Monday came on like a black swan in its death throes, sad, misty, and brutal. The classroom looked like a cell out of the Gulag Archipelago in Siberia. Auntie Carol determined to brighten it up by hanging posters of wild flowers and cute baby animals all over the rooms and she sang the lyrics to “Put on a Happy Face” while doing so. Tyrone, the first to arrive mentioned that she was “no threat to Whitney Houston and not to quit her day job.” She laughed uproariously and pasted a yellow smiley face in the middle of his forehead and went around doing it to all the other students. They took it like gentleman and laughed as she did it.
“Miz Carol, you is a real card. I aint known nobody like you in my life.” said Tyrone.
“And that leads me into the lecture today, the misuse of the verb, to be, and the inadvisability of using double negatives in your speech. And I must tell you aint aint a word. A little witticism for you,” she said stifling a giggle.
“And how well have you boys recovered from the visit of our dear friend, The Black Orchid?” asked Lady Lynda. “I think she made some rather cogent points.”
“I think she’s bitchin’. Can I get her phone number?’ asked Francisco.
“Quelle Soprese, You want to “do” her in your vernacular. Well, darling she is not taking any new acolytes,” replied Lady Lynda.
“What means, this word, acolytes?” asked Francisco.
“It means slaves, darling,” said Auntie Carol with an audible sigh.
“Oh, that is so hot! Hijole, mis cojones. (my balls) said Francisco.
“Get your mind out of the gutter, young man. You’re all headed to hell in a hand basket,” intoned Lady Lynda. “To lust in your heart is the same as doing the act. Ask any Man of God.”
“Yes, you’ll all burn in the bowels of hell unless you change your ways and this does include the misuse of proper grammer!” exclaimed Auntie Carol.
The entire clas burst forth in laughter. “If I says aint,” said Tyrone, “I gone fry, you say!”
Francisco spoke up. “We’re all in hell right here on this earth. Ever see your little sisters eating beans from a can and that’s all they get the whole day. How is that not hell, or your Pappy high on crack beatin’ the shit out of your mother. How talkin’ proper gone fix that, Miz Carol.” And Tyrone high fived him and laughed in a hard sardonic way.
“You come from shit you die in shit,” said Francisco. And there was a mummuring of assent from the other boys in the classroom.
“I know you boys can’t control what your parents do but when you leave home you can rise like the Phoenix from the ashes. A wise man named Omar Kayam once said, “Nothing is written.” It means we write our own lives. Believe me, boys, ” said Auntie Carol.
“What’s a Phoenix, a city maybe?” asked Tyrone.
“No, it’s a bird, a mythological bird,” said Lady Lynda.
“No, offence, Miz Carol and Miz Lynda but I believe you got your heads so far up yo’ asses you aint never gone see the light of day,” said Tryone.
“Such vulgarisms will not be tolerated in this classroom!” uttered Lady Lynda who went over and bitch slapped Tyrone in the face. Oh, yes she did!
“How you know I aint turn ya in fo’ this, Miz Lynda?” asked Tyrone.
“A lady must do what a lady must do.” she replied.
“Well, I aint do it and you knowed it. Besides you aint hurt me none. You both a’ight wid me.” said Tyrone.
“Boys, get rid of those nefarious double negatives and the non-word, aint. Say you are, not you is, and I have none or I don’t have any instead of I aint got none. Sound like you come from a good fate so you will have good fate in your later lives. In other words, don’t talk poor. Don’t let an employer know you can from a disadvantage. Make him think you had a silver spoon in your mouth. Fate is maleable not inert. In other words, with effort you can win a good life for yourselves. No, you may not be President someday but you can win if you just try. Get rid of this defeatest attitude,” said Auntie Carol.
“You mean it isn’t shit in, shit out,” said Francisco.
“In a word, yes,” said Auntie Carol.
“I have a most adorable quote from our marvelous poet, Emily Dickinson,”said Lady Lynda.
“Superiority to Fate
Is difficult to learn
T’is not conferred by any
But possible to earn.”
“What if I don’ want to be no lawyer or no doctor. I’m fine the way I am. The vatos (guys) on the block look after me and mine. I deal some drugs and run a few girls on the side and it don’t require no schoolin'”
said Francisco. “Once you get in you never get out. My daddy told me that. He a bad man but want somethin’ better for me.”
“Lady Lynda, pass me the smelling salts. I have the vapors. Hold me, dear.” And she did. “You take it from here, Lynda.
“We no good bastards and you know it, the both of you and ya care anyway. I think she got a point, Frank
(Francisco) You don’t got to be yo’ pappy all over agin’. Lookit he in jail and you want the same shit fo’ yerself? Do ya? I think these ol’ bitches know what they talkin’ ’bout. I gon’ get somethin’ fo’ myself and fuck ya if ya still wants to be a prick,” said Tyrone. “Scuse, my French, Miz Lynda. You got me, Babe from Sonny and Cher. Betcha din’ think I knew bout them, didja? A soft smile spread over his face.
Lady Lynda and Auntie Carol met each others gaze and embraced and Lady Lynda said softly, “Well, Rome was not built in a day, was it Dear?”