In His Words

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"I knew what she was, but I also knew what I wanted. Now I'm stuck with the remnants of a demon, regret for trying to mold her in the spirit of which I'm being haunted." - Tyree N. Robinson


Tyree jumped out of his sleep, confused about his whereabouts. The bold and soulful sounds of Lyn Collins, James Brown and his funky band, filled the room with the rising sun as the living room curtains shot open. The chill of the night was long gone, heat settling over his drunken frame as he made several attempts to sit up straight. The stench of weekend long angst seeped through his sweaty pores, clinging to the now dingy t-shirt  and boxers he wore. 

The sweet aroma of a fresh breakfast; grits, eggs, panned sausage, coffee, and more wafted through the air. But, rather than enticing the weakened man, it seemed to turn his already soured stomach.

It was a scene from his childhood playing out, his mother blasting great hits of the seventies by strong-willed women to make a point towards her no-good husband and air-headed sons.  He thought he'd escaped it for good; only to find the scene playing out in real time right in his own living room.

A short, stout figure came traipsing through the living room; trash bin, dust cloth and cleaner in hand. 

"Ma... Mama, this noise is killing me."

She shook her head, focused on her youngest son for only a second before she continued on with her cleaning spree. "Very rarely do I feel a need to check on you specifically, but when I do, I always find you in the worst of ways."


In quick succession, she threw away about seven alcohol bottles, all empty. There were masses of shredded paper and clothing scattered around; photos and items Tyree remembered trying to burn multiple times before finally passing out in a stupor. 

"Of all my babies, because you watched him kill himself, I thought you'd be the one to shy away from your father's destructive ways."

He exhaled sharply, hating the song that began to play next.  "Yeah, but I look just like him. Talk just like him."

"Write with your heart and soul, just like him."  Charlene looked at her son, giving a gentle smile. "I just wish you'd stick strictly to writing your feelings out if you feel you can't come to me or tell anyone else. The drinking, disappearing, possible self-harming, I can't take it. I want you around, Son." Charlene sighed, going on a soft spoken rant. "You know Tyree, you're not the biggest of men."

"Yeah."

"And like us other short folks, it's only so much your body can and will take before it just gives out." She paused, growing more saddened, more honest with herself in that instant only. Unfortunately, her words were soon floundering, going in one ear and right out the other as Tyree stared off into space, lost in his own thoughts as the song he hated continued.


In the static filled background of his mind, Jean Wright's Mr. Big Stuff  played on an unnecessary loop, bringing forth a specific memory Tyree did not ask for. Only when tears slid down his heated face did he shake himself back to his current plight, and the question dancing at the tip of his tongue. "How'd you get in here Mama?"

"I might have given you the house, that don't mean I didn't keep a spare key. And good thing I did, who knows what type of scene I could stumble upon one day if I'm just driving by or the heart attack I'll have trying to get in here. What happened?"

"Krista left."

"Oh, Hallelujah."

"Mama..."

Charlene Robinson waved her son's heartbreak off, thanking God for saving her son from the mistake and misfortune he chose to play blind to. "I know you said you loved the lil' witch, but I have yet to see a reason why. That was a gold digger if I ever saw one, and one that didn't even have the decency or patience to pretend she gave a damn about you or your dreams."

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