A friend and collaborator took this picture as I got
into character to rehearse a theatrical piece.
My friend snapped this shot as I danced and spoke
In fact, I was switching into character, though no one
in my circle of friends knew what that was.
It was a dark time in America, but one goes on with life.
This is a journal entry from the day of that shot:
July 16, 1987
It is July and I am still alive.
The AIDS epidemic is in its sixth year and those six years have passed slowly and cruelly. I had hoped that AIDS would fade like a fad, but it is still around and killing, and the fact that a reactionary movement has gained momentum by openly discussing it as a form of divine retribution sickens me to my core.
Hey Jeff-reee! Wat up ese? Guess who I seen? I seen Kenny an I seen his new wrap an he got himself a new van where he can be sleepin’ in it. He traded the Buick! But ese! Wouldnya rather have a Buick? Lissen-up ese: I gotta joke! You an’ your Mom got moren one thing in common. You both whores! Jeff-reee! Is the shit fresh! Whaja doin? Wachin porn? You an Manuela de Palma? Why don’ja go out an getta job. Yo ese!– Getta freakin job!
Jeffery? This is Sara. I need Robert’s tools. I have to go to Mom’s after work tonight. If you take them over to Mom’s, I’ll leave five dollars for the taxi. Please Jeffery. We have to have those tools so please bring them to Mom’s today! OK?
Hey, hey bro. I know you ain’t amped out. I know its crank, dude. So hustle ur ass over here an bring me the merchandise. Yak at ja later.
Jeffery? This is Sara! Please bring the tools to Mom’s. Please Jeffery!
Hey Jeff. This is Bob. It’s 8:15. I guess I’m calling to ask if you’re OK. I’m at the St. Francis doing some work if you catch my drift. If you want to make the drop meet me on Ellis in two hours. Over by the construction site: be there.
Hey, man. I’m telling you man; you better call me dude. I’ve waited patiently for you to pay for that briefcase. Don’t make me go over there with my authorities. No BS, dude. I want my money.
Jeffery? This is Aunt Esther. You have Robert’s tools. Please bring them to your Mother’s.
Jeffery! This is your Mother! Aunt Esther wants you to bring Robert’s tools to my place. Where I live? OK? Call me! Bye!
Yo Jeff-reee! It’s Bobby! I sold them tools an’ got a fifty! Rock an’ Roll, dude! I got the candy so’s I’ll catch up with you later!
Whadup, Jeffery? I know you know who the fuck this is. Check it: a client wants to sell you an MK 16. I know you like collecting that kinna shit: gimme a buzz.
Jeffery? This is Sara! Did you get Moms message? Bring us those tools! They are essential to Robert’s work. You borrowed them without permission and we need them now!
Heeeeyyy Jeff-reee! Ese! Pick up de phone. I know you’re there! Pobrecitomijo. Yankin’ his life away. Jeff-reee! Pendejo!!—You screwed up bad an’ now ur goin’ downdowndown. Crank brought ya down, ese!
Jeffery. This is Sara. If you’re home pick up! How long is it going to take for us to get Robert’s tools back from you. I’ll give you a hundred if you bring them back. I guess I’m going to have to come over and get them.
Hey, hey bro! 12:35 at night. Howcum you ain’t on the horse troll? You better have my dollars! Yeah! Big Daddy R Money!
8:22 in the morning and you missed another session. For a parolee that says he wants to get straight you stick too close to convicts. ’nuff sed. You know who this is. Call me.
Jeffery? It’s your lawyer. It’s Tuesday, 10am. I hope you didn’t go out on another binge. We need you here at the Hall of Justice in two hours. I need you here to win! Ok?
1:45 PM and another parolee of mine is back to jail. He got two years. He wanted out on OR but no one will vouch for him. So to jail he went. Two years my friend. I see you guys sharing a cell. No one will vouch for you! ‘nuff sed.
This is Sara. Are you still in bed? Are you bringing Robert’s tools to Mom’s house? Aunt Esther said you better bring them! The tools. Robert’s tools? Do you even know what I’m talking about?
OK, Miss Thing. Your phone was just bizzy. So I guess you gone in less than a minute? You gonna hang in that shitty dormall day? It’s 3:10 on Tuesday in case
you ain’t oriented x 3. Call me sweetie. You said you would share.
Double dealin’ Jeffery! It’s Randy ya messed up tweak! Ya didn’t come out yesterday! Ya was gonna buy me drinks or so ya said. So, uh, what up? Did it all go up in smoke? It’s 5:10 sos I’ll call back about 7:30.
Hey Jeffery ya up in smoke fool! It’s Randy! We ain’t makin no deals cos you ain’t around! So howcum you don’t be around? I’m over at Jack in the Box tryina hustle a BLT. I’ll be here all night. The address is JACK-in-the-Box!
Jeffery! This is Sara! Get your ass out of bed and bring Robert’s tools to Mom’s house! NOW! And you better answer my calls too! Goodbye!
Hey, man. I’m telling you man; you better call me dude. You think I’m letting you slide or something and I’m telling you homey don’t play that way. I’ll put out a ten thousand dollar contract your ass —so if you want your life you better give me a buzz. 2 Questions: What is John Wayne’s real name and what was his first movie that he starred in. If you know the answers, I’ll just bust a cap in your pretty white ass.
Jeffery! This is Sara. Mom’s in the hospital. DO NOT CALL THE HOSPITAL! If you call her I’ll call the police and let them know who you are and where you live. I know there are warrants out for you. I don’t want you near Mom. I don’t want you near the hospital. If you have any questions, bring Robert’s tools to Mom’s house first.
Hey Jeff-reee! Esaaaaaaay. You makin’ luuuuv now? Is it all luvy duvy in this land of screwed up druggies? Ain’t a damn thing funny, Jeffery! Get you a real woman, amigo! If you don’t get a real woman you’ll lose them shrinking pelotas! Dedee is chotito. A punk, bro! An’ you da punk-ee!
Jeffery this is Mom. When you visit tonight sneak in a pack of cigarettes? I’ll give you fifty dollars. Don’t let the nurses catch you. It’s extremely important. I love you.
Jeffrey this is Sara. Stop visiting Mom! If you don’t stay away from her I’ll have you arrested. How can you bring smokes to a woman that just had a stroke?
Hey, man. I’m telling you man, this is the last message you’ll ever ignore. I know you got paid an’ you better have my crank or my dollars ’cause I just sent a shitload of trouble your way! If you got the answers to my questions about John Wayne they’ll make it quick—OK? Good-bye, Jeffery.
First posted in 2015, as Jeffery’s Messages
Jeffery’s Messages (c) Rob Goldstein 1992-2015-2017
Illustrations staged in Virtual Reality.
Gun textures found on shutter-stock and GIPHY
I’ve never thought of Hedgehogs as pets until I ran into Hank over at Living a Beautiful Life. After I interviewed Danica, I researched Hedgehogs and decided to interview Hank the Hedgehog.
I sat down with Danica and Hank over a lunch of cold meal worms and
began our interview:
When did Hedgehogs start to become popular as pets?
Hank:Hedgehogs first became popular as pets in North America in 1980-90.
Are the hedgehogs kept as pets in the U.S. born in the U.S.
Hank: Yes, all hedgehogs kept as pets in the U.S. are born in the U.S.
How does Hank feel when Danica blogs about him?
Hank: When I first noticed Danica blogging about me I took over immediately because I’m curious and like to explore new things. Danica quickly realized that I prefer speaking for himself. I’m small but I have a strong personality.
What does Hank like best about Danica?
Danica:What Hank likes best about me is that I tells it like it is. Whenever Hank announces that he’s going to live in the wild, I explain that he’d likely die within a week. It would be 50-50 odds he’d wind up as dinner or as roadkill.
Hank: Danica means well but she’s wrong: I have extraordinary survival skills. I indulge her because she brings me meal-worms; but stop with the stuffed animals already.
While no pets should ever be released into the wild, I’m a special case. I’m from the streets and through a series of misadventures wound up on death row lock-up (i.e., the city pound).
Here’s my story:
I get these cravings for wild game! I know it’s not PC but you can’t take the hedge out of the hog. Danica does her best to prepare exotic gourmet meals for me — there’s this venison dish that’s quite tasty! — but I miss the everyday pleasures of my former life. Ants, grasshoppers, flies, crickets. I’ve left food out to attract ants and flies, but Danica is quick to clean up after me and she even picked up a couple of flyswatters.
What’s a wild-at-heart hog to do? One day after she kissed me goodbye (she’s given up telling me to be good), I rounded up my boys: Rabbit, Pig and Dog. We flipped open the laptop near my crib and did some online shopping. I ordered an ant farm and live fishing bait. We clicked “next-day delivery”. They couldn’t guarantee delivery time. How could I make sure Danica wouldn’t be around? Well, I couldn’t. Then it hit us! If you can’t get rid of them, distract them. So, we added two dozen roses to the order!
Oh yeah, it played out like a bank heist. She loved the flowers and the card really got her attention: “All my love across the miles, from some dude who isn’t Kyle.” LOL! Oh man, it cracks me up every time I think of it. She’s arranging the flowers trying to figure out, first, who is Kyle? Second, who is this some dude?
We could almost see the wheels turning in her brain and she didn’t notice us bringing in the ants and live bait. We managed to get the contraband rolled up in my new blanket — a pink blanket with flowers! Bane of my existence. That’s another story.
Anyway, what’s the lesson here? Chicks dig flowers, man. And secret admirers. You’re welcome, bro.
Danica: I’ve never thought of hunting. I would like to learn how to fire weapons, outside of video games. There aren’t any shooting ranges nearby so it hasn’t happened yet. I’d like to fire rocket launchers and drive tanks too, but that may remain a distant dream.
Hedgehogs are carnivores and mostly hunt insects. The domesticated hedgehogs that westerns love as pets are small, and to them insects are “wild game”. Well, that’s that Hank calls them anyway.
Oh, and as for the “chicks” and “bro” references — Hank respects all orientations. His experience using flowers to distract people is limited to chicks only, so he can’t speak to how it may or may not work on the bros out there.
When I uploaded my first post on WordPress three years ago today, I had no idea what I was getting into…
I’m certainly grateful for what blogging has taught me and (now) excited (again) about the potential it holds but “for real for real“? I’m still winging it.
See….Authenticitee Speaks has morphed into a public record of my journal, a clear declaration of my allegiance to Jesus who I believe is the Christ, a platform to interview and showcase those who inspire me, words of encouragement and some serious, sho nuff grown folks love poetry. Oh and one mo’ thang Honty – everyone is welcome!! What the what?! What do you do with that kinda gumbo?
Actually – I’m not quite sure. I mean do I have to do something about that? Isn’t that what makes my authenticity speak? Just being me? Heck. Until my friend Quiana…
There are a few….yes this is a few, blogs I must read whenever they post. Some I wish they’d post more often but my belief is if you don’t have anything to say, shut the hell up. These bloggers and their keep me Informed. Uplifted. Sane. Laughing. Focused. Coming back for more.
Check ’em out when you have time, but only if you want to find blogs worthy of your time.
The order these magnificent blogs/bloggers are listed in is simple…….I LISTED ‘EM AS I THOUGHT OF THEM OR AS I CAME ACROSS THEIR LATEST BLOG POST OR IF THEY COMMENTED TO ME IN MY BLOGS COMMENT SECTION. Thats how I listed ’em……NO FAVORITISM HERE!!!
Twelfth grade was going ok. I was busy with college applications, I had a girlfriend at White Station, and we were having a winning soccer season! Everything was great… except for one thing.
I walked into the art room and quickly found my way to my desk. The art room tables were situated in a circle that filled the entire room and it afforded us the opportunity to talk and observe each other’s work. Normally this would be a fun and stimulating atmosphere to be a part of. Normally.
“Hey Chink,” a voice from my left side slid in to interrupt my peaceful thoughts. I knew the voice all too well. This same asshat had been tormenting me since the beginning of the school year and was determined to get under my skin. You know how adults love to claim that “if you just ignore it…