Thursday, December 22, 2005

Thinkin of a master plan


...cuz ain't nuthin but sweat inside my hand. -The R.

The post is dedicated to Donnell Alexander and his essay:

"Are Black People Cooler than White People?"
I'm cool like this:

I read fashion magazines like they're warning labels telling me what not to do.
When I was a kid, Arthur Fonzarelli seemed a garden-variety dork.
I got my own speed limit.
I come when I want to.
I maintain like an ice cube in the remote part of the freezer.
Cooler than a polar bear's toenails.
Cooler than the other side of the pillow.
Cool like me.
Know this while understanding that I am in essence a humble guy.

I'm the kinda nigga who's so cool that my neighbor bursts into hysterical tears whenever I ring her doorbell after dark. She is a new immigrant who has chosen to live with her two roomates in our majority-black Los Angeles neighborhood so that, I'm told, she can "learn about all American cultures." But her real experience of us is limited to the space between her Honda and her front gate; thus, much of what she has to go on is the vibe of the surroundings and the images emanating from the television set that gives her living room a minty cathode glow. As such, I'm a cop-show menace and a shoe commercial demi-god--one of the rough boys from our 'hood and the living, breathing embodiment of hip hop flava. And if I can't fulfill the prevailing stereotype, the kids en route to the nearby high school can. The woman is scared in a cool world. She smiles as I pass her way in the light of day, unloading my groceries or shlepping my infant son up the stairs. But at night, when my face is visible through the window of her door lit only by the bulb that brightens the vestibule, I, at once familiar and threatening, am just too much.

Thus being cool has its drawbacks. With cool come assumptions and fears, expectations and intrigue. My neighbor wants to live near cool, but she's not sure about cool walking past her door after dark. During the day, she sees a black man; at night what she sees in the shadow gliding across her patio is a nigga.....

Imho *he* really needs to have a blog...

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