Memoirs of a Businessman, Chapter 5
You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and can crash. Become like water my friend. — Bruce Lee
I walk through the hood often, searching for content. Honestly, everyone has a story to tell and when you’re writing a book, some may throw shade but others will often inspire, and contribute to it. Some knowingly, and others not. Today, I’ll tell you a story about one of the latter.
One day, I walked into the local liquor store looking for some inspiration(I know. Right?!😅). I had just come from a discussion about politics and religion(two of three things one should never talk about, especially among friends!), and had a number of people debating my beliefs on Social Media(another cardinal sin). I admit I was feeling discouraged and needed a pick-me-up.
An OG(original gangsta) was in front of me in line, taking an awful long time to count change for his 40oz. beer. He reached back into his pockets a few times. Then, he mumbled something to himself. First thought in my mind: How the hell is this possible?
“Oh, I see how y’all got it set up here,” he slurred. “Y’all tryna play me and got more money than me.”
The store clerk rolled his eyes and signaled to me with a glance to be patient.
Whenever you get a chance, give back to the community with no expectations of return.
Finally the old guy leaves and the clerk and I share a glance of ‘Good riddance.’ Although, I do wonder what trauma could have drove him to this frenzied state. I’ll never know. Soon after, another older man walked into the store and asked me to purchase him something to eat. So, I did. Whenever you get a chance, give back to the community with no expectations of return. Even in the tiniest way possible. It is one of the best practices in life and business, quickly building humility and positive karma. As well as info gathering 😉.
“See how that guy was acting, OG???” I asked. “This is why Trump is 45 and our community is failing. Y’all supposed to be my elders and teaching me something.” Needless to say, I paid for my drink and left.
I walked through a nearby alley to get home. A journey I take almost everyday. The usual shortcut. I saw three figures in the distance. One of which was a guy talking to his sister. At least that’s what he said she was.
He voice was horse and raucous, “Ayyye young buck. How you doin’?”
“I’m blessed. Can’t complain much,” I said. “Hey. I’m writing a book that’s currently being published online.” You know, a little self-promotion.
“Yeah? I don’t know about our people. We lost, man.” He responded. You see how the universe works? 100 points for confirmation. 0 points for negativity. I could tell he was inebriated. I hurried my pace. Primarily to avoid any unnecessary trouble and to get back to my daily activities. I noticed he was increasing his pace to keep up.
“You writing a book?” He asked. “Let me show you something that’ll blow your mind.”
I’m’ always open to new ideas as you never know what will spark new content, so I found myself getting curious and slowed to walk with him.
We spoke for literally a minute before his sister started yelling behind us. We both turned, and I had already been planning my escape. I continued onward just as the guy went back to her.
“You fuckin’ with my sister?” He yelled.
Oh, lord. I’m about toget away from this dude and get back ho me. Please, God. Don’t let me get caught up in no more bullshit.
All of a sudden, I see the guy pull a hammer(slang for pistol) out of his coat’s inner pocket and walk toward his sister. Holy shit.
The other perpetrator ran off at this moment.
“Punk muthafuckers! i know you know better than fucking with me and mine!”
What the hell bro? Can I ever go somewhere just onec without getting into something crazy?
I was so close to my escap I could taste the fresh air beyond the alley on the tip of my tongue.
“Young buck,” the man said. I could tell he was calling to me thruough the inflections of his voice.
“Slow up,” he continued.
“I told you I don’t want to be anywehre near this drama, man.” I said. “I moved six hours away to avoid this.”
“My bad,” he said. “I just want to show you something. Some pictures.” He pulled his phone and proceeded to scroll through his images. I could tell he senses my irritation. As each image passed I could tell it was his entire life’s story in the palm os hia hand. He proudly rolled through each one, smilling.
“See that right there?” He asked. “That’s my daughter. This one’s my son. Oh, that? That’s the chick I used to be with.”
“Ah, OG, you did tell me you were gonna show me something.” I could tell right there it was the truth.
“We gotta chill one day, man. You know I still got hat water on deck, too. If you interesed.”
“I told you, I’m done with that san. I lost too many valuable opportunitites messing aroudn the last time! I’m good but thanks.”
“No problem, man. Give me a call we gotta chill.”
To this day I never called him but I still think of this man often. Although I won’t get caught up in the streets anymore—just dipping and dabbing—the moment stuck with me. I’m often reminded of a situation’s fluidity and being open and receptive to others.
Either way, I just dip and dabble once in a while. Just like water. That’s all.