Ricky Tucker, 2017 Lambda Literary Fellow

Ricky Tucker, 2017 Lambda Literary Fellow



heyyo so what I'm going to read is an essay I wrote called constant erasure it's 13 pages of going to read it all competitions of jokes of allegories and anecdotes for the mountainside campgrounds plucked out of an axe from Brigadoon except nobody was Scottish actually somebody might have been stopped but the majority of us parts were white the bride was a childhood friend and everyone in her party was someone I've known since forever the groom in his entire half of the wedding party were Irish we'd all flown in from various parts of the globe performing a single large and leaving palm tree a shorter branch would be my brief flight from Boston in the long and enduring trunk would be that of the Australian and my later follow and in hand into the woods during a particularly tricky patch us gradients instructions the same the x mark was camp pinnacle a sleepaway camp east of the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina it was far enough a few hours drive from her winston-salem North Carolina Holmes and Irish brogue bouncing all around the place felt like they'd made it feel like a destination we stayed together in the bunks some of us for the second or third time in our lives and later in the cool-blue a.m. we'd sneak back into the mess hall for second helpings of barbecued brisket chop slaw and corn pudding we hummed with the mischief but whichever Irish beer we tried too much out for the first time we were kids again good adults I brushed the pine needles for my hands and knees and walked into the light of an L swing a barn the Australian followed me five beats behind my oldest is number one ace we'll call her see it was bored with clapping for her fiance who was no see going merrily but slowly with somebody's going on instead she focused her attention on me the Australian in our recession I said thanks to her and try not to sperg where'd she just come from she said oh my god you're such a whore she said whatever we laughed for a second of us her fiance dipped Gertrude to the Florida back up again I said oh she said how did that happen I don't know I said we were talking and the next thing I knew he was leading me into the bush I didn't know what to say the fact that she'd known me since I was 9 years old and still considered me mysterious felt like an accomplishment of sorts without meaning the BL is a puzzle she didn't quite work out Ricky Tucker living the comprehension of loved ones for over 20 years I don't think of that thought until she said well you know you only did it because you're black right again I didn't know what to say had I responded I would have asked her how exactly she found it impossible for anyone to bypass my smile winning personality and general attractiveness to arrive at such a basic point also would have said so what we're all a composite of stats that former sexual experience why pluck race out of that pile I could have gone into a diatribe about the etymology of words like mysterious how they run rampant in texts like heart of darkness I wanted to start a genuine conversation with her about how as a species humans give priority to sight come this one sense out of five can still revert at moments like these to associations more cro-magnon than homo sapien finally I would have told her that she shouldn't go around to saying everything she thought [Applause] simple and rude but I didn't say anything instead I continued clapping watching on dirt Dorothy – light and being swirled around weightless and yummy death a black man walks into a bar he looks up and says a man walks into the bar even before arriving he knows the Boston establishment to be unsavory and that he caters to fraternity types a less commonly dreaded but just as riffraff an element as any oh well he says to himself wings and beer the great equalizers he removes his gloves and sits waiting for his academic brothers to show have a pint later you always – tweeted jacket friends to the table they're lively and in good spirits as the afternoon Sun has rustled to do England frosted round one friends starts with a hey hey the other gentlemen while pulling a stool pulling on stools finally and according to set star for the snake says oh this place is okay I had my concerns thinking imprudent for now to reserve his own leading prejudices regarding the bars clientele the first man says what concerns for those well I thought to myself his friend begins I wonder if I made a mistake thinking this place I wouldn't want Ricky to be the only black person in the room it's fine I say colorblindness here's the thing I've never been oblivious to race and either at you it's damn near impossible and when you say you are it's not so tragically shame like when people assure you they can never be too skinny or rich or just that they're certain that all animals go to heaven what's more interesting but just as impossible is the concept of the blind want to own race again it can't be done but as a person of color in general observer of the world I can tell you that times when you're completely whole and content within token focus mostly on spaces outside of yourself and you slip up and become if only partially or momentarily less aware of your own physical assignment on earth you don't see yourself and every bit of we can see before you people relationships grass is meant to be there everything full of grace and that's the purpose and at that perfectly selfless moment of Zen is precisely when one of your white friends without provocation provocation comes right along to remind you that you were certifiably andis capably and unfortunately black amantha is a third eye that allows them to see them into the fourth dimension but exposed eye receives from the national plane transference of people she has thoughts into the man's brain you bite ELISA fathers and he takes to bring a black black holder to the next ride his friends in turn take the call you come from Larry instead of shaking his hand each other here in front of his face saying hi-yah when he walked by a dojo everyone valves and his girlfriend vice of a full-on black belt ensemble because mama like he does you look he removes the black bolt and says sayonara as he talks for the town branch a black man walks into a bar and immediately exits through the kitchen [Applause]

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