Thursday, October 7, 2010

LOOKING FOR TYLER PERRY: This Somebody Needs A Screenwriter and/or Tyler Perry.

I don't know exactly how to define the story, but it could be considered a story of a black child coming of age, similar to Manchild In The Promise Land or A black 2010 Legends Of The Fall. The story centers on how a young black kid found his love for movies and his journey before, during and after that connection.

I've been writing a book about my life's struggles, and, as I do , several past memories come to mind. I originally was focusing on my life after the age of twenty, but that story (I've come to believe) is for a limited market, as you will see in my following outlines. So I am thinking about restructuring my story to fit a somewhat larger audience. Well, I have a screenplay in mind. I have posted a few of my short, but limited stories, and here are a few more. Check them out. I call them snippets. They all come from larger chapters.... and they are all true.

[First] I never told my father this but I’m gonna tell you. As young boys, my brothers and I were allowed to go 2 places without question and without asking; the local ballpark and the library. However, on my way to a place called Diamond Park, I frequently stopped at the Rialto Theater. No, not to watch a movie but to play bingo. Well, actually I had the grand title of Bingo Number Boy. See, back then there were not electronic boards, so I stood atop a pile of busted down chairs in front of the theater. The theater’s owner, an old Jewish fella, called out a number, I then searched for the number in an old cardboard box. When I found it, I hung it on a wall. When my father thought I was at Diamond Park being the bat boy for the Morocco fast-pitch softball team, I was instead fast-pitching numbers in the Rat Hole. I was The Bingo Number Boy. And now they have Luke Gage, a black comic book character (going to the big screen) and a Black Thor. He too moving to the moving to the movie theater. Damn, I need a screenwriter.

OOOH YEAH, there’s a lot more to that story. First, it was the gateway to my love of movies. And, back then, there was not a ratings system(naughty-naughty). And, there was cash prizes on bingo night. The Bingo Boy (me) had a chance to make a little extra(sometimes huge for a young boy) money because he knew what prizes to pick. The lucky winner thought it was a secret between me and them, but actually, I told as many people as I could, that if they won, they should keep their eyes on me, as they strolled to the front of the theater to pick their prize from the assortment that were lined across the stage (in boxes). I then could steer them to the biggest prize. Then, of course, I got my cut. Free popcorn, free movies, sex in the balcony (grown folks of course) and cash in my pockets… those were the daze.

[another] for some strange reason, I thought of Abel Ferrara, the director of Bad Lieutenant fame. I remember meeting that guy when he was promoting that film. He was wild and so was his crew. So maybe that’s why I connected him with a movie like the Klansman. He was wearing a black hat with the words “Bad Lieutenant” across the front and I had on a Jordan hat (J.O.R.D.A.N in red letters, some remember those days). I asked if he had anymore hats like that. He said to come by his room (at his hotel) and he’d give me one. Now remember, he was with a wild “suspect” crowd and there was no way in hell I was going to get caughtup in a drug bust so I passed. But check this, he took my hat off my head, replaced it with his broke down hat and slammed my Jordan on his “questionable” head. I mean, who puts on another person’s hat? My mother told me never to use another kids comb or his brush, because rigworms hide in hair. Now, being that I cared little or nothing about his status, I said, "hey mfer, what the fu*k are you doing, give me my goddamn hat". I later went over to talk with Harvey Keitel and is new wife. He was the star of Bad Lieutenant.

[another] Our local rat hole (movie house) cost less than a dollar. Yelp, 2 features and a cartoon in the middle. Popcorn was a nickle (big box 25 cents) and pop was a dime. But you didn’t want to go to the restrooms because they were a filty mess. You know, the type in which sitting down would never be an option. Oh but the memories. How can I forget watching The Three Stoogies On Mars, at the Rialto, fondly known as the Rat Hole.

And remember, the above and the following are all true stories; I lived them.

[another] I heard the shot... I felt the combustion... a loud thunderous roar felt as if air was trying to force it's way through my head. Six told me that no one would be shot, we were only taking guns to scare them. I'd seen people shot on television but it was nothing like that. Blood was spurting from the man while he lay crying and moaning on the floor. I was only 18 ....I was involved in a bank robbery and a possible murder.

[another] I entered the bank after giving the appearance of a man shoveling snow outside. Bank robbery is relatively simple ....there are seldom guards. It's the escape and entrance that harbored my concerns because outside pedestrians and survalance cameras hold memories. And sometimes, the common man loves to play hero. After placing my shovel outside the door, I entered the bank and without saying a word I handed the tellers a large bag, suggesting that they should fill it. One clerk fell to the floor ....she was too scared and weak to comply. The other ....with eyes widened, trembling from shock and fear, stumbled through the process. I was covered from head to toe ....they couldn't tell if I was a man or a woman, white or black ....I walked out. As you know that was not my first bank robbery.

[another]At an early age I witnessed the small nuances between tricks and the women that served them. Everyone enjoys the touch of another and many need to feel as if they belong. I learned that men who paid for the company of women didn't do so merely for sex. They needed to feel like they were a match for the women ....that she may even like them. The women did not have to be beautiful ....many were not. Eva, barely 5'5" and overweight, wasn't in many opinions an overly attractive woman, yet, she was clean, she was sweet and clean, smelled delightful, and always carried a smile. She was perfect for a man that wasn't looking for a wife but needed a little attention.

[another]Smooth was cool, he wasn't like the winos that everyone poked fun at. He dressed sharp and everyone wanted to be like him. People said he wasn't a junkie ...but he used Narcotics. Smooth was the talk of the town ....all the women loved him ....I would later find out why. I wanted to be like smooth but I couldn't. I already had a family and I didn't even smoke cigarettes. My brother Carl was a wrestler, a state champ. He told me that he was good because he worked harder than others at his craft. He got up earlier than others one knew what he was doing. He did it his way. I latched onto that idea. I was young ....the world was in front of me and I wanted it all. I wanted to be cool like smooth, a family man like my father, tough as my brothers and go to college. Women whispered their pleasures to me and I entertained the possibilities. College was fertile ground for young attractive women. Cool was in me had touched my soul. I was about to travel a road that I could never have imagined one told me ....they didn't know.

[another]The US military is one of the largest vehicles for drug smuggling in the world. You've seen the movie American Gangster, well, from my personal experience, I can say that much of that story is true. Rita was my friend.... my lover and my company. She agreed to come along on a dangerous trip after receiving a promise of adventure. She was very attractive... stunning... movie star quality.... she liked me. While passing through the gates of the Air Force base. Rita's face showed the look of impending doom. The officer ordered everyone out of the vehicle ....a search was about to take place and we were very "dirty". Earlier, we were in a village in the southern part of the Philippine Islands.... it was called the jungle area frequented by blacks who were accepted by the locals. It was a humid day ....the sun was bright ....Rita and I were filled with excitement. She was from Virginia and had not traveled much ....she trusted me. We were free and fear was not our companion. Prior to our journey we talk about the future and the dangers of our travel. I carefully questioned her on the what-if's and the possible roadblocks ahead. The officer again said to vacate the vehicle ..... Rita went to work. With a charming and suductive smile on her face....

[another]My life spiraled out of control for several years, one day, in the midst of what I like to call a storm, I called my mother for help.... she said that she had given it to god and suggested that I pray.... I didn't have a relationship with god at that time and was very depressed about my situation.... I nevertheless sent a weak prayer to god and things changed. I didn't know how to pray ....yet I knew I couldn't continue along this path.... I sat in my cell and asked God for help and guidence. Some have said that there are no time stamps on prayers.... I waited. I am here today.... grateful and alive. My mother told me that although I didn't have a relationship with god at that time... he had never left me. I've come to believe that to be true.

NEXT: Here’s another very short one: When I was a kid, we lived in the projects. My father told us that one day he was going to buy a house with a basement. In the basement, he was going to build a gym. He did that. Well, it wasn’t a big gym, in fact, it was nothing more than a few items like a bunching bag and small weights, but we loved it. My father screwed in a spring resistance thang in a support beam. It was a used item that my father purchased from the Salvation Army, so there wasn’t much resistance but we made it work. My father said if I stood back far enough and worked that thing long enough, I would eventually see some results. Okay, I had faith in my father’s words, so for days and days, for hours and hours, I pulled on that contraption. One day I noticed a little bump on my arm. It was a muscle! Years later, I had gun boats (huge arms).Many more years later, I bought a home, and I had a gym in my basement. To make a long story short, take a look at my son’s arms. (picture not available in this medium), the apple did not fall far from the tree.

[And another] Daddy’s little Girl: I've always thought being a man was about being tough and strong. I put a great deal of emphases on providing for my family and protecting them. I believe it's safe to say most fathers... real fathers feel the same way. Looking back... the hardest thing for me to do on a continual basis was share my emotions. I gave my family most things that I thought would be beneficial for their survival. Yet I sometimes wonder if I gave them all the tools necessary to endure the long haul of life. I now look back and wonder if I gave them all of me. It would be easy to take the less painful road and say it's not about me. I could blame everybody and everything.... I could open the door to excuses. Yet, I've come to believe that escape hatch would be closing the door on growth. How does one prepare for the departure of their only daughter. In many ways my daughter was a bond that kept my family together. She was an integral part of my family unit. She was not planned... her mother and I were kids playing house and she became pregnant while we were in high school. We married and struggled as young parents... We shared dreams and spent many days and nights preparing our daughter for the day I will never forget. Being a young fathe..... I was just like the birds and the four legged animals that had to find safety in a tree. I could change my spots to look like a man and talk like a man but I wasn't a man. I seldom reached inside to find the soul of a man. I had always mimicked my father ....he was a great influence on my life .....I watched his moves but I never saw his tears. When I became a boy with a child, I was scared and insecure .....I masked my fears and shoved those emotions behind. I thought it wasn't manly to show fear .....I found it hard to admit that I didn't know how to handle certain things. I was about to leave my daughter on the steps of a large University .....with strangers. My daughter had never seen me cry wife had never seen me cry.... in truth, after leaving my parents home... I had never cried. I thought back to the day my father told me to leave his home and go raise my family..... I remember his pain... I now was sharing those same emotions. I wondered if I was making the right decision, or was I living through my daughter by suggesting she go to a large University far away from home, when she could have gone to a local college with similar benefits... did I think her chances of being an Olympic star were greater... living my dream?My wife and I were about to leave our daughter at her new home.... The University of Kentucky. We were proud yet fearful.... I was her track coach. I had accompanied her on most of her trips. My wife would always be by my side.... assisting as mothers do.... she even ran along during training... we used her as a rabbit. My daughter would spot her yardage and try to beat her to the line. My son was along... he was just joyful of the promise of a Happy Meal. My daughter was a high school and national age group champion .....she now was going to Kentucky ....A College National Champion. In many ways my wife and I didn't plan for this day. Sure, we planned for our daughters new day but not our lives together, without our little girl. The days were gone when we would nudge one another to see who would change her diaper or pick her up from practice. There would be no more loading of the car... the four of use for family trips to wonderful cities. What would my wife and I do when we didn't have our daughter around? Someone we felt we had to stand guard over. Was this like retirement? Was I retiring from being daddy and she daddy's little girl.I couldn't fake this one ....I couldn't change my spot from a sad, insecure and fearful father to one that appeared as if he had it all together.... this was real. Emotions flooded me.... I looked at my wife for answers.. her eyes and posture told me that she too had visited a dark place. Emotions I seldom dealt with, invade my soul.... rationalization and ambiguous thought were no match for the pains I was feeling.I was the leader of the family. As we got closer to the moment of goodbyes.... I again looked in the eyes of my wife... and with some reserve and trepidation .....I looked into the eyes of my daughter.... they both were looking for answers from their leader. That was a defining moment in my life. At that moment I think I became closer to being a real man... I lost it... I cried... I couldn't talk, I cried. I showed my vulnerability.... I didn't have all the answer and I didn't know anything else to do.

[another] Baby momma drama... If a women has children by different men what is she? Some are quick to call her a scank or a ho. Others might say she's a woman of low principles. Let me tell you a story and I'll tell you what I call them. I have a definition that's counter to the popular opinion.This story is about a man and a women that fell in love. Do you like a good love stories - I do. Like most love stories there's a beginning, a middle and the end. This story begins with a man that had lived a few years and a young beautiful black women that was just leaving her nest. They met in the military; he a fast talker, slick walker. She was a young innocent girl out to see the world. He had a history. In fact, he was denied entry into one branch of the military because of past criminal behavior. He was young but the streets called him at an early age. Being of a criminal mind and no ones fool, he found a way to slip into a different branch of the armed forces.Since he considered himself a lover and not a fighter and wasn't going to shoot at anyone, he wiggled his way into the cool confines of office life. He felt like one of the Beverly Hillbillies ....swimming pools, movies stars AND air conditioning. Life was good, he had a first hand view of all the new women that arrived on the base. Aside from greeting them at the door, their records preceded them. At first he felt kind of funny looking at their past but he rationalized that it was his job to make sure all their records were in order - it was one of his jobs.He came from the streets so he'd witnessed all the pimps and hustlers trying to lay their magic on women but his thang was different. An old player told him that women love sincere men that make them smile. So his thang was sincerity with a smile and a pinch of dishonest ....just a pinch. He knew that most women felt isolated in the military and longed for home. Well, while looking through their records to see if they had any ...ahhh, any ...ahhh, things he didn't want to catch, he also looked to see what high school they went to and the city they were from. He was a cleaver old fox. While greeting them at the door he would extend his hand and then quickly pull it back with a startled look and say, "Helen Lampkin, German Town High School, women you haven't changed one bit". The ice was broken, the women was comfortable with her lost and found homie. Now, he still had work to do but friends before lovers was the name of the game and two friends had found each other on a lonely military base.

One such women tweaked his heart along with his love of hide and go seek. She was a city girl that walked with a long stride that said, I know I look good and you can't have any. Her shoulders were back and her chin was slightly tipped up. She had heard all the lines. Women like that don't have to sleep alone. The old wolf knew he had to come with a new game. He decided just to be sincere without any lies. He told her what he generally did when anticipating a new arrival but that he just want to be straight up with her. He told her that he just wanted to meet her and he didn't want to start a friendship off with a lie. She paused and asked him if he looked in her medical records. He looked deep into her eyes and told her that he had not - he lied but the relationship blossomed :-). Hey, he was a wolf, okay.

Life was good, they were the talk of the base. They drove around in a brand new block long Oldsmobile Ninety Eight that she helped him pay for. They yelled out the windows at the other soldiers and turned up their music to blast Marvin Gay .....what's going on .....what's going' on.They were in love. There was only one problem. This wolf turned serious lover had another lover - back home ...a child too.I went in the military to start a new life. But as my mother would say, if you play with a puppy, it will lick you in the face. My father's version was, if you sit in a barbershop you will eventually get a haircut. I fathered a child as a teenager and her mother was waiting for me back home. We had planned a life together yet I was in the arms of another women. I was hesitant about telling this part of my story because there remains a sense of guilt that I hurt others by my selfish ways. The shame and guilt goes away when I address the issues and honestly accepted my wrongdoings. When I jacked up my slacks and said I messed up, I can then move on. But to share my story and my pain with others is a new journey. The road is tough when the fingers of fault are pointing directly at me. However, I've grown tired of many depicting mothers with children by different men as some sort of women with flawed character or low morals. I was involved with two wonderful women that just happened to run into a guy like me. While playing house with my new lover we brought another child into the world. I wasn't man enough to tell either of the women about each other so I maintained two separate lives. I was close enough to my home town that I could drive home when I choose to do so. I lived this lie for 2 years until everything came tumbling down. I had become so comfortable with living like this that I even drove my second family to my parents home to let them visit with their new grandchild. I put them in an awful position. My father would give me the look of deep concern and ask me what the hell I was doing. My mother was force to take the route of don't ask don't tell. Everyone paid a price when the news broke.

After visiting my parents one weekend, I decided to stop at a local horse racing track on my way out of town. My skills at picking winners wasn't very good so I decided to leave after the 5th race. I was with Rita* (*name changed) and my son. As we approached the car a voice said, "how are you doing Carey", it was Debbie*, the mother of my first child. She had a gun in her hand, a 2 shot derringer. I was stunned, I walked toward her. My son ran behind me saying daddy daddy. He didn't know there was danger, he just couldn't understand why I was walking off from him.At that moment my life changed and so did the lives of many others.

In short y'all, I have stories of all kinds. I have childhood stories, crime stories, lost love stories, young fatherhood stories, drug abuse stories, gun play stories, work place stories, drug smuggling stories, seeing death stories, incarceration stories, pimp stories, my family stories, love stories, church stories, loneliness & depression stories, overseas stories, blogging stories, lessons I've learn stories, life in the military stories, racism stories, self-discovery stories, grandchildren stories, my education stories, did I say love stories, shame and guilt stories, all true stories... more stories... All on paper (all, I believe, are more exciting and interesting than the ones above}. I need help. I need help to shape, condense, restructure, explode, open, give breath & voice to the images of the stories, so that maybe one day the whole story, complete story... from the child in the old movie theater, through fatherhood, war and love, pain and dispare.... to a time called now.... that can one day be seen on the big screen.

Any comments, help or concern?

Has anyone seen Tyler Perry or a good aspiring screenwriter?


♫Hershey's Kiss♫ said...

I'm so intrigued by your stories. They are so personal. I wish you the best and God's speed.

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2cute4u said...

This is absolutely brilliant!
I especially loved the Bingo boy story and the Bank robbery stories...
You held my attention effortlessly like today..
Nice one..
Happy Holidays!

CareyCarey said...

Yes Hershey, they are very personal. And some may question why I tell them. Well, I've learned that if I (or anyone) do not believe something is broken, I/we will not have an inclination to fix them. Thanks for the comment.

@ 2cute4u, I just wish there was some way you could "see" the whole stories within the stories. Take for instance the Bingo boy story. So many visual images are missing. For example, the visual images of the patrons (their walk & talk & actions & dress), the old theater(inside & out), the tiny entrance way (popcorn popper & candy rack, and hotdogs spinning and roasting in their glass case), the smells, the appearance of theater's owner & his wife, the tatered screen, my balancing act on the old pile of chairs, the condition and feel of the gum and soda stained floor(after years of neglect). Not to mention the looks I gave the winners (steering them to the right prize) and their elated smiles when they discovered how much they won. And the various sounds of liguor bottles (brought in) hitting the floor.

When I open those stories, there is so much more to "see".

In the bank robbery chapters, there are so many sounds and visuals (before, after and during the robberies) that are missing from these short snippets. But if you loved the "stories", as absent as they are of "visuals" sights and sounds, I believe you and others will be blown away with concise images,conversations, sounds and action of the broader stories within the stories. And, each story leads to another story which adds content and context to the overall story (book). If you ever want to read a complete chapter, give me a holla.