Jim Trainer

guest Blog: Maleka Kay Fruean

In Uncategorized on May 30, 2012 at 10:03 am

Back when I was a longhair, in the idyllic 20th century, I was working for a landscape crew in the projects and living in an artists’ space with only a sink and a camp grill for $135 a month.  I made and received calls at the phone booth on the corner of 18th&Callowhill.  One day it was my brother, Tau.  He landed a house in West Philly.  We’d have the whole place to ourselves for $250 a month each.  It was temporary at best but a suitable transition for the return of the King.
We spent the terrible summer living there and working on a demolition crew.  Nights we’d split furniture in the backyard, light it on fire.  We were both going through a painful split w/the other sex.  It was total dudecore.  In the fall I got back together with the X and Tau told me his sister would be coming to live with us.  I understood.  Even if I did complain about the estrogen, she was his sister.  She was his family and so she was mine too.  She came over to see the place and meet me, her little brother’s best friend.
What I remember best about that first night, having dinner with Maleka, was her incredible, conky Samoan hair.  A big curly crop of it firing out all over her beautiful face.  And her explosive&contagious laugh.  We got on right away and have ever since.

The years passed.  Roommates came and went.  The rightful renter returned.  They were unkind years but they were mad&fun.  It was like coming of age in a boiler room.  Years later we would find out that the furnace in the basement had been filling the place w/carbon monoxide the whole time we lived there.  Perhaps that can explain it.
It was the worst of times.  Heart break, ache&the rest.  Psylosibin&vodka.  Red meat and Evan Williams.  Trouble, and not always the good kind.  We were at the gates of adult life.  I was young and scared of dying and I had something to prove to myself about my Father.  I guess in the universal sense we were winning but it never felt like it and we never said quit, never said die.

I’d go on to be a dj&journalist.  Maleka went on to marry and have three beautiful children and become one of my favorite political poets.  She still is.  A constant source of reflective fire&inspiration.    It is w/great pleasure I present to you my sistren, Maleka Kay Fruean.  She’ll be guest blogging on Friday and maybe you too will fall in love with her fire, her beauty.  Even if you’re not living in a shotgun shack on the corner of nowhere&oblivion.  Aho.

Victory is survival.

  1. “We on our backs staring at the stars above, Talking about what we going to be when we grow up, I said what you wanna be? She said, “Alive.” -Outkast, “Aquemini”

  2. “Yes, they are similar, familiar in that way that comes when you grow up with people, when you live with them, when you see someone get shot across the street with them… Oh, the men and the women, the love and the death.”
    -Maleka Kay Fruean

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