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

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.

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 !

Looking Into the Abyss or The Pleasure Dome

(Memoir/Fiction)

60 is a very pivotal age for the Baby Boomer. Ten years apres finding that First AARP in the mailbox… the lilting ring of I’m 50 suddenly replaced by the thudding sound of Yeah, I ‘m 60.

The reality that there are more days behind you than ahead… and depending on your world view… this could be the beginning of staring into the Abyss or racing into the Pleasure Dome.

After all, we were the generation that was going to change the world…Baby if I cooould channnge the world…Remember.

So here I am almost sixty (technically I am still fifty nine) but when the ball drops next month I will be throwing rocks as they say, at sixty so why not claim it now…it will lessen the shock…and make it easier to mouth the words when some Uncoth type asks me my age.

Not that I have any problem telling them…but why is it really important? Does it tell them Anything really relevant about who I am, where I’ve been, what I’ve done, and more importantly what I am about to do. Like leave this establishment as soon as I finish this drink because this conversation is boring me to thoughts of suicide or better yet homicide and I could easily put him out of his misery.

When did I become so impatient with men… especially men in my age bracket…knowing what they are about to say before they engage their brains and let their mouths belie their intelligence. Able to spot an Old Playa from across the room or right up in my face whispering that I should remember His phone number without bothering to ask mine.

Ah gurl, she sounds like a man hater…Consider that I have been a lover of men for as long as I can remember. I think most Boomer women would appreciate it more if men just knew how to graciously accept their age and flow with it. This obsessing over younger women who see nothing but $ when they look at them and the constant need to put down the women who really are in their age category has made many of my sisters declare that the war is over.

I should be stick me with a fork done but every now and then I allow myself to traverse down that road. Often because of an unexpected gift- a smile- given to a Stranger as I am leaving say… a business mixer.

He said his name was L and the smile on my face made him think I was up to something. I was. Trying to get home after two drinks of Grey Goose from a friendly bartender at the first stop of the night followed by another more generous pour at the place I was exiting from. The silly grin was I admit Goose induced and he just happened to open the door as I was trying to gracefully ease out of the place. After depositing my distinctive blue business card in his hand and declining to remember his whispered digits, I found myself mildly entertaining thoughts of his phone call and what might ensue. He was charming enough and had the balls to approach me so I was intrigued.

And then reality set in as day three or four since our encounter and no phone call. I put thoughts of him out with the smelly trash and immersed myself in grading yet another freshman essay about the horrors of abortion, war, and gun control.

And then he called – very formal tone- as if he wasn’t sure I would answer. The conversation was brief. He was on his way to have his car inspected and thought he would ring me up on the way. Not too impressive I thought for a first call since I seemed to be part of his errands for the day. And then when he abruptly arrived at his destination the call ended and his promise to return the call shortly did not materialize for another 24 hours.

This time it was at my insomniac hour. I guess he didn’t believe I would really be awake but unfortunately for him I was already engaged in a conversation with a close friend and ironically at the moment he called was sharing something about Him with Her.

I told him I would call him back which I did…some two or three hours later… all is fair in love and war…and got his voicemail.

The phone remained silent for the rest of the day and finally later that evening over sushi and a second glass of wine in a new spot downtown, I did break down and call him as he had suggested just to see what was his reason  for ignoring me.

Yet another voicemail that signaled he was otherwise engaged.

This is going nowhere fast and time to pull the ripcord, so I decide I will not entertain this nonsense any longer because those freshman essays are still piled on my living room floor ungraded.

Friday rolls around and I decide to treat myself to some seafood in the form of Cioppino which I usually reserve for holidays or special occasions. The ingredients…shrimp, clams, mussels, cod, halibut, salmon are so costly …but I tire of reserving things for special occasions.

I trek to Whole Paycheck and purchase the necessary ingredients together with those for Muffaletta, a shamefully greasy spicy ham/three kinds of cheese and a slathering of olive salad on French bread N’awlins style of sandwich that had become my latest passion.

Armed with these pricey ingredients and a bright yellow blast of daisies, I surrender to the peaceful hum of my kitchen and prepare the succulent seafood stew. The phone rings and surprise, surprise, It is none other than Elusive stranger.

I decide to just slice through the small talk when he tells me he is on his way to a Sushi joint near my ‘hood. And announce that I am making the best seafood dish ever and invite him over to sample it. Within minutes he appears at my front door, not as dashing as I remember from the dim lights of the club doorway but congenial enough and anxious to see if I can really cook.

Since he appeared without so much as a bottle of wine, I offered him some cheap Sauvignon that I was using in the stew.

The conversation was pleasant, informational, non threatening as I put the finishing touches on my shellfish feast. He had never had Cioppino before. I instructed him on how to slowly sop up the broth with the Italian bread. Instantly, I could see the pleasure spread across his face with that look which says he has eaten something truly divine.

Before I had a chance to offer him some fruit and cheese for desert –organic pears and buttery smooth Havarti- he announced caveman style that he had other plans for the evening and had to get home and prepare himself.

I smiled sweetly to cover up my agitation. A smart guy would never have been this rude and a young guy would have been anxious to see what was for dessert.

Now I could really see him for what he was…an old has been who needed a good hearing aid instead of that earring in his ear. Who fancied himself a Playa when Senior Citizen more accurately described him.

I quickly closed the door on both the cold winter night and Him.