Listen Honey— Is your older brother dead?  He probably been dead a along time right?
I havent seem him for a long time.
He moved away?
He got the fuck away from me.
I know what that is.
Really? I think you dont know more now than you knew before you went off to the joint.
You might need me to get the fuck away from you too.
Aint nobody scared of you you old con job.
Way i see it that  works in my favor and not against it,right?
What you care about what Eric is doing now?
Up the way  I was given a message for him. Told it had to go straight from my mouth to his ears. From these lips to The God hisself as it were.
What if god is dead?
Then the word intended for The God will have died with him too.
We could go round like this all day talking in riddles.
Or we could just do the damn thing. pick up where we left off down memory lane.
I was just 14 then. i got appetites for other kinds of dishes now.
Was it something i said?
The road to hell is paved with some heavenly creatures but you are no longer one of them. The cherry popping was not ALL that memorable near as i can recall. Anyway Eric’s not dead. he’s in Seattle. Off the coast, really. On an island. He works on whaling boats now.
You’re shitting me.
Can’t make this stuff up. Friend of his dared him to come up and try it. Turned out he like it. a lot. next best thing to moving to Alaska he said. Corny MF says much as he loves playing his Bob Marley, he never thought he’d ever be a ‘wailer’.
Eric still got jokes huh?
And babies to feed . Three girls, two boys since ’09.
Goddamn. Is he building a nation up there?
The  girl had twins on the way when they met, no babydaddy in sight. The rest are his.
So you been up there?
Two times. A real sight to see if you know Eric like we do. We all might have pictured him becoming many things but never a whale-hunting Eskimo. Nobody ever pictured that on the radar. So you going all the way up there  to see him?
Guess i got to. But I  need a halfway decent  job first. That last letter  I got from Sanford  he also said to look you up Said  you might have something a brother could handle. Something about driving a truck?
Moving lifting and driving a truck. You still working on that novel.
Still putting down a line here, a line there every so often.
Ever gonna finish it?
Naw, not really.  Its just something to keep my mind stimulated in the cold wee hours before  the dawn. Finishing it would just mean I’d have to start a new one.
Whyd you do it?
The book. Oh you mean…..
Yeah that little old thing….
I really dont know. Once he called the cops on me in my own house….I just felt like I had nothing to lose…..
How’d that work out for you, all that fatalism?
So no brother  and no love.  Can you point me to that hauling and truck-diving  job?
A legit job? Or a job in the cut?
What you got that’s   legit of course. I just got out. Aint trying to waste all this free time looking over shoulder.
Of course ….I know a guy makes his living delivering art to galleries. Good honest labor. 12 hour days  but a lot of work He stays busy. I worked with him for while back. Money wasnt bad. For a while. Some of the work is light. Some is like moving an apartment. Some of the damn installations and shit. Furniture books shelves, big ass disco speakers, Once we even moved a fleet of small tractors for a show. he had to bootleg borrow a  couple flatbed trucks from a friend  for that one.
Never a dull moment?
Plenty of dull moments but sometimes every once in a while you get like a nice science project. the spice of life.
i’ll check him out. where’s his operation
Out on the slip.
I gotta take a boat?
Or the prison bus. Else  jog across the bridge.
Even in this weather?
Crime waits for any man. Good honest labour always awaits those who don’t mind grinding like  a Mexican. I just put you ahead of the pack gringo. Dude  prefers English speaking cats because its the art game— tweaky high strung clients and all— but he’ll take come what may  tails. jazz and cocktails. a Strayhorn or a Rolling Stone. Don’t let a Mexican beat you out of  a job tailor made for a college educated nigga like you who knows how to speak American.

Author: Enter My Cipher

Author/musician/cultural provocateur who thrives in Harlem, Howard U Bison Nation rep-at-large, co-founder of the Black Rock Coalition, leader of the Conducted Improv big band Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber since 1999, Rivers On Mars collaborator, That Dude whose books include Flyboy In The Buttermilk, Flyboy 2 The Greg Tate Reader, Midnight Lightning:Jimi Hendrix and The Black Experience, Everything But The Burden--What White People Are Taking From Black Culture and the forthcoming Beast Mode:Iconic Gods and Monsters of the Black Atlantic (FS&G,2020)

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