When real life is too awesome

I had to blog this..

This video caught my eye. It’s a story of an Orangutan that kissed a pregnant woman’s stomach. Immediately people are like wow, apes know about pregnancy? duh..anyway. It demonstrates that kindness and compassion are universal



When you are Donald Trump…this man has just demonstrated that he’s got less class than an ape..Do I even need to go there???




A man grows in Brooklyn..

When I was in junior high, there was this kid in my class, Robert Cobbs. Robert was a soft spoken nerdy guy who always dressed like a preppy. In the hood, that alone would make you a target and at that age, the other kids were merciless. To top it off, Robert’s mom would bring him and pick him up from school. So you can imagine the harassment that would ensue. Being in the top class, a lot of us were nerds under the cover, but we knew that our survival depended on fitting in. We had our cliques..young boys pretending to be macho, wannabe jocks. We’d hang out in the park playing basketball for the most part after school.

One day, Robert showed up on the court during a shoot around. It was an unwritten rule that if you stepped on the court, you were allowed to hang. So the ball was passed to Robert. He dropped it. He then awkwardly ran after it looking like an uncoordinated newborn calf. The harassment ensued. It wasn’t mean spirited, but intense. He’d attempt to shoot and miss the entire rim. After a few of those, we’d take the time out to try to teach him how to shoot. He was determined to get it right. We all saw a little bit of ourselves in him, but no one would admit it out loud. Eventually we got a game going and picked Rob on our side. Whenever he’d get the ball we’d cheer him on to hit the shot. When he did it was comical, until he hit the next one, and the next one. The kid gloves came off and the other team would challenge him with some real defense. At the height of the game, his mom showed up, standing off in the corner with a watchful eye. No one had noticed her and as customary during the game, the profanity, and insults, which included the “this is for your mama shots” flew unfiltered. Robert! she said in that voice that you knew meant business, ‘it’s time to go’. Stunned as we became aware of her presence and embarrassed at some of the things that had been said, the game came to an awkward pause. He would plead his case to stay, all sweaty in his now dirty buttoned down shirt, to no avail. Dejectedly he relented to her summoning and bid us farewell, making his rounds through the guys, each one giving him a version of a soul brother handshake. It was for him a single moment of triumph. He’d come to use as the awkward fawn and left as one of the guys.

Fast forward to the late 80’s. I’d moved away from home, gotten a job on Wall St., living with my high school girlfriend in downtown Brooklyn in the stylish yuppie section of Fort Greene. I’d come out of the house, headphones on, oblivious to the world on my way to the store. I stepped out on to the sidewalk and was almost immediately hit by someone on a bike, He jerkily stopped and turned to offer an apology and to my amazement it was Robert. I was totally shocked. He was the absolute last person I’d expected to see and by the look on his face the feeling was mutual. We greeted and talked for a bit. He lived in the neighborhood. Small world we agreed and after a few moments, he started to ride off. He was having a very difficult time trying to get his balance. More than one would expect from a grown man. So I quipped to him, A little rusty? To which he replied, nah..it’s this damn MS. It’s kinda hard for me to keep it steady these days. I’ve had it since I was a child but it’s gotten really bad but I’m dealing with it. I’ll catch you later..and with that he rode off, struggling heavily to keep the bike straight. I was hollow. I did not know how to feel as the realization of what he’d just said to me soaked in. It explained everything..why he was so awkward, why his mom was so protective..it hit me like a wave and I stood there almost in tears, humbled at his bravery and overwhelmed with guilt by the way we treated him as a kid, but comforted in the fact that he considered me as a friend..

Santa and the stuff of nightmares

I was a precocious child. I learned to read and write by the age of four. This presented many problems for me at that age because of my lack of knowledge about the world combined with a very fertile imagination.

I was born in Brooklyn. We lived in a the Albany Housing Projects in the heart of Crown Heights. It was Christmas time and as with all little kids, I brimmed with excitement that Santa was coming. Most of what I knew about Santa came from TV shows. I’d watched a stop motion version of Rudolph the Red Nosed reindeer so many times and daydreamed about how Santa would come to my house and deliver his presents. The only problem was, we didn’t have a chimney. How would Santa get in? Would he forget me because he couldn’t get in? I would dwell on this question all day until I had to get an answer. I would ask my older brother Elroy, surely he would know.
Elroy lived to torture me. At every opportunity, he would mess with my head. He would very often be left in charge of watching me to his dismay. So to control me and keep me out of his way, he’d tell me stories of Sam Bodoo. Sam Bodoo was the name of the boogey man who lived in the closet. When I wasn’t looking, Elroy would put a shoe in the closet just so the toe was sticking out of the door. He’d then say if I came out of the room, Sam Bodoo would come out of the closet and eat me. He’d say to me in a spooky voice, If you leave the room, Sam Bodoo is gonna get yoooou! I would start crying and he would say if my tears hit the floor, he’ll open the door. That was all he had to say. I’d sit there trembling, eyes as big as saucers, terrified into rigid silence. When he wanted to stop scaring me, he’d pretend to talk to him in the closet while sliding the shoe back with his foot and close the door. I was safe as long as Elroy was around to control him.Elroy was my guardian, surely be able to tell me about Santa.
One day I asked Elroy, How does Santa get into our apartment? He thought for a second and said, he will come down through the incinerator. This was a problem. The incinerator was in a small room in the hall outside the apartment. It had a heavy iron access door that you would pull down to open and put garbage in. This led to a huge shaft that went from the basement to the roof. At the bottom was a huge furnace that would burn the garbage. At that age, it seemed like a chasm to the entry to hell itself. I was terrified of it, especially when the fire was on. When you’d open the chute door, you’d hear the raging flames and the sound of air being sucked in. The vacuum would be so strong it would put the chute door closed with a loud bang. Surely this was no place for Santa, I thought to myself on Christmas eve while laying in bed. My mind imagined that Santa would not be able to stop and fall to his death. consumed by the fury of the blazing holocaust within. I couldn’t let that happen. It would be my fault Santa died trying to give me presents. He must be warned. So bravely I crept out of bed in the dark, terrified that Sam Bodoo would see me, but I had to go for it. Every footstep I took was filled with terror until I got to the bedroom door. I went out of the apartment and into the entrance of hell. The fires were not burning, I knew this was my only chance so I pulled open the heavy door and yelled Santa! Santa!!. My yells had apparently awoken my sister who came running into the incinerator room to get me. Boy! What’s wrong with you?? she yelled. I told her I was trying to warn Santa so he wouldn’t get burned. She looked at me incredulously and said, What? What are you talking about?? I explained to her what Elroy had said and she just started laughing hysterically. Get in the house boy!, she said ushering me back sobbing because I’d failed, Santa would die and I would get nothing for Christmas.

Life is an Orange

One Christmas, my mother having no money, gave me an orange.
She said to me that I should learn to be grateful for what I have.
Of course, I was disappointed, but that lesson stuck with me throughout my life. It wasn’t until become an adult that I was fully able to comprehend the symbolism of that orange. Life is like an orange. You should appreciate every moment..squeeze the juice from it. But remember, to get to the sweet you must go through the rind.

Every day is a new beginning and an ending.