The Virtual Sex Lives of Famous Negro Artists by Greg Tate

THE VIRTUAL SEX LIVES OF FAMOUS NEGRO ARTISTS.

Chatter One

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All famous negro artists studios are the same–a droning  hubub of syncophantic housenigga activity–except when they’re not the same at all, and are in fact more like that of some doomed  and unhappy Czarist family After The Revolution Comes. Citadels of fear and gloom akin to some Thing escaped howling mad from the pages of  Tolstoy and Nabakov only to be cut-up with Burroughsian savor faire by a snap queen with a flinty arrow.  

    Neither description quite applied to the generally smooth-running operation of my Straw Boss and Artworld Dungeon Mistress Lillian Robeson ( distant cousin to Paul, by marriage, in case anyone cares).  Especially on those wild weekends when Lillian chose to import a select cast of  roustabouts, ruffians, roughnecks,  poseurs, and harlots high and low,  to role-play for her next body of  exquisitely demented and pornogrpahic short films and photographic projects. 

      This motley crew was partly culled from her social circle–all the celebrity chef, friends, neighbors and collectors you’d expect. This group was then. liberally  filled out with a dozen or so random characters chosen with care by one of Lillian’s fearless and intrepid street-teams. 

   On any given weekend these intrepid fishers of hipsters might be seen beating  the pavement on Lillian’s behalf in what  we all know is world’s most  fashion forward cattle-call, New York Shitty. The Big City of screams, dreams and the aforementioned snap-queens.

  

      It was not Lillian who first took to calling them her Cool Seeking Missiles, No, that was me, tongue in cheek, of course —I’m generally  hardly that corny. But once it got out to the media, the Cool Seeking Missiles barely  had to recruit for members. After all, who doesn’t want to be told they’re cool enough to decide who else in Gotham is cool enough too? (Most of you are just a clipboard away from becoming clip-board Nazi, or would be if given the opportunity.)

  

       I had gotten my own start with Lillian way before I thought of a name for the CSM. This would’ve been way back  in the late 90s when I was  still at Pratt. From there I slowly worked my way inside the holy House  of Lillian’s Love . By the turn of the century I had graduated in true Winky Dinky Dog  fashion (Google  Hollywood Shuffle ) from Assistant to Assistant Crew Chief to Lillian’s Second Chief Studio Assistant. 

      Before we’d even gotten halfway into the new century’s first decade  I was enjoying my  second year  as the boss’s Studio Manager. I’m now known worldwide as  the second most tenured and powerful employee in Lillian’s operation. This, in arttworld terms,  is a position s roughly equivalent on a scale of Being and Nothingness to being somewhere between pretty hot shit —though not my personal mountaintop— and being one of the best paid  flunkies of Famous Negress Artiste in all of tarnation. 

       No applause  please, (though thanks for the fawning appreciation), but it really don’t mean jack to me other than a health plan and a paycheck, and okay, sometimes more monkey-shine ass fun than you can can shake a barrel of banana peels at. 

        I do sometimes wish I  felt more like  the  last guy to leave the second classic Miles Davis Quintet. Like  say, That Major Dude  Herbie Hancock before he went off to form the Headhunters or Wayne Shorter before  he slipped into Weather Report. Course Being All Thats  would imply I had enough cache to just up and leave after 5 years and jumpstart my own faltering career. Uh, no, I don’t think it’s  going down like that anytime soon.

     Instead my position in Lillian’s world was caught in a holding pattern. Destined I fear to be more like that of your friend the lifetime grad student: You know who I mean—the guy  still holding down an associate librarian position at the same Ivy League university where he was on year eight of his incomplete  dissertation entitled ‘’Tragic Magic Realism,  Creative Mutilation in the Village ‘Literatures’ of  Romare Bearden and Toni Morrison”.  

        In other words my high-posting job was a no-brainer in service to real genius. A gig  requiring little original research, thought, or imagination. One exactly  like an academic  work of staggering banality destined to disappear on contact with air and which no one, not even the author ever expects to be mistaken for some heartbreaking work of deep, dark Stygian genus. 

       In other words I was like so many of my peers;  stuck in my mid to late 30s sucking air in a studio assistant gig while waiting for a better idea  or two to show up in my own work.  

Therefore I will  likely spend the rest of my 30s praying I’m  not doomed to spend my 40s caught up in Lillian’s tractor beam. 

I certainly didn’t want to end up like her beloved pater famlias Patrick. 

  

        Monsieur Patrick was many things to The Missus Lillian. He held many titles and attributes in her queendom. He was, variously, depending on day and task at hand,  her stalwart Man Friday,  her very own grey-haired eminence, her deliver-of-offers one shouldn’t refuse consigliere a la Robert Duvall’s Tom Hagen in The Godfather, her debonair head assassin a la  Geoffrey Rush’s swashbuckling protector of  Elizabeth’s throne, 

         

    Among my top five New York nightmares was Patrick suddenly abdicating his place beside  Lilian’s throne, and announcing an emergency retirement. 

     Patrick had been attached to Lillian since oh, forever and a day. They had known each other since about when exactly? At least as far back as her early 20s when she first began showing and selling her student work hot out of grad school  way back in the late 80s.  

         Patrick related to us that  he’d found his way to Lillian via her friend Allegra, a Nigerian writer who’d introduced Lil  to her uncle Pat, recently returned  from  a twenty year exile in Algeria after experiencing a major broken heart after his lover of  35 years  had died in his arms from a sudden and merciless malady.  (About this catastrophe one  infamously bitchy studio assistant had taken to dubbing  any recounting of Patricks trauma  as ‘The Algerian Hotel Incident ‘. When this bad bit of comic relief was traced back to him the poor fellow wasn’t just asked to leave, he was shown the door with a royal foot up his ass, courtesy of Patrick).

  Allegra had related Patrick’s wrenching  loss to Lillian before she knew her  beloved Uncle was coming to New York on business. When they were first introduced it was Gay Dad/Genius Negress/Gay Daddy-daughter love at first sight for those two.

    Patrick reminded Lillian of her own Dad– a  retired gentleman of leisure who’d passed on two years prior to their meeting; Lillian  reminding him of the daughter he’d help conceive but had never gotten to  know. 

    (The only woman Patrick had ever slept with way way way back in the late 60s was his common-law hippie wife, Marsha Beth Janowitz, a woman who’d  turned Jesus Freak and then Jehovah’s Witness before moving  to Guam with their infant daughter,  Persephone Prometheus,  in the mid 70s. Ostensibly  to build  digital village wells and sewage treatment plants in the name of The Redeemer. Last Patrick had  heard there was an entire section of rainforest named after Marsha Beth. About Prpsephone Promoteus, who by now was 48, he had heard nothing in decades.)

        Thanks to Patrick’s stern forbidding presence the death rattle of paparazzi-attracting fame and instant celebrity misfortune that had attempted to stalk Lillian’s early success had been kept at bay for almost two decades now. 

     Patrick’s  Mafia-like readiness to ‘take out the garbage’ had allowed Lillian to focus on not ever repeating herself—more or less like her only artworld idol, David Hammons who’d also never repeated himself. (Hammons, David, b. Chicago, 1945, came to fame in Los Angeles in the late 60s with his ‘body-print’ series,  portraiture involving ink,paper, live bodies and vaseiline; moved to New York and Harlem in 1975, still continues to make work using a plethora of unconventional materials such as grocery bags, lice-ridden hair from barbershop floors, telephone poles, basketall hoops, chandeliers, bottle caps, two tears in a  bucket,  hand made perfectly round snowballs and big well-rounded balls of elephant dung). 

   Thanks to Lillian’s gratitude for her continued sanity, Patrick’s nurturing and protective Papa Bear persona was given a place to heal for life from the loss of his beloved Thomas. 

       Lillian also gave Patrick the license to ill on or  stiff arm  any fool who brought a whiff of haterade or distraction to her door-step. 

Note that this permission to dissuade unwelcome visitors  extended not only to friends, family, neighbors, fellow artists, curators and even collectors, but also to the occasional ex-lover who didnt know his or her shelf life was up.  

Patrick, in a word, was no-joke.

      He enjoyed his power, his position and the intimidation factor that he  loved exuding with it. If it didn’t make up for his grievous loss it certainly gave him a reason to do more than just get up and stay mad at god and the world in the  morning.

          No one wished Patrick eternal life more than me, not even Lillian. Simply because the utter collapse of my own career ambitions ( creative and social, inside and well beyond the studio) could stay well hidden behind Patricks’s robust alpha dominance of Lillian’s life,  As long as Patrick’s haploid heart kept beating  my own long-running contribution of service in Lillian’s employ continued to be obscured, opaque, mystifying, even. 

   So when I,  with a straight face, would croon  ‘pay is good/ health care superb/for sure/ but mainly I’m just doing this part-time to keep the lights on in my own studio’ nobody questioned what I was doing or not doing in the pursuit of my own shit.

(Being in the shadow of some else’s success is annoying but not intolerable; being in the shadow of genius is simply debilitating. I’m here to testify). 

     

   As long as Patrick remained  large and in charge,  nobody outside the ranks had to know the real  truth. That I had become as indispensable and dependent upon Lillian’s workflow as Patrick. Or that I  more and more functioned in his stead–misdirecting the clamoring hordes who would come knocking for Lillian’s attention when Patrick made his yearly return to Africa around the crucial time of late  August to mourn  at Thomas’ gravesite. 

     A trip always  un-propitiously set just when all those  last little things had to be finalized for Lillian’s fall exhibitions, of which there usually three about to go down in far-apart region of the globe.

         Only enough of all this and that about Patrick and me. Because in no way shape or form am I trying to surreptitiously tell my story through Lillian’s (that would be a short story indeed). Because as we all know the true center of the universe, and of our story, is the fabulous Lillian and  those wildass production weekends of  hers. Events of which much has been speculated and  which very little has ever been written that I’d consider accurate, or  even very much revealing.

     Just so you know: Now the big question for me before I took this assignment at Lillian’s request was exactly which of those wild weekends I felt warranted being presented for  public inspection and schadenfreude. 

     While it would have been easier to choose from one of a more ancient vintage– given that many of the principals are (as fate would have it) beyond caring, seeing as how they’re all presently either too wealthy, too forgotten, too high or too dead to care— how much fun would they really be for today’s mass audience?  

Yes I’m talking about all you vaguely curious too-smart-for your-britches  post teen and tween folk living in the pop-cultural here and now.   

      What I’ve decided is that  instead of taking you way back, I’ve chosen to take you back only three  years. Practically a full-on epoch in pop cultural terms I know, but certainly not an entire cultural millennia by any stretch. 

 

    Having been in attendance  at a decades worth of Lillian’s shoots, I think I can safely  say, and with a total lack of exaggeration, that most of  her wildass production weekends have been  quite wildassedly predictable in terms of their general salaciousness quotient. 

    By which I mean nearly any one of them could provide all the predictable amounts of nudity, drunkenness, obscenity and otherwise lewd and lascivious behaviors necessary to keep the blogosphere near bursting with scandalous celeb-on-celeb crimes, misdemeanors and peccadilloes. Thus keeping our culture’s 24 hour gossip cycle satisfied for easily a fortnight. 

    Yet,  while any of those wildass production weekends might easily answer what happens when hordes of the beautiful and the damned get incestuously corralled in a controlled environment for a few intoxicating days of butt-nekkid simulated love-making and revelry, the weekend I’ve chosen has special significance.  Less for who was zooming who and more because it was the one and only one to  ever be shaken and stirred by the quite Jane Austenesque appearance of Lillian’s own proverbial madwoman in the attic, her sibling Sybil, Jack, Lillian’s  certifiably batty  and once believed lost-in-the Amazon baby-sister nee Jacqueline.

     On the weekend-in-question,  Jack  turned out to be neither lost nor lacking in familial  over-familiarity when she showed up at Lillian’s  door demanding not only a place at the table of Lillian’s success but a room of her own with studio privileges to boot. 

(What happens to a dream deferred? These days it shows up on your doorstep in rags posturing like the cock of the walk and expects to be treated like a queen).

   Two years earlier Jack had virtually vanished beneath the family’s radar. An event which alarmed no one one since it meant she was less likely to come mooching and marauding at their doorsteps..

    Jack was last thought to have descended into a romantic maelstrom of her own devise with her man at the time, Bryan Lorq  Byron Jones— fledgling first-novelist, intrepid globetrotter and bon vivant. A macho and controlling kind of brother  who was allegedly  requiring that jack  play a damnably Eurydice/Marpessa Dawn outlaw-sidekickitype chick type role to his  Orphic loser/Orwell-in-London fantasies of living in  Sao Paulo’s favelas until he finished his bold and deviant novelization of  the bold and deviant 1970s  cult film classic Touki-Bouki by Senegalese director magnifique Djibril Diop Mambéty.

      Somehow, as it turned out, in Jack and  Bryan Lorq Byron Jones’ version of the Greeks favorite doomed-love myth that Eurydice would walk out of hell alive  while Orpheus stayed behind,  snugly and smugly waxing lyrical odes to his own class-traitor demons. 

But in the brief time she and Lorq Byron spent in  Sao Paulo’s high-tech maroon colonies on the hill, they were routinely shot at, robbed, beaten, raided,  nd made to up and runoff in the middle of the night on  numerous occasions. 

       Three years into these misadventures however, Jones  finally finished his adaptation. Thats when, much to Jack’s aghast and chagrin, the rebel-couple’s real journey into nightmare began, from Jack’s  radically precious perspective.

       Lorq Byron not only became a lauded African American first–as in First Nigra from the states to write a Brasilian bestseller based on an obscure West African flick  from the 70s (about a bohemian Bonnie and Clyde who robbed not banks but  the closets of closeted African dandies) but also promptly turned, in the glittering spotlight of this bourgeoisie-titillating  accomplishment, into an upright model citizen and upwardly mobile moldy fig.  

         In a nutshell, Jones’ surprise success and near instant embrace of literary fame and foppery  was the ultimate buzz kill for  Jack.  The beginning of their end, as it were, for her and Mr Jones,  who clearly did not know what was going on in her head, heart or loins.  

         

    Because while Jack was cool with being shot at  (‘the price of ticket, baby’ she liked to say) she had never signed up to be the  muse of  a ” nerdy hi- society coon’ as she put it. 

      Simply put, the Inferno had run it’s course and Paradise was a mite too dull and petit-bourgeois  for Jack’s liking. And so it was that she decided to once again to find herself  back at Lillian’s front door. As good a place as any  for her to once again embrace The  Cause —provoking  maximum chaos and mayhem among the gilded  set.  Not to mention  Lillian;s being a place  where she was sure her appetite for destruction would be both enabled if not  fully appreciated.

     As Jack’s always outstanding luck would have it,  babysis chose to arrived unexpected and unannounced on the same Friday  afternoon when  Patrick and I were  both  out at different airports picking up two cast members–Lucinda and Oh Oh–a once happy go lucky couple  recently romantically severed torn asunder and unjoined at the hip. The pair had of of course booked their flight together during better days of wine and posturing together. As of the previous week they  had suddenly become unable to imagine even breathing the same rank airflight oxygen nitrogen compounds. 

     By the time Lillian’s shoot came around, Lucinda and Oh Oh had decided that while neither wanted to toss-away all the cool cache and free publicity they’d automatically accrue from being in a Lillian exhibition, neither of them cared  to share  First Class accommodations  from Costa Rica to  Houston to JFK. 

     So while I was just scurrying past La Guardia on the road to JFK and Patrick was halfway between Newark and North Bumblefuck,New Jersey, Jack, once again out-the-box, was suddenly in Lillian’s face, materializing out of the blue, like a combo Tasmanian tornado / Lovecraftean ‘colour out of space’  Prompting Lillian to blurt run on sentences on the order of  ‘Damn gurl you know I hate it when you do that know you liked to scare the shit outta me’ when Jack suddenly  jumped up just on the other side of Lillian’s breakfast nook window, clamoring for full access. 

   Yes, Jack, true to spooky form, was not only  ‘just there’, but there with all  the  serendipity, precision and poltergeistean disregard for locks, doors, alarm systems, crocodile filled moats, high castle walls, electrified fences and surly bigfoot bodyguards which  only the truly deranged can possess when the goal is stalking and traumatizing well-hidden and allegedly well-protected famous personages. (We ask you to recall Bjork v stalker-dude 2000, Letterman vs stalker-chick, 2003 and Thurman v. supercreepy stalker dude 2008).  

     Thus did a stunned speechless, and all-shook-up, Lillian find her personal space breached and unpreprared to repulse the breathless onslaught of  self-dramatizing doggerel and derangment which  her prodigal baby sis had come to deliver, with manic moxie to spare,  and, per usual, drunk on arrival.  

       Unstated but actually foremost among Jack’s  stated needs was a need for studio space.  The terror of this request is one which can only be fully grasped when one is made aware of  Jack’s practice and it  fully fearsome capacity to disgust:  As a visual artist Jack made works on paper using a special shellack derived from a solution of her own precious, putrid and varied bodily fluids. 

   The end product was gorgeous and not at all odoriferous but you didn’t want to be anywhere near her when she was in the throes of excremental creation. 

    I’ll spare the streaming details but having had to defumigate Jack’s quarters in Lillian’s house after Jack’s last visit six years earlier, I ‘ll simply say, I too, know why the caged bird cries Amandla! 

      So that again while this need for studio space would never be formally requested among the various items Jack demanded of house staff, Lillian knew the upshot of not being quick to offer it: Jack woulD simply camp out  on the grounds behind Lillian’s studio and go about her slimey-drippy business with a bucket in some  odd corner of the woods  until alternate arrangements were made.   

    Lillian’s Connecticut property contained a two story barn for visiting artists to do studio work, and  a 16 room, four floor, mansion where she housed her guest-cast over a long production weekend. 

     Lillian  also had another space in an abandoned Brooklyn Navy Yard residential project that had gone bellyup. It had been given to Lillian for a song  after some plumbing and electrical wiring had been installed but way before much in the way of walling, painting or decorative features were anywhere near done. 

That space came to generate its own tragicomic- erotic history over the years but nothing to compare with the wild Connecticut weekends like the one in which Jack made her all-time looniest stand.

  

      Sleeping arrangements were generally handled by Patrick as he was way more knowledgeable than any of the other staff about all the current scandals involving the fabulously rich and infamous. 

          Lillian cast across the full spectrum of film, fashion, finance  and music stars of the day, as well as from any of that lot’s bratty offspring. No matter if they were famous for public sluttiness more than anything else. aface was a face as far as she was concerned, even a retread face with recessive celebrity DNA.  

  

    With as much sordid knowledge as any blogger, Patrick insured that all unnecessary drama was kept to a minimum between all those known to be recently divorced, professionally humiliated, cuckolded, or bitchslapped, by another invitee. 

      As much as possible such folk were distanced, diverted, distracted or dissuaded from crossing a potentially offended party’s path–at least as much as it was humanly possible to keep celebrity worlds from colliding on  a glorified soft-porn shoot. 

   Since Lillian herself didn’t own a television and used the Internets as little as possible( astonishingly only once a week, for 4 strict hours, on Sundays)  she knew next to nothing about who was zooming who in the wide world of celebrity cocktail sports. 

       

     This well disseminated piece of information somehow had the effect of making all who were  invited to her star studded shoots feel  safe around her–as if her media world innocence turned her weekends into a lofty media-free bubble in which they could become both classier and completely  trashier version  of themselves. How she knew most of her own celebrity friends though was less for their work (or  their 15 minutes of notoriety) and more for their collecting of her stuff. 

      Lillian did listen and follow music incessantly–primarily that of female singers, living dead and undecided, and strangely enough she also made it a point to see every movie that came out within a week, no matter how presposterously popcorn or les miserable-y   indie-depressive. 

     I  have to say  that I’ve still never ceased to be amazed by the volume of filmgoing she could manage in a week–often on the same days I saw her do  12-14 hour studio days with only a dinner break.   

     Lillian  was nothing if not disciplined though –up before dawn for Vikram yoga and pilates in the large shed  she’d had built especially for the purpose. Swimming in the man-made pond afterwards. Pumped and ready for  the studio by 9am, out no earlier than 8 most days, then off into the night to satisfy her movie jones.  

 

    The year Jack returned from the dead, Lillian’s weekend  project was  based on Kurosawa’s Seven Samauri. The plan was to reshoot a scene from every major plot point in the 4 hour story but without horses swords or cowering villagers. What would be seen instead was just a bunch of angry charcoal black pseudo Asiatics in kimonos running around smiting the air and whipping up dust before going up in a haze of simulated orgy-ing.  Think Beckett meets Jackie Chan vs. Chris Tucker meets Pornhub; think Once Upon A Time in China meets Krapp’s Last Tape meets Emanuelle in Africa. 

  Lillian later told her official biographer the piece should not be read, as many critics did, as some sort of meditation on war and death angels,’’ but instead as  a ‘depreciation’ of Duchamp and Chaplin….a homage to kicking up dust with pratfalls’….at best i myself just consider it  ‘a dust-up for dust’s sake kind of flick’. ‘’ (It was what Lillian did with the dust  in the post that of course made it Art and not pastiche.  Lillian made movies with real colorful characters saying colorful things but in every one of them her swirling miasmic digital dust storms always had the best lines.)

     The  weekend of Jacks’ return the invited guests  included Ras Cock-a-Nova and his music production partner Lil Mz Jah Jah Girl, those guaranteed annoyingly  fey tricksters The Matterhorn Twins (of late pubescent Disney Channel fame), the entire (and entirely buff) all female cast from that season’s sleeper cable hit  Amazon Deathstar (kinda like a ‘Who wants to Marry A Woman Wrestler In Space?’ type of reality dating show that combined athletic competitions and astrology readings) as well as the three person transgendered 4D sculpting  collective, Writhing Degree Zero.  

   Lillian had also planned on having  two lead vocalists and  three ‘stunt-guitarists’  from her favorite new supersilent noise band What Rough Beasts  since their debut cassette-only recording  Slouching Towards Ethel and Them  was the only thing she’d found herself able to listen to after breaking up with her longtime boyfriend Hans Mann. 

You all remember Hans right? Guy best known for next to nothing besides dating my boss– unless you count his credits as one of six co-producers  on that awful remake of Alien starring a laughably faux dykeish Nicole Kidman in the Ripley role. ( A surprisingly terrific Tyler Perry in the Yaphet Kotto role was  the flick’s saving grace though. Not only for Perry’s greasepainted performance as crewman Parker,  but  because of  Perry’s contractual-diva demand that  his character not die trying to save a screaming white woman but perish instead saving himself half-disguised in half-whiteface had blackface drag.  

   Hans  had earlier made a fool of his younger self  attempting to update Bogart in the Duke Mantee part in a badly timed remake of The Petrified Forest . His performance  was described by one critic as a ‘vacant mediocrity’. ‘

     The director likely assumed he had the next Keanu on his hands—somehow  imagining the audience wouldn’t be able  tell the difference between the smoldering vacancy of Keanu and the simply vacuous. 

      Lillian  was still pining over her beloved young movie mogul wannabee by the time  her Seven Samuari project one year later  when a sympathetic girlfriend slipped her the recherché cow-punk  aires What Rough Beast had embedded on   Slouching Towards Ethel and Them.

    As it turned out What Rough Beast  had come off a recording hiatus in the Bahamas and gone right back on the road. Because of  tour scheduling  ‘the Beast’ (as fans monikered them) would therefore arrive  a full day-and-a half after  almost everyone else was to have vacated the premises.  

     That ‘almost everyone’ however insured they too had major fun and misadventures all their own while they were under Lillian’s roof and  Jack took to landing  on  them like ,Malcolm Had said  Plymouth Rock landed on Blackfolk. 

    Though Jack was free to terrorize her sister while we were at the airport, Lillian had a trick up her sleeve for Jack. Namely the not-so-coincidental arrival of Lillian and Jack’s mother, Ann Jolene, later that evening—Mom making  a two day stop-over on her way to Aruba from Nova Scotia where she lived with her second husband who was not their father. 

     The mental respite this provided Lillian should not be underestimated. The child may be father to the man, but the mother is rarely child to the daughter, let alone  when that daughter has been reported embarrassing you in public in front ofgrwonfolk while in  full-on  lil’ bitch mode. 

  

   And so for the day and a half that Lil and Jack’s Ma, Ann Jolene, was there, Jack managed to be  quite the controlled specimen and well in control of her otherwise buckwildin’ need to produce and collect liquid and crustaceous matter from as many of her orifices as possible and  in front of as many people as possible. 

     No Mom wasnt having it. and a good thing too, since Patrick and  I had our hands full with The Matterhorn Twins once they decided they were going all out to get decked by the members of What Rough Beast. 

   {About this rude maternal  disruption of her performance ambitions Jack scribbled in her diary: ‘Again and again . Ex semper Novi Africa. Again and again. Always something new being shat out of that Africa. Again and again. New is being shat out of my mother’s tight African Ass.  Again and again. ‘I think you loved her to death mom thats what i think the problem is.’  Lillian The Good One. Running home to tell Mother Africa about what a shit I am. The same Mother Africa who shoves me out the door. Always. Again and again. Out of our Mother Africa never is heard a kind word about Jack. But Jack is back, blacker than before and twice as darker. Nobody does black like Jack.Who shats the blackest shat of them all.’’ }

 The Matterhorn vs Beast contretemos was mostly  for a stupid and provocative combination of  offenses that included card cheating and cockblocking. Had I been asked I would have told The Matterhorns, ‘’Please pick one tactic or the other when you want to chump two long-bearded Southern-deviant looking dudes with your Matterhorn foppery’’—but nobody asked me shit.

    There was already a good chance at least one of the Matterhorn Twins was going to be hospitalized by the time Patrick and I got wind of the fisticuffs in the making. 

    I actually did get  a slight concussion from a glancing blow intended for Matterhorn B when I decided I’d dive in between him and Rough Beast number 7—a miffed smack to the dome that would have caused my 220 pounds far less damage than it would a Matterhorn. Fun stuff.

      Patrick being Patrick he had one Matterhorn and one Beast each in a headlock, his macho fabulosity never ceasing to shock and awe other men in those tense sort of situations.

     When the Matterhorn and the Rough Beast both stopped wriggling in his ironclad grip, he let them go, giving each a proper shove in opposite directions. They both looked glad for the opportunity to sit their asses down on the floor and suck up some  air.  

Patrick came over, sat between them, and advised they   pick themselves up, dust themselves off,  and go to their rooms sensibly or be prepared to be tossed out on their ears in the dead of night. 

       Behind the whole fracas was that Once Upon A Time  Matterhorn A had tried to a  woman favored by  the Beasts who had come up to the shoot with a  Harlem dance troupe. She had spurned the Matterhorn; he had never gotten over  the ego-bruising.  Not long after Matterhorn A had seen on media  that the Beast’s lead singer had taken a fancy to her. She was pretty typical rock star girlfriend fare as far as willowy and pouty goes, Sister Grrrl version of a Milla Jovovich/ Keira Knightley type but tough and smart like them, definitely not a bimbo, far from it.  

    I think she made music too but mostly she wrote books–I’d read a couple–short tense romances, very Japanese in that way, always about giddy young women with fragile psyches and big hearts in a world of trouble. 

      In any event Matterhorn B not A had made it his business to sulk and stalk and stare at her from the moment he saw what his brother saw–some long haired freaky mulatto alt-country- boy going ga-ga and moving within tongue-swapping range of his  ex-Nubian Queen in that bizarrely proprietary way that only angry black men who generally  only date white girls can affect when we’re confronted with the sight of some random longhaired half breed looking cracker ogling and canoodling with  the first and last black girl who’d ever broken their merrily miscegenating hearts. 

      After about the third time the  Beast dude noticed  Matterhorn A hovering around and went  to ask him what was up The Matterhorn had made the mistake of thinking he was going to clown some  country bumpkin with jungle fever.

    As for the pouty and willowy brown cause of all the bolo-tossing heads-up consternation, she managed, after watching all the aforementioned conflamma go down, to then avoid all things Beast and all things Matterhorn for the rest of the weekend. As if together they all formed  one rabid cloven hoof carrying wildseed strains of the Ebola virus.  

       She didn’t need the drama and  neither did Patrick,myself or Lillian.  Last thing we all needed, in fact, was some toxic hemmoraging of the moment into a full scale rockboy bitch-spat on her behalf while Jack was on the prowl.   

     { FYI Unfortunately it was me who got fixated on the pouty and willowy one after that, another side story for another day though i will say something in the way she moved me can be attributed to  what I can freely identify as my innate and longstanding fascination with any woman capable of casually provoking four doggish studmuffins like the Matterhorns and the Beasts to mutually assured destruction and then not even caring. The kind of forewoman who can then just  as casually slink away from the bloody scene like she was as disinterested as anyone. A total innocent bystander in her mind and no more at the center of the rumpus than the current temperature  in Bangkok.

     In her case, I have to also admit I  was quite a bit more than ‘fascinated’,  but somehow still managed to keep those naughty feelings on the low while Lillian’s shoot that weekend was in need of my full, well-paid, attention. 

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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