Sunday, September 26, 2021


Boys will be Boys–Sometimes, Men Will,Too…

August 26, 2008 by  
Filed under News, Weekly Columns

(Akiit.com) I’d just lowered myself onto a stool at the counter and was reaching for a laminated breakfast menu when, from somewhere behind me, came: “…You remind me of the people who was against the Wright Brothers. Listen, they got this pill–I’m usin’ it.”

Through the reflection of a shiny vintage toaster on the waitress’ work station I caught sight of a booth behind me holding four black gentlemen.

Cocking my head to the left allowed me a peripheral view of the casually dressed men, who looked to be in their early ’70s. Where there wasn’t gray, there was a bare noggin. Or hair painted jet black. There was a wine-colored Sean John workout ensemble on one of them; there was laughter, coffee, eggs, sliced fruit, dry toast, orange juice, bacon, extra crispy. And there was hardy conversation. The subject: Viagra.

I ordered scrambled eggs, toast and hash browns and settled in for some breakfast eavesdropping.

“One night, I went to Ruth’s place–you remember Ruth,” said the portly man with the gold tooth, talking when I came in the place. The man, not the tooth. “She wanted me to come over, but by the time I got there, she said she changed her mind.

“I said,’Baby, I don’t mean no disrespect, but I just took one of these pills and they ain’t cheap. Wake up your sister or that dog you got chained up out back, the parakeet–I don’t care who or what it is, SOMEBODY in this house gon’ fuck tonight.’” The table roared.

Usually, to hear dialogue this rich in either infinite wisdom or knee high bullshit, you’d have to be somewhere in The Community–taking in both soliloquy and Aqua Velva vapors while waiting for a barber’s chair to open up. Or at a pool hall; outside a liquor store, or wherever a spirited game of dominoes or bid whist thrives. Anywhere black men congregate, really, including boardrooms, private jets and on yachts in the Mediterranean. I just happened to be getting the show in a diner on L.A.’s Westside.

If a Brother was among the chemists who invented Viagra, he got no credit at the booth. “That white man is somethin’ else, ain’t he? Shit going on all around us, cancer and shit, and what does he do? Come up with a dick pill. You gotta love that man…”

Oh, didn’t you know?” Somebody else chimed in. “That’s what he DO–conquer it or stick it!” They didn’t seem to see themselves in the portrait they painted.

Some of what the men said was funny; some of it sexist. All of it reminded me of when I was a boy.

At a certain age, sex is all boys talk about. The orators usually consist of boys who (A) at 14 or 15, are truly having sex and (B) boys who SAY they are but aren’t–both of whom found a captive audience in (C) nervous virgin boys such as myself, who stood around listening, trying to separate fact from fiction.

The men spoke of Viagra in the same fashion they spoke of the Internet and cell phones, alternately bemoaning progress and expressing begrudging affection that these things exist. All of them had vivid stories about women. A booth of orators. I listened in earnest, still trying, after all these years, to discern fact from fiction.

“My wife’s friend got her husband some [Viagra] on the advice of my wife,” said the guy in Sean John. “She told us her husband gets an erection now, but is still lousy in bed. She told my wife it was my fault. I grabbed the phone, I said, ‘Mattie, I told you: it’ll get his dick UP–I didn’t say he’d know how to use it.’” Guffaw.

One of the crew asked ardent users at the booth what they would do if the little blue pill proved to be unsafe.

I gotta take my chances, I got too much going on,” answered Mr. Jet Black. “The day I can’t have sex, I’m dead anyway, so….” Again, laughter.

When you’re a young boy, you’re nervous about the day you finally have sex. When you’re older, you fear the day when you can’t have it. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Most things anyway. According to the booth at the diner,anything the little blue pill can’t directly or indirectly fix in the form of an erection, doesn’t matter.

Written By STEVEN IVORY


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