Ain’t Nothing Like The Old Skool…

I was about six years old when I found out I was Black.

It was in Mrs. Fitzgerald’s class. Me and C had done something to get us kicked out of class, and for some reason or other, Calvin had asked me to come over to his party. I had never been to a party, and actually, I wasn’t quite sure if I was allowed to go to one. But I liked C’s calm style, he seemed cool, and plus he was willing to get into trouble enough with me to be in the hallway with me, while all the other children were in the classroom. But still…shyt…I didn’t know a party was, and my mother was a trip. Yeah, first question came out her mouth….

“Well, baby, what color is he?”

I wanted to say…

“Shit, mama, I don’t know, slightly brownish mauve? Fuck does that matter? Can I go to his party?”

Until this day, I’m not quite sure why my mother asked me that. I suppose growing up on the East Side of the East Side will affect you like that. I never assessed the situation, and over twenty years later, I’d suppose that is one of my better judgments.

“Ma!! Can I go to his party or not…?”

Every now and then I do something remarkable because I dig a human’s soul…

So, the next day while C and I were still stuck in the hallway…

“Hey, my mom wants to know what…um, I think she said race, you are…whatever that is…”

“I’m mixed”


“Mom, he’s mixed. Can I go to his party?”

I guess you could say I was slow. Or just really obtuse about the whole race thing. I mean, the shit just didn’t matter to me. I just wanted to go to a damn party.

“You know you are Black, don’t you?”

**********What THE FUCK IS BLACK?************

I suppose I would spend a lifetime answering that question….

anyway…she let me go to the party….

So, two weeks ago C asked me about going to the Salt & Peppa concert. Nigga, SALT AND PEPPA? Do you know I still masturbate to Shoop? Ya damn right.

As everyone in Asylum should know, C has been on me about me spazzing on him the last two to three years about concerts. And, he is the man when it comes down to the hip hop scene in St. Louis. And anyway…nigga!!! SALT AND PEPPA!! I had to explain to my mama why my good undies disappeared when “Push It” came out!!

Anyway, I’m getting groomed and looking for something to put on. I can’t find any clean slacks, so I go with jeans and the button up. I’m a little less disconcerted because, well…

It was 1985, and I was staying in the Complex. The Complex is like the projects of University City at that time. Some might dismiss it, but I was child, hell, my mom wouldn’t let me go to the park because some guy got killed in it. Didn’t matter to me, I thought he looked creepy anyway. Of course, I didn’t know what death was. But my older friend from down stairs didn’t miss a beat….

“Yeah, I wanted to go bike riding with you…anyway, can you out into the hallway at least?”

I asked my mom could I go into the stair well, she waved her hand, that was how she was when Michael Jackson’s Thiller came on. I hated it. It always gave me bad dreams, and plus…my downstairs buddy, had a radio with a…I think he said Dana…um…Dana Dane or some shyt.

What the hell do I care, I get to get out of my room, and plus the guy I’m listening to has nightmares like me….

So, I drive down to C’s spot, while discussing the various changes we had experienced since our last convergence, he poured cups of rum and coke as we colloquially discussed the economy and politics. A fair amount of time was given to catching up, and we soon were traveling once again to the Chaifetz arena.