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Tyger proceeds on a perilous assignment
in the urban ghetto that results
in a series of strange and surprising events.
“Through a Glass Darkly”
Dark, dark, dark as night are Tyger’s true love’s eyes.
Long black hair flowing over soft white shoulders
as a long white dress falls to his lover’s ankles.
“I feel shitty. I feel shitty. I feel shitty, not witty and
gay, I feel shitty … ”
Smack, clack, back to reality calling.
Why does Mr. Milty play that stuff?
Some obscenely obscure pseudo comedian
upsets his WTUL morning wake-up show apple cart.
Just what the 5:45 a.m. get-out of-bed-you-fucking-dead-head
crowd needs to get it in the mood for another stand grand.
Let’s hear it: Yaaay–Blubber!
A minor morning mission has been relayed down
the chain chain chain of command.
Tyger pursues the matter as he spins
The wheel of misfortune, i.e. his social life.
Ah, that dark haired girl in the virginal white outfit
otherwise known as Elena Godchaux, a buxom and
darkly beautiful daughter of the Vermillion Parish District Attorney.
She prepped at private schools in Switzerland
Before a turn at Swarthmore College.
“You can’t always get what you want,”
blares the singing stones on Mr. Milty’s radio aberration,
“but if you try sometimes you get what you…”
Hahaha. Maybe if you are Mick Jagger.
Not this boy. Certainly not this time of day.
“It’s 6 o’clock in the what is it,” says Mr. Milty,
“A.M., I guess, been up all night, so what does it matter.”
And then, there is the case of bird-like Mitzy Maharis from
Gulfport, Mississippi with shocking red locks falling to her
small thin waist. She suffers Tyger sadly, paying all her tribute
to a simp of a musician with an I.Q. lower than his shoe size.
Oh well, what the hell Tyger must fly across town to an
all African-American section nearby in Uptown.
Suffice it to note for the purposes of breakfast recreation
that it doesn’t matter what Tyger does or says because nothing
always comes of nothing.
Hope, as the saying goes, springs eternal.
REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION
“Somewhere in a frozen glare; Floats a vision, winter airs;
Opining how lithe blue birds sing; Dark brown eyes, lovely things;
Bump, glide lightly through the night.
“Fly, fly my dove this way; Thoughts of family, funny faces;
Verandas where children rise or fall; By longing lakes with
sparkling shores; Memory heavenly days recall.
“Somewhere as I stand to gaze; Dreaming in a golden haze;
Blueing seas of white clouds face; Second Law of Thermodynamics;
You are flying home, I care.”
REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION
REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION
Lingering somewhat too long on such a beautiful series of insights,
Tyger scurries to get his act together,
quickly loading the black box system in his car,
setting up, and heading for a world mundane
to finish off a more earthly mission and grab some
fraudulent claimant evidentiary.
Dreams are nice as long as they last.
However, even dreamers need to earn a living
thereby to sanctify the time spent in dream state contemplation.
Catch the drift, comrades?
Were the world but a series of philosophical allusions
it would be a better place. Alas, we must vamoose after targets
more concrete lying strewn among urban ruins and
massively pot-holed streets of N’awlins Uptown.
Somewhere the sun is shining.
Somewhere philosopher kings squat by cracker barrels
solving Boethian equations.
Elders speak as children laugh and play.
Every passing object in such a lasting plain
exhibits pastel color and enticing shade.
Beauty flows from such sweet moments
Possibly, you have visited such a magical land.
You then, better than Tyger Willams, can describe
the velocity and mass of this conception.
Tyger now drives along Annunciation Street
careful not to announce his sneaky, yet sanctified by law intentions.
Grover McMillan is the momentary subject oblivious
to the looming rain clouds threatening his pathetic parade.
No doubt Grover is sleeping and dreaming, too,
although his dreams are possibly more mundane;
listening to bad rap music, screwing some black bimbo
behind the Ernst Cafe.
Grover squats in the on-deck circle awaiting his last turn
at bat. Tyger brings to bear the proper black box sub rosa
surveillance system with which to umpire Grover’s insurance claim
Tyger drifts as the cloud state these final moments covered
by darkness before dawn where ghosts walk disguised as men.
He drives through progressively worsening neighborhoods, past
Nashville Avenue and its wharves, past the sea wall.
He sees beyond each intersection — Napoleon Avenue and
Tipitina’s — pulling up lame within a few blocks of Washington Avenue.
Abandoned buildings to the left and smashed glass strewn vacant lots to the right.
Onward rides the Tyger brigade.
Horrible excuses for the passage of streets apologize half in jest.
The joke is on those who must daily trek past this slice of Soweto apartheid in enlightened Lousyiana.
It is not quite 6:30 in the a.m. and Mr. Milty continues to taunt his audience of one,
which resembles Tyger in this case.
Who the hell else could be listening to Mr. Milty’s drivel at the break of dawn?
“Hey there, Ho there, I’m as happy as can be … ”
Blah blah blah, just keep it up baby. Tyger has your telephone number.
Milty crazy-quilt spins his favorite Robyn Hitchcock diatribe:
“My Wife and My Dead Wife.” The classical music for zombies show
doesn’t begin until 7 a.m. so, until that time, get used to it folks,
Mr. Milty’s insanity rules, running wild with the yawning dawn.
That darn Mr. Milty’s musical and rhetorical selections
have jogged Tyger·s brainless waves quite enough this caustic morning
causing him to lose his sense of purpose and concentration.
“Am I still in New Orleans,” he asks the invisible face radio station Milty,
“or is this hell?” Hmmm.
Tyger has risen this dawn on the proverbial wrong side of
the tracks. He takes an early morning zombie stumble down a brightening path.
A shadow follows his unsteady gait, suspended in that fifth force some mistake for wind.
A beautiful dancer with long black hair tied in a pony tail,
Spanish surname to boot, gallops around his heels
snapping her fingers flamenco style,
like a moth fluttering to out damned spot along a wasted avenue.
A cloudy day emerges.
Tyger looks around the immediate vicinity,
noticing a scene unusual. It is the crack of dawn and
this place is crawling with subjects both potential and actual.
What the say hey? They all fit the description of Grover Mcmuffin McMillan.
Shit on toast. What is a detective to do? Where does that motherfucker live?
Tyger checks his legal pad notes. 1674 Annunciation. Check. O.K. There it is.
Unfortunately, being of a minority color, Tyger sticks out like a strange beast.
Tyger focuses on the subject’s reported residence and runs the camera.
Then, he pops open the front hood and embarks on good old Plan “A.”
Which is to say Tyger embraces that dear friend of the uneasy investigator,
bogus car trouble. It seems a very plausible cover
to maintain with the beat to a pulp
beyond disbelief muffler-dead wreck as visual back-up.
The entire hood — and by this we mean nay-bore, not car borne —
is over-run by lost and lonely souls
escaping ramshackle shotgun houses,
engaging in all varieties of exotic activity
while Tyger tries to do his job.
This baby is a bitch already,
about to be thrown out with the bath water.
Standing by the car hood going the full measure of
shaking his head and looking faux confused,
Tyger realizes that he is the object of intense scrutiny.
He can hear the black block surmise.
“Who, or what, is that ofay guy?
What the fuck is he doing here? He a pig?
Hey man, you in the wrong neighborhood.
What you say. Where you think you at.”
So forth and so on.
Tyger has seen “Taxi Driver” a dozen times.
He strikes the “You talking to me?” attitude.
“Hey boy. A nice white boy like you should not be around a place like this,” a black voice states.
“What you think you doing, boy? You a cop?”
“No, no, no,” Tyger goes Nancy Ray-Gun on psychotropic drugs.
“This damn car always gives me the heebie jeebies.
Maybe, the plugs have popped or something.
Don’t know much about geometry, and automobile mechanics.”
The thin black dude with gold tooth reflecting the sun
Darting between clouds on a semi-cloudy day, says,
“Well, boy, I don’t know.
This might not be the place to be checking that out.”
Looking around the corner for back-up that never will come,
Tyger must exit the playing field.
“Yeah, you right,” he says.
Suddenly, Tyger broaches a bright idea
that breaks through clouds.
“Look man, I’m going to have to call a tow truck.
Will you make sure nothing happens to my car if I give you a couple of bucks?”
“Hey, I can handle that,” the gold-tooth guy notes, grinning slyly.
“Forget about the money, boy.
I can watch it for a little while.
But, I strongly urge you to get it out of here as soon as possible.”
He points with a grand sweeping gesture at the two heaps,
abandoned and stripped heaps down at the end of the corner.
“Know what I mean?”
“No kidding. I think I do,” Tyger replies. “I’ll be back in
a few minutes.”
“Don’t tarry now, my fine white friend.
I have to go to the food stamp office at 9 a.m.
Can’t vouch for after that.”
“No problem, I will return long before then.”
No shit, Sherlock.
Good news-bad news, then.
Tyger has bought some time for the system to operate.
On the other hand, everybody fits the description of subject McMuffin.
No getting to the bottom of this barrel.
Just a matter of running the system as long as possible.
Dorothy can look at the replay later,
maybe make some sense of it.
For now, Tyger is concerned about his car’s safety,
more than his own.
It might be a beat-up horrible wreck, but it is also all he has.
He never could afford another one.
Probably, the vehicle is saved
from the ultimate humiliation of final dismantlement
by the irrefutable fact
that it is in only slightly better exterior shape
than the other urban blights
littering this beatific neighborhood.
Fortuna smiles. This dude is a Saints fan.
Buying some overtime, and a vowel Vanna,
Tyger engages in 15 minutes of Saints talk.
“Who Dat?” “Who Dat” “Who Dat say
dey gonna beat dem Saints.”.
“Crummy playoff game,” Tyger rap-plies, “l wish the Pope
had blessed them all the way to at least one playoff win.
The guy appreciates such biting wit, and ·laughs in an uproar,
“Yeah yeah yeah man. Those damn Saints. “They always get you in the end.
“But we get ’em next time.”
Tyger, however, does have a tow truck to call.
He takes his leave, walks through the mean long streets
over to a telephone at the curb of Tchopitoulas Street and Washington Avenue
to check in with Dorothy control.
“I was afraid of that,” Dorothy concludes after
being apprised of the situation.
” I wasn’t quite sure what the
neighborhood was like, but was hoping for the best.
Are you sure your car is alright.”
“Pretty sure,” Tyger says. “I think that guy is
good to his word. He seems quite respectable. I feel like I can
leave it there for another half-hour or so and then pick it up,”
“Sounds good, but don’t take any unnecessary chances,”
Dorothy continues. “Whenever you feel too uncomfortable don’t
hesitate to get the car out of there.
“Probably McKinley, er McMillan, and all his relatives live
there. We’ll have to assign a black investigator to this case
“I’ve worked the projects before and know exactly what you
are going through. Do the best you can and drop off the videotape
when you’re finished.
“We’re going to get you back on LeBeouf and Joe Fine has
something he wants you to work on with him in Houma.”
That same old hard to shake cold, Tyger bacteria lingers
outside the recreational center waiting for his medication to
work. He takes a few dozen deep breaths, and returns to the scene
about 8:30 a.m.
Strange how that neighborhood’s dynamics work. Absolutely
nobody is around. The place is a deserted ghost town.
The proverbial light bulb appears as in a cartoon caricature
above dear Tyger’s head.
Those persons had been up all night.
The urban street sprawl party was just winding down
when Tyger made his uninvited entrance.
Ahhh. That’s the ticket.
It would have gone much smoother
had he known which potholes to avoid.
Tyger files this point away for future reference.
Then, the dinky detective walks the ofay walk,
talks the ofay talk, and dances a final waltz.
He whistles an itty bitty ibby ditty song of relief, pops the hood,
and checks for a good last measure.
No car problems here.
Finally, terrible Tyger spirits away the mere two miles
back to the relative comfort and safety
of white man’s paradise
set like an island
in the overflowing ocean
of two-thirds black New Orleans.