C.R.P ( Critical Race Philosophy)

Submitted into Contest #100 in response to: Write about a character preparing a meal for somebody else.... view prompt



[Follows " Microcosm", "Hebrews 13: 1-2 ", " The son never shines on closed doors" , "July 4th", "The Getaway", "Orpheus' path", " Clowns" and "Strange Fruit"]

"Dios, Ernie, you look like shit"

She saw him shuffling across the road holding a hand over his eyes to shield them from the sun. She felt his searing pain as the sun ruthlessly stabbed at his brain compounded a splitting headache. She looks at him now bending over the counter, burying his face in his hands as it would make it all go away, his sorrow, his pain, the crippling feeling of unquenchable thirst.

"Here, have a glass of water"

Ernie looks at the plastic transparent cup with its steam and its beads. He gets dizzy just by looking at it. He knows that downing it would not help, sliding on his closed taste buds, rushing down to his empty stomach, churning the juices inside , a recipe for feeling sick. The fridge behind Anita has all he needs. He looks with envy at the brown glass bottles, already savouring the pop of the tap, the feeling of its fizzy content awakening his thickened tongue and gum. He would be able to trace the liquid along its osoephagus , the tickling feeling as it would land in his belly, jolting him back on track.

"Can you give me sumpein else? ya know ve never too keen on water"

Typical Ernie, she thinks. He will soon be talking cryptically. Thats always been the same. No one thinks much of him. Travellers stopping by at night eye him suspiciously as he smokes inside the shop giggling. This lanky young man with oversized clothes, bulging eyes with coursing little red veins, a patchy beard , a big Afro bushing out of his hoodie scares them.

 « Brother , could you spare a smoke? Not about to mug you, brother Thats all right brother, aint gonna blame you for putting my gramp in chains. The way I see it, brother, had Colombus been black, you white folks would be toppling his statue now ». They gape at him, baffled, trying to make sense of what he has just said.

"You need to eat, Ill cook something for you"

He watches her disappear behind the rope curtain. Soon, the sound of oil frying in a pain reaches him, followed hard upon by the smell of red onions browing in a pan. Powdered cumin is mixed in, things are being chopped, the regular thuds of the knife bang him back to the time where he was already hanging at the Lopezs. Playing hide and seek in the two-room apartment above required true ingenuity and a dose of pretending. Pretending, he did not see Anitas shape under the sheets, pretending he did not see her feet at the foot of the curtains, Anitas mother pretending that it was the onions making her cry , pretending that he had not been out when his mother came back from work. He was there on the day Anitas father died. He hid behind the curtains as Lou came up to tell her the news, the fake sobs in his voice, twisting the hat in his hands, "Ma’am , theres bin an accident". He looked on between the edge of the curtain and the wall, Anita girdling her mother thighs with two arms , her shoulders jolting up and down, irregular darker stains on her mothers gray sweat pants. Anitas little brother, a tiny thing, not a month old, half-orphan, cupped into one arm sleeping peacefully , blissfully ignorant of the hammering curse. He saw Lou run the back of his hand on Anitas mothers face as if to wipe her tears away. He saw the lusty look too.

"Ready, in a minute"

Anita hears the fridge open and knows that he is about to scar the edge of the counter once more to open his bottle. The pop is heard , the gulps too and him exhaling with relief. After a second one, he will be his old self again. A quick look at the clock brought her comfort, it was too early in the day for customers to come in. She will not have to apologize for the weirdo expostulating, ranting, baffling. "They say pigs are racist, they say aint no fuckin justice in the U.S of A. Where the justice when you get rioters for a jury. Where the justice when the presidents handing the verdict.All them fuckers, twittering behind their phones, ill omens those birds. Why, a new branch of government created ex nihilo , banning people for expressin opinions. Even if its that fat racist orange fuck , aint no right to do it, this is first amendment shit" . Most of the time, she has no idea what he is talking about. She just looks at the customers in the store, as dumbfounded as she is. That guys a wreck the unsaid comment thought out so loud that it galvinizes him into another rant. "Whiting out the past is the best way for all the shit to happen again. In Europe its colonialism , with us its slavery and how the white folks fucked us up since 1619 onwards. When I see a white dude these days, I dont see no blood on their hands. They wanta compensate us for giving my gramp floggings. Good luck with that! How black is black? They dont see they re doing us wrong , they dont see they're the new racists, they're the new fascists" .

She pushes the plate of well-folded fajitas and watches as he chews at them , half-closing his eyes as theeffort makes him sleepy. He looks peaceful now as he pops a second beer open. She loves those moments, the way he looks wide awake, smiles at her, at peace for once. And he loves them too, Anitas cuisine taking him back to a golden time when the world was Resguardo, when Lou was seldom into town, when he was uninterested in news, when books bored him, when knowledge was bliss and not an instrument of fear. The sauce is coating his insides, the bubbles cavorting with the spices spreading warmth all across his belly, he takes Anitas hand and gives it a light kiss. He thanks her before leaving the shop, crossing the road again and disappear behind the white door of his apartment.

July 01, 2021 08:21

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Hina Nauman
19:49 Jul 08, 2021

i like the start of this story and then how the writter has created the whole situation and then connecting it with something from past.... I think a small drama could be added in this content to make it more gripping like a fight as the main character lets aggressive thinking and comparing his past and present.


21:02 Jul 08, 2021

Thanks for the comment, it feels great to be read. I love violence but don't really believe in it. Feel free to write this fight I would LOVE to read it. Once again, thanks a lot for your comment


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