I wrote it, but wasn’t so sure of it. My man Grant was gonna be a suave-ass ladies man, but not a dick. What was his job? What was his motivation? And how did I know he wasn’t gonna be a dick? I could just as easily write him to be a pussy magnet, but that would kinda suck. I couldn’t even FAKE that part.
For his credit, B peppered me with ideas and suggestions, since it was kinda his fault I got motivated to do this shit anyway.
“He should be a pimp, you know, but not an asshole with the ladies,” B offered, echoing my thoughts. “Pretty sick of muthafuckas picking up mad women. I shouldn’t have to read that shit. And they’re PRETTY muthafuckas, too. Can’t cat have a gap in his teeth or something? B could not be stopped now, standing up and orchestrating his hate. “Mentally, he should be on top of his game, but he has problems, right? The muthafucka’s HUMAN! He gets turned down, he feels bad about shit, he doesn’t always do the right thing. And PLEASE, can this nigga PLEASE stop finding these fine ass women?” I so didn’t want to step in front of the B-More Express as he thundered on. “I mean, where do they MAKE these chicks? And everywhere he go, they don’t just fucking POP UP. Let him meet a lot of 5s, and some 6s, and less 7 and 8s, and two or three 9s and 10s who are so bitchy NO ONE likes them. You know the deal.”
Sensing that he felt he voiced his concern, I asked about Grant’s character, beyond the teeth thing.
I mean, he’s gotta be someone I can read and not be pissed off at, you know? He goes through some shit, and rolls with the punches. He’s good, and the bad guys keep fucking with him. Maybe he’s trying to get his money right, and people keep fucking with him. Maybe he’s trying to get a promotion, and they’re coming at him with bullshit. Maybe he got some issues with the fam, like a momma who’s sick or a druggie sister. You know? I just don’t want dude to flip a switch and have shit just work out. Make him WORK for that shit! He doesn’t die or anything, but fuck, I’m sick of reading this shit where Dylan Arrington the Fourth has some problem and Daddy fucking fishes him out of it. Fuck that. And fuck Dylan Arrington the Fourth, nahmean?”
B paused for breath. A light bulb went off in my head. “Why don’t you write a story, then? You got all these ideas, my nigga. You can write a story just as well as I can.”
B looked at me and grinned. “You’re the motherfucker trying to separate from the pack, son. I’ll just be helping you along. Kinda like the jockey, but I ain’t riding you.” B cracked up over the double entendre. I stared at him until he was done.
He saw my serious look and straightened up. “What? C’mon, man. You’ve already put shit down on paper, I haven’t. You’re more into this than me. All I got is the shit I HATE reading. And you hate that shit too. I know you do. So, you got a chance to write some shit that’s not like the shit you and me hate reading.”
He had a point. They called the shit “urban fiction,” which meant that some hood people wrote it. Mostly black and Latino characters, mainly women, went through hell and high water through 150 or so pages, only to be rescued by some random dude in a white Caddy. And the shit was ignorant as fuck. Hood chicks, no momma, no daddy, living by their wits and shit. The storylines were different, but they were the same; amidst the bombed out background of a Compton, or Brooklyn, or Chicago, some chick would get fucked with, literally and figuratively. Gangstas would kill each other. Family members would kill each other. Police would kill all of the above. Out of this, this chick would find true love after fucking with these no-account fucks for thousands of words. I mean, these bitches would be striking out for eight innings; having babies, fighting with they baby daddies, fighting the bitch-ass manager at they low-pay job, crying and shit, and then, with two strikes and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, they hit on something and land everything. Fuck that.
I didn’t wanna write “urban fiction.” I’d have a black guy in it, for sure, but I couldn’t have everything going his way or going against him then all of a sudden shit starts clicking and working and he gets the fly job, the fly girl, the cancer miraculously goes away, the tides recede, and everyone sings Kumbaya.
But B was right. I was in this now. I’d have to change up some things, but editing could be done later. And I’d need help on some things. I wondered how Christine would like what I’d written, but I hadn’t really talked to her since her date with Football Dude. I made a mental note to check up on him later on; I didn’t even know cat’s name, but I do know that he had Chris’ attention. She would do this whenever she went out with a dude, usually not talking to me while she and him “got to know each other better.” Afterwards, she would regale me with stories of the unfortunate dudes. Some of them schemed to get the draws and were obvious about it. Some played the nice role for a while, but as soon as she dangled the bait, they went for it. A couple were actual gentlemen about it and came out of it all as friends. It was my suspicion they had other, easier options to get some, but they appreciated Chris for what she was, funny, smart, and not taking any shit.
She’d never gone quiet for this long, though. Maybe dude was cool. Maybe she was still testing him out. It usually didn’t take this long, though.
And why did I care so much?