click here for pt 1
I wrote a post a couple of years back- one of my first- a pretty crude piece called, “the J-Factor.” Some of you might remember it. If not, take a peek. To summarize, it was about my infatuation with Japanese girls when I first arrived here in Japan. How there was something about them, something psychological, that made “being” with them just that much more an erotic and exotic experience.
Ah, the good old days.
But, with Maggie, well…it was very different.
Like the J-Factor, it was also psychological, but it wasn’t very pleasant at all. At least not for me it wasn’t. I’d had friends tell me everything from “white girls are mad freaky…they do anything you want em to do!” to “better take her to a hotel…go to her crib you might not leave alive,” to “Watch your ass, yo. All them white bitches are hoes and she’s bound to give you the clap, or something!” (Or something meant crab lice or herpes, btw. This was pre-AIDS era, before sex became lethal.) On top of that, that Jungle Fever had me delirious with lust, while the Mandingo and Iceberg Slim syndromes had me jumping at shadows all along the tree and brownstone lined streets on the way to her apartment building. (Yes, the ugly downside to being a thinker.) I lugged all this mental, racial luggage up the four floor walk-up to her apartment.
I was spent by the time we arrived.
“I guess Karen’s not here,” she said as she opened the door and turned on the light to reveal a very cozy and clean one-bedroom apartment. “Have a seat…would you like something to drink? Sorry about all the steps, this building needs an elevator.”
“Nah, I’m good…”
“I’m gonna have some wine…you sure? I got some cheese, too, somewhere.”
Wine and cheese? “What, no crackers?” I said, and laughed. She didn’t get it.
“I might have some…I’ll be right back!” And she scuffled away and left me sitting there. I looked around her place like a black anthropologist studying the living habits of white folks. I imagined myself whispering into a little mini-recorder, ” The domesticated Caucasian tends to decorate their dwellings with an abundance of ornaments, doodads and doohickeys that speak to its current or aspirational class or status…” I remembered Chris’ apartment back in my childhood. His family wasn’t rich but they were very comfortable. Had a baby-grand piano and a dining room table that could seat eight comfortably though their were only 5 of them. They’d also had all kinds of homey doodads and doohickeys that I couldn’t rightly name but had seen on various TV commercials and shows like the Brady Bunch, Leave it to Beaver and the Partridge Family and what not. So did Maggie and Karen. Doo-dads galore. She came back a couple of minutes later with a tray with glasses, cheese and, yep, crackers.
“I Found some!” she said like she’d found a missing piece to the puzzle, that was me.
She walked over to a doo-dad, slid it open and pulled out a couple of bottles. “Red or white?”
I’d never drunk wine from a glass in my life til that point. The only wine I’d ever drunk, as a matter of fact, was Night Train and Thunderbird…from the bottle of course, after pouring a little out for the brothers who couldn’t be there, for whatever reason: jail, dead, MIA, whatever. I was so Ghetto.
“”Whatever you’re drinking is fine…”
“Okay…” she said like I’d answered incorrectly. “I think you’ll like the red. It’s Cabernet Sauvignon actually. From Chile.”
“Sounds good to me,” I said.
She stopped, and stared at me…
“Something wrong?” I asked.
“No…” she said and smiled. “I just can’t believe I finally got you here…in my apartment. You don’t know how long I’ve been waiting for this moment. I mean, we’re alone, now. We’ve never been alone like this before and…I don’t know…I just want to remember this moment. I wanted it to be special, you know. I had so many things I wanted to say, so many things I wanted to show you…”
“To tell you the truth, I can’t even remember now…”, she laughed embarrassed. “oh wait!”
She put down the bottles on the coffee table, reached under it and pulled from a compartment what looked like a chemistry set with test tubes and pipes.
“What’s that?” I asked, just as I noticed the clear plastic baggie half-full of weed! “Oh shit!”
“What???” She said.
“What the fuck, Maggie? Are you dealing?”
“Dealing?” She looked aghast. “Are you kidding?”
“Well, damn, it looks like you got a whole laboratory over there!”
“What are you talking about?”
“What’s with the chemistry set and shit?”
“What? This? “She held up the test tube and I could see that it was all one-piece. “This is a bong!”
“I thought you said you smoked…”
“I do, but…”
She started laughing, then. “What, do you smoke joints or something?”
“No….well, I used to when I was a kid. Now I smoke Els.”
“Els?” She asked.
“Yeah! you know, Phillies, El Producto, White Owls, even Optimos!”
“You mean blunts?”
“You black guys, and your blunts…hmph,” she smirked, while she was loading up her bong. “Malik got me to try one this one time and it was like my whole chest was on fire! Here, try this!”
My first bong blast…of hydroponic skunk! It hit me like a wave of discombobulation…followed by a carefree-ness I’ve seldom felt since.
We sat there just chatting and laughing, smoking hydro and drinking Cabernet. Sometimes when I would smoke weed I’d get paranoid or hypersensitive. Other times I’d get deep and thoughtful and start dissecting the meaning of life or the origin of the Universe, and fun bullshit like that.
But, this time…
I was a huge Richard Pryor fan, like most black people (Eddie Murphy was just arriving on the scene.) I still think Richard Pryor was the most ingenious and courageous comic that ever lived, and that’s pretty much the general consensus. Richard Pryor loved to compare black people and white people. It was one of the staples of his comedy routines.
I sat there trying to write Richard Pryor routines in my mind. But I think I must have said them aloud cuz Maggie was responding. I was so high I felt like we had telekinetically bonded and she was responding to my thoughts.
“Blacks and Whites do the same shit…White folks just do shit a little different. While niggers stand around on the corners drinking quarts of Olde English and Ballantine, wasting half the damn bottle on ghetto rogations for niggers doing bids in prison or done got shot by some cop, white folks drinking Cabernet Sauvignon, aint wasting a drop, watering it down with tears over their racist Daddies and some nappy-headed nigger he drove off with a shotgun.”
“He wasn’t a nigger. He was a nice guy,” Maggie giggled. “And he had a flat top fade. “
“Five brothers all put in a buck to get a nickle bag of dirt with stems in it, roll two Els and sit around bitching about how many tokes the next man took: “three pulls and pass, motherfucker…”
Maggie burst out laughing, and fell on the floor.
“Need a damn roach clip by the time it goes around once!” I laughed to myself. “While white folks buy hydroponic skunk by the fucking bushel and smoke it for a month…”
” A week or two maybe,” Maggie gasped in laughter from the floor. “And it isn’t a bushel, you fool, it’s an ounce.”
“…in a device what looks like something Einstein would get high with!”
“I can’t believe you’ve never seen a bong before…that’s hilarious!”
This went on for a couple of hours or so…we had a blast!
Yeah, the J-Factor was something special, but it ain’t got nothing on the H-factor.
That Hydro put the H in H-factor, and made me forget all about all that baggage I’d brought to the table. It eradicated all the racial bullshit, syndromes and fevers, all the barriers the Trick Babies and Shit Kickers of the world had insisted I erect. And, all that it left behind were two people digging each other, feeling each other, and making the most uninhibited sex two people ever made.
The H-factor rules!
At least for a while it did.
…to be continued