The Okiedoke

Sidik Fofana

Winter 2017

My nigga Boons came home on the fourth. I ain’t seent the nigga in four years, so when I heard he was out I’m like, Imma scoop the nigga up first thing this evenin and welcome him back to the free world. A lot of shit done changed since he was locked up. We got ourselves a muhfuckin black president for one.

I slide thru to his babymom’s crib on East 116th. Buzzer broke so I gotta shout at the window and shit. Elevator broke so I gotta walk up creaky stairs too. It don’t matter. They doin it big up there. Mayella had the Welcome Home sign over the radiator. Wine coolers iced up in the trash can. I come in and see my nigga all tatted and brolic, veins up and down his neck. I’m like, Yo, that’s my nigga. Made good use of the time.

He turn around and give me a look like, Is that my nigga Swan?

Big daps. Big hugs.

Son, he say, you grew like two inches.

He six one and my ass is five six on a good day. I’m like, Ha, you got jokes.

Truth to be told, streets was empty without Boons. Whole time I’m thinkin, Fuck all this song and tears bullshit, I can’t wait to get my nigga out and reintroduce him to the world. The glitz and glam. Make sure he back in style. Let him know what it’s like, now that we got a G in the White House.

Once everybody leave I finally get Boons alone. His babymoms in the living room braidin some kid hair. She do that for a hustle. I find Boons in they little back room, holdin up his old North Face at the sleeves, starin at it like it’s one of God’s great gifts and shit. When the moment right, I ask him about tonight’s plans.

Yo my nigga, what we doin to celebrate? Anything you want. You wanna grab a steak? Midnight ball? Piff?

I close the door so Mayella don’t hear. Pussy?

This nigga smile, put his hand on his chin like he thinkin. What this nigga say?

Chinese food.

The hell we gave those muhfuckas in the day. This one time we show up at Good Taste late night and just start bangin on that window in front of the counter. Guilttrippin them like, Is this bulletproof glass here? Is this bulletproof glass? Knockin shit off. Poor old Chinaman behind the window, waggin his finger sayin, No, no, not like that. His wife come out, wipe her hands on her apron all nervous and hug him. And we just hypin it up: Is you sayin we niggas that’s gonna rob you? Huh? You understand English? Speak. And he lookin all helpless like all he want to do is sell General Tso’s chicken and egg rolls to happy customers in the hood and make his five dollars a pop. Like the last thing he wanna do is offend niggas like us.

Me and Boons say, Mattafact, give me all your egg rolls. All your egg rolls is on the house tonight! And we ain’t scared cuz even if someone dial the popo, they ain’t comin to Harlem no time soon. But still the Chinaman do it. He call the five-O, and we out. Soon as we get to the park on Morningside, we start dyin. Boons say, You seen that nigga’s face like that nigga seent a ghost. It looked like that nigga wanted to go back to Shanghai.

Sidik Fofana received an MFA in Creative Writing from NYU and teaches high school in Brooklyn. This is his first published story.

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