Hello. My name is Joey Pinkney. You may or may not know me, but you know my story. One way or another we all related, even if not directly. I wanted to bring your attention to my short story that was recently published in The Soul of a Man: A Triumph My Soul Anthology. I wanted to take the time to share my story and my experience with you. Hope you can buy a copy or two for our family. If you can’t buy one, spread the word. This is truly a positive event that more people need to know about.
The Soul of a Man features 14 contributors. This book features Essence Best Selling authors, Jazz musicians, Poets…and Book Reviewers. Each of us answer the question: What lies in the soul of a man? There are essays, short stories and a great range of emotions that is normally missing from the portrayal of Black Men in American Literature. Although the official release date if June 21st for the anthology, I’m selling pre-order copies through my website http://joeyisinit.com.
Here is an excerpt from Joey Pinkney’s short story “Like Father, Like Son” featured in Peace In The Storm Publishing’s The Soul of a Man: A Triumph of My Soul Anthology:
Speaking of scrambled eggs, there was something that I always heard after the trains came through: a mixture of clanking, sloshing, and scraping. Like clockwork, the sound of the eggs scrambling was one that would await me on the far end of the house, each and every morning. It got to the point where I could tell which fork and which bowl Mary was using. On this particular morning, she was furiously fusing the yolk with the white using the plastic fork with the three prongs one of our porcelain bowls. I guessed that it was the white bowl with the brown trim around the edge.
I paused and thanked God for waking me up that morning. I relieved myself, washed my face and mentally prepared for battle. This gave the cliche ‘I hate Mondays’ a new significance.
“Good morning.” I figured I would enter the room and break the ice. I slid my chair out, sat down and accidentally shifted the table.
“Morning…” Mary barely said. She sounded like she was asking me a question. I silently watched. Mary solemnly turned from the stove, looked at the table, squinted at me, and paused to look back to the table. She stared at the table for only a split second, but it felt like a whole minute. She turned back around to finish scrambling my eggs. “You hurt my feelings last night…” I could barely hear her over the sizzling grease. She pulled out a spatula from the squeaky drawer.
And there it wasâ€¦the beginning all over again.
“I hurt your feelings? By wanting to protect the safety of this household?” I figured that if I’m going to go in, I’m going to go all in.
Her body stiffened as she turned around and pointed that old, melted spatula at me.
“No! You don’t love Andre, and it shows!” I could see a mist of spittle spray the message out of her mouth like a shotgun blast.
“Calm down. And stop pointing that spatula at me. You know that ain’t cool.” I hated being pointed at. It always reminded me of the time a cop pointed his gun in my face for nothing more than chuckles and to impress his partner. I was eleven and vowed to never be in that situation again. I told her that story a million times, but she never stopped pointing things at me.
“You hate him… Don’t you…” She wasn’t asking me. Mary was telling me. My world stopped spinning. My face felt flushed with anger as her question forced its way into my mind.
“Yeah, I hate him,” I said with anger lacing my every word. She gasped like a roach had jumped out from my mouth. Before she could jump in and say anything, I finished my statement. “I hate him so much that I call him my son, even though he has always refused to call me anything but Terrence in the eight years we’ve been a family.”
Mary triggered a strange spirit within me. I couldn’t stop talking. “I hate him so much that I sit down with him after I get home from work. Even though I’m tired, I make sure he does all of his homework. Even though I’m tired, I make sure he understands the lessons he should have learned in class since the teachers have him all day.”
Mary tried to jump in the argument, but I rambled on. “I hate him so much that I take time off of work during the day…to run up to the school with you…to plead with the principal…to not expel him for smoking weed in the girl’s bathroom! The! Girl’s! Bathroom!”
At this point Mary was screaming at the top of her lungs, but I couldn’t hear her. I only heard my own words. “I hate him so much that I make it a point to talk to him about being a Black man in America even though he strives to be a low-life nobody.”
With that last statement, Mary dropped the burnt spatula on the floor in utter shock. Chunks of scrambled eggs splattered on her feet and her eyes welled up bitter tears. When I saw her lips trembling, I tried to tell her I was sorry, but I couldn’t get the words out. She ran out of the kitchen shrieking, “Why God?!!”
After she slammed the bedroom door shut, she cried at the top of her lungs and from the bottom of her soul. I wasn’t sorrowful. I was satiated. My soul was serene. I felt like I just had superb sex, and I was spent.
I sighed as I scooped the spatula off of the floor and rinsed it in the sink. I cleaned the mess off of the floor that I had caused. I rinsed out the bowl she used to prepare the eggs. That’s when I noticed that she had used the white porcelain bowl with the brown border. I dumped some eggs on a plate and sat down at the table with my hot sauce. I clutched the fork with the plastic handle and the three big prongs and bowed my head to pray over my food. I was in peace as the storm caused by Hurricane Andre surrounded me.
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