Sunday, April 30, 2017

Race. Class. America.

You want some verdad? Congratulations. You came to the right place. Of course, my verdad may very well not be your verdad. You may read my verdad and mutter,"Bull fucking shit." Pero. This is my blog so I write my version of the truth which at the end of the day is the only version of the truth I fucking know. I will not presume to speak to anyone's truth but my own. Truth is not objective.

This is not an essay or a rant or a ramble. This is not a cohesive piece of journalism. This is a word collage colored with rage, frustration, sorrow and futility. The television is on. It isn't my television. I'm living with my white ex-husband in his brick house in a quiet subdivision. There's a pool. It isn't as clean as I'd like it to be. The other night there was a block party. I did something I always wanted to do. I karaoked most of "Boyz N The Hood." About halfway through the song a black man took the microphone out of my hand and finished the rap because I wasn't executing it to his satisfaction and I tell don't fuck with Eazy E. I'm a white woman, they tell me, and I don't know shit about a black man's version of La Verdad. I was born to a couple of dirt poor white teenagers in a little town you've never heard of in 1973. I've researched my lineage but not extensively. Cherokee. French. Swiss. Irish. Scottish. My blood doesn't matter unless it's on your hands. I grew up hearing and singing "Do Lord," "Old Rugged Cross," "Jesus Loves Me," "Jesus Loves The Little Children," "How Great Thou Art," "The Battle Hymn of The Republic," "Victory in Jesus." I grew up drinking sweet iced tea and Kool-Aid, any flavor you can think of. I grew up eating mustard potato salad, fried chicken, fried porkchops, fried catfish, fried SPAM on white bread, bologna on white bread, peanut butter and jelly on white bread, Cheetos, Nacho Doritos, tacos my white mom fried in a black skillet, biscuits with butter and jelly, biscuits with butter and maple syrup, biscuits with butter and white cream gravy, donuts, honeybuns, peach cobbler, watermelon and fried pies, any flavor you can think of. No shoes in the summer, just like the Loretta Lynn song. Punishment was spankings with hands, leather belts and plastic flyswatters and soapy rags in my mouth. When I was five I called my uncle a "motherfucker" because he wouldn't stop tickling me. My grandmother pulled me into the bathroom, stuffed a soapy rag in my mouth, closed the door, left me in there for a while to think about what a vile piece of shit I was.

Oscar The Grouch was green. Big Bird was yellow. Grover was some damn kind of blue. I went to art school for a few months and I still can't tell you the exact color of Grover. Lo siento. Why do I have a blog called Chupacabra Disco? Why do I pepper my English with Spanish? I ain't brown. I'm white. I didn't know I was white until I was in the first grade and playing with my brown friends in their backyard. Their mother chased me out of the yard with a broom screaming at me in Spanish. Wait. That isn't true. I knew I was white when I was playing with my mixed friends next door in Goree, Texas. Their mother was brown. Their father was white. And my best friends were Stacey, a girl who looked white, and her brother Jay, who looked brown. My ex-husband is watching a show about Rodney King and the riots that ensued after the white cops were let go without so much as a slap on the wrists. I tried watching. I said,"I can't watch this bullshit." Why am I angry? I'm angry because I want to see anarchy in America but not that kind. I want to see heads rolling in the streets but I don't want the focus to be on the color of skin. You know that saying KILL THE RICH? I can dig it. I'm enraged that Cracker Barrel Nation voted a talking Cheeto into the highest fucking office. I'm kind of pissed that the richest I've ever been is when playing MONOPOLY with my son. Oh I can show you all kinds of OUCHES and most of them have nothing to do with the blood that courses through my veins and everything to do with my bank account and credit score. I was playing with my friends Stacey and Jay next door and Stacey thought she was some kind of fucking authority, the little bitch, and told me that when I got older the worst mistake I could make would be to have a black boyfriend. Por que? What the fuck did a little girl with a white dad and a brown mom know about black boys? She also told me that I shouldn't ever do drugs. Okay. Sage counsel. Words to live by. One night I was working at the Fantasy Ranch in Arlington, Texas. This was in 1995. I was living with my pimp, of sorts, a sociopathic white man who came from one of the wealthiest white families in Kerrville, Texas. We were living in a Super 8 motel room across the street from Fantasy Ranch. I was wearing a glittery g-string. I had short hair. I was probably wearing a fuckton of makeup. I'm sure I was wearing deodorant and cologne. I was giving a black man a lap dance because he paid me $20. At one point during the lap dance the black man started sucking on my pink nipple. I have two pink nipples. He was sucking on one of them. I can't tell you at gunpoint if he was sucking on my right nipple or my left nipple. Right. Left. Right. Left. Wrong. Right. Black. White. Verdad. Lies. Memory. Construction. Race. Class. America. A black bouncer pulled me aside and said,"Don't let him get away with that shit. He ain't payin' you enough money to pull that bullshit." I am paraphrasing, not quoting the man word for word. This happened when I was twenty-two years old. I'm forty-four years old now but I'm still white and my nipples are still pink.

Today I rode with my white ex-husband and our white son in my white ex-husband's black SUV to Whole Foods. For the first time in my forty-four years I sat at the bar in Whole Foods and ordered a glass of Calixo. That's cava. That's Spanish champagne. I paid five bucks and change with my debit card. I left the barmaid a six dollar tip in cash. I think she was brown. I was definitely white. The Calixo was golden and bubbly.

"There ain't no answer. There ain't gonna be any answer. There never has been an answer. That's the answer." Fred Sanford said that once. I jest. Gertrude Stein, a white woman, is famous for that quote and a few other things. She loved the fuck out of Alice B. Toklas. Alice B. Toklas made kick ass brownies.

I've loved various men. The man I loved longest, hardest, deepest, truest is brown. Can I prove that love in a court of law? I cannot. I was willing to prove that love in a Catholic church. Pero. Pero. Once in a karaoke dive bar on South Padre Island I serenaded my man with "My Man" by Billie Holiday, my favorite singer. He walked up to the bar while I was singing my heart out and ordered another beer. While a skinny white woman (big smile) (long blonde hair) from Austin was onstage singing some bullshit rah rah ree golly gee it's good to be ME pop song the man I loved longest, hardest, deepest, truest wolf whistled and cried out,"Damn, girl!" I guess he liked the way she hit those high notes.

"Damn, girl. You're still stuck on THAT? Move on. I have."

Yes. I wrote a book. I published a book. I loved him but I couldn't prove it. I could write a hundred books and sing a hundred songs and donate pint after pint of plasma and make chicken fried steak that melts in his mouth and park my white ass on gray concrete for two hours waiting for him to meet with the probation officer and give him $1750 because I'm a rich white bitch (financial aid) (disability) (six or seven maxed out credit cards) and BABY YOU CAN DRIVE MY CAR and that is nada nada NADA. It hurts, a little. I take the ache and I make art. White people are fake. White people don't ache. What do I know about pain? Nada. Nada. Nada.

I'm living in a brick house with my white ex-husband and our white son. Today I rode to Whole Foods with my white ex-husband and our white son in my white ex-husband's black SUV. I used two different credit cards to pay for organic maple syrup and kale and asparagus and my favorite soap (Sunshine, it's called...smells like lemons) and soap for my son and some kind of gluten free frozen treats for my son and a few other things and I liked how the brown paper bags looked so snug inside the silver cart and I liked looking at the blue sky today today because I contributed, I was happy, I wasn't the black cloud my mom accused me of being last year after my grandfather, her father, died. "We are burying our family patriarch so don't come here if you are just going to be a black cloud because you're upset that some scumbag broke your heart." She said. I paraphrase. You get the gist. Is my mom a horrible person? Is my mom a monster? No. She's flawed. I'm flawed. You're flawed. Who is morally superior? Who is immaculate? Send me an eloquent old school snail mail letter if you have the heart and the guts, telling me exactly how morally superior and immaculate you are. If you send me an e-mail telling me exactly how morally superior and immaculate you are I will mark you as cowardly and small and cheap and petty and not worth a second of my fucking time. I require postage.

Who is a scumbag? Who is a black cloud? I don't know. I know nada. I know today the bags were brown and the cart was silver and the sky was blue and that made me happy. Mucho.

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