Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Hey it's one of those weeks for the field. A birthday fast approaching and I don't know if I should celebrate another year under my belt- especially when it's getting so much rarer for a black man to live past forty these days- or if I should feel sad about my inevitable date with the Grim Reaper. I was reading my man Cobb, over at Booker Rising ,as he reflected on his current station in life. And I guess that, combined with my birthday fast approaching, got me in a retrospective mood. So I guess it's as good a time as any to reflect on my life and the things I have done. Not to mention the things I am hoping to do in the future:
So what I have I done? Well, I almost got arrested by the Mexican police in Cancun once. And there was the time I made nooky on the Governor of Louisiana's desk. (Don't ask) I took Magic to the hole once (just once) and scored the rock on him. (Yeah, that Magic) How you ask? Well we were both kids, and our families became friends while my parents did their graduate work at Michigan State University. I Slept over his house a couple of times, and even snuck out and partied with EJ (that was his name then) a few times. And speaking of sports; I saw Pele play, met Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, and I partied with Shaq. (Yes, that Shaq) Let's see now, what else? Oh, Mark Kibble, lead singer from Take 6 (yeah, that Take 6) was one of the men in my wedding. And while we are on the subject music; I actually sat next to Bob Marley for an entire sound check in Kingston, Jamaica, once. Thanks, of course, to my cousin Mike, who is a major record producer on "the rock". And staying with the music theme; Chaka Khan, (yeah, that Chaka Khan) once rear ended me in West L.A. with a car full of screaming kids. Of course the field wasn't hurt, so no harm no foul. But the field blew the moment; he didn't even get one chorus of "Tell Me Something Good"out of girlfriend. Then there was the time I almost pushed *Chubby Checker's drunk ass (yeah, that Chubby Checker) off of a boat on a boat ride from Catalina Island to Long Beach. And speaking of boat; I was on my buddy's boat one night in the middle of the False River [ Louisiana] while it started taking on water, and the field almost had to swim for land.
Mmmmm, let's see, what else? Oh, I almost got shot by an undercover police officer in Kingston, Jamaica, who thought my cousin and I were steeling our own car. Yep, that was a close call. Not to mention the time some political gangsters chased my buddies and I off of a soccer field just because we (quite by accident) had on the colors of the opposing political party. (And Americans think their politics is rough) Speaking of politics, there was the time I went to a Fidel rally. (Yes, that Fidel) I didn't understand a word he said but I was cheering like crazy. Talk about charisma, that guy has it. More on politics: I was front and center in New Orleans at the 1988 Republican convention. My good buddy, Gino Gates , (his real name) is a life long black republican, and he dragged the field thinking I would see that republicans are human after all. Well, I bet he is sorry he did that, cause if looks could kill. Anyway, this was pre-"compassionate conservative" days, and before the republicans figured out that if you even make a dent in how black folks vote it could have a huge impact on national elections for years to come. So that wasn't a very fun time for the field, but I was there. So for all of you "Johnny come lately" black republicans; just remember, the field has been there done that.
Yeah that was just some of the exciting and interesting stuff the field did in his past. Of course, the field has done some good things as well. I did teach in rural Jamaica for a year in the National Youth Service program. And I have done countless charity and pro bono work here in my adopted home town of Philly.
So as the day I was born approaches, I am thinking about how to take my existence to the next level. And I ask myself: what does one have to really do to contribute to society? Is it patent, a great invention? Writing a meaningful book or play? Being a mentor to some lost soul who had no shot before you came along? Or is it starting a movement for change? The answer is, of course, all of the above. So I am thinking that I am quite literally running out of time, and it's time to get my s#@% together. Because when it's all said and done it's about what you left behind for those who will follow you. It's about your legacy and your mark. And sadly, too many black folks are checking out having contributed nothing to the world they are leaving behind. The field is determined not to be in that number. Yep, I want my life to have been more than just brushes with famous people, and crazy things for enjoyment along the way. I want it to mean something, so that when I am looking at my creator (Whoever the heck that is) and they say; field, what have you done with your life? I can look him or her in the eye and say; well, I gave it one hell of a ride, and I rode it until the wheels came off.
The field is out!
*CORRECTION-Whoops! The field would like to make a correction to this post. That was Chuck Berry, and not Chubby Checker I got into it with on that boat coming back to L.A. from the Herbal Life Ball back in the eighties. So I am getting old and my memory ain't what it used to be. Hey, that was damn near twenty years ago. Sorry Chubby, I should have known that I couldn't throw your big ass off of a boat. :)
Posted by field negro at 8:13 PM