There are many dates throughout our lives that we remember for whatever reason, good or bad. The title of this blog is the date on which my life and its course changed irrevocably. Up until July 12th, my life was difficult but it was what I was accustomed to. You see, I have congenital congestive heart failure, Left ventricular to be more specific. I have had it for 20 years and became accustomed to the limitations it put onto my life, which were some, but not many. Then I developed chronic kidney disease, which comes with the heart failure territory, sooner or later. I thought, “Ok, this is just another issue to adapt to. No biggie.” Medications kept my fluids in check and my kidneys, though compromised, still did the job they were designed by biology to do. I did most of the things other people my age did, but mostly, I drank.
July 12th, 2017 was probably the worst day of my life, other than my parents’ deaths. Many days before, I was preparing to celebrate my 42nd birthday, ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ style. This was going to be the year of 42!!!! The answer to the question: Life, the Universe, and Everything. It was going to be grand. It started slowly with slight weight gain, which I just brushed off, then it progressed to a feeling of fullness, lethargy, and ultimately, extreme nausea and a loss of appetite. This was on my birthday. I remember not wanting to see my birthday movie, ‘Spiderman: Homecoming’, but you see, I have this character flaw wherein I feel great panic if I think I am disappointing people, especially my friends. So I pulled it together and went to the movie. It was a great movie, of course, but I couldn’t truly enjoy it in my condition. I was stubborn. I thought it was just a stomach bug and it would pass. I let this ordeal continue far longer than it should have. Maybe I truly, deep down realized what was happening, but I did not want to admit it. Admitting it made it true, you see. I didn’t want to admit my fear that I was in kidney failure, again.
After a few instances of almost passing out, I drove my stupidly difficult self to the emergency room. It was July 8th, I believe. I don’t specifically remember. They told me I was fluid overloaded. This was something that has happened before so I knew the drill; Intravenous diuretics to help my kidneys eliminate the excess fluids. Only this time, nothing was happening. NOTHING. I wasn’t urinating. I should have been pissing buckets. I was getting really scared. “What if this time was different? What if my kidneys were done?” On July 12th, that question was answered. My nephrologist at the time was a nice man named Larry Davis. Although he was nice, he was a matter of fact type of guy. He came in my room and broke the news to me: I had developed ESRD. End stage renal disease. This was it. I was always afraid of dialysis, but thought, “That’ll never be me.” Well, now it was me. I thought my life was done. Therapy three times a week forever, or I would die. This news was like being hit with a wrecking ball. It altered my life, but I wasn’t aware of that yet.
As I lay in my hospital bed, hooked to a large machine cycling my blood out, cleaning it, then cycling it back in, I was hit with all the things I believed I could no longer do. Drink, smoke weed (I really miss that one), urinate. You’d be surprised how much you miss peeing until you can no longer do it, cause sometimes you just need a really good piss, amirite?! I was under the impression that even though I had advanced heart failure and a newly minted diagnosis of ESRD, I could still work full time. My body made it abundantly clear that that was complete crazy talk. Who listens to crazy talk?! No one, that’s who! So I dragged my body through each day, struggling more and more. The work days after dialysis treatments were especially challenging. Challenging like climbing Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen. That means it was super hard and sucked super bad, just saying. I had filed for social security disability and Medicare coverage. I was counting the days until I was approved, then I would quit magnificently like Scarface from Half Baked.
Then October 17th came and my illusion came crashing in. I was denied disability because I was still earning too much money. So, the decision was made. I had to quit my job. What a scary thing to do! It had to be done, cause to get help, the government wants you to be completely destitute. Who needs to pay bills or have a roof over their head while the government takes 4 to 6 months to review your case? That’s just plain nonsense. Being homeless is so underrated!!! So as of right now, I wait, praying that my meager 401k and driving Uber and Lyft part-time can sustain me until my benefits kick in. I would work full time, but I have an earnings limit of $1160 a month. That’s not even $300 a week. I’m on the razor’s edge here. I’ve crossed over from the safe zone into the danger zone. I’m riding the lightning. I am in uncharted territory and I am terrified. Change is difficult for me. This whole process has been difficult. There have been multiple emotional breakdowns and I imagine there will be many more.
New normal is a motherfucker.
*DISCLAIMER* THIS IS YOUR ONLY WARNING. YOU WON’T LOOK AT NINJA TURTLES THE SAME IF YOU READ THIS. IF YOU CHOSE TO CONTINUE, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. YOU’LL EITHER LAUGH YOUR ASS OFF OR NEVER COME HERE AGAIN.
Michelangelo was in his room relaxing after yet another tough street fight with the Foot Clan. He and his brothers fought Shredder and tore him a new turtlehole as usual. He retreated like a punk bitch as usual. While on the way home, Rocksteady and Beebop thought they could take advantage of the situation, but those fools got schooled too.
“No chance.” Mikey mumbled out loud to himself. Mikey was so awesome during that fight, literally yelling out “I’m righteous wicked, dude!!!!” He was chilling out waiting for the pizza guy to show (why they allow the pizza guy to see their hidden underground lair was beyond him) when his thoughts drifted to April O’Neil, the crack field reporter. She was always there on the scene, getting footage of them, helping in their fight, and inevitably needing their protection. His room was adorned with a disturbing amount of pictures of her, especially involving her ample breasts.
Mikey realized his little turtle was out of its shell. He was a teenager and the hormones were strong, even more so enhanced by the green radioactive ooze. Daredevil went blind and got enhanced senses and sonar, while all Mikey got was becoming a teenage mutant ninja turtle that got the most inappropriate monster boners. Right now was one of those times. “I got time before the pizza gets here! I can’t deny the TURTLE POWER!!!!!”
He found himself staring at all his April pictures on his wall like a horny teenager…who happens to be a six foot seven, 450lb turtle. Leo, Raph, and Donnie all thought he was crazy for being hot for a human woman. Raph was always saying “Turtles can’t bone people, ya numbskull!!! There are laws!” Well, he was a dreamer! Those titties of hers were always straining against her stupid yellow jumpsuit. “How many of those fucking things does she own?” Mikey thought to himself. Those thoughts led him to pull out “The Box” under his bed. The one that had the ‘more adult’ stuff he had of hers, which included a pair of her panties. Mikey had lifted a pair from her dresser when they were scouting her apartment after they first met her. Raph said it was to make sure she was “Cool n’ shit.” The panties were yellow. All of her panties were yellow. “What’s her deal with yellow, anyway?” He figured she wouldn’t miss a pair.
“Oh, April, let me help you out your jumpsuit…oh what I’m going to do to you…” Mikey was now in full furious stroke when April burst into his room..
“MIKEY!!! WE GOT A LEAD ON…..HOLY SHIT, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?!!!!” April was mortified.
Mikey recoiled in shock and embarrassment. He fumbled with her panties and was trying to put his monster back in the shell.
“THE FUCK, MIKEY?! HOW DID YOU GET A PAIR OF MY PANTIES?! WHY WERE YOU MASTURBATING WITH THEM? GOD, WHY DOES YOUR PENIS LOOK LIKE THAT ALIEN GOO SNAKE FROM ‘PROMETHEUS’?! Even in absolute horrific shock, April still asked a ton of questions.
Mikey paused, still holding her yellow panties, “Uhhhh, what answer would get you to not tell Master Splinter about this? I mean, I borrowed a pair from your dresser when we were scoping your pad, dude. They were all yellow! I didn’t think you’d miss one pair! As for my penis, I’m a turtle. I have a turtle dick. You ever see a turtle dick?”
“NOOOOOOO!!!!! EWWWW!!!! WHY WOULD I LOOK FOR TURTLE DICK ON THE INTERNET?!” April was fuming now
“Curiosity? Once you go green…..”
“AHHHHGGGGHHH!!!! NOOO!!! THOSE WERE MY FAVORITE PAIR!!!! April interrupted.
Mikey was puzzled. “How can you tell?”
“I…JUST KNOW! DON’T JUDGE ME!!! MASTER SPLINTER!!!!! COME HERE!!!” The judgment in April’s eyes was unmistakable. Her eyes narrowed. “You’re so busted.”
Master Splinter appeared as if out of nowhere into the doorway, looking very grim and serious as always. “What….is the problem, my dear April?”
“I caught MICHELANGELO plaaaaaaying with himself while fondling and sniffing my panties!!!”
Splinter looked away from April and directly at a very guilty Mikey. “Yes….your favorite yellow ones…” Splinter whispered softly to himself with a wistful glint in his eye.
April shot a glare at Splinter. “What?!” Splinter recovered like a ninjitsu master. “Oh, nothing, nothing.” Splinter rose, back straight, “MICHELANGELO!!!!! YOU HAVE BROUGHT SHAME UPON THIS HOUSE!!! APOLOGIZE AT ONCE FOR YOUR DEVIANT BEHAVIOR!!!!”
Mikey was still trying to shrink his boner now hidden under his Incredible Hulk bed sheets. He was still staring at her breasts, which seemed to heave to and fro and almost throb on their own. How did her top remain closed. It was like she was wearing a smedium on purpose. “I’m sorry, April. I hadn’t ever planned for you to catch me ninjacking…”
“LOOK AT HER EYES!!!!” Splinter commanded. He was staring at her chest too, but he was better at hiding it. He missed being a human at times like this so much. Mikey raised his eyes to meet April’s. “I’m sorry. Do….you…want your panties back, dude?”
“EWWW, NOOOO!!!! BURN THOSE!!!!” April yelled. Then, composing herself, said more calmly “It is ok, I GUESS. Just…give me a lot of space. I don’t want to see you near my stuff again!”
Mikey looked over at Splinter, who returned his gaze with a look of stern disapproval. The stare burned through Mikey’s soul. “Ok.” Mikey said with the tone of a child who disappointed his parent.
“April, I apologize for my student’s actions. I will reprimand him accordingly. He will learn his lesson well.” Splinter was shrunken now in his standard slumped posture, as if asking for April’s forgiveness.
“Good! I’m…going to go now and pretend I never had this experience.I don’t know why I thought a turtle dick would look like a human dick.I need a drink.” The words trailed off as she rushed out the door.
Splinter stared at Mikey for what seemed like a 1,000 years before he finally spoke. “Michelangelo, what is the lesson to learn from this?”
Mikey thought hard for a moment then offered his answer, “Don’t masturbate, Master Splinter?”
“NO!!!” Splinter bellowed. “LOCK. YOUR. DOOR.” Splinter looked at him more softly now. “Now, put away your weapon and wash your hands. The pizza is here. Don’t touch mine, please.”
Vincent was listening to the All My Friends are Right Here Podcast like he usually does on slow nights when the call came in. The call was from a number in Metropolis.
Fuck, he loved these calls.
Vince: “LuthorCorp Mutual, this is Vincent, how can I help you this evening?”
The caller sounded apprehensive and a more than a little shaken. “H..h..hello, my name is Joe. I’d like to file a claim.”
“Okay, Joe, I can help you with that. I did a search by your phone number and see that you’ve had claims before?” Vincent knew he did, but he liked to hear these people moan about Superman dropping a building on their car or Batman crashing through their living room and having a fistfight with 20 other strange dudes. It always made his night.
Joe knew Vincent was looking at his long history of filed claims. Joe has the misfortune of living downtown in a rent controlled high-rise…right next to The Daily Planet. He routinely had Superman on his roof as well as the rest of the Justice League using it as a “rally point”. He could literally hear them on his roof going on about “justice” and “vengeance”. Superman was always, “But truth, the American Way, guys!!!” Joe always thought that dude was a total pussy,
“Yes, I have. I don’t want to talk about those.” Joe felt it coming….
“HOLY SHIT, SUPERMAN THREW YOUR CAR AT DARKSEID?! MAN THAT MUST HAVE BEEN AWESOME!!!!!” Vincent said with a joyous tone.
“No, guy, it wasn’t! I had just bought that car. I saved up for years to get that car! He could have picked up the dump truck right next to it, but it’s like that asshole picked my car specifically. You guys didn’t pay that claim!!! I was out thousands! My credit score tanked!” Joe was seeing where this was going.
Vincent, hiding the glee in his voice, said, in a very professional manner, “Well, yes, we cover acts of God, not acts of A god. You understand, don’t you?”
Joe’s anger was simmering, “HE’S NOT A GOD!!!! HE’S A MAN!”
Vincent: “He’s Superman sir. He’s an alien; an illegal alien at that. So we also wouldn’t cover damages by a non-citizen. It’s in your policy.”
Joe: “He can’t be an illegal alien AND a god, man! He’s from fucking Kansas!!!”
Vincent: “No, he landed there, allegedly, and was raised by two as yet unidentified people. The US Government allows him to stay, because, well, they can’t make him leave.”
Joe:”Unidentified?! Uhhh, General Zod destroyed The Kent farm and went on and on about ‘Kal El’ and ‘BRING HIM TO MEEEEEE!’ in his best menacing super villain tone. Then Superman shows up and they wreck downtown Smallville?! That shit was on TV! Doesn’t it seem strange that Clark Kent reported on that fight like 5 minutes AFTER it was over? Like he was just lurking around? Don’t you think that’s strange? Like he knew already, or that he IS Superman?”
Vincent: “That’s preposterous, sir. Clark Kent wears glasses and cannot fly! Pffft! Besides, he was reported at work that day in Metropolis by Lois Lane. Why would she lie? She’s won a Pulitzer. He showed up later because he was concerned about his mom.”
Joe: “Really?! Let’s just get to my current claim, ok?”
Vincent: “Alright sir. What happened?”
Joe: “Superman threw my new car at Brainiac.”…..
Vincent burst out laughing: “Why would you think we would cover that this time if we didn’t last time?”
Joe: “This time the car landed in my living room.” Joe was pretty downtrodden now and pretty certain he only existed for Superman to torment him. Maybe he was just the creation of some hack blogger who thinks he’s funny. Joe never did get this whole Multiverse shit.
Vincent was amazed. “Dang, it’s like he knows where you live. As if he deliberately started fighting Brainiac outside your building, found your new car, picked it up in the air, got Brainiac positioned right in front of your window, and then threw the car right through him and the window? Man, bad luck, sir. I’m sure it wasn’t deliberate.”
Joe butted in, “Nah, I’m pretty sure it was!!! I heard him say, ‘I’ll show him who’s a fucking pussy.’ It’s as if he heard me that one time I said it out loud.”
Vincent, astonished at Joe’s ignorance, followed up, “Uh, he did. He can hear everyone at once. I wish you hadn’t mentioned that sir. There is a clause in your policy that states, ‘Talking shit about Superman, to Superman, about one of his friends, co-workers, mom, his dog, his chick, his side chick, and his cousin means he can destroy your property cause he’s mad. Also, Superman would never say those words. He’s a boy scout, sir.”
By this time Joe was nearly defeated, but he still kept fighting. “What the fuck kind of rule is that?! Boy Scouts don’t have side chicks!!! So this petulant asshole gets to fuck shit up because his feelings ARE HURT?!!!! That’s ridiculous!!! Only huge douchebags would…….”
Just then, a huge rending sound echoed through the phone, followed by a blood-curdling scream…”AAAARRRGGGGGHHHHH….”
”FFFFUUUUUUCCCCCCKKKKKKK YYYYOOOOUUUUUUSSSSUUUPPPERRRRRRMMAAAANNN…..” was heard, tailing off as if it got farther and farther away at what sounded like a rapid speed.
Vincent: “Sir?! Joe?! Hello?! Are you there?!”
Superman: “Hello, citizen, this is……..SUPERMAN. Joe can’t come to the phone. He’s gone on vacation just now.”
Vincent was afraid to ask, but he did anyway. “How? Where?”
Superman, very calmly, said, “In his car, to Central City.”
“But…his car was in his living room and it was broken, obviously.” Vincent didn’t like the turn this took just now.
Superman, again, calmly, “I FIXED IT. I GAVE HIM A PUSH START…TO MACH 4. Had to show him how fucking pussies throw.”
The phone line went dead. Vincent stayed quiet for a long time. After what seemed like forever, he blurted out, “WOW, SUPERMAN DOES CURSE!!!!”
It started with the movies. I used to go with my parents to every damn show possible. Alien? “Isn’t 4 too young, Donald?” my mom would say. “He’s 4! What can he possibly remember from it? He’ll be fine” I imagine he retorted. I was not fine. I ended up being afraid of the dark the rest of my childhood. You just never knew if that pesky xenomorph was hiding in the ceiling ready to punch your face out with its tongue. However, with the fear came wondrous amazement, joy, and imagination. Even at that age I imagined myself the hero. That was 1979. I’d already been indoctrinated by Star Wars and I thought I was like every kid in those days; full of spirit, giggles, imagination, and joy.
Then we moved to Texas from the East Coast and I met my best friend for life, who introduced me to video games! 1983. I had an Atari 2600, then he had a Nintendo, and it escalated from there. Dungeons and Dragons, Doctor Who (we’re talking Tom Baker Doctor Who now), radio serials, Star Trek, GI Joe, Transformers. I was hooked, like every kid. It didn’t hit me that I was any different than any other kid, besides being the only black kid I knew besides my cousins. I began to notice I was the odd kid when I started doing the voices of the characters from the cartoons whose toys I cherished. After all, Optimus Prime can’t sound like Cobra Commander and Darth Vader isn’t as intimidating when he sounds like a spastic nine year old. The kids at school would tease which would cause me to become introverted and only share with those I trusted. “You’re a nerd! You can’t be a nerd! You’re black!”
Well, shit. I’m a black nerd. Those were the worst world ever spoken! Ok, not really, but I was a kid. Words stung, yo. When I was 12, I struggled with my nerd/geek desire to still keep and display my toys, but also struggled with the peer pressure to “grow up” and “be a young man”. It was awkward and it felt wrong, but I put my toys away. “Young black men your age do not play with toys! They play football or basketball or do something cool and athletic.” I heard it, even from my mother. It hurt. Everyone seemed to want me to do it the way you’re supposed to. I wonder if I would have faced such pressure were I the innocent looking white kid like my best friend. Would I have gotten more of a pass? People tease and ridiculed the white geek kids too, but they always had a click or group they could fall into that looked like them, sounded like them, and didn’t get suspicious looks when they went somewhere together as a group.
So I stopped. I played football in middle and high school…until I discovered comic books. Then it was another obsession. I got a job just to pay for them because my exasperated mother was not gonna pay for “One more damned comic book!” (I find out years later that she was a geek growing up too in an even harder time for black nerds. She had her own comic collection. We would watch movies together and nerd out in later years) I spent half my life in the comic shop. I felt at home, but I was usually always the only black guy in there, reading stories about white, homogenous heroes saving the world. I always wondered why there weren’t more. Where were the people who looked like me?
As I got into my twenties and turned my attention to trying to reach for a career in media, I started to really understand that I was an anomaly. The creators and artists who made the fantastic universes I would get lost in wrote and drew what they knew. They were majority white, and even more majority male. I was an exception to the standard geek rule. So that meant I was in an even more exclusive club. I had panache. I was cool by virtue of my rarity, like an Action Comics #1! The rest of these guys were just silver foiled, variant covered 1991 X-Men #1’s! I started to find heroes like Luke Cage, The Falcon, Spawn, Cyborg, Bishop,John Stewart Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter (dammit, he’s no Martian, he’s a Space Brutha) and Deathlok. Men who looked like me (except Deathlok, that bruh got jacked up!) rising up and being the hero of the story; fighting injustice. Being a black hero became so damned cool, they went and made honky Nick Fury into Shaft!!!! I still love that one, especially now that he’s a fan favorite.
Now I’m in my early 40’s I see a subtle shift. I take pride in the fact that Dwayne McDuffie (RIP) is one of the most revered writers and creators ever in comics. These days my extended family and many of my friends still don’t quite get the level to which I nerd out and I don’t bore them to sleep with my obsessions, but they see my happiness and they get that. Though they usually stop listening after I start discussing the scientific reasoning behind Superman’s powers or why Batman is still better (He’s the God Damned Batman!). Now that being geeky is a mainstream, popular thing, I’m pleased. It’s a Golden Age! Now that it is mainstream means that more and more young black men and women will discover the wonders of geekdom and not be faced with being so alone in a crowd, if you get what I mean.
I used to feel like the odd man out, but now I don’t feel so awkward as I attend comic cons. I feel like an attraction, but in the best, most positive way possible. Maybe that’s maturity and learning to accept who I am and not worry all that much with other’s impressions. I feel like I’m the voice there to keep it honest and not let things stay the way they have been. I’ve picked up the mantle and I’m one of the trailblazers now!
I was totally a nerd before it was cool.
Damn, does that make me a hipster? I do have a Chewbacca beanie…..
This blog is about dicks; not figurative dicks, but literal dicks.
“Uh, ok.” I can hear you say it now, but bear with me. I had posted an article on my Facebook profile a few days ago about NBA player and doofus Draymond Green “accidentally” posting a picture to his entire Snapchat TL of his penis. My dear friend Elizabeth Anne Hamilton and I entertained ourselves immensely and gloriously lewdly posting comments about it as if his penis was getting a performance review from the boss. Here now, is how, if his dick was being reviewed like they do in the workplace, I think it would go….
Big Dick (President and founder of Big Dick Pics): “Cock! Cock Johnson! Cum in here!”
In strolls Cock to Dick’s office, erect, excited to receive a stroking. “What’s up, Big Dick?! You yelled for me?”
Big Dick: “So we need to talk about your performance….”
Cock: “Damn straight! You like that Dick Pic I dropped on that girl’s Snapchat?! I was all oiled up and shiny, like a boss!” Cock was pleased with himself as he gently throbbed.
BD: “Yeah, I wanted to talk to you about that CJ. That pic went to EVERYONE’S TL, you penis! Which would be salvageable, but, well….you were looking listless and droopy. The Lighting was poor! I really think you could do better. Have you considered further training?”
CK: “I don’t understand BD. I flog everyday!!! Never skip a day!!! I’m like a rock!”
BD: “Well, by the looks of this pic, more like a soft pebble. Maybe you’re jacking too hard? Maybe you need some help? Viagra? Your medical plan covers it. You should look into it. You know how us older penises get. I take it, there’s no shame there.”
CK: “Fuck that, BD! I don’t use performance enhancers!!! That’s for those bullshit movie penises! I’m a real phallus! I go all natural.”
BD: “Can you maybe get more erect?”
CK: “Dammit boss, I am ballin’ so hard! I’m one of your best members! I mean, I know I’m not as big as Mandingo Jones, but I got moves! I work what I got.”
BD: “Mandingo is our star right now, Cock. He’s like a battering ram. He’s curiously frightening, which is good. You’ve fallen off. We hired you because of your plucky spirit and you were always ready to go at a moment’s notice. The hint of cleavage, a wisp of panty line, a breeze…and you sprung into action. Now….you’re soft. I’m afraid I’m going to have to write you up for a poor attitude. Please bear in mind you have been warned. The next time we catch you sleeping on the job, you’re sacked.”
Cock Johnson begins to throb faster now. Part anger and part sadness, he bursts into tears. “I’m…I’m not 17 anymore…I….I’ve been having trouble at home…and…..” The throbbing is now reaching a crescendo.
BD: Oh, no, stop crying……. OH GOD, THOSE AREN’T TEARS!!! WHAT IS THAT COMING OUT OF YOUR EYE? DAMMIT, COCK, YOU’RE FIRED!!! We can’t have that kind of a mess here! After that outburst, I’m afraid you’ll need to pack up your desk and leave the premises. We can’t have that kind of a mess here.
CK, between spurts: “Is there severance pay?”
BD: “WE DON’T TALK ABOUT THAT!!!!!” Big Dick hardens himself, “I’m afraid I can’t answer questions about unemployment insurance. You’ll need to contact HR about that. Also, I’m afraid our company will not be giving you a reference. Now, pack your things and security will help you pull out.”
Cock is now deflated. He feels half the size he was when he walked in the office. “I can’t believe I’ve been dicked. What will I do now?” Cock mutters to himself as he hangs a left down the exit hallway….
There you are. That’s where my brain went with that. Go find the original thread on my page. Until next time!
Special guest Eric Staples joins us once again on the podcast where we discuss:
– Sims 4 removing gender restrictions
– Shorter future seasons on Game Of Thrones
– Meme Wars
– Walking Dead
– Reboots of Highlander & League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen
– Scary movies as a child vs now
– What makes someone walk out of a movie/stop watching a show
– Upcoming geek events and cons.
Read more at The Blurred Nerds on Facebook