“Now Buddy tell me again where you heard about this illumanati business?” I say back to JR, as we go past where I normally turn to go towards my house but I need to keep driving so we can keep talking this morning,
“Ok buddy listen, here’s the deal, the Illumanati is this secret society of rich people and they tell us that its ok for men to wear purses and to dress like girls and to have sex with other men. See buddy, Beyonce and Jay-Z belong to the Illumanati now and Michael Jackson belonged to it too buddy, but he escaped, he’s like this Machiavelli guy who, I don’t know buddy, he was a prince and all these people tricked him and Satan got em buddy, Satan got him”, JR pleads back to me as if I’m sitting on my Ma-Maw’s evangelical bench of my past.
“Satan got who buddy?”, I say back to my young brother,
“SATAN GOT MACHIAVELLI BUDDY!! Satan got him buddy, cause he fell for the Illumanati’s tricks!”, JR urgently warns me,
“Ok buddy, now just calm down there snake charmer and finish the story about how you know about the Illumati,” I say back to JR, as I pull into the Handy-Andy store of my mountain twenties, so we can get drinks for our hot morning work,
“Look buddy, Michael Jackson was just like this Machiavelli prince, he got caught up with Satan too and he became bad, just like Machiavelli, because of power and money buddy. But Michael Jackson escaped the Illumanati, he’s the prince that escaped and the other guy didn’t”, he says as we pull out of the Handy without our gatorades, because I “forgot” my money this morning and my two buddies spent all their morning per diem on their breakfast,
“Ok, so buddies, here’s the deal. I’m gonna tell you what I’ve found out about this Machiavelli fella in a minute, cause I found out some good stuff and I think you’re on to something JR. I have to tell you JR, I mean, I mean I never knew all this stuff about Beyonce and Jay-Z before you told me all this and if you’d just told me all this Illumanati business before, welllllll, you better believe I probably wouldn’t have been playin or buyin their music as much as I have been,” I say back to them with the all-knowing sense that intellectual ignorant glitter dust of commonality will get me everywhere,
“but listen, listen fellas I need to warn you about something at Meg’s house first, before I go into this Machiavelli business ,” I finish for now, and move on to my buddy-story of my morning
“Listen fellas, Listen! Meg’s daughter’s dog, Lucille is up from Atlanta this weekend staying with us, and listen fellas, I know this might come as a complete shock cause y’all know me and how much Meg and I care for you boys, but listen…… We got this dog from some old, rich, white codger up here on the back of the mountain and we took the dog to Meg’s daughter who lives in Atlanta, and I don’t know what this codger did to this dog before our family got a hold of Lucille, but this old white cracker man up here he must have hated black folks, god ole mighty fellas!!! I cant hardly tell you this cause its Sunday morning and I just hate talking about shit like this,” I take a pause, as I give my buddies my best rendition of crying Jim Baker, from my Ma-Maw’s PTL youth trip she took me on back in 1984, “it makes me so sad fellas its just awful and you can’t tell Meg I told you fellas this, but its awful, its awful fellas!! But our dog, our dog Lucille is A RACIST DOG!”, I pause for a second to let them digest my fear,
“And listen fellas Im not saying it’ll come after you guys, especially you JR! Cause your lighter skinned than Roscoe. I’m just saying Roscoe is darker skinned and Lucille might see Roscoe first, and then you’ll really be up shits creek without a paddle if she sees Roscoe first, because she’ll make friends with the lighter skinned brothers, but if her fear starts first with the darker skinned fella, then Oooohhh shit, y’all better run quick!!” I say to them as I swerve to miss a fictitious cat in the road, but know I gotta get them really energized and awake this morning,
“So listen JR, if Lucille, the racist’s dog, does see Roscoe first and somehow gets loose from its chain, you gotta jump in and help Roscoe get to the truck, but it’ll be ok cause I’ll be there too and I’ll catch the dog first if he gets off his chain, I promise I’ll run and catch him!”, I say back to them in my post-athletic, three hundred pound-plus size, confident self,
“And another thing fellas! Listen, I can’t figure out whether Meg’s daughter’s dog really is actually racists! Because, well you know, her daughter and son-in-law they’re kinda what one might call “professor types” (I illustrate my meaning as I put both my hands in the air and Roscoe grabs the wheel , allowing me to give the George Carlin four finger nod), and they live in one of the “blackest” neighborhoods in Atlanta! I can never understand why they have this ferociously mean racist dog and live there? But you know what fellas, you know what’s really weird about Lucille?”,
“what buddy, whats weird?”, Roscoe says back to me, using up his four words of the day.
You see, Roscoe’s been hangin with me and been my workin buddy going on about four months now and I swear to you, I can count how many words he’s said to me on both my eye lashes.
“what’s really weird fellas is that when the rich black folks walk by their house in Atlanta, weeeellll its really weird, but Lucille doesn’t go crazy; it’s almost like she can smell the money in the black guys pocket! It doesn’t even matter if the rich black folks are darker than coal. But I’ll be damn, when a homeless black person or a “suspicious ” black person walks by, man ooh man fellas, that damn dog gets so fired up they have to give it drugs to calm its ass down. I mean fellas can you imagine? Can’t you see that dog going crazy and these two nancy-fancy smart white people not knowing what to do!!” I stop at my middle mountain flashing light and I lean in towards my buddies, as to make my two brethren understand, and for more effect, I whisper my next words,
“it’s awful fellas but hysterical at the same time, I mean fellas look…….I’m not saying this “Lucille” dog is gonna get you right away. But what I am saying is, if I still had my hundreds still in my pocket from last night, wellllllll, I’d loan you fellas a few Benjamins and you could put my Benjamins in yourrrrr pockets and I think you’d be safe. Then maybe this CRAZY-RACISTS (I crescendo my words between soft-spoken and all-knowing temperature degrees) Lucille dog would know you guys are the “good” black guys, no matter how dark or light you are”, I say back as I continue my figure eight pattern towards Meggo’s house, allowing time for my Lucille story to marinate inside their brains as I turn back on the song that started all this discussion in the first place, only for Roscoe to ask one more question,
“So buddy, what your sayin, what your sayin…..is the dog isn’t colorblind, he can see JR and me is black?”, my youngest, more chill little buddy, Roscoe says back shyly, but certain he was told somewhere down his school line that dogs are colorblind.
You see, Roscoe’s my youngest buddy, he’s sixteen years young and three weeks old. He’s from Florida and he’s a bit country. He’s always wantin’ to eat fish; always wantin’ to talk about Wakulla County Florida (that is, when he talks around me, Ill admit it, Ive had to eavesdrop on the fellas a time or four); always talkin’ about how its the best place in the world to live; always talkin about how he use to go crabbin and how he loves the outdoors; but more importantly, he’s my most impressionable buddy right now, cause I’m lookin in my rear view mirror and Im not sure whether JR’s mouth is half open or half closed.
“Buddy listen I’m not sayin the dog can see you and JR is black, what Im sayin is…..this Lucille dog is fuckin’ CRAZY!! And I can’t figure out what’s wrong with it! But I’m sayin that if it gets loose, the only people it ever attacks is poor-black guys like you and JR. I mean, I’ve never even seen it attack anyone before! But god ole mighty fellas, this damn dog is crazy!!! And I just wanted to warn you fellas before we get to Meg’s this morning. Look, I don’t know fellas, maybe I’m wrong! I don’t think so, but maybe it’s just an Atlanta thing. Maybe the dog just doesn’t like new people in her neighborhood. Maybe the dog only wants rich, pretty people in her neighborhood! Cause you know fellas, I hadn’t even thought about this one, but maybe rich folks are just so much happier than poor folks, and maybe Lucille can just sniff happiness. Holy fuck! That must be it fellas!!! God ole mighty, why the hell did I spend all those Benjamin’s last night!! Guys I’ll just drop y’all off and I’m gonna go down to the bank and get some Benjamin’s for your pockets, cause that’ll keep y’all safe from the racists dog!” I say back as I pull into Meg’s driveway and jump out of my truck, slamming my door as I exit, waving my hands in the air and continuing,
“let me go in here and see if Meg’s got some cash stashed away before I head down the mountain to the bank and I’ll be right back fellas! Y’all unload the truck and start weeding the beds and I’ll be back in a minute,” I say as I head up my back-porch steps and glance back for a second to catch Roscoe’s eyes, as he yells back at me,
“Buddy, where’s the dog at?”