Time Waster

by Nigel Daring

Patrick Jordan, an African-American man living in Brooklyn (New York), was just a happy-go-lucky guy with a very responsible wife, Keisha Jordan. Keisha ran the household and took care of the kids (and Patrick), all while maintaining a fulltime job as a teacher. Patrick worked odd jobs, too nonchalant to hold down steady work. But whatever he worked, he gave to his wife without question. He trusted her, loved her, respected her, and might have been intimidated by her. Keisha treated him like one of the kids. The word "motherfucker" really suited Patrick. He did what the wife told him to, or tried if he wasn't busy-body hanging with the fellows.

One Saturday morning Keisha ironed his least favorite shirt, a polka-dot green and white short-sleeved cotton one. She also dressed him in blue jeans that hugged him. He protested that he didn't like the outfit, but she quieted him. She told him that she was just sending him grocery shopping, not to a black-tie gala. She told him what to get and urged him to hurry back because she had to take one of the boys to piano rehearsal.

Patrick hopped the bus, but way down on the route he sighted some of his boys hanging by a corner store. One he hadn't seen in years caught his attention and he exclaimed loudly, "Yow, that's my boy Tommy, Tommy G!" He got off at the next stop and went back to join the crew. He caught up with Tommy, who had spent a few in federal prison. He just got into it with the fellows, rambling about this and that.

Around 4:30 pm, he had his fill of chit-chat and chilling, and went back to the bus stop. A crowd started gathering behind him as the bus took some time coming. When it came, all the seats were taken, and the aisle was generally empty. He was the first one on the bus. The driver asked him to go to the back of the bus.

He protested, "No sir. I ain't going to the back of no bus. My people done suffered too much to make it upfront."

The driver replied, "Everybody on the bus is Black." But seeing the futility of arguing with Patrick, he just ignored him and just ushered in the other commuters.

Patrick hung around the front section as the bus filled up. But he was standing next to a seated young Blood who didn't like him hunkering over him. The boy looked at him maliciously saying, "Why you choose to come by me like that, out a this whole bus? I ain't that kind of man." Patrick replied back in a matching confrontational tone, "I can stand WHEREVER I please."

Other passengers started getting nervous as the boy got up ready for something physical. Patrick appeared ready to go at it, when something snapped in his mind and he blurted out, "Damn, I aint got my best drawers on." He backed down and backed away uttering, "You lucky, yow. I aintwanna get into it, you do me up, I end up in the hospital and have them West Indian nurses be like, 'Look at them ugly drawers'". He went on, "Next time I take public transportation, I'm a wear my best damn undies. Boy you got off; you really got off."

His cellphone rang and it was Keisha. As soon as he heard her voice, he started complaining, "You almost got me killed woman. I told you not to let me wear that shirt. This kid thought I wanted him like that. It's the damn shirt."

But she ignored his complaining and asked about the groceries. He asked meekly, "The what?" She repeated, "The groceries I sent you to get." He suddenly remembered, "Yea, I got the groceries; on my way home."

She replied, "Write down what you have to get."

He started getting upset, "I told you I got the groceries." She insisted. He started complaining hurt, "You're acting like I'm the kind of man who would be on the phone telling you I got me a bag of groceries when I ain't got none. What about trust? Didn't we just have an argument about this last week? I wanna be treated like a man."

Keisha replied, "If you don't get a pen and write down what you have to get, I'm a kill you when you get home."

He put his hand over the receiver and started asking generally, "Anybody got a pen and a piece of paper", while complaining, "I hate when she do that." A kind lady helped him out. Patrick went back on the phone with Keisha, "Yea, I got the pen and paper, go ahead. But I'm on the bus heading home and I'll be there in no time, and I'm a embarrass your ass with these groceries, cause I been had them. Go ahead, go ahead."

She ignored him, telling him what he needed to get.

After he hung up, he asked generally, "Where the next supermarket at?"

Time Waster by Nigel Daring

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