Today is Tupac’s birthday. What’s two plus two?
Five. Duh. Two plus two is five. It’s always been
five and it will always be five. Bruce Jenner
is a woman now and by God you’ll accept
it and anything else you’re told to on Face-
-book or Snap Chat or whatever you’re using.
Will the people lacking a smart phone raise their
hand? Am I the only one? Please say no. Oh,
look, there’s a black guy waving on an island
and if you listen closely, you can hear him
saying “Picture me rolling,” or something like
that. I take off into the blue sky and fly
over towards him, but he stops his cadence,
pulls out an ink pen and notepad and scribbles
for what seems like hours. Finally he looks
up and grins. “I think I have something,” he says.
“Sorry to interrupt,” I reply. He grins.
“I ain’t mad at’cha,” he quips, then he throws his
head back and laughs like a maniac. “Hell naw,
I ain’t mad at’cha.” I smile and nod. He
does the same. “Do you know how important your
music was and is? You were a poet, sir.”
He turns, bashfully lowering his eyes to
the brown sand beneath his sandaled feet. “You were
the one talking about freeing yourself and
making the best out of a bad circumstance.
Thanks.” “You know who else did that?” he asks. I shrug.
“Bradley Nowell,” the man says, knowingly. “Oh!”
I nod. “Of course. The former Sublime singer.”
(The true Sublime, not Sublime with Rome. Sorry.)
The man chuckles and covers his mouth with his
right hand. Through his fingers I can see his teeth…
they’re whiter than mine, but his eyes are dark brown
and full of childish mischief, the way you
heard Peter Pan’s described in bedtime stories.
“How did you know you could talk to me?” he asked.
I raised my left eyebrow and snickered. “What do
you mean?” “Most people are scared of me,”
he said. “Must be the tattoos,” I commented.
“Well, those and the bandana on your head. You’re
like a character from a movie with Dan
Ackroyd and Demi Moore. Shit … what was it called?”
The black man’s face turned as serious a
preacher’s when interrupted during a sermon.
“Nothing but Trouble,” he said, shaking his head.
“That’s the one,” I yelled, slamming my fist into
my palm and cackling like a hyena. “I
love that movie! John Candy, man! Dude … tell me
you got with that one extra in the music
scene … the one with the enormous eyes and thick
American thighs.” The man cracked up and turned,
once again covering his mouth with a fist.
“Don’t mess with me,” he said. “You don’t really like
that movie, do you? It’s terrible.” “So what?”
I stated. “It’s still entertaining as hell.
I just have one question. Why’d Humpty rip off
the drum riff to ‘Walk this Way’ by Aerosmith?
Ok, two questions: That’s the real you there, huh,
standing there in your vintage ‘90s New York
Yankees baseball jersey and high fade haircut,
singing like one of The Temptations. That’s you.
Not 2-Pac. Not Makaveli. Just ‘Pac.”
He exhaled softly. I nodded and glanced to
my right at a leaning palm tree. “I have to
ask: why’d Humpty have a keytar? And why did
he sound like Will Smith? What was happening there?”
The man looked to his left and asked, “Do folks still
dance? Do they still sing? Do they still have fun?” I
shrugged. “That’s too bad,” he said. “Hey, have you ever
listened to Eminem?” I asked, after a
brief moment of silence. He nodded. I grinned.
“Will Smith don’t have to cuss in his raps to sell
records,” I began. “Well I do,” he finished.
“So fuck him and fuck you too,” we said at once,
then we laughed our asses off for six minutes
and thirty-eight seconds. I know, because some
hipster with a smart phone wandered up stroking
his beard and adjusting a pair of horn rims.
“At the tone, the time will be three o’clock.” … He
said that for over an hour and I left.