ALL THE LIES ARE TRUE… excerpt

Chapter 4
You gonna stay in here all night? 

I was jolted from my daydreaming by the harsh voice of the bag lady who was busy preparing a makeshift bed in one corner of the filthy restroom.

  These bus people don’t like it if more ’n one person sleep in here at night and I got here first, she snapped.

Reality hit me again. Here I was in Los Angeles, California. After midnight. Didn’t know a soul. No place to go.

One thing I did know was I wasn’t going to spend my first night in the damn Greyhound bus station restroom. Splashing cold water on my face, I quickly gathered up my bags.

It’s all yours, I said as I walked out into the now quiet lobby of the station.

I headed for the nearest ticket counter. Excuse me, I said in my most polite southern voice, Are there any decent hotels nearby?

The dirty blond clerk looked up from her copy of The Enquirer apparently agitated that I would interrupt her from important reading.

What do you mean decent? she asked in that bored, nasal Midwestern tone probably reserved for black folks.

Ignoring her attitude, I replied, Decent as in clean, you know rat and roach free and under $20 a night.

She gave me an intense stare that could have been curiosity or hatred, I couldn’t figure out which.

Hmph, she said, turning her attention back to the paper, Try the Jefferson on 10th Street. That might be decent enough for you.

Well, so much for the welcome wagon. I gathered my bags and headed towards the exit. I didn’t dare ask her where 10th street was or how far it was from the bus stop so I just walked out into the humid night air once again considering my predicament.

After midnight. Alone in L.A. A few cabs were parked in front of the terminal and the drivers had their heads thrown back snoozing behind the wheel like a chorus of Rip Van Winkles.

I was considering whether to wake one of these sleeping giants to ask directions when a tall brother dressed in a brightly colored dashiki, jeans and a Black Panther like beret called to me from the shadows.

Hey sister, you need a cab? You shouldn’t be out here this time of night by your lonesome.

No shit, I murmured trying to get a better glimpse of this tall figure.

At that moment he appeared blocking my path. He reminded me of a Huey Newton poster-six feet, skin the color of butter, tight jeans and dark, soulful eyes. I eyed him suspiciously though inside I was smiling thinking about this fine specimen standing in front of me.

Like I said sister, it’s not a good idea for you to be out here by your lonesome in this part of town.

No, I didn’t know that….just trying to find the Jefferson Hotel. Do you know where that is? My tone had changed from frightened to what I hoped was cool.

Sure, it’s about three blocks from here.

Three blocks I calculated would probably translate into $5 in cab fare and I was on a tight budget.

No, I can walk, I said trying to step around his tall frame.

Wait a minute sister, it’s obvious you’re not from L.A. and believe me you don’t want to go strutting down these streets alone this time of the morning. Besides, I’m just getting off and I can drop you off on my way. I won’t even charge you.

Before I could respond, he took the overstuffed suitcase from my hand and led me to his cab. I was glad to see that it was a real cab and not one of those this-is-my-car-posing-as-a-cab.

I could easily identify him if I needed to from the cab company name printed on the side. I settled into the back seat as he placed my bulky bag into the trunk. I spotted the ID picture rubber banded to the visor: Richard Elliot, ID no. 4976. DOB 12/15/50. A Sagittarius, no wonder he was so helpful.

So where are you from? he asked, easing his long legs under the wheel.

Virginia.

Really, what part?

Norfolk.

You’re kidding! he said turning to face me. I just came from there a few months ago. I was stationed in Norfolk until I got out of the Navy. I sighed. Well at least he wasn’t an axe murderer or serial rapist.

What brings you all the way out here to L.A.?

Just visiting, I said, trying to sound cool and casual.

Oh yeah. How long you gonna be here?

Don’t know. Two weeks, a month, maybe forever.

A smile played across my lips. The thought of being this free was exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time.

You’re not planning to spend the whole time at the Jefferson are you? he asked, pulling the cab in front of an old building with a small sign above the front proclaiming Jefferson-Vacancy.

I don’t know. I said suspiciously eyeing the seedy exterior.

Well, it’s not the best hotel in town but it’s not the worst either, he said opening my door.

He helped me out of the cab like I was a piece of fragile china. As I took his hand, I couldn’t help but inhale his male scent enhanced by a splash of Brute.

Well, I’ll probably be here a couple of days, I said following him to the trunk to retrieve my bag.

Look, he said, you seem like a nice sister and since you’re from my old Navy town, I wouldn’t mind looking out for you. You know showing you around. I don’t start driving until around 7 at night so I’m free during the day.

He closed the trunk and carried my suitcase to the narrow entrance of the Jefferson.

Hold on girl, I thought, surveying his fine physique. The way his jeans encased his tight butt was an especially pleasing sight. You don’t know this man from Adam. Because he looks good doesn’t mean he is good for you.

My logical self began a game of mental gymnastics with my emotional self.


Ok, I said settling the dispute. I would trust my instincts.

Thanks for the ride. You can call me in the morning. I said. I was halfway in the door when he called out.

Hey, but I don’t know your name.

Maya, Maya Goodman.

I’m Richard, he yelled just as the door closed.

NOTE: ALL THE LIES ARE TRUE COMING SOON IN eBOOK FORMAT ON KINDLE, BARNES AND NOBLE, APPLE.  STAY TUNED FOR RELEASE DATE. 1ST 100 COPIES 50% OFF REGULAR PRICE OF $9.99. AND AS ALWAYS THANK YOU FOR READING MY WORDS!

ALL THE LIES ARE TRUE…excerpt

Chap. 2
The Greyhound terminal was alive with activity even though it was well after midnight. I made my way through the crowded terminal to the restroom and the smell of urine that had missed the toilet bowl greeted my nostrils. An old lady-my first bag lady- was busy cleaning her underarms with a paper towel and eyed me suspiciously as I tried to pick out my matted fro.


Some of my initial excitement at being in tinsel town had subsided as reality set in. After all, it was after midnight and I didn’t have any place to go. No one was waiting outside to take me home. To welcome me after a long, hard bus ride.

It was too late to call Brian. What was I going to do? I could feel the panic slowly welling up inside me. Ok, ok get a hold of yourself Maya. This is what you wanted. You’re here so just calm down and think/think/think. I eyed my full, black afro slowly regaining its Angela Davis shape in the dirty mirror and my thoughts drifted back to home.


Kurt. That sorry brother. He was really one of the reasons I was out here all alone. Him and his revolution. Power to the people… butthole. I can’t believe I actually married him.

I should have known the Creator was sending me a message when my wedding ring fell in the gutter as I was getting out of the car in front of the wedding chapel.

I watched it wash away in the steady rain that had greeted us when we crossed the border into Elizabeth City. High and happy, we both giggled at the omen and disregarded it as we laughingly made our way into the chapel.

Later, I often wondered if that union was legal since we were both so high, we didn’t really know what we were agreeing too. That lost ring was the beginning of a 2 year long odyssey to hell and back.


Short, dark and with muscles in all the right places. Kurt was H. Rap Brown/Stokeley Carmichael and Don L. Lee all rolled up in one neat package. He literally (and figuratively) charmed the pants off every girl he met.

Spouting revolutionary rhetoric as he swaggered around the campus, Kurt was definitely considered a catch. Plenty of revolutionary and counter revolutionary sisters wanted him.
I hear you’re the sister in charge of the black culture show. I looked up from my half-eaten tuna sandwich. His deep brown eyes had a hypnotic quality that made me catch my breath.

Yes, can I help you… trying to sound business-like, but I was sure he could hear my heart thumping. Yeah, sista my name is Kurt and I’m the minister of culture for the BSU. Just left a meeting where some of the brothers were talking about your cultural programs and thought I’d come by and offer my help. That is, if you don’t mind.


He sounded so innocent and little-boy-like I couldn’t resist smiling. Hmm, you’ve got a beautiful smile, he whispered. It’s a good thing my skin is so dark. Otherwise I would have been beet red. I was blushing so hard.

No, I don’t mind. I could use some help. I knew I was acting foolish but the effect this brother had on me was unbelievable. Flirting boldly, he leaned closer burning his eyes into mine. Well, I’ve got a class right now, so maybe we could get together later and work on this thing, he said. Okay, I nodded feeling the heat slowly make its way down my body.

How about if I meet you back here in the café around six? I’ll be here, I replied. His eyes traveled the length of my body as if he were on tour. I think I just met the woman I’m going to marry. Smiling, Kurt turned and swaggered off in that sexy, thigh hipped walk that made several girls in the café put their forks down and stare.


I tried to look cool and unconcerned as I sat waiting for him to show up for our meeting. The cafeteria was noisy with the fraternity/sorority crowd lining up for the dinner meal. I took a seat near the door so Kurt would be able to easily spot me.

Engrossed in my Afro American history text, I looked up to see his eyes searing through my free Huey t-shirt. Well, my beautiful black queen have you decided when we’re going to get married? I smiled broadly. Kurt was dressed in light blue jeans that emphasized the huge bulge in his front and a cut off jean jacket revealed a shirtless, very hairy, very muscular chest.


Married? I laughed. I don’t even know your last name, I retorted. And besides it may not go good with my name. Hmm, it’s Goodman…Maya Goodman. I think I like that. Don’t you? he said easing his sexy body next to mine. Yes, I think I like that just fine…unless of course you are one of those sistas who wants to keep her own name. Defiantly, I said, And what if I am? Kurt touched my hand. It’s fine with me. Just as long as you give me beautiful, black babies that can carry on my line.
This brother is not only fine. But he is bold with a capital B. I could feel myself falling hard for his charm and I knew he could feel it too.

Copyright 2019. Part 3 coming next week.

ALL THE LIES ARE TRUE…excerpt

Chapter 1.
Los Angeles, the driver drawled over the cracking PA, please stay in your seats until the bus is in the terminal and thank you for riding Greyhound.

I sat erect in my seat not believing that I was finally here. Five days and nights of white lined highway/interrupted sleep/funky rest stops and an assortment of junk food for breakfast/lunch/dinner…finally in the city of the Angels. I could hardly believe it. California. The other side of the world 2300 miles from Norfolk, VA.


I felt the crush of the other passengers crowding me as I tried to pull my bag from the overhead compartment.

Damn lady! get outta the way, you’re blocking the aisle, hollered a tall guy wearing a wide brimmed Texas hat and armed with an oversized duffel bag. I half fell into my seat getting out of this pardner’s way and decided to stay put until the bus was empty. Besides it wasn’t like I had anywhere to go.

Watching the caravan of passengers: young/old/Hispanic/Black/Hollywood hopefuls, I smiled as I thought of the adventure that surely awaited me.

Five days ago, I was a book shelving library aide in a Navy town and now here I am in sunny Los Angeles California.


I checked my sock to make sure my money-all $200- was still tucked safely inside and patted the slip of paper with the name and phone number of the one person I knew..well sorta knew scrawled on it.
Brian Westbrook 215 E. 120th St. Tell him you are a friend of Phil Murray.

Actually, I wasn’t a friend of Phil Murray. I was a friend of Phil’s girlfriend Stella. She had introduced me to Phil at a party about two weeks ago.

High on something, I remember Stella dragging me over to him from the safety of my corner.


Yeah baby, this is Maya. She’s on her way to Cali.

His red eyes gave away his condition.

Oh yeah, how you doing Maya. I’m from LA. You from there? No. Oh yeah, you got family out there? No. A job? No. Then why you going?


Struggling to make sense in my own altered state, I replied. Well, I just want to see what the other side of the country looks like..check out the Pacific. See what life is like somewhere other than here. Is there something wrong with that?


No sister..don’t get defensive. I mean I love it there. Can’t wait to get back there myself. It’s just not often I hear about too many sisters going out there alone without any family or anything.


Well, I guess I ain’t your ordinary sister.

The weed was making my tongue bold and I could feel Stellas’s eyes on me warning me to be cool.

That’s what’s wrong with you so called revolutionary brothers. You don’t think a black woman can do anything without a man.


Hold on sister. I didn’t say anything was wrong with it. Hmph, I mean you got guts going out to L.A. all by your lonesome. Especially now after the riots and all.


Stella was giving me this uneasy look. I guess she thought I was getting too much attention from her man.

Just then the DJ began playing Treat her like a Lady and I started looking around for someone to dance with.

Hey, wait a minute. Here’s the name of my best friend. Call him when you get there and tell him I said to look out for you.

I took the slip of paper, smiled sweetly and stuffed it in my bellbottom jeans pocket.


Now, I’m the kinda guy that treats a woman with the utmost respect.

My mind was filled with the thumping sounds of the Main Ingredients as I jerked my way out on the dance floor.

Well, things are looking up. LA bound and now I got somebody I can call when I get there. Who said HE doesn’t take care of fools and babies?

copyright 2019. Book Available soon on Kindle.

B is For Baby Boomer

What happened? One minute she’s turning out Blogs like a well oiled machine and then BAM! Nothing! Silence where there used to be laughter, songs, shared experiences, reminiscing, poetry, etc. etc. etc.


Such is the nature of a Writer; the ebb and flow of life sometimes takes us away from the Words and then brings us haltingly back again.

I won’t bore you with the details of my absence from these pages for the last month except to say… Life Happened.

And when you are 60+ (as many of you fellow Boomers can attest to) it can be challenging.

No one prepares you to be a Boomer …there is no class you can take…(sorry AARP)…it just seems you wake up one day and nature has started taking its course. Stiff gray hairs were there used to be none, creaks and groans from your favorite poses, memory lapses and this sudden invisibleness from the younger generation. Your mind and body seem to literally start playing tricks on you….daily.

A recent editorial by a 60+ writer said that Boomers were becoming the object of disdain by the Millennials. Our propensity for living longer, enjoying better health, and remaining in jobs past retirement age has gotten their collective man buns in a knot.

Finances and absence of a spouse (death, divorce, younger women) often catapult many female Boomers back into the workforce. And our dreams of sleeping till noon, reading that stack of long ago purchased books, and traveling to exotic places are put on hold…much to our dismay.

Like many other women, my plans for life after retirement were derailed, and during countless nights of insomnia ladened sleep (despite lavender candles/ room spray/body oil/even lavender sprigs tucked in my pillow… where his head used to lay) I lie awake at the insomniac hour thinking about what it really means to be a single woman in her 60s in this country.

My move last year from a Senior community – for Active 55 plus- back to an unsubsidized, renovated, urban apartment (complete with a great view of the water and neighbors of all ages, many of them dog owners and pot smokers), has given me a renewed perspective. Since I was beginning  to believe that a building full of  people of the same age (over 55) living together can only lead to depression, isolation, and early demise.

Of course, remaining in the real world is expensive as any person living on a fixed income can attest to, and has led many boomers to delay retirement or return to the 9 to 5.

For many, work is also a boon to stave off boredom and early dementia. And based on the lack of skills-especially people skills- present in many of the I-was-raised-by-a- computer generation is frankly, a godsend for many businesses.

Boomers are generally calm under pressure, great problem solvers and have strong work ethics…all things Millennials could learn from.

And while many Boomers may lack advanced tech skills for some positions, remember we were the first generation of Mac and PC users and can easily be trained to work with complex software now found in many workplaces.

Boomers do have to contend with other challenges as well. Health issues, ours and family members, often become an unwanted reality as cancer, alzheimer and other diseases take residence in our domain.

Changing relationships with parents/siblings/peers/significant others seem to be a hallmark of becoming a Boomer.
Prayer, therapy, and bottles of 19 Crimes can help to lessen these stressors.

So take heart Boomers and lighten the f*** up!


This Poem Could Be Our Song

The World yawns

Stretches and braces for

a New Day.

Leaves unfurl

Grass shakes off its dew

And I lie here sleepless

Thinking of you.

Missing the voice

That cradled

My heart

Soothed and

Calmed

My Fears.

Whispered gently

Trust me

I got You.

Missing the smile

That twinkled

those eyes.

Bringing out the

Impish boy inside.

Missing the hands

That healed

The wounded.

Prayed to

the Creator

And caught

Hold of mine.

Carefully guiding me

Beside not behind.

Missing the mind

Lightning quick

Complex/collecting/processing/storing

Zoom Zoom on multiple tracks

A Beautiful mind

Reserving cerebral space

For my thoughts.

Missing the passion

The volcanic eruption

Bubbling over

Spreading its fiery

furnace

Over my sacred land.

Missing my smile

My lightness

My glow

That touched all

Who know.

Missing the love songs

The CDs

Mixed tapes

in my email

And my playlist Reply

Phyllis. Oleta. Ledisi.

I’m calling you/ Get Here If You Can/Pieces of Me

Missing the kitchen

The Back forty

Farmers Market

After church

Redbox movies

The lake

The woods

Damn

I am missing you.

Conversation Overheard

Been listening to Lizzo lately. She is a beautiful rapper, singer, indie performer, classical trained flautist,who has taken the Girl Power, self love, can I get an amen music medium to a whole new level/ genre.

This poem is for all those, who like Lizzo, understand that before we can love anyone else. ..we must first love Ourselves.

Gurl you lucky

You got a man

I look around bewildered
Who she speaking too

Where is he?
Who you talkin’ ’bout

You know what I mean
Damn!

Everywhere you go
Male eyes

devouring you

You breeze by smelling of shea, lavender and African oils

Hair coiled lightly scented softly

Framing your dark African black glistening skin.

Sparkly white teeth

And a Smile for days.

Men wish they could
Catch your eye.

But like a spring butterfly

You and your sheer gauzy dresses
just float by.

Gurl

I ain’t got no man.

No one in my bed

when I close my eyes

Or cuddling up to make

My naked body smile.

Yeah I had a man

2,3 even more

But that was back in the day.

I’m living in the present Now.

Damn gurl I just knew

you had a Man

That sexy walk

like you’re on
A NY runway.

That beaming smile that says

Hello Imfinehowareyou

That lyrical voice

Conjuring up nights

Lying in your cocoon.

Gurl

I ain’t got no man

They don’t understand

Me

And What I need

So I just Do

ME.

READERS, MY MEMOIR/ FICTION BOOK… ALL THE LIES ARE TRUE…

THE STORY OF MY BLACK POWER/HIPPIE YEARS IN 1970s LOS ANGELES..

IS SCHEDULED FOR RELEASE LATE DECEMBER 2019 ON KINDLE.

(PREVIEW CHAPTERS WILL BE RELEASED ON BLOG SITE IN COMING WEEKS).

TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS.

AND THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING MY WORDS !