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 !

Blogging Again…

Well Readers, it has been a minute since I last sat in front of this blinking cursor.

Let’s just say like my grandma Rachel used to say, God required me to ‘sit down’ for a minute.

The genesis for this came in the form of a rear end accident that occured almost 2 years ago while I was parked at the local post office.

Yes, I believe in snail mail…even have all my hate mail/bills directed to a PO box that I check periodically.

I had just left said establishment and was sitting in my car perusing the latest edicts from AARP…10 Best Places to Retire (if you have money, of course) when a loud boom followed by a forceful slamming of my venerable ’99 Cherokee assaulted my body.

The perpetrator of this action was a delivery van backing into my unmoving vehicle (I did say I was parked didn’t I) at a rather high speed for said parking lot.

I saw the lady parked next to me running from her car with a look of fear on her face

And because of the times we live in, I assumed it was some type of attack being rained down on said PO…maybe a worker gone postal…outside the building.

Or perhaps, it was some type of random assault in which I was the starring victim.

But imagination aside, it turned out to be an errant driver-in-a-hurry whose actions turned me into an ‘accident victim.’

This accident rendered me useless for months. I spent long hours lying on heating pads, consuming mildly addicting pain meds and muscle relaxants, begging friends to drive me everywhere including endless visits to physical agony (oops) therapy sessions.

And it culminated in a deja vue experience with former paralegal moi standing in a courtroom pleading my case to an understanding, sympathetic, Boomer age judge.

The legal wrangling alone is worth a Blog, but I was warned by my legal mouthpiece to refrain from discussing my case while it was pending.

And it is now just a mere 1 1/2 years later that this ‘case’ has been resolved and I am able to find my Voice again.

Did she just say that she hasn’t written a Blog in almos’ 18 months cause she had a court case?

Gurl, please, we know you had Writer’s Block.

Or she was working in that flower/ herb/or whatever she growing Jardin.

Well, reader, I wish I could say I was “richer and wiser” because of the experience.

What I can say is that my 60 something year old neck/ back will never be the same again and I think I have PTSD about the Post Office.

So much, in fact,that I just signed up online to pay my yearly PO box fee.

Now, if I could figure out how to get them to mail me the contents of my always bulging box.

Hmm, that might be a way to save the venerable snail mail business.

Well, it’s approaching daylight, And No, my insomnia has not disappeared.

I hope that you will allow me to visit your inbox sometimes when my creative juices are flowing.

As always, I look forward to your comments.

What is a writer without a reader?

But guys, be kind, like Badu said…I’m an artist and sensitive about my sh*t!.