The First Five Chapters


From the stage, Susie Carder, the Motivating The Masses weekend facilitator, calls out to me, “Do you have a book idea?” My answer is, “I don’t know.” Susie immediately stops me, and a wide smile forms across her face, and she says, “Oh no, no, no,’ I don’t know is the language of a 5-year-old. You don’t look like a 5-year-old to me.” Susie roars with laughter, so the entire room hears her. So the entire room laughs with her. She then screams out, “I don’t know…don’t work no more!”

Dropping her microphone down by her side, Susie Carder scanned the audience of hundreds of people as a huge grin instantly formed on her face. And then, without warning, she hollered at the top of her voice a long and loud, “I–I–I don’t know!” Then she stopped. The next thing I know, hundreds of people have turned in their chairs and are now looking at me with shit-face grins. Then as if it was planned, they all screamed and finished her sentence in unison, “Don’t work no more!” As if ordered by a drill sergeant in basic training, an infuriating chant of “I don’t know…” rang out throughout the ballroom as many of them began laughing at me. “I don’t know don’t work no more.” “I don’t know don’t work no more.” “I don’t know don’t work no more.” The insulting, mocking chant reverberated off the cavernous hall walls.

Whispering into the microphone so everyone in the room could hear her and admire her acting skills, she brought all the drama she could muster. “KEEPER, I’M GOING TO ASK YOU AGAIN. I KNOW YOU HAVE A BOOK IDEA. I KNOW YOU DO. WHAT’S YOUR BOOK ABOUT?” The only thing remaining on her face when she finishes is that broad shit-faced grin stretching from ear to ear. She’s so proud of herself for cornering another male victim. She was so proud of herself for trying to make another man feel small. You wanted me to shrink to a frightened five years old. Well, I have already been there. You are far too late. He had already shrunk me down to a five-year-old. I survived him years ago, and I will easily survive you.

Anger began coursing through me at the White woman who had no idea what my family or I had been through. I thought to myself, Susie Carder, you have intruded on something private, but you don’t care. You just wanted, what did you call it a minute ago… juicy? Okay, you opened Pandora’s box, then here it is. This is five-year-old Little Nicky’s book idea. I take two deep breaths to steady myself. I slowly raise my microphone to my mouth, not taking my eyes from hers. The room is quiet, and no one is laughing or talking now.

And this is what pours out of five-year-old little Nicky’s mouth…