four, five, eight

four, five, eight

FADE IN: Anne Ferney (18) and Jaquila Gilmore (16) drinking Dr. Pepper:

A: And that’s when her mom started rattin’ around Wilkinsburg going around to people’s houses, “Is my son here?” I am, like, oh my god, I don’t want ever for our family to experience that. You could see in her face that she was scared.

J: My dad. First, he’s the first one to call me. And then my mom called me. And then my best friend called me and, I didn’t know what happened.

A: The news keeps sayin’ they had an Automatic AK and I’m just thinking it couldn’t be an AK cuz they kept hearin’ the shots go off so you know he kept pulling the trigger.

J: How you actually know that, just blew my mind but OK.

A: It sounds like first person let their clip go and the second person let their clip go. They say eight people got shot. Cuz first on the news they say, “Ok, four people got shot.” The next thing you know five people comin’ up dead. I’m like, yo, they just changed from four people shot, five people shot dead, eight people shot, like. And then they brought the little baby out, like, there was kids in that house. And one of the girls was pregnant. Basically, it was six people that died. If you want to be technical.

J: I don’t know who she is, but she was pregnant and she was shot. I’m like, this is cray-zy. I gotta get out the hood, cuz this is too much.

A: My senior year, I’m tryin’ to go to Florida cuz you can graduate with a trade.

 

FADE OUT.

God forbid some shadow

God Forbid Some Shadow

FADE IN: neighbors staring into the sky.

…And, and I hate to be the bad guy [he leans in] but which neighbor has the brightest outside light? I mean. Come on! It’s brighter than a reading lamp. I told the girls, you know, they’re really sweet but they forget to turn it off all the fuckin’ time. They have guests over tonight so I’ll have to wait. But, man-oh-man. I wanna sleep, you know.
When I moved here 20 years ago, there was darkness. The ol’ school kind. The stars were everywhere, you could see the stars from the ocean. It was beautiful. Now with the whole technology thing, it’s like everybody wants light, God forbid some shadow. There are only 2 spots at the beach that stay dark if you want some star gazing: on the left after the parking lot and the Whaler where the pathway stops; and on the right, at the second parking lot near 23rd. Das it.
It’s slim pickin’s now. Those are my hiding spots.

He looks up.

Yeah…I miss staring into the night.

They look up.

You know, I put a chair in the heart of my garden just for star gazing. Its beautiful. It’s been a while since I’ve sat there but das cuz when’s the last time you’ve seen stars?

We look up again.

I’m sure Orion is somewhere up there.

FADE OUT.

’til you’re ready

'til you're ready

I thought I was over it.
It’s been years.
But, it’s not like it’s been years and I didn’t do shit about it.
No, I processed.
I grieved, lost my way, found the map and got back on the path.
(like a machine?)

I don’t want to cry, I tell her.
Like she’s expecting me to.
“That’s ok! You don’t have to. It’ll find its way up.”
(my jaw tightens)

No, but that’s the thing.
This ain’t my first time at the rodeo.
I’ve balled, girl.
Slobbered, face distorted and all kinds of ugly.
(I’m getting tired)

Continue reading “’til you’re ready”

good will

good will life changes

FADE IN:

Good Will Donations Center:

“It’s getting really bad out there now. I was on the 405 the other day, this truck was right up my ass. And, you know, I can get heated sometimes, my emotions can get the better of me. So he’s pushing at me. I ease the break a little and it shocks him, it causes him to hit his brakes even harder and step back a little. He looked furious. But you know, who knows what kind of guy he is. He can have a gun on him, you know. These days, you don’t know who’s behind a wheel and what they’re thinking, what their story is.

Two Thanksgivings ago, we lost our cousin to a shooting. He went with my other cousin to get a special ingredient for my mother’s turkey — it’s gotta be a specific brand, you know, the best of the best that truly saves the dish. So he goes to a supermarket that has a line of people waiting out front. And some guy runs right up and shoves himself in line before an older woman. This guy just pushes his way in, no acknowledgment of his behavior, nothing. My cousin tells the guy, in a gentle way ’cause he was always gentle like that, “Hey man, don’t do that. She’s an older lady and has been waiting in line for a while. Come on, man.” Now this guy goes into the supermarket, gets what he needs to, goes back to a car full of other sketchy guys. They drive around the supermarket maybe a couple of times until they see my cousin walking to his car. They drive up to him, wind down the window, bang-bang!, shoot him two times.

How can someone get over that, you know? It haunts me. But it also stops me from firing up as much these days, you know. My mother always told me, ‘Mijo, be patient. Let them do what they gotta do but don’t let them get to you.’ She was right. And I’m trying you know. I really am.”

mute but screaming

mute but screaming

FADE IN: two at lunch.

She: It’s like the texture of smoke.

He: Right.

She: You can see smoke even though it’s translucent.

He: K.

She: That’s how it felt. It’s there but not.

He: Dark but translucent.

She: Uh-huh. I guess that’s progress, right?

He: I would say. It was way worse before…

She: I know… I still feel the darkness, though.

He: I’m sure that doesn’t go away. I mean, not right away.

She: It can get scary.

He: So, why don’t you call me?

She: I wanted to but for some reason, I couldn’t.

She: Weird how that happens; we’re mute but screaming for help.

He: I get it.

FADE OUT.

third eye business

outta whack

FADE IN: friends over tea.

A: She said my chakras are outta whack.

B: All of them?

A: No, the one’s that count.

B: They all count.

A: The fuckin’ crown chakra and my third eye. My third eye, man! That’s the whole enchilada right there.

B: How bad?

A: Well, the crown is half closed and the third eye is completely shut.

A: Let me repeat myself: it’s fuckin’ shut.

B: Wow. That doesn’t sound like you.

A: You’re telling me!¬†How the fuck do I open it?

B: Wait. Do you believe in that stuff?

A: Well, if you tell someone they’re shitty at something, it gets them going. Especially when you’re talking about the third eye business.

B: But what does that mean to you?

A: Fuckin’. I don’t know. Like God sits there or some shit. It’s serious business. God, I had a feeling, you know.

B: Come on.

A: I’m not fuckin’ playing. I had a feeling, it’s like I new it all along.

B: Okay, so what else did she say?

A: She told me to do this: [raising arms and speaking to the sky] “I SEE.”

B laughs.

A: [Laughing] Daily. Do it with me. [Arms stretched] “I SEE.”

B raises her arms.

A/B: I SEE.

 

FADE OUT.

 

get milk

 

got milk?

FADE IN:

He: Well, it’s like a pyramid.

She: Don’t talk to me about pyramids. That guy? That fuckin’ Bernie Madoff? Have you seen the movie with Michelle Pfeifer and Robert DeNiro?

He: That’s not what I mean —

She: — Well, it’s fucked up. And everyone said the movie was shit but I liked it. Anyway.

He: This pyramid is different, Auntie.

She: Different, how?

He: You put your life’s goal at the top and then you backward map.

She: A map?

He: Backward Map!

Continue reading “get milk”