NYU Black Renaissance Noire NYU Black Renaissance Noire Volume 16.2: Fall 2016 - Page 84

As I walked out of Brown Betty ’ s diner just shy of high noon , I ’ m not sure my feet were even touching the sidewalk . It was my first experience of what my friend , Babatunde Folayemi , years later in Tanzania , would call “ bliss .” It didn ’ t even matter whether I thought WW was a madman or a genius , because it was only some time after I ’ d left his presence that such doubts began to creep into my mind .
Nonetheless , like a child smitten by his kindergarten teacher , for the next eleven days I beat a path back to Brown Betty ’ s every morning where I spent several hours being enthralled by WW . And , of course , each visit was accompanied by more startling revelations , many of which I was unable even to grasp , let alone remember . WW took me on a wild romp around the globe in his time capsule , which veered both backwards and forward , as we surveyed a wide range of contemporary and ancient earth scenes . I can recall that in one such scene he cut through the thick smokescreen surrounding the Kennedy White House ( which struck me as downright sacrilegious at the time ) and its casual drug use and sexual promiscuity .
He also offered a cogent analysis of the nasa Space Program and why American astronauts were unable to detect life signs during their brief walk on the moon . Eerily , he predicted that a tragedy of major proportions would befall his home country and would focus worldwide attention on Guyana . ( A shiver ran through me , when in November 1978 the Jonestown massacre , in which over 900 people died when forced to imbibe a flavored soft drink laced with cyanide , was reported worldwide !)
In hopscotch fashion , WW began “ ruminating ” about the scientific and architectural wonders inspired by the Egyptian Mystery System along with some hidden chapters in Chinese and Russian history . We eventually soared beyond the earth itself to the life of the planets and stars , during those blissful days , as I sat channeling the music of his voice like a reed .
Looking back , the only thing I can say for certain about my experience with WW is that everything he told me felt totally authentic . Moreover , I have continued to bump into — always with trepidation — his strange revelations in the world of everyday life for more than forty years . But what still strikes me as bizarre to this day was the extraordinary manner in which I was drawn to him . Most fortunate for me , however , was how my “ chance ” meeting with WW on that otherwise dreary morning , caused me to imbibe just enough of his magical elixir to infuse me with the necessary levity to finesse the deadly gangland style circumstances that hung like a guillotine above my head . n