Monday, March 16, 2009

Your Inner Voice


KHUK KHAK, Thailand - Like, just the other day, this lizard that stays out here, not the Gecko, the Gecko’s that little shit. No, not an Iguana…that other one. This one’s about the size of a freight train locomotive, relatively speaking. Ask Blanco. Blanco knows. Blanco saw him. Took a picture of him, saying, ‘Take a look at the SIZE of this thing.’

Japanese made a bunch of movies with ‘em. A Kimodo dragon.

Stays up under the eaves and behind the door. First time I saw him, I thought, ‘Awwwwwwwwww, shit. I’ve got THIS THING livin’ close by?’ But he’s cool, lives off smaller things, not humans, and he sounds off every night, sometimes two three times.

He’s got to hit that, ‘Geck-o’ sound at least nine times for it to be good luck, otherwise, eight or less, keep a heads up for that big black scorpion that’s going to be crawling along your bathroom floor tomorrow morning.

That’s different from your inner voice. This was more like a warning from the outside, that lizard. An omen. An omen about the scorpion.

Your inner voice is where if you don’t listen to it, you mess up. It’s inevitable.

Mine comes across as a voice inside my head, like a ticker tape, always running, and occasionally punching out a message, chunga chunga chunga chunga chunga, wham wham wham, like last year when I was digging in that compost pile, and this voice come across, saying, ‘You better be careful digging around in there, Nigga.’

Now, that has to be granddad’s voice, who’d be talking to me like that. It’s not my voice, nor God’s or anybody else’s that I recognize. Growing up, it was like a second name, a nickname. Sisters had the same nickname at home.*

And sure enough, one more coconut shell scoop and there’s a fucking snake. Working his way deeper into the pile. Someone said, “It’s a cobra!” and we proceeded to uncover it and hack it to death. Me and those two Thai guys, and Stan. And wouldn’t ya know it, there’s a nest.

Little tiny-ass baby cobra, looks like a worm, no, it’s the same color momma, same style as momma, turning, frowning, coiling, little shit trying to make a strike before we hacked it to death, too. Never seen anything like it.

Anyway, whew!

That was an instance where JUST before I dug into the pile with the coconut, that inner voice popped up. Let me think of another one.

Easy. The ‘Nam. On the way out to the helicopter for an urgent, hot mission, I didn’t have a feeling, it came through as a thought, a voice, a voice that said, “You gonna get hit on this mission, Nigga.”

I told the crew chief, “I’m gonna get hit on this mission.”

He said, “You’re crazy. Get in.”

That’s inner voice. That’s different than the ‘Sub-Mind’ the old folks used to talk about, as in, “I ain’t got him on my sub-mind.”

Sub-mind is different than inner voice.

Heyyyyyy. That lizard sounded off just now. No shit. Just now. Thirteen times. I like the way he winds it up with a chuckle. I cannot find him. He won’t show.

Inner voice, inner voice. Back to the topic.

You know, that would happen in the classroom, too…go off on a fucking tangent, and loop way the hell back around and overshoot the runway, depend on the students to remind me where was I, where were we?

This inner voice business can happen anywhere, any time. Like in a bar, when you look over and see…trouble. With a capital ‘T’. That’s what it is. That’s what it always is. Man, Woman, Biker, don’t matter. You’re right to listen to that inner voice that says, ‘Pay your tab. Go home.’

But what the hell, after three, four, five drinks, heyyyyyy, she can’t be THAT much of a problem.

Later, you’ll be saying, “I shoulda listened to my inner voice.”

You talk about a ‘chance encounter’ that turns out to be a house, two kids, and a ten-year marriage, maybe in a trailer court and out to the track on weekends. No telling where that road might go. ‘Tell me, John Deal. How did you two meet?’

“Zinnabar, wudnit, Honey?”

“Whatzat, John Deal?”

“Guy here wunza know where we met.”


Maybe a prison stretch.

Well, that’s that inner voice talking to you, Shit-For-Brains, and you TOTALLY ignored it.

It’s like when your parents, your grandparents, the troop leader, the coach, the teacher, your sister, the principal, the cop, the lawyer, the judge, the probation officer, the supervisor, were all trying to tell you something, and you knew more than they did.

You were the guy in the huddle who always knew what play we should run, last seconds clicking off the clock, and the quarterback looked over at you and said, “SHUTTHEFUCKUP!”

I’m not talking to you, the reader, follow? I’m talking about the dumbfuck in the trailer court who did the prison stretch, the guy who never once listened to his inner voice.

‘Hey guys. Let’s drink a couple quarts of whiskey and go get some tattoos!’

Inner voice was in the ‘off’ mode. Inoperable. Will be back on line…soon. Our tech team is working on it.

You know what I’m saying about inner voice, right? Everybody has got one. Some call it a conscience, but that’s not it. A conscience is what you get AFTER you’ve done some shit. A shrink might call it a superego, but that misses the boat, too. Don’t it?

No. Your inner voice is more like your grandpa. More like you saying, “Hey, watch this!” and your inner voice is saying, “Ah ah ah. IwouldntdothatifIwasyou.’


*most often we heard the less personalized, ‘You Niggas,’ appertaining to the siblings as a collective. Then one day at Hannah Park, while on the…uh…what the fuck do you call it?...dangerous as hell for a kid…carnival merry go round big iron piece of clanging shit that hung on chains around a big cast iron pipe…somebody tell had thick wooden seats and you could sit on it or stand on it…what the fuck did they call that thing? could swing back and knock your teeth out, give you a concussion.

You had to run up on the shit and jump onboard when it swung forward against the pole, and the big kids would pump it and get it going and slam it around, and you could mash the helllll out of your fingers if you didn’t listen to your inner voice that said, ‘Wait. Wait until the big kids get off it.’

Anyway, my sisters and I were riding…they had alllllll kinds of dangerous shit in that park, come to think of it. I got my left ear severed over there and ran home in a bloody scream, that alerted all the neighbors, chased by my screaming sisters, and got it stitched back on. That was Harold Hensley on the swingset.

Inner voice said, ‘HEY! WATCH OUT!’ a micro-second before I got hit.

Where the…

We were on the…not a maypole…that was ANOTHER dangerous iron piece of shit.

My sisters and I were riding this…playground TOY…and there were four or five REALLY BLACK kids from somewhere, summer park, maybe our cousins, can’t remember, but they was calling each other ‘Nigga’ in front of WHITE PEOPLE!

We ran home and told our parents. They explained the reason those kids used ‘Nigga’ outside the home, was because they was niggas.

I never quite understood fully at the time, and the social complexity surrounding the term didn’t become clearly evident until much later.