Judge A Book by its Cover: Vol 1, Brothers Keeper.

The Culture

As I woke up in a hot sweat, confused as to where I’m at and for some reason, I have on a Victoria secret Pink t-shirt that covers half of my stomach…. I ask myself, “I wonder if I have some more Whataburger somewhere” because that’s the only thing I remember getting last night. I don’t remember getting to this dorm room with Marilyn Monroe on 3 different walls. Like how much do you like this old white hoe? That’s weird. I’m not sure how the fuck I fitted into this shirt, wait what size is this?; how the hell I fit this medium pink shirt, and I don’t know if I had sex. Just Whataburger.

As I tried to find my clothes, I heard from the other side of an opening door say “Hey you!” All excited and full of joy “how’d you sleep?” My reply, I don’t remember sleeping at all and honestly, I don’t know where I am or who you are. She proceeds to say “well, I hope you’re joking but by the looks of your face you’re not. I’m Elisa, Jessie’s friend who’s Elroy’s white girlfriend. You guys came here after you left the gamma-gamma gamma party and we uhhhhhh, we had sex”. Shocked and kind disappointed in myself considering I’m not even a D3 athlete, if she screams right now I’m cooked. Since I have morals but knows how life works, I asked her did she get my consent. Elisa laughs and says “oh my gosh, you really don’t remember anything huh? First, could you pass me a coffee latte out of the fridge and also check your videos on your phone.

I checked my phone, and thank god for black common sense. Fucking with Elroy wild ass, you gotta stay on your toes because shit can always go left. Luckily the first video on my phone is Elisa on camera saying “I love black guys, women, and kids and those lives matter, Tony, now fuck me you big bear”. As disappointing as it originally was, I didn’t see a MAGA hat or any Trump supporting shit on her wall home screen, which kind of made it somewhat okay. Where’s Elroy? I asked while still trying to find my clothes, and she replied they went back to your apartment off-campus. Before I could ask Elisa another question, she cuts me off and says “is there any chance you could hurry up? My boyfriend will be here in an hour and a half. Your boxers are in the under the bed and so is your pants. Your shirt is in the room mini-fridge next to the Whataburger.” I’m thinking to myself, Elroy drove his car, how the fuck I’m getting home and thank God it’s leftover Whataburger. I get my clothes, get dressed and before I leave I asked if there was a chance I could come back for a memorable night that didn’t include cheap fireball shots and Taaka mix drinks. Elisa said, “I’m not sure snore way too loud and it depends on how my boyfriend screws me when he gets here”. Did you take a shower yet? Elisa said “see ya later Tony”.

That girl is nasty. My phone on 4 percent, no way home and knowing Elroy wasn’t the worse part of this odd ass morning. It’s the fact that it’s only a corner of this burger left. Just like that….. Tales of Tony. I need some water

Juggling school, 3 jobs, parenting a brother, working on a podcast, and comedy writing, things can get a little hectic at times. On top of that, my roommate left me at school with what could’ve been a racially charged hashtag metoo movement. Niggas man, niggas.

Phone now 3 percent, and still somewhat distorted from the last 8 hours, and realizing I missed an eleven o’clock class, I get a call from an unknown number. I answer the phone because I’m thinking maybe Elroy has some type of real in him, but no. A voice smoothly asked “is this Mr. Joseph” and before I could answer I hear my got damn brother in the background “they lying tone.”

“Hi, this is Ms. Cartell here at Lewis high school, and your brother Mitch has been suspended for fighting. Please come pick him up and he’ll be suspended for 3 days and must attend ISS once he returns.” The soft-spoken woman asks if I wanted to talk to him and I said no. The only problem is, I don’t have my car.

I run into my homie slim, explain the situation to him to see if he was going home by any chance and let me catch a ride to the school to pick my brother up. Before I check him out of the school, the assistant principal asked to speak with me regarding my brothers’ actions. Now I know I’m not in my ride, so I knew it had to be quick. She proceeds to tell me how my brother has been multiple chances, but today “he wanted to show his ass and fight over getting skipped in the lunch line.” I apologized for his behavior and promised to work on his attitude with him.

I signed him out and then asked “why would you have me come up here, when you know I got to school and work, and over a lunch, line skip? This boy tells me “ you get skipped in lunch line one day, and the next day you can’t eat when you 26 because you missed your time.”

My response, “dog, you’re 16. What the actual fuck are you talking about?” But I tell you what since you want to fight over getting skipped and food, if I get off tonight from work and that entire house not clean, I’m skipping a day to feed yo ass. Mitch looks at me and says “that’s some hoe ass shit”. I say “that’s gone be some hungry ass shit if this house not clean.” Before I can go into a fully black parent rant, Mitch cuts me off right before getting in the car and tells me all that ain’t necessary. Mentally, he’s right. I’m tired, stressed, and fucking broke.

On top of all of that, I got to go to work at this broke down ass seafood spot where I’m not getting any tips. He’s right, all that is unnecessary but you know what? Now I’m just pissed and regardless if the house clean or not, I’m not bringing shit home to eat.

We get back in slim’s car, on the way home. Slim asks if I studied for our test tomorrow. Shocked because I forgot we had a test, I respond was hell naw but I’ll probably study in the morning or cheat. Mitch says “how you get mad at me for shortcutting but you doing the same shit? How that work?” Slim laughs and says he is right tone, and I say nigga cause I work that’s how that works.

“That’s fucked up Tone” said Mitch. I said not as fucked up as not eating tonight keep fucking around with me.

Slim drops us off at home, I chunk him seven dollars for the ride, but he says keep it. I rush in the house to get ready for a job I hate and a manager I know for a fact I could drop with one punch. I call Mitch in my room while I look for my pants to let him how disappointed I am in him and I got too much going on to stress over small shit but as I call his name, I realize this nigga not even in the damn house. With no real-time to go through the search party, I finish getting ready for work and prepare myself to make this thirty-eight-minute walk. I started to lock his ass out of the house, but honestly, I was too tired for another fight.

I find the perfect playlist, grab my water and start my walk. Damn, it is hot and I’m fat.

I get back home, my girlfriend Michelle is there with my brother and guess what’s not clean. The got damn house. Now I am dead tired, but I am also childish as hell and I am going to prove a point. I walked through the house the same shit everywhere, so I say bae you ate? Of course, she ate but she says no I’m hungry. I say let’s go get wings, I had a good night at work, which was a lie. Here comes Mitch, I haven’t ate too. I looked around the house from the living room to the kitchen, to the bathroom and I said well it’s not gone happen now since the house aint clean. He calls my mama but by that time, I left the house and enjoy half-priced wings with a side of petty with my phone on DND.

When I got back home, my brother’s home just chilling with two five-dollar boxes the table and house still not clean. I didn’t want to ask how he got it, me and Michelle go straight to room to end our night off with Martin and hopefully some backshots while we’re getting drunk on E&J.

We don’t, she fell asleep and now I’m up with a woody stiffer than left out dominoes pizza. Around 2 o’clock in the morning, we wake up to knocks on the door. Michelle wakes me up to go to the door. Distorted and confused, I get up and so does Mitch to check the door to see who’s knocking. As I open the door, I see a shaky red-headed white girl. I ask her “you got the right house?” She says yea, can I have it. I’m confused as hell at this point, sleepy and kind of mad considering at any point Michelle can walk in here and that’s a different argument that I don’t want at this time in the morning.

So again, I ask, “yo are you at the right house?” She goes yeah, the guy the black shirt and his friend said this is the house to come back for the white. I look at Mitch and he looks down to the ground. Without showing her his face, I tell her you got the wrong house. She does some fiend pouting move and walks away. I ask this nigga what the fuck happened with this chick, and he replies, “you should have fed me.” Too tired to go off and needing rest for an eight o’clock class, I go back to my room. I get in the bed and tell Michelle it was a misunderstanding on the house. She rolls over and says, no it wasn’t, it was one of your hoes Tony.

Just like that, I don’t get sleep because I’m up arguing. F— that class.

I still don’t know where or heard from Elroy. Do I feel like being my brother’s keeper anymore?