Soul Radio by Frederick K Foote

Night Train

Hey, this is for The Sake of Soul, minus rock and roll. I got news for you. I got blues for you. I got things for you to do. Dig what I say. Hear what I play. We gonna fill the hole in your soul, with the best of the blues.

I’m Night Train delivering the best down home deep to the bone blues and giving you the floor and the mic tonight. So, whatever you got on your mind, we got the time, you bring the wine and we gonna have a hecka show.

First, I got, I got a blacksmith for you, a music Smith for you, an organ Smith for you, Mr. Jimmy Smith for you – walking on the wild side.

##

Mercy, mercy, mercy. It’s good to be back. Glad to be black. I’m going to take the first call. All my lines are lit up.  That makes me feel good. High as the sky good. I feel lucky three is blinking at me. Tell me something good, I have O.B. on Lucky Three.

O.B.

Hey, Night Train, how’s it hanging baby? This is O.B. from DC. I just want you and all the other brothers and sisters out there listening to know that I have stepped up my game, man.

Night Train

It’s hanging to the left but leaning to the right. O.B. from the District. I bet there’s no shame in your game. Tell us like it is man. What’s up?

O.B.

Well, you know how every week five-oh dun shot and killed a brother or two. And, and you know, and I know they going to get away with it. Every fucking time they are going to walk free, and another brother is going into the ground.Well, I got the answer. I got Mr. Smith & Wesson 38. When Johnny Law come for me, I will be ready.

Night Train

Slow your roll brother. You need to think that shit through.  When the po-po come they gonna come with the SWAT team with fully automatic weapons. They going to come up with that Army surplus tank. They gonna come with hand grenades, concussion grenades, smoke grenades, phosphate grenades and probably a mortar round or two and a sniper drone.

They gonna to go to war with your black ass and I’m betting on them.

O.B.

Listen, Night Train, I got Second Amendment rights brother. I got the same rights as those fools in the NRA. Everyone has the right to defend themselves.

Night Train

O.B., Brother man, you misunderstand the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment is an automatic death sentence for any black man with a gun. No cop in America will ever be convicted of killing a black man if that black man has possession of or is near or is thought to have a gun even a squirt gun.

O.B.

What about stand your ground laws? What about that? I will move to a Stand My Ground state, and I will carry my piece on my hip. And, everybody better watch the hell out.

Night Train

Brother, brother, you going from bad to worse, man. It’ll be open season on you for every cracker that sees your black ass. And just like the cops none of them will be convicted of blowing your black gun-toting ass away.

O.B.

Not if I see them first.  I just like to see them even try to draw down on me.

Night Train

Man, have you been sniffing that gunpowder? You think you’re going to see them drawing down on you. Brother, you are delusional. In the Land of the Free, they are free to shoot you in the back. Any nigger is a threat, and an armed nigger is a deadly threat. Gotta let you go O.B. Good luck man you gonna need it.

##

Damn, OB off the rails. Pray for the brother. Hey, line One, what’s up Kalisha?”

Kalisha

Night Train, this is Kalisha.  Hey, you need to tell that brother, OB, that he better not register that gun. The cops will look that shit up and will blow his house, family and all up if they know he owns a gun. OB needs to buy his shit on the street and keep it neat and under the sheet.

Night Train

Good, solid advice. Now–

Kalisha

Night Train, you know, and I know you know, that Donald Trump bullshit about political correctness is just giving white people the green light to call us niggers in public. And, I know you know that. Right?

Night Train

Sure, you right. And–

Kalisha

They done started that crap on my job.  I heard them say, “Nigger.” I got all up in their faces. My boss wrote me up for being “overly sensitive.” He didn’t do nothing to my co-workers.

Night Train

Where you at? Are you down south?

Kalisha

Hell no. I’m in Buffalo, New York.  I don’t think it matters where you are. This shit’s getting bad all over. But that’s not what I’m calling about.

Night Train

True that. So, get to it. What’s on your mind?

Kalisha

My mind is troubled. I’m bewildered. I just don’t know who to turn to. My son’s thirteen. I work two jobs to send him to a private school. He’s a good boy. No gangs or drugs. He get good grades.

Night Train

I know you’re proud of him. I know we all proud of you for getting him to thirteen all in one piece and moving in the right direction.

Kalisha

Yeah, but, but, he wore a dress to school. Lord knows what was on his mind. They were having some kind of protest because some of the girls were sent home for violating the dress code or some crap like that. So, he was one of the boys wearing dresses to protest.

Night Train

Okay, so brother stepped up to help out the sisters. That don’t sound all that bad to me. I mean, we need to step up for each other, especially now.

Kalisha

I know you right. I know you right, but, but, people might get the wrong idea. I don’t want his friends and cousins to think he’s gay.

Night Train

Well, I don’t think you can control what other people think. And if your son is gay–

Kalisha

Well, that’s where it gets complicated. He wore that dress that first time. And they won their protest. And, and, he likes wearing dresses. Now, he wears dresses to school more than he wears pants. It’s driving out of my mind.

Night Train

Wow. The school lets boys wear dresses to school? Are other boys wearing dresses to school? Did you flat out tell him to stop wearing dresses?

Kalisha

The school caved in to the kids. Progressive white people bullshit. I should have my ass kicked for sending him there in the first place. I don’t know what other boys are wearing, and I don’t care. I’m worried about my son.

I did tell him to stop. He said he was doing all the things I wanted to with grades and schools and no drugs. He said wearing dresses was something he wanted to do.

He disobeyed me. That’s where we at now.

Night Train

Damn. Have you talked to your friends, family, minister about this?

Kalisha

My sister has two girls thirteen and fifteen. She said she would trade me her two for my son and throw in her new Beamer. I think she halfway serious. I want to keep this inhouse. I don’t want a whole lot of people up in my business.

Night Train

Go for the trade – problem solved.

Kalisha

Not in this life time. I know when I’m well off. Those girls too tough for TV, way too tough for me. I know how I was at those ages.

Night Train

Does your son have friends at school or a girl or boyfriend?  Has the dress thing interfered with those relationships?

Kalisha

He has a few friends and they still tight. But the significant other thing that is a problem.

Night Train

Kalisha, is your son gay?

Kalisha

Night Train, I prayed that he was not gay. I got nothing against gays, but that is such a burden to add to being a black man in America.  But, I was ready to accept that. I had steeled my heart to be ready to understand and support him. But, but it’s worse than that.

Night Train

Oh, shit, what’s wrong? Does he have Aids?

Kalisha

No, no, thank God. But, he got this skinny, little blonde, preppy, white girlfriend. Now, I got nothing against white people in general, but these are some crazy times. How can you trust white people with Trump in office and all the white nationalists taking to the streets?  I mean, he could be sleeping with the enemy. I don’t mean that they are sleeping together, but you know what I’m trying to say. I don’t trust her. In fact, I don’t trust very many of them anymore.

Night Train

Okay, I feel you. I do. But this could be just puppy love. I’m curious as to how she feels about her boyfriend wearing dresses in public. Have you asked her about that? I mean, if you have even spoken to her.

Kalisha

Oh, yeah, I told that little bitch to stay out of my house and away from my son. I told her that. You better believe I did.

Night Train

I believe you. But, how did that work out?

Kalisha

Not too good. I may have overreacted. But she don’t understand that all a cop has to do is see them holding hands and my boy’s life is in danger.

Night Train 

And, before this last election I truly did believe that things were getting better. I was way off the mark on that one. Does your son understand why you’re so concerned?

Kalisha

He can understand what I’m saying, but he doesn’t get the full impact of what I mean. And  I pray to God that he never learns that in the street.

Night Train

Sister, I don’t envy you at all. You have your hands filled. So how are you dealing with all of these issues?

Kalisha

He spends most of his spare time over at her house now.  I went over to her folk’s house last night, and we all talked. She, his girlfriend, seems to really like him. She liked him before and after the dresses.  Now, what kind of woman would like seeing her man out in public in a dress? No black woman would ever go for that crap. Anyway, if you or anybody out there has any suggestions, I’m sure as hell willing and ready to listen.

Night Train

Thank you Kalisha. If you got any help out there for the sister, you know the number.  Hang on a minute… My engineer says there is help for you Kalisha on line Two. Hello Line Two, go ahead with your advice, Professor, is that right? You are the Professor?

Professor

Yes, correct, Night Train. I’m a professor of sociology. I have several points to make to Sister Kalisha. First, Sister I admire your parenting skills and accomplishments. Second, and you know this. Sending your son to a predominantly white school increases the probability of him having an interracial significant other.

Night Train

Are you saying the boy was kinda set up to go white?

Professor

Yes. I think the school in question is approximately ninety percent white, middle and upper middle-class students and about ten percent colored and three percent black.

Night Train

Come on, man, how do you know that?

Professor

I’m looking at an average population for private schools in the Buffalo area. This demographic distribution means every other student in that school knows every black student by name and sight.

Kalisha, it is almost impossible for your son to know all of his fellow students by name or sight.

In other words, your son is under constant observation every moment he is at that school. That can be a lot of pressure.

Night Train

Yeah, I see your point. I never quite saw it like that, but you right.

Professor

Now, this gives all the possible significant others the advantage of knowing the few black students better than the own white racial group.

If your son is getting good grades at school every other student will know it if interested in knowing. If he fails a test, everyone with an interest will also know it.

Night Train

Oh, shit. No place to run. No place to hide.

Professor

Correct. Kalisha, your son saw the need to protest what he saw as unfair policies and or practices even though he was not directly impacted. He has a heightened sense of social justice. He also has a remarkable degree of self confidence in donning female attire. I think you may have contributed substantially to both admirable traits.

Night Train

True that. The boy got guts and balls. I couldn’t do that at his age. I know that.

Professor

Two more quick points. First the girlfriend is an above average student who is attracted to your son primarily for behavioral reasons not race. She admires his intellectual and social skills, his ability to gracefully navigate the demanding nearly all white environment, his remarkable self-confidence and his empathy. This is a serious young woman. Kalisha, I think you should keep this in mind.

Night Train

Yes indeed. Sounds like more than puppy love at work here. Right? I mean, but, at thirteen…

Professor

Correct, at least for her. And serious attachments to significant others can start even earlier than age thirteen.  My final point is that Kalisha’s son’s continuing to wear female garb may be a strategy to reduce the pressure on him.

Night Train

What? I think wearing a dress would put a hecka lot more pressure on the young brother. Help me out here professor.

Professor

To a degree you are right. However, the anomaly of a boy in a dress may overshadow the importance of race. The other students may see him as boy in a dress first and as a black boy second.

This gives Kalisha’s son the ability to control other’s perceptions of himself. It is a rare opportunity to escape the cage of race.

Night Train

Wow! I’m not sure I understand or, or accept that idea, but are you saying there’s no sexual stuff going on in the brother wearing the dress?

Professor

No, no, not at all. There is definitely sexual content in his behavior, but it may not be his primary interest in continuing to cross dress.

And, sister you might try to talk to your son and his girlfriend and their parents about the kinds of dangers that you, unfortunately, have to anticipate.

Night Train

Okay, Professor. You the man. You give us a lot to think about. Wow! Heavy shit there, man. Line Three, Crawdad, talk to me.

Crawdad

Hey, Night Train, man, this is Crawdad.  I just want to say to OB that he can have my gun. I’ll give him my forty-five pistol. I don’t want to have anything else to do with any guns. I lost my only child a year ago today in that never-ending war in Afghanistan. I miss her every day.

Professor, I think you are right on the money.

Kalisha, if I had your son and his girlfriend, I would hold them both tight for as long as I could dresses and all.

Thank you, Night Train and goodnight.

Night Train

Listen and learn. We be right black for you to take your turn. Just check out my friend, my pal, my buddy, brother Buddy Guy telling us what we know, damn right, we got the blues. Back after Buddy and the news.

 

Frederick K Foote 

Banner Image: Pixabay.com

3 thoughts on “Soul Radio by Frederick K Foote

  1. Topical, relevant and the style of delivery was spot on. Your ability to write natural and believable dialogue is probably unparalleled on this site Fred and this was another example of such. It’s heartbreaking to reflect on how non-fictional most of this fiction is in the current climate.

    Like

  2. Hi Fred,
    The line about the boy wearing the dress says more about the problems in our society than any government funded study ever could.
    You have a talent in magnifying a train of thought in very few words.
    Excellent!!
    Hugh

    Like

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