Nigger with a smile like Joe Bruin

“Black boy feels like shit his whole life, so he makes up a dream world where people like and accept him. But he’s still not convinced they like him for him, so he imagines living his whole life in somebody else’s headspace.

All anyone really sees of the poor bastard is the manufactured mascot head he wears at all times, cool Bear/Joe Bruin, the black boy nobody could hate too much, especially with that goofy grin plastered on his face. I mean, what white man would ever hang a nigger with a smile like Joe Bruin?” —from Walt Loves the Bearcat

34f6b-jb1a

Once upon a time, there was a little black boy, who was me, who doubted his worth. Compared to all the other boys and girls around him, the boy felt worth less, like a black fag. Then the boy fell ill and the illness foretold of scary things to come from the scariest of new worlds: the land of a i d s, that mysterious new beast in the whispers of the dark of the early 1980s …

The boy, who was a college boy and a college cheerleader, felt like a black fag bound for AIDS, and began to dream of a whole other life, a life where he was HIV-negative, carefree and partners with the love of his life, the quarterback to his cheerleader, of course. Duh! Black male cheerleaders have dreams, too. lol

So the boy, who would be HIV-positive, dreamed of a whole other life where he and his QB buddy tested HIV-negative, and went on to become the “Mr. and Mr. Jackie Robinson of Professional Sports History.” A great love story worthy of an heroic epic. Walt, the quarterback, loves his cheerleader, the Bearcat. A dream come true for a black boy who likes to dream, and write stories about those dreams.

But a curious thing happened on the way to My Whole Other HIV-Negative Life. That version of me took on a life of its own, so to speak. That guy–that HIV-negative, quarterback-loving, famous screenwriter black guy–that fictional character, well, he became his own man: Bear Coleman.

And Bear Coleman kept shouting to my author brain: Hey, writer man, hey, brain! Hey, you! I also have a dream!

71853-jb5aAnd the writer man took note.

Bear’s dream: the boy, who would be HIV-negative, dreams of a whole other life where he tests HIV-positive and he and his QB buddy never met! Can he survive as a single man living with AIDS in the modern world?

But a curious thing happened on the way to My Whole Other HIV-Positive Life. Bear Coleman, my dream boy, couldn’t escape feeling worth less compared to all the other boys and girls, either! He, too, felt like a black cheer fag who doesn’t deserve happy endings, even though he’s got his quarterback!

My job as the writer man: merge my dreams and these two characters together into one seamless story about love, football and some very potent daydreams. And create some happy endings, for goodness sake!

Once upon a time, there was a little black boy, who was me, whose world was rocked by a little virus that would change his life forever. To survive, he had to dream of better dreams. One of them is my fourth novel, Walt Loves the Bearcat.

9e356-jb7“A madcap whirl, Walt Loves the Bearcat is first and forever a love story, one written with a roller-coaster brio and a magical intensity that demand and deserve the reader’s perseverance.”
SF Bay Times (Read full review).

“Warm-spirited … resonates with soulful queries into the nature of love and life.”
Bay Area Reporter (Read full review).

Comments

comments