“Morning, unc. What are you up to?” I look over the top of my glasses, not my good pair, they are for church but the old, ugly readers I wear for typing. My nephew stands in the doorway letting out all my cold air.
“Shut the door! Are you trying to cool off the entire neighborhood?” Lancelot Hopkins appears startled and slams the door with a loud bang. I stare at him for a moment.
“What are you doing here,” I ask. He shuffles to the couch and sits beside me. With a flourish he jams his hands into his pants pocket and his mouth becomes a hard line.
“I’m having problems at school. Sometimes, I think my professors are out to put to the screws to me.” I pick up my MacBook Air and punch in the password.
I glance to my right and nod my head. “It can seem that way,” I said. “Have you spoken to your professor concerning your feelings?” Lancelot shakes his head, his dirty blond hair flows with the movement.
Lancelot guffaws. “Why would I do that,” he snickers. “Do you think they would tell me if they were?” I lock eyes with him. “Yeah. Generally, that’s how the world operates.”
“Unc, he called me a dirty white boy.” I open my blog on WordPress. “How should I start this post,” I wonder. Lancelot taps me on my shoulder. “Did you hear me,” he asks. I nod. I have no long flowing locks. It feels like a thousand degrees here in Mississippi, I’m glad to be bald. “Yeah, I heard you. Did you go to class dirty?”
Lancelot stares at me incredulously. “No-” I put my hand up. “Then who cares what he called you. You have to stop taking offense to everything.”
My nephew leaps to his feet and kicks at my boots. His temper tantrum is punctuated with violent hand gestures. Left, right, up, down, I watch as he transforms from a coherent, well spoken young man into this caricature of a three-year old upset he isn’t having his way.
“No wonder you don’t get any respect,” I said once his temper is under control. “Have you ever considered therapy?” He stares at me, his blue eyes flashing furiously. “I don’t need therapy.”
“Uh-huh. What you need is to have your butt kicked up around your shoulders. Grow up. Stop letting little things drag you down.”
Lancelot kicks my boots over. “What he said was racist.” I laugh out loud. “Seriously? Someone call the news! I can hear it right now: Breaking news! Racism is alive and well. Tonight, we have a disturbing report where a college student is called a dirty white boy. Caligula’s sister is standing by to report from the campus. Take it away!”
Lancelot walks toward the front door. “You’re making fun of me.” I pout and he stares at me. “Aww. You need to realize something here, hoss. The world isn’t fair. It doesn’t owe you anything, neither does the individuals living on this spinning rock. This is your life. You either take control of it or you blame your shortcomings on other people. Grow up. Stop being a freaking loser. Get out of my house, your stupidity may be contagious.”
I watch as he walks off my porch. “It’s so easy to look for reasons why you can’t make it. There goes another one who will end up blaming society for their shortcomings in life. God help us.”