I fucked up. I did. I admit it. I messed up bad. Some have even accused me of child abuse, and those accusations have come from members of my own family. You might have heard something about this mess already. Now, what I’m asking you to do is set aside whatever you heard and listen to what I have to say. I did mess up, but I wasn’t alone, and if you get the backstory, it might help you understand what went down.Continue reading “The Name of the Game by Frederick K Foote”
“Time and tide wait for no man, buddy. You got to get up and get back on track.”
Coach Leif is kneeling beside me with a grin morphing into a smirk. I’m flat on my back courtesy of a blindside hit that has me seeing stars, hearing bells, and wondering if I’m paralyzed.
“Track? Was I on a track? What the fuck? I thought I got hit by a truck. What’s a truck doing on our track?”
“Come on. Get on up and shake it off, Urban.”Continue reading “Urban Violence by Frederick K Foote”
I had just sprayed some swastikas on my father’s shiny new headstone, and was two letters into a nice double-underlined “BURN IN HELL, NAZI” when I saw her.
Her flowing white dress fairly glowed in the full moon’s light. Her skin and hair were so dark, the way she walked so light and graceful, that my first thought was “ghost”. But disembodied spirits don’t usually carry duffel bags, or pause their spectral wanderings to shift the straps awkwardly. Having more to fear from the living than the dead, I swung behind dad’s elaborate (now slightly moreso) stone, and hid.
From one minute of the day to the next, Neckwrek Handel-Handel sang the song endlessly, “Ain’t No Jail Aholtin’ Me,” sang it, mouthed it, uttered it, yelled it. For his five years in Yakima Territorial Prison the guards always knew where he was, in what disposition, secure in one cell or another, or laboring on a prison work detail. Prisoner #127 was known by the only name ever used by him, Neckwrek Handel-Handel, but history had other versions that are worth unveiling if the man is to be known if not understood. Yakima Territorial Prison, as described by some Washington folks in the know, was “200 miles of nothing between here ‘n’ there,” and about the toughest place in the territory. He was 24 years old when he was brought to Yakima, the prison then just over a year old, and 29 when he escaped, in 1881.
November 29, 2018, 10:31:03 a.m.
Interview room at the Sports League of America (SLA) headquarters in Dallas, Texas. The room has video and audio recording equipment, a conference table seating twenty, water in plastic bottles on ice with glasses and napkins. In attendance is a court reporter, a camera operator, Elsa Dayton, Chief Investigator for the SLA; John Henry Brown (JHB), running back for the Kansas Kings; Abigail Thornton, attorney for JHB, Tucker Borden agent for JHB
“Hey, Beth, you got a minute? I need your advice.”
“Greg, not really, however, I’ll always make time for a call from my ex-husband and the father of our children. First of all, you should move out of that horribly dangerous Oak Park place where you have domiciled my children. Apparently, the law enforcement thugs have a year-round open season on black people in Sacramento.”
The truth is I’m still haunted by them, even though it’s been months since they left the Royal Bargains Dollar Store.
Ah sir, you come upon me just as I am closing for the night. No no, it is not a problem to remain open whilst you make your purchase. Come in, I insist! I would not have you come out all this way on a night such as this and leave empty handed. Commutes are soulless enough endeavours, without being denied sustenance for the sake of an old man closing his establishment five minutes early.
“Where are you looking?”
“Sweet Pines Middle School. Riverside Country Day. Ethical Morality on the Upper West Side.”
“All top notch — if you don’t mind me asking… how can you afford that?”
“Oh, Tom just got promoted and we’ve saved a little from his inheritance.”