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Episode 30: Part 3 of “Black Myrtle’s Glory


Alex continued working on the die he was making.

It was the top half of a forging die destined to

stamp out a one inch combination wrench.

The plane’s chips continued creating

missiles of hot blue smoking snakes.


Another voice rose behind Alex.

He knew it wasn’t Pfeffer.

He also knew it wasn’t

any of the workmen

in the forge.


As he turned around a large black man

towered over him. Alex was perplexed

by the man’s look. The black man’s

eyebrows appeared furrowed

in anger; however,  he had

a large white-toothed grin

on his face.


“Hi” said Alex (quite quickly).


The man stood in silence for an

uncomfortably long time.

“Hi you-self” he finally

retorted at Alex.


“What’s going on?” asked Alex.


“Nothin’ goin’ on. I already have eveething on”

answered the black man while using his hands

to make it obvious that he was

speaking of his clothing.


“I mean – – – What’s happening?”

said Alex in his

most patient



“Nothin’ happinin’ man”

responded the black man.


“Can I help you with something?”

asked Alex less patiently.


“You not a chalky – – – is you?”

queried the black man.


“Hey!” exclaimed Alex before he thought

about how big the man

facing him was.


Alex tacked on a follow-up with a more pleasant tone.

“You probably wouldn’t be too pleased if I asked

if you were an Oreo – – – – would you?”



The black man asked two questions in a row.

“Man. I look like an Oreo?”

“I talk like an Oreo?”


“Well – – – – no” answered Alex somewhat taken aback.

“But why did you call me a chalky?”


“I didn’ call you a chalky. I said you was’n a chalky”

stated the black man as a fact.


Alex stopped talking and tracked his memory back to

the start of the conversation. He realized that

the black man was correct.

“You not a chalky”

is what the

black man

had stated.


“You are correct. You did not call me a chalky

and I did not call you an Oreo”

said Alex as he attempted

to put himself back

on level ground.


“You look more like a honkie” answered the black man

(with a big wide grin).

All you could see clearly in the smoky atmosphere

was that big grin. It was not threatening

and it was not mean spirited.

It was simply the grin of

a man pleased with

his existence.

Alex copyright