A Monk is seated quietly, at the Golden Gates of Heaven.
A soldier who just lost his life in battle greets him at the gates. “Hello. Monk. Is this where I enter to get into heaven?” The monk gently smiles and asks..”Is it?” The soldier confused said “That’s what I just asked you? Is this the gate to Heaven? am I on the right path?” The monk smiled again and asked “Which path did you come from?” The soldier turned behind him, and there were thousands of roads and paths. “Which one did you come from?” asked the Monk. The soldier scratched his forehead and replied..”I don’t know. I didn’t know that I had traveled that many roads. What should I do? Should I go back?” he asked the monk. The Monk asked him..”Soldier if you do, which road would he take?” Frustrated the soldier dropped all he carried and began to cry. The monk continued to smile and sit quietly before him. The soldier again turned behind him and looked at the many places from which he traveled. He soon grew tired and weary and decided to sit. He sat and sat. For days, weeks, and years..The Soldier sat. The Monk sat. Until one day, a Grocery Clerk walked up. He smiled and said “Hello” to the Monk and the Soldier and continued to walk into the Golden Gates of Heaven.
The Soldier swiftly rose to his feet, and asked the Monk, in bewilderment, “Why did he do that? How did he do that?” The Monk smiled; ” Soldier, there are many paths behind you, but only one in front. Why would you question which way to go? The Soldier shrugged his shoulders and laughed. He gathered his things and walked right into the Golden Gates of Heaven.
“Never get too occupied with the past that you can not see the future”.
Bonsoir, chérie, Je vous partir Bonsoir, chérie, Je vous partir Je vous aime, beaucoup chérie Bonsoir, chérie, bonsoir….
“Good night Sweetheart, well it’s time to go..” hummed from her throat.
She wore a black pinstriped, pencil length skirt, with tailored white shirt deeply tucked. She loosely toddled with wide hips. Her weight shifting uneasy on her crooked heel; bent from an unfortunate mishap with a sidewalk crack.
A veiled, black Pill Box Hat, covered her dark hair; with a few tasseled strands, flustering about. She oozed step by step. Stealthily, she glided. Her head held high and a yellow clutch buried underneath her armpit. Bright Berried lipstick tainted her lips and way too much rouge hid her cheeks.
Up the concrete steps, she climbed. Holding black banister, and swinging opposite arm shyly behind her.
The glowing orange bell she pressed.
A loosely dressed young woman answered the door. She wore an over-sized, dingy T-shirt that hung from her shoulders. It barely covered her bare bottom. Her hair was unkempt and a violet bruise on her chest, peeked from underneath.
“Are you her?” she hinted. While slightly opening the door.
“Why, who else would I be, darling?” She mockingly whispered… Her voice was rasp, husky and slow. The girl widened the door and she entered..
“He’s in the bedroom at the top of the stairs.” The girl pointed.
“Alright” she briefed.
As the woman turned to leave.. The girl interrupted, “Um. Mam, don’t you need something else? I mean do you have help coming?“
“Ha!.. No honey, we need this to be discreet. Don’t cha worry none, love.. I got it under control.” She smirked.
She entered the room and discovered a gray haired, critically aged man, sprawled across the bed on his back. His head lay twisted, his chin was upright, and a single stream of blood hung from the corner of his mouth.
“Tis Tis” She shook her head. “I don’t feel sorry for you, you sick old bastard.” She went behind him, cigar in lip..” Aye honey.. you gotta light?” she called out.
” Uhh..Yes Mam.” She peeped. Up the stairs and in the room she darted. She held the light under the woman’s cigar… “Thanks babe.” “Hunh hunh.” The girl quickly sang.
“Darling, get that door for me..” said the woman, (nodding toward the bathroom)
She grabbed the man by the top of his arms, and tugged him from the bed to the floor. When his body hit the floor a pop of blood gushed from underneath him..
“Damn honey, how long has he been dead?”
“Just a couple of hours.” she responded.
“Fuck, this bastard probably didn’t have long to live anyway.” She pulled him into the bathroom and rolled him in the tub.. the clicks of her heels tickled the girl..
Umph. Umph. Umph… She shook her head. “What a mess!” as she glared at the carcass. “Oh well.” She quickly returned to the bedroom, grabbed her purse, pulled another cigar and eyed the girl.
She leaned on a dresser and stared at the girl. She pitied her.
“Here Hun, light this again“. The girl quickly came.
“Look here girly.. (While speaking with the cigar between her lips)..Why don’t you go tidy up and put some clothes on, you ain’t got to be naked all the time. Not no mo’.” (She slightly smiled and nodded at her)…”Give me some time and I’ll let cha know when I’m done.” She glanced at her, with piercing eye.
(Softly) “Oh..okay.” the girl murmured, and hesitantly left the room.
The woman shook her head.. .(Poor child..ain’t got a clue) she laughed..”Damn hoes, getting younger and younger, dirty bastards (referring to the men).
She closed and locked the door. Kicked off her shoes and sat on the edge of the bed.
A deep sigh fell from her chest..Oh..well, let me get this over with. She popped open her purse and retrieved a small bottle filled with a clear liquid. She went to the tub and sprinkled it all over the man. As each drop hit the man’s body..dust rose and small purple burns began to appear on his skin.. She muttered some gibberish and gestured a couple of hand movements into the air..and then sprinkled more. The bathroom soon became filled of nebulous fumes.
She coughed and fanned..smoked and gawked. Her eyes bulging from the sight of him. She gagged on the stench.. “Damn.” she grumbled, while fanning the air.
Peering down at him..What kinda hell-hole you come from? You bout the wickedest piece of shit I don come along on..in a long time.
His body withered, stretched and distorted. It hissed, and flailed. His gray hair now..scarlet..and ablaze..Wild loose hair sizzled and popped through the air. At one point, a fiery hair landed on her shirt, she quickly swiped it off..and anxiously brushed all hints of imaginary residue from her clothes.
With disbelief the Woman, watched.
The body convulsed feverishly. The arms jolted and jerked. Raggedy hands smacking the sides of the tub. His smoldering legs..army green with melting pea-green skin; flopped up and down. His toes..bluish gray and turned under..had drooped like rotten grapes.
A blue strange hue outlined him. His teeth clicked and rot from the root..His thick tongue gushed raspberry bubbles. He groaned and grumbled. Moaned and even seemed to smile.
“Aye! Fada!? What’s dis?” In thick Geechee tongue she questioned and rambled about. “Oh. Mi. What kind of sin is deez? Who’s dis Man, Fada? She shouted. “Who’s dis Man?“
“He’s wicked for true. I NEVA seen a evil like dis!” Fast. She placed the bottle on the edge of the bathroom sink, and her hat as well. She wiped the sweat from her forehead, then quickly reached back to tighten and restrain her hair.
Swiftly, she grabbed the bottle and dosed the man again. An even louder hiss screamed from the man.
She spoke in unknown tongue..and conjured all she had. Her eyes closed and rolled. Tears trickled from the creases.
She then looked up and spoke into the air. “Fada..Fada..dis here Angel ain’t right. He ain’t neva been right. You made a mistake by lettn dis one down here. Ya gotta take he and all his shit away from here. Take he away NOW, Fada.”
Instantly, the room grew dark and full of smoke. With both arms she swiftly collected it, she gathered, and firmly constructed (it) into shape with her hands.
She patted and molded. She slapped and sculpted. Finally, she was finished.
“Whew” she exhaled.
She opened her eyes, and all was well. The air was clear, the tub was empty, and the smell was fresh.
Carefully, holding (it) in the palm of her hand. She grabbed (it) with two fingers and rolled it back and forth. Stretching it out long and making it tight and taut. She then sealed the ends with spit from her lips.
She grabbed her hat, flipped it over, and placed (it) inside a hidden pocket underneath silver lining.
To the mirror, she retreated. She observed herself while she washed her hands and face. Fixed her hair. Straightened her clothes and replaced the Pill Box Hat on her head. She tilted, smiled and blew herself a goodbye kiss.
She exited the bathroom, climbed back into her heels, retrieved her purse, and re-applied her lipstick.
She placed her purse back under her armpit..opened the bedroom door, and called for the girl.
“I’m finished..girl!“. She chimed.
Excitedly, the girl appeared…with high-pitched voice..”Really?!” She brushed passed the woman and inspected the bedroom and bathroom. “Wow! There’s nothing left! What?..how’d you do it?” she stuttered in amazement.
The lady in The Pill Box Hat..looked at the girl, pulled a cigar from her hat and said…
“Don’t you worry your pretty little head about that girl.” (Smiled) and placed the cigar between her lips…”Hey, let me get that light again?”
Pale pink, knee length, halter. Tight lace bodice, with tiny roseate flowers peering through; snug enough to showcase the shiny hills of my caramel breast. Fluffy lace and chiffon ruffles flowed down my thighs with heavy ivory mesh underneath. Simple matching pink pumps; so not to overshadow the beauty of the dress.
I twirled in delight, in the floor length mirror hung from the back of my bedroom door. Left side view (perfect). Right side view (perfect). But, when I turned to view the rear, “Hmmm.” not so pleasing. “Damn it! My butt looks too big.”.
So, I went to the closet, pulled out the leather hat box. Placed it on the bed, and rummaged for my treasures.
I swiftly kicked the pumps off, reached my arms around the ruffles to hike the skirt; In went my right foot, now leg, a wist and pull up my thigh….snap..click..twist..wiggle. Plop and fall of the dress..
Once Again, I hiked up my skirt and pulled it over my head. I felt along the bed with my left hand, “Got it.” A clack in the air; (just for fun) and around my waist.. I tied. I wrapped, bonded and buckled. ” Whew..a bit constricting… but it’ll work”.
I gathered the final gems, and with a tiny gold safety pin, I flung my left arm around and underneath my armpit, I operated.
“Whew”…inhale, exhale.. “Done”.
Giddy..I returned to the mirror… Left side view (perfect)…..Right side view (perfect)… Rear….(no need) I raised up my skirt to admire my treasures and handy-work …. a lingering “Ni-ce” slithered from my lips.
Kissing my right thigh, compactly kept with black garter; was my Uncle’s army blade.. (a gift from my Twentieth birthday)
Blessing my waist was my favorite black leather whip; handle tucked deep in my thong.
Pinned in the back of my bodice, just below my right shoulder blade; hidden in china-red satin, was 3 glimmering razor blades.
I twinkled into my shoes, and danced a little jig…. “Someone better not dare say a thing about my butt!… I wish a muthafucka…would.” (smile)
Out My Mind. A young girl gossips of what she heard the “Porch Ladies” say about the Spiritual Rebirth of a neighborhood woman.
Let it go. Let it go..Let me go.
Something got a hold. Gripped tight. Tethered. Tied and wrapped.
Wound and bound.Thick wire looped around a large spindle.
Spun and Spiraled… Got me Circled
Mashed and grounded into powder and sprinkled on others chosen paths..rubbed out fresh and flat. Then blown apart.
Dazed and dizzy..LOST. Fragmented and disconnected. Jumbled
Spent and bought.
Sold and Resold to the cheapest bidder. Shiny hat and shiny shoes. Cheap metal and faded gold.
Exchanged and bartered. A bargain. Hustled OUT MY MIND..
(Pointing in their direction)……
Dem Porch Ladies say, she came home from church..and must’ve caught the Spirit.
Dey’ say… when she walked in her house..they heard hollering and shouting. A choir of Loud Revolution. Dey’ say the walls was singing sumpin’ fierce!
Then dey’ say…7 horsemen came a running and she came a flying.
Flapping and flat footed..BARE! Right out her house! She was leaping and hopping off the ground.
Dey’ say, she even levitated! Say she lifted so high, that Ol’ Man Perry tried to rope her down..but he couldn’t. (I ain’t lying..dat’s what dey say)
Dem’ porch ladies say …Dat girl was so hot and feverish that she was turned beet burnt red. And..dey say, she was dripping wet like somebody had dipped her in the river. Water and sweat was just pouring right off of her.
The Porch Ladies say, she caught the Holy Ghost!
She was speaking in tongues and scripture-fying. Quoting em’ like she wrote the book.
Leviticus 20:10“If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. “
Leviticus 20:25 “You shall therefore separate the clean beast from the unclean, and the unclean bird from the clean. You shall not make yourselves detestable by beast or by bird or by anything with which the ground crawls, which I have set apart for you to hold unclean.”
Luke 11:40 “You fools!”
Mathew 23:17 “Is it the Gold or the Temple that makes it?” she shouted. “Who am I? I’m the Temple..ain’t I?”
Jeremiah 48:10 “I do the Lords Work!!! I do the Lords Work!”
Exodus 35:1.. “These are the things that the LORD has commanded you to do: “God said it!!! God said it!!!”
(Proclaiming) “Deeze ain’t my words..Deeze Gods!”
Dey say, she started singing about how she been changed.. Dat finally, she been saved. She say she was healed by the blood.
Then dey’ say..she started shouting! She was shaking and moving real fast. At one time, she even threw down her bible and started church dancing on it.
She threw up, not long after that! Yep. That’s what Ms. Mattie say. (Nodding) She got sick sumptin’ real bad.
Say she got silent all a sudden.. then everything turned dark like a storm was coming. She vomited all over the porch steps then fell slain in the spirit. Down still..she lay.
But, The Horseman didn’t go up there (pointing to the porch) until they was sure she wasn’t getting up.
Once they got up there, they rolled her over..and dat’s when they saw the revolver.
Dat man over der’ (pointing) him in dat gray shirt…He say the walls is covered in blood. I seen em’ bringing bags out all day.
Mama say..the Coroner told her dat’ he ain’t neva seen nothing like dis’ in his 25 years of working and picking up bodies!
Bout time the Pastor and all dem’ church folk showed up..she was already gone. But dey’ say, dey’ keeping vigil for the rest of the week.
So, there they are (pointing across the street). Dey’ been out there… slow-singing and bringing flowers all day.