Everybody’s got a particular way of seein’ a thing and judging it to be right or wrong or wrong or right according to what they know to be the truth. How they mama raised them, where they was brought up, they struggles and they own particular blessings and lessons. Aint just no one way to do it right. Lotta people caint see through a thing the way I can. I always did have extra wisdom more than what most come with. I guess it’s a blessing and a curse at the very same time.
I was born and brought up right here in The Village. She wasn’t, but I was. Right here. Now I just moved into this house about a year ago, but I came up just two blocks over. My mama schooled me on cookin’ and book learnin’ everyday right in that kitchen. She passed away oh fifteen years ago. It been that long? I guess it have. Me and her would shol have a real good laugh at what’s goin’ on if she was here. I will tell you that.
Little Miss Ann come callin’ me one morning. I calls her Fassy Annie ‘cause she got kinda a little priss about herself. She aint from here. I’m from here, but she aint. She got a lotta proper in her speakin’ and she always wearin’ them suit kinda clothes with her shirt tucked in and pulled out just a little and gotta little cuff in her pants. Oh she thank she is the cutest thang goin’ on! Always around here click click clickin’ in her heels. Who wear heels alla time that mean any good to anybody? Nobody that’s who.
“Excuse me, Ms. Dean, I was wondering if I could meet with you tomorrow at noon so that we could discuss a few things?” What do she thank I wanna discuss with her? Here she is tryin’ to kick me and my kids out onto the street and she wanna discuss with me? I tell her she can come over at noon, two, three, fo five six, don’t make no difference to me ‘cause I done said all I have to say. “Well ok, I’ll see you at noon sharp. You have a blessed day.” Have a blessed day. What do she know about havin’ a blessed day and how can she tell it to me when she is tryin’ to put me out? I guess I just don’t know about peoples. And she is supposed to be a preacher. My mama always did tell me to watch out for womens who was preachers. It aint the way God meant for it to be. Don’t ask me, just read yo Bible all the way through. It’s shol in there.
Well she come over the next morning clickin’ up my walkway with them prissy clothes on switchin’ her tail. Oh I will tell you. “Good morning, Ms. Dean. How are you doing today?” Yes she did ask me that.
“Well I guess I’m doing just fine for an old lady with nine children who is about to be kicked out her house onto the cold streets by a young preacher gal who got herself a husband and only two kids and a house to live in. Yeah, just fine.”
“That’s what I need to discuss with you Ms. Dean. May I sit please? ”I didn’t say yes and I didn’t say no but she don’t know ‘cause she shol didn’t wait around for no answer. Just sat right on down there. Come to think of it, I think she even dusted off the chair ‘fore she sit in it. “Ms. Dean, I’m not out to do you or your children any harm. I really want the best for you, but I would like for you to clearly see my side of this. I rented this house to my Uncle Topper and he invited you to move in.”
“Thas right, Topper, God rest his beloved, righteous soul invited me to move in. Invited! You and yo family ack like I forced my way in like a thief in the night.”
“Well, ma’am when he passed away six months ago what did you expect? Did you think that you could just stay in my house rent free?”
“Would you just stop it with all that rent free?! I told you that I would start payin’ you some money soon as I could. I looked you right in your face and told you.”
“But you never completed the application I sent you, and you never paid me any money.”
“Because I told you that’s just too much money to be askin’ from somebody that got nine kids. I don’t know what kinda mother you think I am, but I gotta think about my kids, don’t I? They did teach you about that at preachin’ school didn’t they?”
“Let’s just stay focused here, please? I certainly understand that you have children, but I’m asking you to understand that getting money from my properties that I rent out is how I take care of my children. This is just business for me."
Now when she said that I felt my pressure risin’. I sure did. She could tell it too ‘cause she started getting up right then and headin’ to the door. She know better. She shol aint completely crazy.
“Ma’am I have already filed the papers to have you officially evicted. I’m sorry that it had to be this way”
“Yeah right, you sorry about kickin’ me and my nine kids out."
She was good and out the door by the time I told her where she could go with her papers. I don’t care nothin’ about no papers. I only care about what’s gon happen to me and my kids and now here it is almost November and ‘bout to be rainin’ real good. Lady preachers, I’ll tell you. Just then she stop clickin’ on the walkway and turn around. “You know, Ms. Dean, I wasn’t going to say anything but since you insist on being really nasty with me throughout this whole process, I will give you some words of advice.” Words of advice? For me? I know this young gal aint talkin’ to me. “Perhaps you should be more concerned with yourself than with your children who are all grown except for you sixteen years old twins. They are all living here with you. Don’t you think they should be on their own or at least working so that they can help you out?”
“Looka here Missy Fassy Annie, you don’t know what it is to be me. My son Marvin done broke his two legs in a car accident. I’m his mother and I gotta take care of him. Who else gon do it? You gon do it?"
“Well couldn’t he go and get some kind of public assistance?”
“Public assistance? Them people don’t be helpin’ nobody. The only thing they tryin’ to offer him is some funky ole two hundred fifty dollars. What he gon do with two hundred fifty dollars? Then he gotta go down there every month and get it. How he supposed to do that, huh? Then William and Barry both been to jail and it aint they faults that folks don’t hire folks that’s been to jail. Alla my children got situations to be figured around. You think you got my whole life worked out don’t you? But you don’t really know nothin’. Every time I turn around seem like the good Lord just testing me. Seem like He just don’t want me to have nothin’ and nobody. He took my mama when I wasn’t nowhere near ready for her to go. Took my youngest baby Pearl when she wasn’t doin’ nothin’ to nobody , and what somebody wanna come run up behind her stealin’ her pocketbook and stabbin’ her in the heart for I just don’ know? Every time I look up and then down He takin’ one and another of my boys to jail for no good reason except they just tryin’ to make it in this world. He even took away Topper. And I know Topper wasn’t noways mines but he took one look at me and shol gave me and my kids someplace to live and now look what happen once again, he got tooken from me. And now you.”
Now I shol didn’t mean for Miss Fassy to see me breakin’ down like but sometimes life just gets real hard and the stuff that’s been building up in yo chest come out. You don’t’ never know when it’s gon happen it just do is all.
Everybody always wanna see something fixed and all worked out but it don’t be sometimes. It just be what it is.