It began with dessert yesterday. I told the ex-boxer that we were having a brownie for dessert. But it wasn’t brown, it was a gooey chocolate thing that you needed a hacksaw to cut.
He looked at it and said with absolute certainty: that’s not a brownie, it’s black.
I replied that it was a brownie because it sort of had the consistency of a brownie. Even if it was black.
He thought about it for about ten seconds, and then said: people call me black, but I’m not really black. I’m more brown.
And I said without missing a beat: so you’re a brownie.
What a laugh I got.
Yes, he said, I’m a brownie.
And then I held up my bare arm and said, and I’m not white.
Yes you are.
I held up a napkin next to my arm and said this is white. I’m more pink.
You’re a pinkie, he laughed and I’m a brownie.
How, he asked, do you think this color thing started? According to the bible God created Adam first. But what color was he?
There was a crash in the background as one of the waitresses dropped a plate of roast beef that no one with or without teeth could chew.
We just sat there thinking about the first man.
Do you believe in all that stuff in the bible?
Again a long pause while he went back in time.
I was brought up to believe in it and go to church. My mother went every Sunday.
What about your father?
He used that time to drink.
Every Sunday, while my mother donated money to the church, my father bought Thunderbird or some kind of wine and drank until he was dead drunk. I didn’t have any taste for it, because I got into boxing really early.
And, I said, after the collection at the church, did the preacher get into a Cadillac and drive away?
He looked surprised. How did you know that. Yes he had three churches and three caddilacs. He drove a different one to each one.
And I said, after he collected the donations, he gave some money to the deserving poor?
Like hell he did, more uproar from the table. People were watching us and enjoying the show. The most anyone had gotten from him was that he had been a boxer and later played the jazz organ for Blue Note.
How did you end up in here?
I was terrible at business. Simple as that. Pinkie.
Well, if any of the bible stuff is true, and I think bits of it are true, than I’ll try and find out where the Garden of Eden was, and that should tell us what color the first people were.
Turns out that there are a lot of theories: the Mormons think it was in Missouri or South Carolina. The consensus seems to be Mesopotamia (modern Iraq). I’m still looking into it so we can laugh about it later. Most probably he won’t remember anything we talked about yesterday, but his long term memory and reasoning skills are pretty good.