The Boy Teacher and The Father Student #65; And the Color of Her Skin and Our Heart
Freedom Over Me
It would seem that people nowadays ignore our differences way to much rather than celebrate them. As though not noticing them and being color blind is a good thing. How would I know what culture to use to greet someone if I did not pay attention. You do not say Namaste and bow to a Jehovah Witness and you do not say “Hello good sir it is good to meet you” to a So. Cal. Surfer dude. On the otherhand shouldn’t we just be ourselves?
F: You do know that J. is Filipino. Right?
F: You do know that Camilla is from Brazil?
F: Rico is half Native Mexican and half White man?
F: You do know that Enoch is Chinese American?
B: Yeah, I kinda know that.
F: You do know That Nina is Black?
B: Nope she is brown.
F: You do know your mom insists she is Yellow and you are half yellow?
B: That cracks me up.
My mom called it “the tint”. She thought Harry Belafonte had the best tint she swooned over. Of course with a wink as I was the only boy she swooned over. I have a tint of brownish red. They tell me I am Black Irish. Don’t know. I was born a bastard illegitimate boy. And then adopted. I wonder if those terms give me a tint. Never did care but it was fun to fight about as a youngster. Something back then about calling someone a son of a bitch meant you had to fight. It is a crazy world out there.
I think it is still on the books in most states. Legal that is. Certain words can justify violent reaction. They used to be called “fighting words”. If you call my mom a whore I am justified in whooping your ass or to die trying. I guess in a strange way it still makes sense. I figure if you called my wife a whore I would not slug you. I would peaceably leave and get a bat and come back and wish you luck walking with two busted knees. Maybe I am getting too old.
You could suggest that words still mean something. My wife hates platitudes. Seriously she does not like them at all and tells us stories about how she has mocked them. Would seem to me my wife has a bit of crazy tint to her. Low be to the clerk who treats her wrong in my presence. No, my boy and I just roll our eyes. But I am duty bound and required to stand up for her. With my ability to thrash talk, men and women who insult my wife are lucky to leave their station without crawling and bawling. We are talking serious PTSD. My son hides behind the shopping cart. But my wife beams? Go figure. It seems it may have it’s purpose for how folks treat a 4 ft 9, 90 lb gal of the yellow tint.
The Dawn Is Breaking
No Turtles Allowed
An Accident of Birth?
We switch a little here. My dad got me into some stuff. He was a public health expert. Maybe deputy Surgeon General at one point. At least that Texan Johnson said so. We were developing protocols for internet use in international medical works.
B: Hey dad this gouging is making me crazy. It is so wrong.
F: Son that is what we are working on here with the WHO.
B: Are these numbers even a third right?
F: No, probably on the short side, less than 100% right. In the other direction.
B: You mean to tell me that an African would pay twice as much for an antibiotic than a white male in the US?
F: No. That would be wrong. More like 4 times as much.
B: Dad this would blow a normal man’s mind. I ain’t normal and it blows mine. I think I need to hang up now and go out and scream.
F: Son give the freaking out a rest. This is why we are working on this. When the fan blows the other way it sucks. Get my point. You have no choice but to help direct the fan with what hits it.
B: I guess I would rather not know about this. OK I am breathing in and out. But whose ass do I kick.
F: There isn’t one, they are too many to count.
B: Did I tell you that I hate you today? I signed on to this project to write a position paper on how the internet could be used for healthcare worldwide. I did not sign on to fight big pharma around the world.
F: Oops. And yes you already told me today and I find it a term of endearment. Now how are you going to use mass education to bring awareness to this problem?
B: Screw you I have my son’s baseball game to go to and beer to hide in the bleachers with Carlos’s dad. And yes your grandson is doing just fine and is not in South Africa with a need for AIDS medication, thank you so much for asking.
F: Whatever you want but you will not sleep tonight so give me a call around 12. I look forward to your assessment. Let’s say in writing by 2 am. And no, you do not need to say you hate me again.
Another Day With Grandma Tam
Grandpa Was A Ranger For South Vietnam
Be Your True Color
So the old man dad and the middle aged son meet up in a bar just this side of Houston Texas. The Dad says “what will you have son?” The son says “some coffee with water on the side” The dad questions, “how long you been on the wagon son?” The son retorts, “Ever since I thought I was becoming like you.” “What can I get you dad?”. “Coffee with cream”. “Hmm dad, how long you been on the wagon?” “Oh just since I thought I was becoming like you” he replies. A strange set of affairs I would say.
Perhaps learning from each other is not so plain and simple. It just is. (And that never happened. It was outside of Kansas City ;-)
F: Son are you going to Montevideo?
B: I think that conference is a waste of time.
F: That is why I asked. Seems those jerks have worse human rights than Castro.
B: I thought Castro had universal all-inclusive healthcare.
F: See my point?
B: touché’. But no I am going to Hong Kong instead. The optics for our corporation would suck down there.
F: You see that is why I love you son. You have practicality but no moral principles. (Belly laughs)
B: Buddy you want to pay that mortgage and child support for me? I love them but an “academy”? Never mind. If I start peeing in my pity pot we will both drown. How did you do it?
F: Same as you, we love them but cannot live with them and nothing better than children.
B: I love the world travel but hate missing out on their life. Oh well.
F: Boy, you do not “get” to not do what you do. When you have a calling you have no choice. Sacrifice is not even a word. Just get over the fact that you suffer and so do those around you. God made no heroes, he made men that did what they had to do. Now get her done.
B: I love you old man. Do not die before I get back and we talk. I will give your regards to Shanghai on a stopover.
F: Son whatever you do, do not regret.
Strangest thing but those little vignettes are basically true. Dad said we were “overachievers without achievements”. I reckon that each other are our achievements. Can that even make sense? Good enough for me. Although I do lean back in my chair and think if I should take that negotiations job overseas. I wonder what tint I am as I turn old and gray.