Saturday, September 30, 2006

That Colored Man

Now, don't get your Vickies in a twist! I call him "Colored Man" , not because he was black { although he was} but because his 'rents, in their infinite wisdom, named him after a color.

I asked him once, after he'd been on my caseload a while, how many fights he'd gotten into in school b/c of his name, he hung his head and then he looked up at me and said, "Aw, Miss Holly, I gots in a few, but then I learned to joke about it, you knows, make fun and laugh about it wif them."

When Colored Man first got out of prison he was living with his baby's Mama. But then they had a fight and he moved in with his Grandmama. He did the right thing, though and called me on the Monday after he moved and told me about his new address. I made an appointment to come see him the next day between 6pm and 8pm since that was my usual night to do home visits in that town.
I was familiar with the neighborhood. Single family homes, some owner occupied, some rentals, lower income, mostly black, but some some hispanics had started moving into the area in the last few years. His Grandmama's house happened to be on the border street with the area's only Public Housing Apartment Complex. Very high crime area. But, I was hoping the Grandmama would be a stabilizing influence on Colored Man.
I park on the street because the driveway is full and as I walk to the door I am encouraged to notice that there is no trash in the yard and the grass and weeds have been recently mowed. There are even some Mums growing in a flowerbed by the porch, which has been swept!

I knock and when Grandmama opens the door the stench from inside almost knocks me off the porch. I manage to cover my gag with a cough. I introduce myself to this polite old lady. I tell her my name and that I'm Colored Man's Parole Officer.

"I need to make sure he's living with you now." Grandmama says,"Yes,Ma'am, he moved in here Saturday after that no account Shaniqua kicked him out. Do you want to come in and see his room?" "No, Ma'am, I will take your word for that. You seem like an honest woman. I sure do like your flowers out here. Could you ask Colored Man to come out here, please?" "I go to the Missionary Episcopal Church every Sunday and sing in the Choir, too. Let me get Colored Man for you." And she bustles off.

Colored Man comes to the door and we talk out on the porch. He, too, invites me in but I decline his invitation. We conduct our business, I ask what his squabble with Shaniqua was about, trying to ascertain if there was any domestic violence involved, knowing I will have to follow up with her, anyway. A Parolee works from sun to sun, but a P.O. work is never done.

At least Colored man lived in a house. Next up will be Bus Man.


Flo said...

Well, this has certainly been an interesting series of blogs. Guess I don't have much room to complain any more about all the drunks that puked on me in the ER. But I do think I deserve a gold star for today. Your niece is getting ready for the Homecoming Dance, the phone has been ringing about every two minutes, and the plans change every other call. And I am the calm, cool, and collect one. (Great, one more personality to deal with!)

Trashman said...

I can't find your email.