I get washed away by white women who are attracted to men of color. In the Army, the white guys in the barracks had a code name for white Army broads who slept around with black soldiers– “Mud Sharks”. There is nothing wrong with sleeping with a black person, the white soldiers noted. “A girl does not have to change herself, wear big ear rings and ‘act’ black all the time,” they bitched.
Lauren, the skinny white chick who lives next door is a Mud Shark. She’s not into Black guys. She likes Latino dudes. I guess she’s a Sand Shark. She is raising her child as a single mother now. Her boyfriend or husband moved out. I haven’t seen him sitting on the steps out front in over a year. Bradley told me they split up. I thought they were a cute couple. With her hair slicked down all the time, she could pass as a Puerto Rican or Dominican chick. I bet she speaks Spanish too. She seems intelligent. Poor Sandshark must miss her lover. He was so sexy. Her son, the little boy who dresses in a batman costume and runs up and down the sidewalk is a nice mix of the two of them. He looks Spanish– European Spanish– long, straight black hair, strong Caucasian features mingled with the mystery of Latin. The kids who hang out on the block all know my name– “Charlie”. I was on this block as a Mud Shark long before other white people started moving into Bed-Stuy. Not even white chicks who dated Black guys were seen here. In all honesty, the neighborhood wasn’t safe for a gay, white guy. I mean, I’m not a sissy and do not appear as one who would be an easy take, but other white people were not seen around here seven years ago when I moved here to be with Shawn.
It’s nice seeing other white people around. I missed them. Lauren is cool and always so talkative. I try to stay out of their lives– my neighbors who hang out on the steps when the weather gets warm and summer starts. Nobody sat on their front steps seven years ago. Nobody but me, that is. I remember when Quincy Street was empty on summer mornings– not counting the homeless crackheads who seemed to never rest.
It’s all cleaned up here now. Lauren is cleaning out her yard next door today. I’m sure she wants to have a garden like mine. The chain link fence that separates our yards has been cut and one can easily enter my yard from hers.
Someone was ringing my doorbell yesterday. I called in sick from work. Busy in the back yard, staking my tomato plants, suddenly the buzzer rang. I ignored the call three times, assuming the Jehovah Witnesses were back. On the fourth, long, drawn-out electronic alarm, I put down my hand-held hoe and went to the front door.
It was Lauren–
“Can I come through your house. He locked us out,” she explained while pointing to her little boy. “My back window is open. I can crawl in.”
They crawled out my spare bedroom window, like I do every time I go outside to work in my garden. I wish I had a door. I could go through the cellar, but it’s too inconvenient to go outside, and have to step over neighbors hanging out on the front steps, just to escape to my private paradise.
“Look at those tomatoes,” Lauren said. “You got tomatoes already? Oh my! And you can’t buy them in the stores now.”
“I’ll give you some if you make me some Salsa.”
She laughed and realized that I’m a Mud Shark too.