Monday, February 20, 2006

Words Don't Fail Me Now...In Redux


Words Don't Fail Me Now

Words have always been a safety net, a source of refuge. When the world is a spikey morass of madness, I turn to words to soothe my battered soul. They skillfully attack my enemies, laying waste to mortals with lesser intellect and like music to my ears words comfort me. With words, I can create any world I want, a desirable space beyond a comfortless reality where ninnies rule.
This week, I felt very much like a victim. Who wants to feel like that? Nobody, unless you have some sort of twisted need to wallow in self doubt and hatred. No, we all live in a comfort bubble of beliefs that delude us with thoughts that we are in control of our lives. Those thoughts keep us trying, keep us percolating along and trying to make some sort of contribution to the world.
We're just fine until the daylight robbers come along. Without realizing it, dear friends, you have probably at some time been the victim of the daylight robbers; those daring and audacious ones who come at you to oppress. My chosen vocation is full of them. They have big degrees. They sit in seats of power and authority. Most of them are monkeys with flapping jaws, signifying nothing. I work in an arena where the midlevel monkeys have all the responsibility and none of the power. The midlevels for some reason which I have never been able to understand have an unspoken code; thou shalt not rock the boat. The daylight robbers dole out employment contracts like jellybeans. The vaunty daylight robbers hold their thrones, (I mean positions) mostly because they have more time in the job or because they got an online McDegree, or because they played the race card just right.
(R) is a woman who fits all of the above categories. And if the caste of daylight robbers rolled out a red carpet, she'd be there in a hideous gown and tiara making an acceptance speech for being named Big Kahuna. Forgive me dear friends but I am contemplating making a voo doo doll in her likeness. She just stole my summer job. Every year I work during the summer even though I don't have to, just so I can afford a decent vacation after slaving away all year at a thankless job for meager pay and outrageously expensive medical bennies.
Not being a native of the shabby little town where I've poured blood sweat and tears into my job for quite a few years now and definitely not knowing the steps toThe Plantation Boogie; over the years, I've learned how to play along just to get along and that always meant heaping profuse amounts of humble pie in (R's) direction, just so she would know how very grateful I was to have a job.
Every little thing this woman ever asked me to do, I was on it; helping her idiot nephew, showing up and being a part of the show at civic events where she was the primary organizer and where Black folks gussied up in ridiculous parody of the white aristocracy in a town which despises and excludes them. I did my best Oprah impersonation, pasted on a cheesy grin and emceed those events like a good House Negro. Power to the peopuuuuuulllll!!!!!!!! I went home with a gift from the dollar store for my trouble and the nebulous goodwill of my people - people who think (R) walks on water because she works in The Big House with The Man, people who despise the fact that we are all tan and swimming around in the same pool of race hatred, always viewed me with a measured degree of distrust 'cause I wasn't one of them. I tell you the daylight robbers smell the stench of their own with frightening accuracy. Dear Readers, are ya still with me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????
(R's) reason for cutting me off cold turkey from my summer drudge is quite simple. I am not a dolt and I saw it coming. Last summer, she asked me to do something that was dishonest and unethical. (We ethical types are a cog in the wheel of the daylight robbers.) I put my high-minded foot down and for the first time in our field nigra/house nigra relationship, I said , "No." If you have read this far, vigorous applause and salutes in my direction would not be unwelcome here. At the time I found my backbone, I also knew I had sealed my fate. I knew I would be cast out of the sea of (R's) favored few, set adrift in Klanville to from henceforth fend for myself.
I was summarily dismissed from R's presence when she reached for her phone and began talking as if I wasn't even there. Call me twisted but I was strangely elated. I guess that's what happens when you start to believe in yourself.
So this summer, I'll do some soul searching. I'll make some contacts in Boston which is where I want to be full time anyway. Maybe some of the folks I met at Primary Source or Tufts can give a sister with a newfound backbone a helping hand.
I'm crazy enough to believe in myself and to think there is still place in this world for someone who won't make compromises that allow mediocrity to rule. Wish me well dear readers as I venture into the great unknown, self respect intact.

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