A Book for Every Body – Excerpt 3
Chapter 3 – King Lee
I thought you were going to escape the South, eh? Find somewhere different?
No. I know who you are. I know you better than you know yourself! You try and try, but you always lose focus. Slicing and dicing the managers who run that filthy cub was your goal, but you lost track – again. You palled around with little Chubby instead.
What? Did you like him? I know you enjoyed the experience too, you little pervert.
Shut up! You know I don’t like being called names.
Ha, ha! Pervert, pervert, pervert!
Shut up, shut up, shut up! Else I go to my hiding place, and you don’t want me to go there!
You’ve got to be kidding me! Your little hiding place? That façade kingdom you hid within as a child?
Yes, I will do just that!
As children we build walls of might, walls strong and sturdy, walls that protect us in the dark of night. As adults, these walls barricade our souls each day, every day – and these same walls haunt us in the dark each night, every night. We cast a mask before too long, one that cements to our face over time and shields our emotions from others. This armor becomes a part of us. It smiles for us in social situations, and it frowns for us only behind closed doors.
It protects us among others.
But it is a mask that we cannot remove. It is a shell very few can break. Sweat, tears and fears trickle down our face as we suffocate beneath fake smiles, programmed gestures and talk about the weather – in the boardroom, break room, among friends, and especially among enemies in my case.
Like an itch we cannot scratch, we can’t simply wipe away the tears and the fears. Imprisoned behind a fortress we constructed for ourselves, we recount the dark memories and sleepless chills long since past, times when we were desperately seeking sanctuary underneath covers woven by Spiderman or draped by Catwoman. We erected our walls brick by brick, night after night – building a fortress that would protect us forever – cementing a foundation upon which kingdom and castle are built. Whatever our past, whatever our misfortune, the bones in our closets have helped us along the way. We must bridge those castle walls in order to survive the turbulent years ahead.
Though dream fades quickly into nightmare as the castle walls have been breached. Fear cascades within me – boiling my thoughts, my tendons, my muscles – scaring the fibers of my soul. Teeth grind, eyes twitch, and I can’t stop this killing. It is my line of thought. It is my line of duty.
Besides, I did go somewhere different, and I killed someone new. Ignorance does not reside in the south alone. Most people do not realize that roughly one-third of the country separates New Orleans from Tampa – and these same people do not realize that just about every city and state in the south boasts significant individuality in both culture and in dialect – a chasm likened to the differences between people from Chicago and New York. Do southerners from Louisiana and Florida call people from Illinois and New York, “Yankees?”
Sure we do.
But nobody from Boston would say they are from New York, and nobody from New York would say they are from Chicago. Nor would a southerner in the “sticks” outside of Tampa liken himself to a hillbilly in Tennessee, and nobody from Tennessee would proudly claim to be a Cajun – that is, unless, they uniformly hate the black man – but that is unfortunately true among many whites in all nooks and crannies of this great land.