NYU Black Renaissance Noire Fall 2013 - Page 57

BRN-FALL-2013.indb 55 She hadn’t thought it through, refused to in fact, and so knows all of this in a way she can’t tell herself about. Known without the telling to self. Words evaporate into what’s behind them before her brain can catch the voice. Absorbed. As she moves down the aisle to the front door of the bus, she feels like she’s already in the street. The crushing heat of the afternoon’s gone without a trace. She loves the summer heat at night, the way the whole city stretches out in strings of light, turns its back and breathes long and quiet. Breath in slow motion. Easy as this here. The mute pressure of heat lightning. The way a city slips its pulse into you. It’s a South Side summer night and the difference, that is, the memory, struck her immediately when she’d come back at the beginning of the summer. She’d sworn she wouldn’t come back to Chicago until they tore The Grave down, somewhere she believed they never would. From all what they’d stole into her as a child, she’d assumed they never could come down. Alas, they had. It was national, international news when they’d torn down the projects where she’d begun to grow up. She had her doubts. But, here she was. Here, indeed. Back in this city that she’d tried to force to forget her name. Immediately upon her arrival, she’d found that “here” was a verb, too. She felt “hered.” The first thing she noticed about this verb, it hurt. And the hurt seemed to twist into colors, a kind of bouquet in her arms and legs. The bouquets would change her pulse, sharpen her vision until the colors in the world began to switch places : blue bars from the city flag on a police car swoop up into the sky; red from the stripe on a passing bus caught and wrapped around parked cars; silver green from trees in the park blows into the air making the wind momentarily visible. When the colors hered their way around playing musical chairs, she noticed, they didn’t hurt anymore. She learned that all kind of things, voices in daily, anonymous speech more than anything else, had the power to here her. All summer voices in crowds of people jousted about until she’d lose track of which voice originated in which face. Where is this here?, she repeated to herself as she checked to see if the strange lightning in her arms and legs was visible to people around her. Never seemed to be. BLACK RENAISSANCE NOIRE All of that was still a bus stop and a three-block walk away even though it’d seem to her that it would take half her life to walk those three blocks. And, she’d be at least as right as not. But for now she was still on the eastbound 29 bus, she was still dry, hadn’t felt the glove of air, and so she hadn’t asked herself anything yet. Yet. The word seemed laced into all her time with Shame. Go ahead, call it “time.” Hers with him seemed to be built of delay. Every moment shackled to its mirror in a kind of tug of war between this and that, here and there. Things took forever to happen. But, they happened when they happened and never felt late. Then the bizarre part, they happened again and again—and so really happened—later in her brain in an indelible way until the memories of time with Shame stood out in her brain like colorized scenes in a black and white film. No. The other way or not even that. They were like parts of a movie that you’d encountered first as music and so could never really take the movie version seriously. It’d be weeks before she asked herself much at all about Shame Luther. But when she did she’d find music where she thought there was vision, touch where she thought th ???????????????????)????????????????????????)?????????????????????????)?????????????????????????????????)?????????????((??()?????????M????????????????????)M???e?????M??????????????????)????5??? ????e?5?????Q????e?)????Q?????????????????????????)???e??????????5?????e???????????????)?????????????????????????????????)????????????????????????????????????)?????????????????e?????????????)????????????e??????????????????)??????????????????????????????)?????????????????????????]?????)??????????M????????%??e????????)5?????????5?????????????????????)??????????????????????????????)?????????????????????????????????)???????????????????????????????)????????????????????????????)???????????????????????????????)???????????????A??????? ??????????((????????????4((0