Saturday, December 25, 2010

Darryl Strawberry's Half-Brother

Some of my Facebook friends may have noticed a post my oldest son made to my page today. It simply said: "Darryl Strawberry's half brother." It was his Christmas gift to me to put a smile on my face.

Yes, of course, there is a story behind that simple post.

It happened one night in the fall of 1990 or '91, as I recall. I was sitting on my bed in my condo in Northern Virginia wearing nothing but an oversized T-shirt, writing a letter to my boyfriend du jour, when I heard a man's voice in my living room. I thought it was the television at first. It was around 9 p.m. and time to get my two young sons to bed. So I got up, went into the living room to see my boys chatting with a tall black man with very small ears. Needless to say, I was shocked. Evidently, he had knocked at my door and my sons had opened it and invited him inside. They were chatting away as my mind was racing about how to get this man out of my house before there was an ugly scene that would scar my sons for life.

When the man saw me, he introduced himself and said he was selling magazines to earn money to attend community college in California. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'd heard that story before. I quickly purchased a year's subscription to the Village Voice in an attempt to shoo him out the door and give my sons another lecture on not letting strange people inside one's home. I wrote him out a check for said amount and told him I needed to get my sons, then about ages seven and five, or thereabouts, to bed. The man was ever so grateful and began to flatter me, telling me how good I looked in that T-shirt, etc. That is when I knew the trouble was about to begin.

"I'm Daryl Strawberry's half-brother, you know," he announced.

Of course, that piqued my sons' interest being sports fans and got them very excited to have a somewhat celebrity standing in their living room. I don't recall the conversation that ensued too well, all I know is I was frantic to get this man out of my house before my boys were forced to watch the rape of their mother.

"I'd like to take you to see Jungle Fever, if you don't mind," he said.

I told him I didn't think that would be appropriate and finally led him to the door and let my aura, if you will, push him out the door. Then I clamped the deadbolt shut and warned my boys of the dangers of letting strangers into one's home, especially late at night.

The next evening, I got a phone call. Yes, you guessed it. It was from Darryl Strawberry's alleged half-brother. He had gotten my phone number off my check and was pressing me to go see Jungle Fever, a movie about a white woman dating a black man or something to that effect. I have not seen the movie to this day, so I couldn't tell you what it is about really. I informed the young man that what he was doing was unethical and could jeopardize his position with the publications company for which he worked. That was enough to end our conversation and I didn't receive any more calls from him after that.

Ever since then, that evening has become somewhat of an inside joke between my sons and me and Jeff always knows it is good to illicit a laugh from this lonesome heart.

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