve not done a show yet today. It’s way back towards the beginning. The cut is fine. It works a lot like The Wild Palms. Nobody who knows me likes it. They turn their head. It’s fucking videotape, a waste of time. All I had.
The breaking point was when I found a place for 375 a month and I knew I could hold it up. The stagehand jobs were ridiculous in that the tours were getting a fantastic deal on the labor, union labor, good labor. I think I tied in people like Prince for 15 dollars an hour after 8, maybe ten. It never seemed enough by the time I paid single mans taxes and the union got their little bit of 3 percent. Nothing was doing anything for my card. It was another local, another line of work.
The producers coming down out of Washington, from NY, from anywhere, as headed South, all of them laughing up their sleeves.
The little man in his little grey suit looked me up on line and refused to rent to me. I had to go. I’d met these people through the girl I was chasing. I started painting houses. They used my bank account to float for things. I lost count, of it. Painter culture. Ended up in motels. They drank heavy. Heavier than I ever thought about. I’d had a girl did real crazy things. Hail cabs when I told her we didn’t have money. Nearly got me arrested. Showed up later. You can’t live like that long or things get really bad.
You can see the tape.
There is another part.
I was in the hotel. Back then I had a semi automatic .22 long rifle Smith an Wesson. Fun to shoot. Really these guns, they are all too big. You can’t hide them. Carry them in a holster people see them. They get riled up.
I went to a motel bar. I can’t remember it. The name of it. One of those places. So I met this black girl and she invites me to go with her to a Black club in the Black part of town and I go. Think we take a cab. Yeah we take a cab. I’ve been to places. I went up with the girls and we saw Shaft in the balcony South Side of Chicago. All Black. Dawn said I was Blacker than most black guys. She was in the class. Sex crazed she got during the time we were in class. They were teaching us to be writers. Scholarship. I was disadvantaged. Broken home and all that.
It was a big deal with my dad, my family, my mother, Civil Rights. Poor Black Lady came to our door and asked to use the bathroom. They knew we were alright. The whole town knew. Mom made a big scene registering to vote about the goddamned Literacy Tests, since it was still Jim Crow in 1962.
Dad, Dad ended up teaching at A&T, and Winston Salem State. The humiliations he went through trying to save his marriage. I got pencil written letters. He loved me. He loved us. Four kids. Mom said he was “Having affairs with men.” Bob was around a lot. There were was a young guy. Told me I’d like poetry later. I was listening to Jim Morrison by then. 13. Morrison was a poet. Bob Dylan was a poet.
We lived in a fine house. It’s made ugly now like the University sucked all the beauty out of the town. Elon, it’s beautiful now. I went there to work on He Got Game. Black people turned out to hate gays, guys on the down low. Dad. Combat soldier in the last gasps of the war in France, Germany. Combat medal. That thing with the musket. I never knew till I had it on my jacket and a Union guy called me out on it. Don’t wear it unless you earned it. Taught me something.
Blacks and gays are outcasts. Dissidents. Dissidents like me. Outcast. When I wasn’t available for a girl I did it sometime. Fuck it. Nobody wants you if you need it. I saw a prostitute twice. I needed it. Men need it. Something, that’s what porno’s for lots of the time. I love a strip club. Some people stuck with it. Free love. It’s too much. You are alone. I had a girl was a sport fucker. Liberated. It’s hard to handle. Don’t think somebody is your soulmate so much. Just ’cause you think so, they don’t.
Nearly killed myself. Stupid.
So we get to the Club and this woman doesn’t have any ID. They won’t let her in the club. Stupid. I don’t need it. I let her go off in another car with friends of hers. I started walking back to the motel. I hinched up into the dark on the RR Tracks. I’m on a Black side of Town. I’m white. I’d about got robbed and beaten on the wrong in of Court Street off Flatbush one night. Was going to a party. Had a late train after the party. Zig Zagged back and forth when the gangs of 4, three, were walking towards me. I didn’t want to take any chances. End of the two blocks a guy with an umbrella starts running after me. I hail a Gypsy cab. Yelling. I had money. Tipped him big.
“Don’t leave till I’m in the door.”
I had to cut over to the sidewalk. I was near the motel. I’d been wearing like dress shoes. They weren’t good for running. They weren’t good for walking either.
Some foot falls are coming up fast behind me. I turn around and this Black guy is near on me. He was going to bowl me over. You don’t know what will happen to you when you go down on concrete.
“Hey, what you doing!”
“Nothing. I’m not do’in nothing. I’m not doing nothing.”
“Hey you were running up on me from behind.”
I keep backing up. I’m looking in the traffic. I’m looking for a cab. I’m looking for anything. The guy is hinching around. “Get away from me.”
He starts to come at me. I go into the road. There is traffic. He’s backed off. Tall skinny guy. Wearing basketball shorts. Tee shirt.
“I’m going to shoot you motherfucker.”
I got him on the other side of the road now. I guess he chased me and got on the other side of the lane. I’m looking at him. Has he got a gun for real? Mines locked in the motel room. I’m looking at him. Cab comes. I get in front of it. Dive in. Cab driver. “You got money?”
“Yeah, I got money, get me out of here.”
These women pushed Bernie Sanders off the stage screaming “Black Lives Matter.” Makes me think of it all. There is plenty of racism, and stupid people Black and White, White and Black. They grow like grass. Weeds choke out the flowers.