By William PLEASANT
Today, I watched the WHITNEY HOUSTON funeral.
It was a fluke for me. I rarely watch TV anymore.
I did so today because I was in the day-room of a Maryland nursing home that had cable.
Around me sat the infirmed, demented and the proximally moribund wreckage of US monopoly capitalism.
CNN brought in the funeral broadcast live.
The old folks and invalids were, by the default of boredom and social neglect, entranced by the TV screen. They watched a herd of Black preachers and negroratti celebrities pay tribute to their ersatz Princess Diana via peasant-ghetto poetics, i.e., BLACK BAPTIST CHURCH christianate inanities.
An elderly Black lady I cared for drooled, as I cut her fourth salisbury steak of the week and spooned it to her. She broke the trance. Suddenly sitting up in her chair, in a sort of spasm, she hollered for everyone to hear on the ward:
"Hey, fuck that rich bitch. She just got some wrong narcotic.
I got it all my life. When they say she was hurtin'? Never!"
The frail lady then swallowed my spoon of ground what-not and instant mashed potatoes.
I gave her a swig of ginger ale to wash the medicaid garbage down.
"You be my son until you find Michael. Can you do that? Where Michael at?"
"I am not Michael. My name is Bill," I explained. "I am not your son. I cannot find Michael for you. I tried. I am just a Communist. I am with you. Have some more to eat."
For a long moment, she stared at me, as I held the next bite of mush to her withered lips.
Her milky death-eyes seemed to come clear as a hungry house cat.
She wanted more to eat, I assumed.
But the old woman groaned, shifted in her chair and dragged my ear close to her mouth.
She whispered: "I one of them like you, too."