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  • KG1

I Wish

Updated: Nov 30, 2021



“Wonder how Rittenhouse gon do with the whole Stevie thing?”

“Semple, you know I try to understand you the best that I can. But I am really lost on this one.” On an unseasonably warm day in November, the two men were back on one of their favorite park benches discussing recent news. The sunshine beamed conspicuously bright and flitting birds seemed especially playful.

“Find yourself, Junior Boyd. You was a little nappy-headed boy just like me. Stevie singing about those days and the mischief we got into and tried to get out of with no penalties. Like Stevie say, ‘Trying your best to bring the water to your eyes thinking it would stop her from whipping your behind.’ But it didn’t work no way, which was cool. Tough love was there. When you look back, those was the carefree days. Not always. Some childhoods is horror shows. That’s another key of life for when you wanna go there. For the most part, though, we been finding that these later lives, what the young folk call ‘adulting,’ be complicated with all kinds of responsibilities. That’s where the ‘I Wish’ come in.”

“The poignant reminiscence along with gratitude.”

“And maybe gon be that for Rittenhouse after his successful tryin-to-bring-water-to-eyes performance. You know the defense team hired an acting coach for that, don’t you? I’m just saying. You know they did. Even though I didn’t actually see any tears, he came close enough to keep the jury from whipping that behind. They gon name a new acting award after him, call it a Kenosha. But the thing is where does this leave him? He young and maybe flexible but ain’t got no wisdom around him that can lead to the good look back.”

“Oh, okay, Semple. I think I can unpack this. You understand the obvious potential in youth, almost by definition, but in the instance of Rittenhouse you remain extremely skeptical, given the right-wing hero worship surrounding him, that he will ever be influenced by ethical behavior or learn the best lessons and therefore in retrospect will see no maturation.”

“Boyd, that sound about right. I always say you been worth all that tuition money. Now what was that Goldilocks lawyer doing down in Georgia? Blonde and pale as she could be, and even I could figure out that she was saying something other than what she was saying. Like in the movie when that dude told the other guy, ‘It’s your barbecue, and it tastes good.” He wasn’t talking about no barbecue, no ribs and thangs. He was saying, ‘You the boss in this crime move and I definitely ain’t challenging.’ Dave Chappelle was in that movie, too. Wonder what he saying.”

“I don’t know about Chappelle, but I do know that there are terms for what you’re describing: euphemism, synechoche, metonymy, the less harsh word, the suggestiveness, the verbal sleight of hand. When she said long dirty, she was articulating, please imagine everything you can about dangerous and disgusting blackness and connect it to Arbery. The semantic item toenail was irrelevant, and everybody knew it.”

“But it wasn’t all the way irrelevant, though. I heard they had a way to take toenails and build prison cells.”


#keithgilyard #languagelane #arbery #rittenhouse