Friday, June 27, 2008

Let the Church Say Amen

when you walk into your church as an 8 year old understudy in a play about slavery where the kid that your understudying gets his eyes gouged out in the play and comes up to you after church when everybody has left and you are small and wearing patent leather shoes and little lace socks and a poncho that was crocheted by your mema and a dress with at blue top part and a tie in the back and he looks at you and smiles at you and asks if you want to have sex with him but you do not know exactly what sex is but you say no anyway but he’s a big 13 year old. a big 13 year old man. and you know that if you run you’ll be punished for running around the church and if you scream you’ll be punished for yelling in the lord’s house because the Jennings family just does not do that and because god doesn’t like ugly and you know that, little girl. and anyway he has put his dirty sock in your mouth because he knows that even though you would be punished for yelling in the lord’s house and that god does not like ugly you might scream anyway. and you have to be careful not to bleed on your church clothes. and you don’t remember what standing up felt like after, thank the lord. and you don’t remember how long it was before he got off of you, praise jesus. and he didn’t make you promise not to tell anyone anyway, hallelujah, praise him. a mother to the motherless and a father to me.

well when you walk out of that church, falling into a black hole seems less farfetched and getting into a plane crash seems more likely than living till the age of 13,15,17,20 and a it seems only right that you may be mauled by a bear eaten by a lion scooped up in your pool by a shark or a whale that you couldn’t see through the chlorinated water or be eaten by piranhas in the bathtub that were cleverly obscured by sweet smelling bubbles that grandma dumped in so that you could be clean on the lords day before Sunday school, let the church say amen. i mean who doesn’t worry about monsters in their closet at 19 years old or strangers waiting under their bed as they sleep ready to stab through the mattress at a moment’s notice? is it not somewhat likely that i may be walking down the dirt path behind mema’s house and be sucked into a whirlwind that i later find out is the rapture and meet jesus tonight, hallelujah praise him?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

i walk fast everywhere

so i’m trying this new thing where instead of sitting at home talking about how much I hate nola or amherst or anywhere else I write. i used to write a lot, and then things kinda got hectic. i used to have a xanga, but who needs a xanga, really. nola is beautiful and full of personality that hits you when you leave the airport in a way that makes you wheeze faster than the humidity does. but the humidity hits you too and makes you sticky so you barely even notice that mosquitoes have stuck their tiny dino back-from-the-dead bodies onto the unevenly tanned patch on your arm. everyone smells so good that you just wanna follow them everywhere. people say hi and want to talk on street corners. i am from new jersey. people do not want to say hi and talk on street corners there even if they know you. the mississippi river is not my river but it is a friendly river, when you are on the ferry it looks like a straight shoot down the river. the mississippi river makes me feel very black especially when i rode it on juneteenth, no longer being sold up or down the river from the mighty slaveport of the french. but that’s besides the point. all rivers smell like home to me. even the connecticut which for all intents and purposes smells like the old white folks that live near it and let their dogs swim in it and then swim in it themselves, maybe even with the dog i figure. when i walk through the quarter in booty shorts people ask me thinly guarded questions to determine whether or not i am a prostitute. no one cards on bourbon street. men follow me in cars. they honk their horns even when i don’t look at them. i walk fast everywhere.