You might not HATE yourself but you definitely don’t know how to LOVE yourself!!!

January 28, 2009

Sorry to piggy back your last post E but you made me think of an incident that changed my life.

Some time…well, more than a decade ago I was sipping coffee on a weeknight at a Cafe that doesn’t exist anymore in Venice Beach when I was first introduced to Paul Beatty.

A cute little Latina sitting across from me saw what I was reading, Pablo Neruda The Captain’s Verses, and let out a small chuckle. Confused but intrigued I glanced to see what she was reading. It was “White Boy Shuffle”.

Now we were both laughing at the irony (1st. time in the history of the word used correctly) of the situation.  I told her how Samite Mulondo’s music touched my soul in the only way an African musician could. And she told me how she felt the same about Frida Kahlo art. We had the most amazing conversation until closing time when we decided to exchange literature and phone #’s. For the next few weeks we would meet and take turns reading out loud to each other. I was a pleasure to not just read PB’s work but to hear it spoken was intoxicating.

Sadly enough though I probably could have gotten more out WBS but our minds keep drifting to more extra curricular activities.  The art in PB’s work is his mastery of the English language and his ability to paint vivid pictures in your mind of memories rediscovered. With that said PB is not a prophet.  I’m sick of people trying to read too much into his work.  “No Message Here Just Good Reading” should be stamped to his books. I don’t know why people (Black & White) need to attach a social/political “message” to everything a Black author writes.  The man is just talented!!!

Needless to say today I’m still very good friends with the now woman I met that evening. And we still discuss art,  music,  literature and Obama. And although we often reminisce about our escapades in culture when we were young we both know that the connection Pablo and Paul gave us would never be repeated or replicated.

I used to think that was a curse. But an older wiser Ronin Storm is now just grateful for the opportunity.  Thanx P&P

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