Not sure if he was having her on, or totally serious about the Pinky thing, Kitty opted to simply observe her companion. As soon as they arrived at the check in counter, the clerk presented them each with a laptop bag. “As requested, Mr. King, two brand new, state of the art laptops, and smart phones.”
“Thank you,” Pinky said, taking one, and handing the other to Kitty. “But, please, call me Pinky. I insist.”
The clerk kept a poker face, saying, “Yes, sir, Mr. K… Pinky.” Registration complete, Kitty and Pinky made their way to the elevator, neither of them saying a word. As soon as the elevator door closed, Pinky started whistling Terrence Trent D’arby’s Wishing Well. Despite the upbeat bounce of the hooky tune, Pinky maintained an almost robotic composure, staring straight ahead at the door. When Kitty closed the door behind them as they entered the Presidential Suite, she finally had to start asking questions. “Yo, Pinky?”
Pinky looked at her, smiled, and said, “Hello, Kitty!”
Returning the smile, the girl asked, “Is the King of Horror still in there, somewhere?”
Ignoring the question, Pinky responded, “If I tell you, you’ll think I’m playing ping pong, with King Kong, in Hong Kong… but you’d be dead wrong. I’m not a loon, singing out of tune, in a choir of blue-balled baboons, on the dark side of the moon.”
“You’re not a duck named Daffy, singing songs with Raffi, and Colonel Ghadafi?”
Clearly pleased with Kitty’s clever comeback, Pinky answered, “No, but that does sound fun. We’d need a fourth, for a barbershop quartet. Maybe that Gypsy girl, from Riff n Raff? What was her name? Oh, yeah, Taffy! Daffy, Raffi, Ghadafi and Taffy. By day, we perform for kids in refugee camps around the world. But, by night we’re cat burglars, stealing from hockey arenas. We’re called the Rink Panthers.”
“I hate to burst your bubble, Barney Rubble, but there ain’t no hockey rinks anywhere near any refugee camps.”
Pinky mused on that for a bit, but Kitty’s expression told him she wanted the game to be over. And it was. “I don’t suppose you noticed the mannequin that was wearing the pink shirt.”
“I did not.”
“I did,” Pinky said. “And he noticed me. Didn’t even see you, so he must be queer.”
Kitty still had no idea if he was having her on, so she remained silent and expressionless. “He sneered at me.”
Kitty still had no idea if he was having her on, so she remained silent and expressionless. “It was almost a snarl. If I didn’t figure out what he was trying to tell me, I swear he would have hissed, and spat at me.”
Kitty still had no idea if he was having her on, so she said, “So, he just stands in the window, snarling at guys passing by, until they buy a pink shirt?”
Pinky ignored the cynical snipe, and said, “He was black.” Kitty’s face was a puzzle, so Pinky tried to paint the picture for her. “I will no longer tolerate being referred to as a white man. I will no longer be lumped in with the cross burners, the drooling xenophobes, the Nazi necrophiiacs who should have be snuffed out at Nuremburg, merely because we have the same skin colour.”
“You wanna isolate them.”
“Yes. And I wanna expose the closet cases. The ones who pass themselves off as human beings, by blending in with those of us who have the rigt to walk uprigt, in daylight. I want the entire world to know who they are.”
“By wearing pink. If you don’t wear pink, you’re white. White power white.”
“The queers have abandoned pink for the rainbow. We won’t be trampling anyone’s trademark.”
“Men and women?”
Pinky laughed, “Did you seriously just ask that?”
“Dumb question. Sorry. But there will be blowback from the PCers.”
“Of that, I am sure, so you can bet your whole kit n caboodle on it, Little Miss Kaboodle. Especially so, deliciously so, from the sanctimonious, white PCers.
“But they’ll all say we are trying to whitewash our collective guilt, the whole rotten lot of them. To them, being born white is the new original sin, from which there is no absolution.
“And yes, white privilege does exist, but it’s not absolute. There are plenty of whites, trailer park nations of them, for whom life ain’t nothing but an endless shit sandwich.
“And do whites, who were born in, and live their lives in countries where there are almost zero people of colour, the Slavs of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, do they enjoy white privilege?”
“It’s very rich, coming from a rich white man.”
“I’ve earned my money. And plenty of people have made money off me. More than should have, and they made more than they should have. Have I gotten fat off my white privilege? Maybe. But who’s to say I would not have been just as successful if I had been born black, or brown, red or yellow? That may have actually worked to my personal advantage.
“Is the game rigged, the system fucked? Obviously, it is. Do I have a responsibility to reform it, or blow it up? Yes, I do. And I will. But this is a hundred headed hydra. A thousand headed hydra. And every one of those heinous heads of the merciless beast needs to be stared down, and cut off, the body burned in the eternal fire.
“For now, I will start by saying I AM NOT WHITE, MOTHERFUCKER! If you are white, and you are what white represents, what white means, I am not white, I will not white. I will call you brother, and sister, when you earn the title, which isn’t really hard to do; just stop hating, you dumbass Jethros.”
“It’s very daring.”
“If art isn’t daring, it’s just entertainment. Nothing wrong with that, but it does not move us forward.”
“Is this art?”
“Everything is art, Kitty. Life is art. All the world’s a stage, or so said a much better writer than can ever hope to be.”
“We’re all pink on the inside.”
Pointing at Kitty with both his pinkies, Pinky said, “Perfect! We are all pink on the inside. You! You complete me, clever girl!”