The Transformation of Richard Johnson

Talking (Black and Gray)

     The difference in him was shocking, even scary. “This can’t be the same person that was here a month ago!” Daphne thought. Last time Daphne saw Richard, he was quickly going into madness. No one was safe around him; especially his family and friends. They were his main target. Most times he would get so out of control until he would get violent. His tantrums landed some people in the hospital. His mother was afraid of him. His father despised him. His brothers would have nothing to do with him. Even Daphne couldn’t stand being around him.

     “How does one from being almost psychotic to docile in one month’s time?”, Daphne wondered. “Who is this magic maker and where can I find him?” Just then, Richard’s mother walked into the room. “Please forgive me Mrs. Johnson, but what have you done with Richard? Are you sure he isn’t a twin and you are playing an April Fool’s joke?” “What do you mean?” Mrs. Johnson asked. “Richard is still the same person and no he does not have a twin. Could you just imagine? One of him was enough!” Daphne said, “Well Richard is so different now. What is your secret, and do I need a prescription?” Ms. Johnson just said one name. Nana.

     She started, “Let me tell you a short story. Nana came to live with us a month ago because her house was being renovated.”. Now Nana was a small woman, 4”6” at best. She wasn’t a big woman. In fact, she was petite. Mrs. Johnson continued, “on Nana’s 3rd night, Richard has one of his famous meltdowns and struck his father, right in front of Nana. Nana never said a word, so Richard didn’t think she saw him. Now one thing about Nana I must tell you. Nana is from the old school. She is from the South. She is also very religious. She thinks that giving kids psych meds is wrong. ‘All these kids these days need is their asses whooped. I’ll bet you they would act right then.’ So, Richard eventually calms down and goes in his room and starts playing videos games. Nana asked her son where his room was. Then she said I will be right back. No one saw the belt she had in her hand. She went to his room, closed the door, locked it and put a chair again the knob so no one could enter or exit. We all right upstairs to listen. ‘So, Richard, my dear grandson. You like to hit people when you can’t get your way, huh? Well, I am here to inform you that no one hits my son or anyone in this house and think they can get away with it!” Next thing we heard was Richard begging, “No Nana! Please, Nana! I’ll be good. I promised to be good. I won’t hit anyone anymore’ Nana says, ‘You should have thought about that the first time!” Then we heard a pop and then a blood curtailing scream from Richard. When she got through with him, he was in the corner whimpering like a baby. Nana fixed her wig and opened the door. ‘The next time you even think about putting your hands on someone I will beat your ass into the next decade! Who the hell do you think you are? Your parents may have brought into this world, but as God as my witness, not only will I take you out, but your name will never be mentioned again. Do you hear me?’ She gritted her teeth. ‘DO – YOU – HEAR – ME, – BOY?!?’ Richard said softly, ‘Yes Nana.’ As she walked out the room, she smiled at us and muttered, ‘Damn teenagers! They don’t know me that well, but I bet you they will!’ Ever since then, Richard has been an angel. If he even thinks of doing something, Nana just looks at him, and Richard starts shaking and pees in his pants.”

     Daphne couldn’t help but laugh. “Well, I want to meet her one day and shake her hand. A true miracle worker” She walked over to Richard and said, “Hi Richard. How are you doing?” “Fine, Ms. Jones, thank you. And may I ask how you are doing?”, Richard said with a meek voice. Daphne almost passed out. “He was polite and called me Ms. Jones.”, she thought. “I am fine, Richard. Thank you for asking.” Daphne turned away and once she walked into the next room, she busted out in laughter. She is going like this Richard, she smiled.


A Cautionary Tale

I love the fact that I can either save your life or kill you in an instant. The fact that your life is in my hands fascinates me. I have been around for hundreds of years, all in different forms. I have lived in the best of places and in the worst places imaginable. Let me tell you about it.

            Jason, a 46 year old mechanic, was working underneath his car, when it suddenly collapsed on him. His screams was agonizing and painful. Blood was gushing all of the place. A lot of people did not think he would make it. It was horrible, just horrible. I was having a quiet night in the drawer of this cabinet in the hospital. I knew that my time was soon to be up. I mean, come on, I have a short shelf life. If I live 3 months, I am an old timer. Well back to the story. They rushed Jason to the emergency room. A whole team of doctors was surrounding him. All I heard was, “we need a 20”gage, stat!” That was my cue. Suddenly the darkness I was so accustomed to disappeared, and now I was surrounded by the bright lights of the arena; in the hands of this prominent surgeon. He stripped me down to almost nothing, and ripped my cap off. He jammed my skinny feet and legs in the weird solution. It gave me a certain time type of rush I had not experienced in a very long time. The solution filled me up so much and so fast, I could barely contain it. He races me across the room, and in a rush, jams my feet into Jason’s skin. I could no longer contain the solution inside of me and suddenly regurgitated it right into Jason’s heart. As quickly as I had released all of this solution, I heard the nurse say, “we got a heartbeat! We got him back!” The doctor breathed a sigh of release. Did he thank me for being there to help save him? Of course not. He discarded me in the red bin, and just walked away. I had served my purpose. My work was done, my life was now over. As much as I matter, I didn’t matter that much. As I headed back to the reincarnation center a.k.a the recycling center, All I could think of was I help save a life today. I do matter.

Then there is Nikki. Nikki is 17 years old. She just dropped out of high school because she wanted to live the fast life, so school was just a mere distraction that needed to be taken away. And she did just that. From that point on, she lived the fast life; fast times, fast boys, and fast drugs. She loved her drugs. In fact, she loved them so much she insisted that I joined her in this lifestyle. One Saturday night, about 11:30, she was at her rocker’s boyfriend’s house. He had brought 2 cases and beer and a stash of heroin for a good time. Nikki was so excited. Like the doctor in Jason’s case, she grabbed me and stripped me down and ripped of my cap like a madman. She puts this powder inside of me, that had a head spinning. She packs it down inside of me and pours a little water in it. Now I am feeling sick. Just like the doctor, she jams me in her arm and I feel a little of her blood mix with all of the other stuff she put inside of me. She forces it out of me so fast, I could barely breathe. But something different happens. She leaves me in her arm. I look up just in time to see her eyes roll back in her head and she falls forward. Before she hits the floor, she is stone cold dead. I am still frightened because I am still in her arm. Her boyfriend looks at her and runs out of house. I am now stuck inside of her and now whenever someone mentions her name, they have me to blame for taking her life.

            So what is the moral of this tale? Am I going to be your best friend or your worst enemy? Will you let me pull you from death to will you love me to death? I can’t make that decision for you. I am only the middle man here. I just do as I am told.. (Screen fades to black with a wicked smile on my face…)

Nightmare or Reality?

It was a very humid summer night. Deborah couldn’t wait to get home and get comfortable. She had been sweating all day in her business suit. The meeting had been a great success and she was ready to celebrate. As she drove home, she was thinking what kind of wine to pick up. Chardonnay of course. That was her favorite. She got to the liquor store at 9:00. She thought it was a bit odd that there was so few cars in the parking lot. She hesitated at first before deciding to get out of the car and go inside. She couldn’t have walked 10 feet away from her car when she felt two hands grab her and yank her down to the ground. She gasped very loudly; her eyes was as big as saucers. She felt a sudden prick in her neck, and suddenly everything went dark.

When she woke up, she found herself tied up, bound to a chair in her underwear. She didn’t recognize where she was and that scared her. “So you finally woke up!” the deep, growling voice said. She recognized that voice. It was her ex-fiancée, Anthony, who she dumped for cheating on her. Before she could scream, he placed the letter opener at her neck, and said, “Try it and that will be the last thing you do! She was now terrified. She thought he had left Atlanta and moved across the country. Obviously she was wrong. As she felt the blade from the letter opener pierce her neck, Anthony said, “You stupid little bitch! You thought you could walk out on me and get away from me? You thought wrong. I am never letting you go.” Deborah started to cry and plead for her life. “Anthony, you don’t want to do this. Please don’t. PLEASE!!!” she begged. He snarled at her and said, “Now you’re begging. Funny how you didn’t before. Well it is too late now. I am done with your stupid ass. I am going make sure you never do this again to any other man!” Anthony had clearly lost his mind. He looked at her and said, “See you in hell, bitch!”, as he raised the letter opener to stab her. Just before the blade went in her, she heard a blaring horn, and suddenly woke up. The guy in the next car screamed at her and gave her the finger as he raced passed her. Then she realized, she had fallen asleep at the red light behind the wheel. No wonder he yelled at her. I need to get myself home and in bed, she thought. The heat had gotten to her and sapped out all her energy. As she drove home, she made sure that she stayed awake the rest of the ride home.

Beginnings and Endings

As Robert packed up the house, tears began to flow in his eyes. So many memories this house held. He thought about the time that he and his sister was playing ball and broke the window in the living room. They was so scared that they would get in trouble. “No worries”, Mother said. “It was an accident. It happens. Next time you want to play ball, please do it outside.” He remembered the smell that rose in the kitchen every Sunday, as she cooked dinner. It was so intoxicating, especially when she made his favorites. Her cooking recipes was known all around the town, and her pies was legendary. He remembered the last time he saw Father with his suitcases as he kissed his son on the cheek; leaving the house never to return. He watched Mother as she cried and begged him to stay. He had never seen his mother cry before. It affected him deeply.

He went upstairs to made sure all the boxes was ready in the bedroom. He could hear her voice as she sung while sewing. Her voice was so sweet and the birds outside joined in harmony with her whenever she sang. But that was all in the past now. He would never that heavenly voice again. He sobbed quietly as he sat in the middle of the floor in his mother’s bedroom. He missed her terribly, for it had only been 2 weeks since she made that heavenly transition. He felt like his heart was breaking and would never heal. Just then, he felt those familiar hands on his shoulder. “Mommy?” As he turned around, he realized that those familiar hands was Simone’s, his sister. “I still can’t believe we are letting go of the house”, as tears continued to roll down his face. Simone just sighed and said, “I know. It is just like we moved here yesterday. It feels like the end of an era, being here for so many years, but we promised Mom we would move on after she passed and let go of the house. We have to honor her wishes. We will still have those memories of her and the house in our heart.” Robert stood up and started hugging her as they both cried. It was time to move forward, but that did not mean it would not be painful. Just then, there was a knock on the door. It was the movers with the van. Right on time, Robert thought. As they watched the movers load up the van with Mother’s belongings, they shed their final tears. They knew and finally accepted that they had to face this new chapter of their lives without their mother. They would get there eventually, but it would take some time.

Summer Madness

     It’s Saturday morning. Beach Day! Robert was super excited since he had not been to the beach all summer. He turned on the TV to watch the weather report. “Highs today will be in the upper 90s so make sure you bring your sunscreen”, the weather man says on the television. Robert looked to his sunscreen but forgot he used all up. “No worries”, he thought. I’ll just get it at the beach.

     He rushes to get dressed and flies out the door. He goes down in the subway and it is packed with people. “I guess everyone has the same idea!” he smiles. Just then the train comes. He pushes his way onto the train and suddenly realizes how hot the subway car is. He can’t move because there are just too many people on the train. As the train pulls off, he can feel the sweat running down his back. He feels this painful poke and he turns around. There stands a woman with her umbrella listening to her music loudly, not thinking about those around her. He tries to get her attention to tell her to move her umbrella, but she is in her own world. He thinks to himself, “I can tell it will be one of those days.” So he angrily takes the umbrella, glares at her, and says, “Your umbrella is poking my side! “She snaps back at him, “I know you did not just take my umbrella! Who do you think you are?” At that moment the train stops suddenly and the conductor let everyone know that there will be a delay. He thinks, “Great. I can’t breathe as it is in this non-air conditioned train. Now we are stuck.” For a half hour the train sits there and then slowly pulls out.

     Robert finally gets to the beach 3 hours later. The humidity is high now and it becomes hard to breathe. He sets his blanket on the hot sand, and starts to lay back, when this woman and her 5 kids sits next to him. These kids are so misbehaved it gives him a headache. One of the kids kicks his water bottle onto the sand. He jumps up and gets ready to yell and the kid when the mother looks at him and he thinks twice about saying anything to the kid. “Now I have nothing to drink”. As the sun glazes on him, you can see his skin quickly turning dark and then a shade of red. Just then the same kid who kicked his water over slaps him on the back, laughs and says hi. Searing in pain, he jumps up and says, “You stupid mutha…” and the mother snatches the kid away, turns to Robert and screams, “DON’T YOU DARE TALK TO MY KID LIKE THAT! I WILL KICK YOU BUTT ALL OVER THIS BEACH!” Robert snaps back, “Well maybe if you trained you kid correctly, he would know how to act!” By this time a crowd forms to watch the fight. A cop shows show and tell them to separate or he will arrest them. Robert yells, “Screw this! I am going home! I can’t deal with this woman and bratty kids. They belong in the zoo!” You can hear the mother in the background cursing at him and calling him all sorts of names. “Never again will I go to the beach on a day like today. Next time I will keep my butt at home with the air conditioner!” he thinks to himself. The end of a non-perfect day.