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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ponyo (excerpt 6) Higher Education?

Higher Education?

Michael Thomas and I graduated high school at the top of our class. MT scored a full college scholarship, academic and athletic. We were linked by an umbilical cord of intuition, sharing an entirely freelance view of the world.
We despised religion, particularly the Jim Crow Christianity mumbo- jumbo. The civil rights movement was completely insulting to our sense of self. Why would I permit someone to beat me upside the head in a march? Why would I sit down and demand to be served in a filthy restaurant or sit on a nasty toilet?
We considered ourselves superior to white people. I had my own toilet and I could go to the store and buy my own food to cook in my own kitchen. The civil rights agenda of integration was complete foolishness to me. The burgeoning “black power” movement was still very abstract, but we totally agreed with the “kill my dog, slay your cat” philosophy. Damn right.
But in the main nothing was a challenge for us, nothing was hip enough. We considered ourselves the masters of it all, probably the sentiment of most twenty-year olds.
Going into college my self-confidence verged on ego mania. New York City had sharpened all my life skills, my power with women, and my street knowledge.
I was a dashing aristocratic cat. I was walking in my grandfather’s footsteps, always immaculately dressed and smelling like paradise. I styled myself as the swashbuckler who miraculously showed up and took charge, vanquished the evildoers and ran off with the girl. College was a hell of a disappointment.
My parents businesses were taking off so I could go to any school I wanted. I chose a historically Black college in the state of West Virginia.
Integration was all the rage, but this college was integrated in reverse. White teachers and students had been slowly migrating there for years. As a result, the accreditation standards were far above the standards of other “Negro” schools, it had quite a prestigious reputation.
The entry exams were elementary to me. I aced all of them except English. I was put in a remedial course called “Bonehead English.” That hurt me. I’m Orion Roberts. What the hell do I look like in a class called “Bonehead English?” What could I do?
The first day the instructor gave us an assignment. We were to write an essay on our life experience. Growing up in the South, I wrote about Jim Crow and my contempt for “southern society.” That paper saved me the embarrassment of being a “bonehead.” Immediately I was put in a college levelcourse.
Right after enrollment that voice within, that intuitional guide that’s been with me since I was four, asked me a very pointed question, “What are you doing here?” It hit my mind like an ice pick. “You... don’t belong here.”
This is the voice of the soul talking to me. So I began to doubt my decision to go to college. But I’m here, my tuition’s paid so I might as well make the best of it.
Back in my little dormitory room I’m contemplating this when I’m disturbed by a ruckus outside. My door bursts open. Three guys storm in with beer bottles in their hands and insanity in their eyes.
“We’re looking for faggots!”
I’m so pissed I can’t speak. One of them grabs a broom from the side of the room and comes toward me. Between his eyes was this dent, some type of deformity.
“You see this dent in my forehead! When I was a freshman, an upperclassman bust into my room, pinned me to the floor and with the dull edge of a knife put this here dent in my forehead. Every year I pick some little punk to do the same thing to. This year it’s you! I’m gonna whip your ass so bad, your dead grandmother’s gonna shout in her grave!”
“Is that so?”
I carried this small knife on my belt that resembled a letter opener, but it was sharp as one of my grandfather’s steak knives. In a split second I’d sliced that broom in half, threw him down on the bed and put the knife to his throat.
“Are you crazy! Don’t you ever come up in my room talking shit; you’ll end up a dead nigger with a dent in his forehead. In fact, let me carve some new designs in your ugly mug right now!”
I pricked his forehead enough to draw some blood.
“You never know who you might meet in this world. There’s psychopaths, murderers, sadistic monsters... You don’t know what I might do. Do you?”
His friends start pleading with me, “Hey man, we’re just playing! We don’t mean no harm. Come on, man, we’re sorry.”
“Do I look like I’m playing? I should kill all three of ya’ll mamma- jammas.”
“Man, I was just playing, all us upperclassmen do this.” The poor kid’s shivering like he stepped into a cold shower.
I released him. “You got ten seconds to get the fuck out my dorm.” “Man, where... where you from?” “Illumination. Illumination, Virginia. You got three seconds.” As they ran out my knife struck the door just barely missing them. Maybe I don’t belong here. Next day I went to the cafeteria for breakfast. All the freshmen were
wearing dog tags around their necks that said “I am a dog – freshman,” with a little beanie atop their heads. When upper class men approached them theywent down on all fours and started barking. All the freshmen did this. Except one.
I took a seat to have some breakfast and watch this foolishness. An upperclassman comes up to me, “Are you a freshman?”
“Yes, I am.”
Another guy interrupts him, “Hey, man that’s Louie, he’s cool. Leave him alone man.”
Word had gotten around, don’t mess with Louie from Illumination. That was their nickname for me. Everywhere I went I heard it, “Lou! Lou! Hands off Louie”.
Damn right. I developed a real bad attitude towards every aspect of that school. A
contemptuous boulder was growing on my shoulder. The college seemed to have two classes of people: the athletes and
the bourgeoisie – with the athletes dominating. I blocked myself off from both groups and developed a real intense, no-nonsense attitude. I had a hair-trigger temper. If an ant stepped to me wrong, I’d shoot the ant into the ground. But I had a real comic side too, like a little Richard Pryor. That helped mask my contempt for these fake-ass people around me. I had a hawk on one shoulder, a dove on the other.
The women loved it. I’ve always been strong with women, that’s inherited. But at that sissy college it was magnified. I was the only lion amongst a bunch of pussycat men and duncical buffoons hugging a football.
Soon the finest women either belonged to myself or Moms. Moms was a notorious bull dagger with a string of drop-dead gorgeous ladies but I’ll be damned if any woman is gonna outdo Orion Roberts.
She’d stroll through with her harem of lovers and I rolled out with mine. She respected me because I was in reality what she could only pretend to be: a man.
She flaunted her “power” over her lovers, but I already knew the pimp game from my cousins in New York City.
The pimps I knew in New York were some glorious cats who decorated themselves like boxes of candy housed with a lot of bitter chocolate (women). I befriended many of them usually at the pool table where I watched the game unfold. From time to time in my life, women have approached me to
be their pimp. Graciously I’d decline. “No, darling, I’d have to beat your ass. I’d have to mistreat you, you
know you’ll need that to really be effective for me.” I’m a lover of women and the pimp has no authentic love for his
women. He takes a woman’s fascination and distorts it into an ugly thing. I could never manipulate someone like that. I’ll take that fascination and plant a botanical garden where the pimp always leaves the same land barren and withered.
When I’d travel back to the city, I’d ask my cousins about New York Slim, Chicago Brass, Little Joe the Mighty Mo; all the top pimps. One by one, I’d hear it.
“Orion, they rolled over.” “What? You don’t mean...” You see the pimp can indulge in all the sickest sexual fantasies he can
dream up. His women are licking him up and down like a dog, poking him with a dildo; he’s watching them have sex with one another with a finger up his ass. Sooner or later he just “rolls over” and lets another man in there. Since he’s already made an erogenous zone out of his behind he just rolls all the way over! If that’s the end result of the pimp game, count me out.
So I never glorified the pimp. To me they were just weak-ass perverted mannequins that eventually lost all relationship with the essence of their own manhood. So I peeped Moms and her game. She was in good company.
That whole school flaunted homosexuality. The dean of admissions, all the department heads and the majority of the professors were homosexuals.
I’m from Illumination, Virginia. I drank strength from the nipple and to me this was the ultimate weakness.
Professor Stewart was a predatorial fag. He was a big, ugly monster looking man. He’d bust into dorms and just take men. Several other professors were having sex with athletes in exchange for a passing grade. It was a silent code they had amongst each other but I could smell the stench in the air.
This cat from North Carolina named C.J. had the dirt on them all. That was his edge. We made a pact that if any of these crazy professors tried anything we’d take them off the planet. It might take both of us with a big goon like Professor Stewart, but I’ll be damned if he’s gonna put his sticky fingers on me.
Hardly any one in the school’s administration was sane. Another extreme example was the sociology professor. I’ll call him Mr. Pompous Asshole. He was a skinny red Negro. He looked like Lon Chaney, the wolf man, and Dracula all rolled into one. He was a hideous, sinister looking cat. But sociology was an interest of mine.
The first day of class he sashays in and turns all the lights on bright. “Let there be light,” he pronounced with a nasal lisp. Even his voice was wrong: all nasal, no bass, no soul in there.
His was an early morning class, eight A.M. or so. For some reason it was difficult for me to make it on time.
“Mr. Roberts the next time you’re late in my class I’m flunking you!”
No matter what I did I just couldn’t seem to make it on time. Fine. I’ll just ace the class. I did. Straight A’s all semester, nothing near a B.
My report card arrives and sure enough His Pompousness flunks me. How the hell can he flunk me when I aced the class all semester? This ain’t right. I confronted him.
“Mister Roberts, did I not tell you I would flunk you if you ever were late again? Did you think I was blowin smoke out of my ass?” He begins to laugh aloud in a Vincent Price mezzo-soprano timbre.
I don’t know about smoke, but my foot’s about to contact your ass, you freak of nature futherfacker.” I went completely ballistic. I whipped his ass in three languages.
I ended up locking him in the closet of his office and threw the key in the dumpster.
Pompous Asshole was hospitalized and it became the scandal of the year. The dean called me in to kick me out of the school.
“I ain’t going nowhere!” “Mr. Roberts, you are to leave the campus immediately!” “No I’m not leaving the campus. But I will go to the faculty and tell
them about...” I called the role on all the athletes’ he was screwing. His lover was the Head of the Dramatic Department; but he didn’t know his lover was fucking half the football team.
“I’ll expose you to the world you perverted ass mamma-tamma!”
I was excused with a passing grade and went about my damn business. Word quickly spread of my successful vanquishment of the evil, pompous one. For the next week the campus chant was “Lou! Lou! Lou!” People thought I was superman.
I say all this only to say that college was diametrically opposed to the natural mystic I’d cultivated since childhood.
These were weak people (the Negro elite) whose only goal in life was to “fit in” with white people. To get a “good” job in some big corporation, to integrate a neighborhood, to stay in your place, and don’t cause any waves in white peoples’ sea.
Well I was a self-power, a self-entity. These were people to be pitied. College was just another way to turn brown rice white, an indoctrination making well trained, modestly paid slaves; making you forever a subordinate. Even if you’re vice-president of this or C.E.O. of that, you will always be looking up to the real power signing your checks. Like pilots who can land only where air traffic control “clears” him to land. I saw that clearly then and even clearer now.
Around that time I took an excursion up north where I saw an Indian (subcontinent) man running a marathon. He was a fakir. This man fell and sliced his leg open on the side of the road.
With my own eyes I witnessed this man put himself into a trance and clot the blood until medical help arrived. That’s the kind of knowledge I wanted. Why can’t they teach that in college! Fuck being a pawn in the hands of the blue-blooded overlords. Toilet water blue that is.
Every day of every semester I was in college that intuitional voice of dissention grew stronger, “What the Sam-hell are you doing here!”
In fact in my junior year the voice told me if I didn’t get out of college at once, he (my intuitional voice) would cease communication.
All I could do was soak up all I could, anything that would be of some benefit to me. I wanted to learn everything about finance, so I got straight A’s in economics. Mathematics intrigued me, and of course, the mind so psychology was a real passion of mine as well.
I did have excellent teachers. Miss Whitehurst was a brilliant woman who wrote a book on experimental psychology. She taught her class out of her own book. I never opened her book or any others. I didn’t actually study any subject. I took excellent notes and I guess it all echoed back to me by osmosis.
She was an ultra-voluptuous high-yellow woman and we had a real seductive ebb and flow between us. After class we’d engage each other’s minds on entrée upon entree of intellectual delicacies.
“Orion, I hate to admit this, but the material you’ve been reading is really superior to mine. I’m always embarrassed when you raise your hand in class. It seems you should be up here and I should be where you are taking notes.”
“Boy, Miss Whitehurst, I just say what’s on my mind. I haven’t read anything on the subject.”
Her beautiful light amber eyes grew sky wide, “You’re a natural!”
She wanted to take me under her wing and guide me into a psychiatric career, to work with her, maybe even open up a practice together. The thought was intriguing but that would be another eight years of my life!
Psychoanalysis is the bedrock for any real work in psychology. I greatly desired this process. In order to take someone into psychoanalysis one must have undergone a thorough analysis as well.
Miss Whitehurst, brilliant as she was, had not yet done this critical work. At that time there weren’t any prominent Black psychologists. I couldn’t see myself pioneering such uncharted terra firma.
Repeatedly she’d offer her luscious self to me but I’d never take the bait, only heightening her lustful curiosity. She stuffed her conversation with double and triple entendres. I’d sit there with a full-on erection halfway down my leg, hypnotizing myself not to use it.
I was a man with a small frame so my size was an unexpected surprise to her. One day she could no longer hold her composure. She broke down and grabbed it.
“Miss Whitehurst! I can’t give you this hammer. I’d totally ruin you for any other man you meet in the future, a husband. You’d never be the same.” Frankly, I had too much respect for her, and I never had sex for sex’s
sake. I loved pursuance, the dance between the sexes, that tango, that ebb and flow.
There was one other memorable teacher, Mr. Stevenson, who was a biology professor. He was a well-traveled man whose advice to me was timeless. He said, “Orion, in order to succeed in America one must think of something no one else has thought of, then execute it in a way no one has previously thought of. The only constant here is change.”
He took me under his wing and even wanted me to marry his daughter. I enjoyed his daughter. I enjoyed many daughters. I was a confirmed bachelor. Marriage was a pathetic thing to me, a crutch.
I loved the women in my life deeply though. Real love is an inexhaustible fountain and I had more than enough to drown all my ladies.
They all were special. Tanya Hanyes was a jet-black goddess; she was ninety pounds of pure sensuality. Olivia was the polar opposite; she looked like a White girl. In between were many whose names I’ve forgotten, they came tall and short, every hue under the sun but I loved them all.
One was my party girl, my dance partner. One was my carnal delight, another was my intellectual stimulation, and yet another was my soul mate. They each fed all the various compartments of my self.
They all knew about each other. Why lie? If you get tired of this arrangement go about your business but know this: nobody will love you like me. That was and still is my guarantee.
One day my dad asked me how many girlfriends I had. At that time I had three. He didn’t believe me.
“If you bring all three to dinner at the same time I’ll let you drive my Fleetwood.”
That was his challenge and I loved driving his brand new Cadillac. So the next night I invited all my girlfriends to dinner to my dad’s enjoyment and my mother’s disapproval. Afterwards I drove them all home in my dad’s Fleetwood.
That being said, only one made me contemplate marriage.

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