The Simple Life of Blue Mackey: Issue #2- A Reason to Celebrate
by James Dodd, Jr.
The next time I saw Blue Mackey he was awaiting a bus on East Capitol street displaying an unusually weary disposition.
"Man, I got me the craziest brother in the world," he said as I approached. "He's straight whacko."
"The bond between brothers can be troublesome at times," I responded.
"It's trouble all the time with that fool."
"Your brother strikes me as a kind person."
"That's his game. All friendly to everybody at first, but get to know that boy and, Lordy Bee, he'll show you what he's all about. Take this weekend, I went to his house way out there in Mitchellville."
"I understand it's a beautiful suburban area."
"If uppity niggas with money is beautiful, then you right. My brother and his wife was having some big anniversary party. Them two been married ten years. A damn shame too, cause they just been playin house all this time like two big kids except instead of Ken and Barbie toys they got real live children. Anyway, last week my brother calls me up and says Blue, momma say I got to invite you to my party but don't you come out here acting a fool. I got me some very important friends coming and I ain't about to let your ruin it. He says he don't want me drinking up all his liquor and being no embarrassment. I'm tellin you, sometime I wanna knock that boy down. Talking like I'm still some God damn little kid he can boss round."
"Maybe he simply wants you to respect his home."
A Metro bus pulled up to the stop. "This one's mine but I'ma catch the next one," he said as he sat on the stop's bench.
"Actually, I have to get home before..."
"Another one ain't far behind. So on Saturday my brother comes pulling up to my building in his new black Navigator to pick up me and momma. That truck's nice and all but his tired ass ain't got no dubs on it or got the windows tinted or nothing. Wants everybody to see his funny looking self. How you gonna roll round in a big ass Navigator on sixteen inch rims and show your face?"
"To each his own. By the way, how is your mother? It's been so long since I last saw her."
"Sweet as she ever been but, you know, she getting up there. Come on now let me finish this up before the next bus come. I don't know if I told you this before but my brother's wife Tammy is a lesbian."
"Married ten years? I'm sure you're mistaken."
"Listen to what I'm telling you, the girl's gay as a flower dish. She's always wearing them big baggy ass clothes, Tim work boots, hair all short, she got that whole look. And it ain't just me that know it, my whole family do. Even still momma done always loved that girl and I guess I'd like her too, if she wasn't, you know, that way. But I got to admit she's real pretty. Like, Oh Shit!, pretty. Look kinda like a black skin Vanessa Williams, and real friendly too, always treat people right."
"She sounds like a wonderful person whatever her sexual orientation."
"I didn't say she was bad or nothing. But let me tell you, that girl'd lick the stink off some pussy soon as you turn out the lights."
"I doubt that. So how was the gathering?"
"I'm about to tell you. What you looking at your watch for? I'm the one waiting on the bus. When me and momma walked in my brother's house, Tammy was sitting there on the couch with her legs all spread apart and got long gym shorts hanging way down to her ankles. She even got on them new Iversons. Man, she look like the sixth man sitting on the bench for Wizards. But she come running right up to momma and give her a big hug, help her sit down on the couch. You know, she's real hospital."
"Have you ever considered Tammy has merely chosen a different style of dress than you are accustomed to from a woman?"
"Oh, it ain't just her clothes. She walk like a nigga too." He demonstrated a slow swaying stride, swinging his arms rhythmically with each step. "What bitch you know walk like that?"
"If she has been married for ten years there is something she enjoys about life with a man."
"My brother ain't no real man like you and me. He's a punk. Always been. But let me tell you about this party. He had a whole lot of folks yappin it up, they was mostly black but it was a bunch of white folks too. He even paid some tuxedo waiters to run round giving everybody tiny little pieces of food I ain't never seen before from out the ocean."
Another bus stopped. "Alright," Blue said. "I'm gonna catch the next one for sure. So I go up to his little flimsy ass bar to get me a Bud and I'll be damned if the bartender ain't Reggie Little from up over Seat Pleasant. Remember him?"
"Ah, no, his name doesn't sound familiar."
"You'd know him if you seen him. Reggie say they ain't got no Bud, but there's plenty a Hennessey and he poured me a tall glass all the way up to the rim with just a sprinkle of Coke. Didn't take me long to get good and Hennessied up."
"Maybe your brother was wise to be skeptical of your behavior."
"Man, I'm supposed to turn down Hennessey? I got limits, but God damn! Anyway, Reggie kept tightening up my glass and we talking about all kinds of shit, the Skins, Michael Jordan, all the same pussy we used to hit back in the day. And the whole time he's hooking up folks drinks and making good off them tips too. Seems like nigga's ain't as stingy when shit's free. And them white boys, good God, they was throwin bills up in his tip jar like it was a wishing well. You know something? My brother always liked hanging with white boys, sometime I think he wish he was one."
"I'm sure your brother is proud of his heritage. Having friends of other races does not interfere with one's self pride."
"That nigga ain't proud of nobody black but them two kids. Can't talk to him without him bringing up how good my niece and nephew is doing in school or piano or at they dance class. He's a punk, but he's a punk that loves the hell out his kids."
"What? Anyway, me and Reggie was having us a real good time. The next thing I knew Reggie is whispering something about stepping outside and smoke some reefer he brought."
"Looking back, it was that Hennessy talking to me. But once you start feeling good off one thing you can't stop nothing."
"Speak for yourself."
"My brother was laughing it up with the white boys so I figured he wouldn't miss me, so me and Reggie sneaked our way out and sparked that blunt up. Some good shit too. We wasn't gone but ten, fifteen minutes, well, I ain't for sure how long, but when we went back inside my brother was standing there at the bar looking like we been gone long as Sly and the Family Stones."
"And rightly so. Not only were you admittedly inebriated, which was your brother's precise warning, but you exposed his entire family to the humiliation of legal repercussion. Your recent torment with the legal system should have influenced your better judgment."
"Man, you starting to sound a little like him. Whoa! I just stood there smiling at my brother and tell him this sure is a nice party you having, congratulations and all. And I meant it too, from the heart. But he put that look on me, just like he done when he was twelve, like a mean bull ready to stick a horn up somebody butt. He looked so damn funny he gave me the giggles and I couldn't stop for nothing. Reggie saw me and he start laughing right too. We both laughing our asses off like we watching some Bernie Mack. And my brother was getting all mad, asking what's so God damn funny. And right then Tammy come over and told my brother to let me be. Blue ain't the only one who had a little too much of the drinks, she said, and since he ain't driving to let him enjoy hisdamnself, he's family."
"You should be grateful your brother has chosen such a compassionate mate."
"You might be right on that one. Cause in that little squeaky punk ass voice my brother says well alright Sweetheart and walked right on back to his guests. But here come the twister. I was feeling so good about how Tammy got my back, I put my hand up in the air and she reached up there and slapped me a high-five like we was two ballers and she just hit a three pointer. I'll say this about her, she might be lesbo, but she ain't no punk."
"Well, I'm glad things worked out. But disrespecting your brother's home remains inexcusable."
"Here come my bus. Can you spot me a dollar, playboy?"