Tuesday, December 11, 2007
A Song from the "Ransom Crates" (see: disgruntled ex-girlfriend)
Find the original backstory here:
A Tribe Called Quest: "Scenario"(Remix)
Even before my chubby thumb and index fingers formed a misshapened "U" required to pull a record out of a crate, one of many crates that I had just recently become reacquainted with - I was already aware that A Tribe Called Quest's "Scenario" remix was the furthest thing from being a unique choice, I mean, chances are that 90% of the people who read my daily drivel have this tune firmly cemented in their sacred Ipods. But this song is significant in terms of my life, if I ever happen to do something newsworthy like cure a deadly disease or recklessly impregnate a pop princess - I'm sure that the ambitious writer penning my autobiography will name one of the chapters, halfway through the book that is, "Scenario". Let me explain.
To make a long, arduous story somewhat less lengthy, my father and I never had the greatest of relationships - actually, that's putting it rather mildly. I firmly believe that my mothers undying love and support for me is the only thing that could have offset my father's rather passionate "You ain't ever going to be shit" lectures - I sometimes jokingly suggest that my mother is the only reason why I'm not some sort of murderous sociopath, I can't tell you how times I've fought some douche-bag where the confrontation ended with me saying "If it wasn't for my mother, I'd snatch you from the mortal coil sir!!"(only a hack writer like myself could say something so absurd) That being said, when he was first diagnosed with cancer I didn't take out any ill will that I might have had on the old man - besides driving him to some of his doctors appointments, and not addressing the irony of our new-found buddy-status as he told me about all the Japanese vagina he smashed in the early 60's - I also gave him random pep talks whenever the mountain of his diseases seemed insurmountable to him.
Despite all of that, occasionally he would revert into his old self and unleash a verbal barrage upon his youngest son that would have made Antoine Fisher's foster parent come across like Mother Theresa - that probably explains why I was pretty scarce the last couple of weeks of his life. Sure, seeing the usually portly man shriveled up on an uncomfortable hospital bed dying in front of my very eyes wasn't the most pleasant of sights - but to be honest, and even admitting this now makes me feel shame, I really didn't think I could live the rest of my life being the recipient of a death bed "You ain't ever going to be shit" speech. So I stayed away, mostly, taking the cowards way out and visiting him at night simply to appease my mother - and because I knew that he would be knocked out from the heavy doses of morphine and other drugs pumped into his bloodstream throughout the course of a day.
But overcome with guilt one Sunday, realizing that my father's grip on mortality was being mercilessly loosened by the grim raper himself - I prepared myself to gracefully accept whatever he had to say to me, completely open to smiling as if he had always been the poster boy for supportive fathers while clutching the old man's hand and asking god for a miracle. As I entered his hospital room he was already fast asleep, with my mother and about 6 of his good friends laughing about happier times at his bedside as if they were at some sort of social mixer - and of course I joined in, acting the proverbial fool and talking about my love for geriatric vagina and the usage of Ben-Gay as a lubricant was the epitome of escapism from a sobering reality dying a couple of feet away. One by one his visitors made their graceful exits until it was only me and my mother left standing around the man that I was named after, her briefly giving me a welcoming smirk that spoke volumes before leaving the room to smoke a cigarette - so I proceeded to make small talk with my sleeping father that consisted of an apology, sports, and women.
Right as I was trying to figure out whether my father's squeezing of my hand was his intention, or an involuntary muscle flinch - his body temperature started to skyrocket, a fact reinforced to me by annoying buzzing sounds and nurses pushing me out of the way while pouring buckets of ice on my father's body.
Within moments I was getting condolence sentiments from women wearing powder blue scrubs, and hearing my mother yell in an irritating tone "Goddamn you Jim!" - my father was gone. As I was about to console my mother, without missing a beat she asked me "Did you eat anything today? You look hungry, we have a shitload of food at the house!" - man, the strength of that black woman, shit, the historical strength of black women. As I walked to my car I was trying to make sense of me not feeling any sort of overwhelming sadness and if that made me a bad person of not - that's when I pulled out of the hospital parking lot, rain pouring down, and put on a clearchannel radio station like many other's that tries to feel better about themselves by playing an "old school" Hip Hop segment ever so often. That's why the "Scenario" remix means so much to me, as I rapped the words alongside MC Hood and the members of A Tribe Called Quest and Leaders of the New School, I was trying to momentarily escape from a sobering reality that I would have to deal with for years to come - with the tears flowing down my face coming a close second to the immense precipitation I was vehicular-ly faced with. That sobering reality, forever mourning a man that I sincerely feel despised me - and wondering if I should ever have children in fear of cursing my offspring.