Do you consider yourself anti-nostalgia?
To be fair, probably, yeah. I don’t see the point. I like memories. Memories are all we have. That’s why everybody’s afraid to die, honestly. You really won’t know but the thing is memories, people are like, “I’ll miss things, I’ll miss my mom.” It’s the memory of these feelings. And I’m of the mindset that you have to let go of those things. I’m part of a generation that’s pretty special because we remember life before the Internet. I’ve got little cousins who do not. So it’s kind of our job to not be nostalgic and be like, ‘Things were better back then,’ because I don’t think anything works that way. Things always get progressively better.
And we can’t go back to pre-Internet anyway.
Yeah. It’s done. I look at it the same way I look at my album. People are, like, ‘Try not to leak it, make sure.’ I’m, like, no, that’s how music works now. The album will leak. That’s how I know people want it. Trying to charge somebody for the album after it’s leaked is kind of like trying to charge someone for the smell of your bakery, you know? It’s like, these smells are mine — that’s so stupid. This is how it is. We have to be okay with it. Let’s fix those things if there’s something wrong but this is the way the future is. I think a lot of people are afraid of that, in the music industry, in every industry. We should all sit down as a planet and be like, okay, these are the rules now, because of the Internet.
-Childish Gambino (Dec. 10, 2013 TIME interview)
I remember the first time I seen a dead body. It was, late into the night around 10pm. I can’t really remember exactly what day but, I knew, it was dark. Season 4 of “The Wire” dark if you will.
It was a guy. He was, a young black dude that wore a black T-shirt, Doo-rag, blue jeans, and of course, some sneakers that were worth more than his entire outfit combined. That may of been racist but, I’m black myself so, I can do that. Anyway, he was laid face down on the concrete as blood leaked out from his skull as it floated towards to the other side of the street like a river. It was a gunshot to the head I suppose.
I didn’t hear anything though due to probably listening to music or, talking with this female friend I had at the time. I never got any ass from her so, in a way, I kind of wish I wasn’t on the phone with her. I would of been able to hear the gun shot and maybe put some context to the dead body instead of just saying something like, oh, idk, he probably deserved it because he was a: “Bad guy”. Its like getting a blowjob and the chick doesn’t show the nut before she swallows it like a Happy hour cum shot…. Moving on. If he was going out to get tampons for his girlfriend that night you maybe could of made a argument that his girlfriend was a possible prophet. More than likely though, it was his last day on earth over something that could of been easily resolved with a conversation inside of a strip club. I mean, how can anyone be mad inside of a strip club?
I recall looking through the blinds. I didn’t fully open them up just, peeked. It felt like I wasn’t suppose to be looking even more by observing it that way. I was on my knees and just blinked slow as I seen his blood poured from his head an stain the street like graffiti, oil spills, and kid’s chalk. No movement. No more person. No more future. He was just, gone. A body that soon would rot in the ground with the rest. I just kept looking and didn’t feel weird or even shaken. Staring for what seem like forever, I just kind of felt, nothing really. Empty. Maybe that had something to do with me more so or, just maybe I didn’t see the big deal since he wasn’t connected with me at all. Now, if he had owed me some money that would of been a different story. Would it have been going too far if I had gone to his funeral and check his pocket for money?………… Anybody? Fuck it. Nevermind.
“How can you watch that???”…. That was my father’s reaction as I stared at the dead body. Its funny. My father grew up with my uncle’s who you used to do some “Gangster shit” back in the day and, from what I heard, he used to hide guns up in his room for his brothers after they would commit a robbery or do some…….”other stuff”.
Fast forward now, he is queasy and doesn’t want to look at at the corpse. I wonder if he knows when he masturbates that he kills a few million babies each day?……………… Anyway, I remember him just only being able to look for a few moments before walking away heading into the kitchen. The fear of death an how quickly it can approach and come for anybody maybe shook him a bit or, maybe, he just wanted me to go sleep early so he could try and stick his penis into my mother’s vagina and save his marriage. Either way, the dead young man we were viewing was the least of his concern.
It was like a Christmas party for the police as I stepped outside on the new porch. I seen them surround the body and block off anyone trying to come close and get a better view. People were outside just like me but my mother was not having it. She yelled at me to stay away from the cops for fear they might start asking questions which, without doubt, would of lead me to end up on the NEWS and possible new target practice. She wanted nothing to do with it and didn’t go outside once, once the cops and paramedics came to grab the body.
I am not sure if she has ever seen a dead body before that night. I am though sure she feared for my safety. It was funny in a way. Cared about mine but not the dead body just a few feet away from her. Maybe because she used to fuck him and didn’t want my father to suspect a thing? I wonder if the young man’s dick was so good that she would try and fuck then and there?…….. Hmm. Why am I thinking about my mother’s freak level and sharing it to the internet is the real question. I guess I want to avoid talking about death just as well even if this story happened long ago. I’m just a, complex individual I suppose
Flowers. Stuffed animals. Old pictures of when he was younger. A shirt with a spray painted version of him. And several other items were all laid out on the place he was killed at. A bunch of people he knew had gathered around during the coming weeks to pay their respects. I never seen them but, I imagine most were women and a small portion was men. Clearly he was known around and it showed. I wanted to pay mine as well but, honestly, it would of came off as false. I mean, the only connection I had to the guy was that I owed him a thank you for giving me 10 seconds of fame.
Our apartment was showed on the News that night that he was slain. Or, at least, a corner of it. Really if anything I should say “Thank you” to the person that killed him. He let me get a small taste of what being on TV was like……………I should delete that last sentence. If I do that though, isn’t it more worse? Be called a “Nigger'” to my face upfront or, behind my back while they show a smile in my face once in conversation with me? Hm. Who knew the death of strangers could effect me in ways I never image. Like having a free day off to binge watch a whole Netflix season thanks to Martin Luther King’s sacrifice. Should I thank his killer too? Because of him, I have a day to rest and think about stuff I probably wouldn’t have time to if I was working………..Life is strange.
A few years later, I went back to the spot the young man was slain at. It looked like nothing had ever occurred there. The flowers and stuffed animals were gone. Candles were there but, pieces of it, barely visible. The shirt that was created for him was maybe stolen by a man or woman that needed it more than he did to stay warm at night. Who knows. Overall though, nothing was left. It was deserted. It was empty. It was the opposite of a Porn star’s vagina during the work week. You would think the man had never existed outside of his family and friends. It was just, a silent visual.
As I looked on a few moments more, I went to leave until a whiff of trash hit my nose. I looked over, and seen it was a homeless man walking by slowly. As I looked him over, his clothes were obviously from the Yeezy an “Walking Dead” fashion. His face seemed as if he had a fight with his barber one day and became blacklisted from every other barbershop in the world. His sneakers were NIKE and had a yellow stain at the tip that was so bright and visually unappealing that, when it came to cleaning, not even a wash cloth or soap and water would be able to “Just do it”. His teeth as he silently mumbled to himself seem as if he just got finished eating from the same ass as Pookie’s girlfriend from “New Jack City”. And, his eyes were glazed over as if he was in another world. Deeper than Mars and beyond Pluto. (That’s still a pla….Nevermind)
Eventually, he caught my eye and we had a moment. I stared at him, and he stared at me. I thought maybe he may of been a known family member to the victim. I thought maybe he could of also been a friend that just came to pay his respect every year. Hell, maybe he was a fiend that used to be the victim’s best customer and yes, I realized that too that is also racist to assume the man was a drug dealer as is to also think the homeless man was a fiend based on just appearance but, hey, when your black, your allowed to be racist to your own. A inverse way at looking at the word “Nigga” so to speak.
In any case, we just stared and it was becoming awkward. I had to know why he was here. I had to know what made him come to this particular spot that I was standing. Clearing my throat, I went to speak to him until his face changed and, seconds later, resembling a “Are you serious” face meme, his body cringed up a bit until I heard a loud, quick, and sound effect like thunderous wet fart before looking down as my eyes caught a small lava pool stream of shit escaping out of his left pants pocket and collapsed onto the concrete. Bro, “Uncalled” for is not the fucking word. To say I was “Fucked up” would be a understatement. Moments later, he just looked at me again before shuffling his feet as he continued on with his walk mumbling in speech again as his brown human/dog shit was left on the once visual grave sight and………..that’s it. It was just, left there. A small hot pile of brown and mini pieces of green fecal matter. No more memorial. No more gathering of people to pay their respects. No more stares from people just walking just, nothing. Just, shit and memories.
When I look back at those past events in my life, I tend to add layers to the parts in which were only one, or two layered at best. Meaning, I like to imagine that the paramedics on the scene that night were a “Rookie” and “Veteran” combination. I’d pictured that the rookie was scared out of their mind do to dealing with their first dead body of the job, while the veteran would treat it like the cops treated Police work on the HBO classic TV show”The Wire”.
Going forward, I like to image the victim had a girlfriend who he was probably going to break up with, or, get broken up with within the few weeks before he was killed. Hell, maybe the person that killed him was a jealous ex boyfriend seeking revenge on his once girlfriend’s new penis supplier. Another domino down, I like to think he either had a son or a daughter. I would picture their mother trying her best to explain to them why daddy won’t be here for their birthdays or Christmas anymore. Physically of course. Moving on, I see cousins, brothers, sisters, and most of all, a Father and a Mother greatly effected at the lost of their son. Sometimes the mother would be the one in silent tears, while some nights alone the father would be the one in silent tears.
This is the picture that I tend to paint myself about the past. I like to do it when dealing with a colorful and unpredictable present, or, when I’m worrying about a future for which I can’t see the colors of it all. I don’t know why I do it to be honest. I guess because it gives me something to hold on to in a world which at its core, may be just a planet for which a string of random, and unexplained events take place. It gives me a chance to live in a nostalgia past I guess. Its like the world is a DVD player and that event in life is a classic movie I own both in its original, first remake, second remake, and a reissue version with deleted scenes not seen in the original that got released for its 20th anniversary or something.
I just, like to imagine that “More” happened beyond just a literal pile of shit left behind and another person just being dead. If he was a celeb or important politician, it would of been a greater importance placed on him but, instead, since he wasn’t, its just another body to be racked up and cleaned off the street before the kids, civilians, crows, or other hungry animals see and feast on it like Thanksgiving dinner. But you see, that is the thing about life. It matches up with sports in a way. We can watch a Sports game and then immediately follow it up with viewing ESPN or ESPN 2 later to hear different takes, opinions, angles, stories, locker room drama, and former coaches and players of the past give their take on but, no matter how many ways we try and flip it, the game is already over and done. As is with the limited time we have on this planet:
Life, has no analysts