Jerry Vilhotti


On the dirty chessboard of life another game was being waged, according to Byrom Lighthouse Bush whom his mother attempted to name after the club-footed gloriously handsome English poet Lord Byron. The federal law - overruled by the "Supreme Court" when "democratic" elections were trying to happen as his father often said most of the founding fathers loved their England and their fortunes and really were terrified of the uncouth masses so keeping them at arms length by contriving an electoral college system - was his opponent's ruthless queen. This added to Byrom's x-wife's four rooks, really two for he believed the last two children were not really his, giving her more power than she deserved. That wife of his had always been a liability. Never once in their fifteen years of marriage did she suck in her breath out of respect for him. She could make bishops feel like eunuchs. All her humiliations upon him made him deeply feel his father's concern that if a man had not made it by the age of thirty, he had no choice but to topple his king. Byrom was nearing forty and finding himself hiding in a "marginal" neighborhood so the authorities would not find him and force him to make his monthly child support payments. This was the third such place;having to flee two other cities when fire had eaten up the places he was hiding; recalling his father's prophetic words: "Byrom didn't we concentrate the red niggers on reservations and I tell you - we should make sure the other niggers are never allowed out of their ghettos. We should at all costs keep denying their identity and their so called leaders are aiding us in this by calling themselves African- American as if that defines anything - by God that's like calling all the riff-raff that came to our sacred shores European-Americans making it very difficult to sort out the takers from the bigger takers - and I tell you Mister Lord Byrom, missing a smile because you can't afford to get a bridge for your mouth, that the next time they flair up about some mythical injustice, they will not destroy their own places where they eat and defecate but will come out to get what they perceive as their tormentors - like moths attacking light! And who do you think these so called tormentors are? Why dear Byrom, who dropped out of high school in his second year, I shall tell you! It will be people such as I who have firmly believed that to help those people in any way was a total condescension implying they could never do for themselves! Was it our fault they lacked the ability to open doors? We gave them opportunities! Did they expect to begin working as bank presidents?"....

Most of Byrom's gambits were of the kind that tried to make a certain kind of psychological hue of gray surround him that would render him invisible: going to a store to purchase only two items to reduce his time among eyes; not shaving for days; seldom speaking so people could not identify him by his little speech impediment; nodding instead in a grim-like way as if always dissatisfied with pawn moves; attempting to create with his dazzling cruelty what his father called "chess eye". The tearing up ever so slightly of an opponent's eyes when he knew defeat was imminent; just a stroke there and another stroke there - mate!

Byrom decided to go to bed early so as to reduce his chances of being detected. The natives around him seemed to know their place and seldom bothered him because, he supposed, his posture of disdain was always at the ready as was his father's advice inside his brain waiting to manifest their truth into action: ... "Remember Byrom, Plato said fools talk because they have something to say; wise men do for they have to say something!" ....

Byrom looked out his window; seeing an American-Black running. He wondered what the nigger had stolen as he turned off the light. He would go to sleep. Slowly, carefully he crawled deeper into the darkness engulfing him. END 


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