WORD TO THE WISE
Every word was once a poem
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
In the beginning was the Word
– The Bible, John 1:1
‘Nigger’ is today the ugliest word in evocation
‘Cunt’ is today the ugliest word in personification
– You gave me your word.
‘Forgive’ is today the loveliest word in evocation
‘Angel’ is today the loveliest word in personification
– I give you my word.
In the tree-lined parking lot of the Edwards Multiplex Theater sat Clarissa and her girlfriend Skylar eating hamburgers in the shade of the lavender tree beside Clarissa’s black VW Beetle. Clarissa chewed and listened thoughtfully as Skylar talked.
Skylar, who was short and plump, wore shoulder-length hair dyed dark brown with a crown of orange. Skylar, who with round face, Asian eyes, and flamingo eye-shadow, stuck out her chin as she spoke. Skylar who wore a blue plaid flannel shirt and dark blue jeans was saying, “So like my mother was asking me ‘are you straight, or are you gay?’ and so like you know how when I argue I get into it, I don’t back down? And you know my mom is like old-school Korean?”
Clarissa, grinning with her mouth full of hamburger as Skylar’s eyes pleaded for acquiescence, nodded to Skylar and then Skylar continued, “So I was all like ‘what does it matter?’, I’m like totally straight but like I told her about how those girls at Stefano’s party were like checking me out, remember, so what? And my mom was all like ‘why can’t you be normal?’ and I was all like ‘what, and hate everyone?’ And then my mom was crying, and my step-father came in and said like ‘get out of your mother’s sight’ and so I am like, fuck you, this is my house before it will ever be your house and everything so I just left,” and Skylar, shaking her head, finally stopped talking to take a bite of her hamburger.
It was Clarissa’s cue to speak.
Clarissa who was short and slender and ebony wore her dark hair pulled back and it lay between her shoulder blades. Clarissa who had full lips and a narrow nose that held up her averting eyes as she spoke stood up crumpling the empty hamburger bag. Clarissa who wore a tight cotton logo T-shirt that said Mulatta Soul and dark blue jeans was saying simply, “You can stay with me anytime.”
Skylar replied with a plug of hamburger in her mouth, saying mutedly as she then also arose, “Clarissa, you are an Angel. You forgive everybody,” and she followed Clarissa to the trash receptacle on the theater walkway.
Clarissa stuffed the crumpled bag into the receptacle, saying philosophically, “All that shit drama; it’s all yesterday’s trash, so just get rid of it.”
Skylar’s mouth had to speak, full of the last hamburger bite, saying, “But I called you like a ‘nigger cunt’ right in front of Stefano just because he called me a ‘cunt’, ha ha, when I was winning that argument about sexism and I knew he likes you and I knew that you like agree with me and I am like so totally sorry but you never say anything.”
Clarissa sighed, “Skylar, if I carried around all the words that everyone wanted to lay on me I would be a…,” suddenly laughing, “Don’t you say it, Skylar, it’s not funny!”
Skylar grinned slyly saying, “Iggernunt?”
Skylar took Clarissa’s hand and together they went into the theater to see Word to the Wise starring you, dear reader.
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