PE: The Unseen Enema!

I’m not sure if I ever feel “special” or “wanted”. I have determined the reason for this is an undiscovered birth defect that children in the future will be tested for.  They may even develop a vaccine.  It’d play out something like this:

(A happy couple with their new baby in tow, walks into a pediatrician’s office for baby’s first appointment. The doctor sits behind the desk, shuffles mindlessly through papers. It is apparent that all tests and labs are normal. Then he stumbles upon a piece of paper that causes him to stop and furrow his Andy Rooney like brow.)

Doctor:  Mr. and Mrs. Happy?

The Happies: (anxious) Yes?

Doctor:  I’ve got some difficult news.

Mr. Happy: What is it?

Doctor:  There is something terribly wrong with little Johnny.

Mrs. Happy:  Oh no!  But I did all the right things during my pregnancy! I exercised, ate the right foods, kept my pot smoking to a minimum, and refrained from contact with undesirable societal elements.

(Mrs. Happy dissolves into tears.)

Mr. Happy: (stiff upper lip) Alright doc.  Lay it on us.

Doctor: Little Johnny has PE.

Mrs Happy:  Oh My God No!!! No no no no no no no nonononononono! aaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!

(Mr. Happy slaps the shit out of Mrs. Happy)

Mrs. Happy: (to Mr. Happy) Thanks Honey. (to Doctor) Um, what’s PE?

Doctor: Perpetual Emptiness. No matter how much or how little love and affection you shower that little sonnovabitch with, he’ll still feel like a useless sack of shit, and act accordingly.

Mr. Happy: So, there’s a name for that now?  Thanks modern science!

Doctor: Yes, there is a name, and we are mere decades away from a cure!  Aboriginal children at a camp in a remote area of New Zealand are currently being used to test the vaccine.  When those little bastards stop bouncing off walls and spontaneously combusting we’ll know we’re almost there.

Mrs. Happy:  What do we do in the mean time?

Doctor: (ponders) Well it’s too late too abort.  There’s always abandonment or general disinterest in his life.

Mr. Happy:  Does that work?

Doctor:   I don’t know.  Go ask your father.

(Mr. and Mrs. Happy share a puzzled look.)

Doctor: Go on, get him out of here. There’s nothing else I can do for him.

(Mr. and Mrs. Happy leave with Little Johnny in hand.  Three months later, they divorce.  Six months later, Ms. Happy, under the assumed name of “Thunder Clap”, begins a lucrative career in striptease.  Little Johnny?  I’m not sure, but it is likely that he’s well on his way to becoming the savior or condemnation of modern society.)

The End.

(Cue Cape Fear theme music.)

I may suffer with PE, and we may be saying hello to my son’s great-grandchildren before there’s a cure, but dammit I know you like me! You really like me! (Please say you like me 😦 … and want me :/ .)

Alright I’m done being a jackass.  Happy Valentine’s Day to the all the lonely hearts!


Stardust Melody


“Yes, Nana?”

“Did I ever tell you about the time yo grandpa played clarinet with Glen Miller.”

“Only about a thousand times.”

“Glenn Miller said that your grandpa …”

“…blew that clarinet like nobody he’d ever heard before. One minute it’s Glenn Miller, the next Count Bassie, Louis Armstrong. Nana, are you okay?”

“What you mean am I ‘ok’?  I’m fine.  I’m trynna tell you somethin’ and you keep …”

“You need to eat.”

“Go in the top drawer over there and fetch me out that box of pictures.”

“Nana, you have to eat.  I’ve been here two days and you haven’t eaten more than a cup of ice cream.”

“I like ice cream.”

“Can you please just eat this applesauce? Please?!”

“I’ll eat every mouthful if you go over there and get my box of pictures out that drawer.”

She goes to get the pictures for her grandmother


The old woman fumbled through the box of photographs and pulls out the one she’s been looking for.

“There he is!”

“That’s grandpa?”

“Yeah! He was just a youngin’ here.  Handsome.  This couldn’ta been too much more before I met him. I sure loved him in that uniform.”

“I …”

“You look jus like ‘im. ‘Specially when he was young.”

The two stare at the photograph, lost in their own thoughts.  Her grandmother begins to sing.

“ ‘Sometimes I wonder why I spend such lonely nights …

“I got the pictures. Now we eat. That was the deal.”

“ ‘The melody haunts my reverie. And I am once again with you.’ ”


“Come on sing wit me Baby.  I know you know the words. ‘When our love was new–”

“ ‘Each kiss an inspiration.’ ”

They both sing.

“  ‘But that was long ago, now my consolation
Is in the stardust of a song
Beside a garden wall
When stars are bright!
And you are in my arms
The nightingale tells his fairy tale
A paradise where roses bloom’ ”

Now there is only one voice.

“ ‘Though I dream in’ … come on Nana this is the best … Nana?”


“No. No. No No No No No. No. Nana wake up please. Please wake up.”


“Baby. Finish the song.”

“I can’t. Don’t leave me, not now, I need you.”

“I ain’t neva goin’ nowhere. I’m gone always be here.  Now finish it.”


“ ‘Though I dream in vain
in my heart it will remain
My stardust melody
The melody of love’s refrain’ “

They are together. Now one life.


Gorgeous 🙂

Beach Boys

“Man to hell wit what you talkin’ bout!”
“I’m serious now.  I tell you there ain’t nothing like a woman with great big legs.”

“Oh yeah, Lena Mae got great big legs, and a great big ole ass, and stomach.”

“Big women treat you good Marsh, and they cook!”

“I ain’t nevah met nobody fulla more horse shit than you Octavius Greene. I declare. If you wanna talk to her friend, go on over there and talk to her and leave me out of it.”

“Women team up.  I ain’t gonna get two words outta that gal unless I bring you with me to keep Lena busy, you know that.”

“Take a sandwich over there.  That’ll keep her busy.”

“You ain’t worth a damn. What you got against Lena anyway?  Seem like I can recollect last summer you ain’t have a problem with Lena being plump at all. Seem like what I remember is you liked that a whole lot.”

“Man hush.”

“She put you down didn’t she?!”

“Get on away from me Octavius.”

“Marshall Chesterfield let a woman put him down! LAWD have mercy! The dignified educated nigger himself!”

“I said be quiet you red sonofabitch!”

“Marshall, what’s the matter with you man?! I was just joshin’ with you.”

“She said I was too black.”

“Lena Mae?”

“Yeah, said we could fool around however much we wanted to, but she couldn’t marry me.”

“You wanted to marry Lena Mae Taylor?!”

“Shit yeah man, the Taylors are a good family.”

“That why you wanted to marry her?”

“Yeah! Her father could get me a real good job when I get outta school. I had it planned out.  After you left last summer.  I courted her … boy I tell you, I bought that broad flowers, took her to the pictures, we was gettin’ pretty hot and heavy, then she laid it on me: “I like you a lot Marsh, but my daddy won’t let me be with nobody near as dark as you, plus you don’t really come from nothin’ ”

“Marsh, you know them Taylors.”

“Yeah, I know em. Hell with ’em.  I’ll make it just fine on my own. High yella niggas.”

“I ain’t gonna hear too much more a that.”

“What you gone do yella?”

“I’ma beat yo black ass is what I’m gone do, but I gotta do it before sun down else I won’t be able to see you.”

“You a fool Octavius.”

“Yep, a fool looking for a good time.  Now you gone go over there with me so I can get the first shot at this fine new gal or what?”

“I s’pose so.  Lena always up for a good time.”

“You rascal!  Look they wavin’ at us. Lena even got a camera. She gone take our picture.”

“I sure hope you show up in it.  It is daytime you know.”

Looking After Little Almita Randell


Clarice Randell marched back then forth down the vacant road and its barren surrounding landscape.  She turned a frightened eye to her oldest child.

“John, where she at?! You was supposed to be lookin’ after her!”

“Mama, I don’t know she was sittin’ right here just a minute ago.”

Before she could leap to attack her son, her husband grasped her wrist.

“Clarice juss calm down, she couldn’ta went too far.”

“Almita!!!!! I don’t trust it … these roads.  You know what they doin’ to colored folk down this way  Henry?!”

Silence, fear, and resentment hung heavy.  Father and son did the work of preparing the car to be road worthy.


Her mind drifted to a day a few months before.

“Baby don’t come in here!  Mama’s not feelin’ well and lord knows I don’t need you gettin’ what I got. Gone back in there with John.”

“It’s okay Mama. I’m a doctor.”

You a doctor?”

“Yes ma’am. I’m gonna take care of ya.”

“Is that right? Alright Ms. Doctor. Take care of me.”

Almita jumped right in staring intently into her mothers eyes, then ears, then throat. She flexed and bent her arms and legs. Finally, she put her head against her mother’s chest to listen to her heart.

It was here that the memory froze, and Clarice’s heart broke. Her legs folded and before she knew it she was on the ground. She sobbed heavily and cried out one last time.


There was brief silence, then the roaring of an engine. She lifted her head and was greeted by a large billow of dust. The jalopy pulled abruptly next to her nearly running her over. In an instant she heard …


Almita jumped out and ran over to her mother.

“What’s the matter Mama?”

Anger and relief washed over Clarice. She swatted Almita has hard as she could across her back side, then immediately kissed her and wept.

A small statured white man got out of the car.

“She yours?”


“You might wanna keep an eye on her.”

The twang in his voice and the implication that she would neglect her child, stirred hatred within her but the relief of having her child back kept it at bay. She rose, thanked him for his kindness and began to walk back toward her family. He followed.

Smiles and laughter as the family reunited fell to awkward silence.

“May I help you sir?”

“I fancy myself a photographer. You’re a right smart lookin’ group of coloreds. I wanna take your picture.”
Clarice looked to Henry.

“Yessir, but we do need to be gettin’ back on the road.”

“Won’t take me but a minute.”

The gentleman fumbled with his clunky equipment as Henry, John, and Clarice ready themselves to leave immediately after the photo was taken.  Almita, ever the curious rebel, ran toward the gentleman, past her father, down beside her brother, while resisting her mother’s last minute adjustments to her hair.

“Okay Mister! I’m Ready!”


photo courtesy of  the Waheed Photo Archive

Joe 1940.

* I’ve become very inspired by the Waheed Photo Archive Tumblr, so I’ve decided to write stories based on my internal perception of some of the pics.  Here’s the first one. I hope you enjoy!
He stood for a second and gave the pelican legged child a once over while fondling his pockets for cigarettes. Once located, he slid the package out and began rolled it slowly against the back of his hand never moving his eyes from her.

“Go in there and get me some beer.” he gruffed.

“Th-there ain’t none. Th-that’s why Momma went to the store.” the child stuttered. Her eyes frozen to the lithe brown man. The bones in his face leapt out from beneath his skin. Frighteningly tall from the child’s perspective, he seemed to be an apparition. As she continued to examine him, her own face became apparent in his and she faintly remembered seeing him before.

“You know who I am?”

“I think so.”

“I’m yo daddy. You was too little to remember the last time I came.”

She did though. The more she stared at him the more the memory came together. She remembered he smelled good, and that they had danced to some old time music that her mother liked to listen to when she was good and drunk.

“I do remember.” she said at last.



There was silence, mainly because neither knew what else to say, but also because they’d continued examining one another again.

“She say when she gonna be back?”

“No. She always take a long time. I guess she be takin’ to people.”

“Well I ain’t got time to wait.”

There was more silence, then he reached in the pocket of his lapel, pulled out a photo and handed it to her.

“You can keep that.”

It was a photo of him. He was young, full and handsome; the direct opposite of the hollowed out frame before her drawing in with much effort on a Pall Mall.

“Ok, I gotta go.”

“You comin’ back?”

“No. I won’t eva be back ‘round here no more.”

Her heart sank inside her warm chest. It felt like all her blood was leaving her.

She knew she would remember this day and this moment for the rest of her life. She would play it over in her mind a thousand times. Some days so she could remember him just as he was and the moment  just as it happened. But some days she would remember it but imagine if she could have done or said something differently so he wouldn’t go.

She cried. Her tears give way to sobbing. He stares at her, but does not react. He turns to leave, then stops.

“There are things, little girl, that you can’t and won’t eva understand. It’s best you get used to that or somebody gonna break that little heart of yours.”