Moulea Was The New Black  

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This is another one of the stories I’ve postponed telling because it’s not easy and I had yet to feel “inspired”; then again, this blog is getting old and I’ve given myself yet another deadline to tell the stories that are important, inspired or not.

albino-gorilla-CuleaI just finished watching the last episode of the Season 2 of “orange is the new black” – supposedly, the most popular show among the Netflix exclusives.

I’m going to assume you’re not in the mood to watch the above linked trailer or spoiler, so I’ll give you the credits song and the lyrics.

The animals, the animals
Trap trap trap till the cage is full
The cage is full, stay awake
In the dark, count mistakes
The light was off, but now it's on
Searching underground for a bit of sun
The sun is out, the day is new
And everyone is waiting, waiting on you
And you've got time
You've got time...

Think of all the roads
Think of all their crossings
Taking steps is easy
Standing still is hard
Remember all their faces
Remember all their voices
Everything is different
The second time around...

The show is based on a privileged whitey’s memories of prison time and it seems to be an attempt to humanize the people USA is throwing away. I haven’t spent time in prison, but I do have memories of those held-back in school, the repeaters and, unfortunately, it’s quite likely that some of them may have been in prison already. Among all the repeaters in our class, the one that stuck to my mind like thistle after hiking through the woods is Moulea. I’ve first mentioned him in one of the first articles published on this blog, Canadian vs Romanian culture.

I remember watching the repeaters lot together with everyone else in class and noticing something odd about Moulea. Well, they were all odd, but Moulea was more so than the others, or so it seemed to me. He was below average in height, had a round face, dirty blond hair, dark complexion (or was it a sun tan? it seemed almost orange), puffy cheeks, he was quite muscular and his hands seemed longer than his legs. He would laugh often, loudly and with a strident, rather short laugh, which is what I always assumed a Kalashnikov sounded like. His smile was asymmetrical, with one corner of his mouth higher than the other and at first, before hearing him laughing, I could not really tell if he was smiling or he was just feeling uneasy.

The way he moved, quickly and seemingly without caring that there may be people in his way, the way he laughed, impervious to whether others were laughing with him, everything about this guy spelled DANGER. Perhaps I should have avoided him, but back then I still had this bad habit of facing my fears at all costs, and the idea that some were afraid of him stimulated my sense of adventure. Though I was helping him with homework, I was also plotting a confrontation, while keenly observing him. I don’t think he was that much different from others, but for some reason he fascinated me. He was as weirdly interesting to me as an albino gorilla.

The opportunity for a confrontation wasn’t long ahead. I do not recall whether I created it myself or how much I worked toward it, but I was happy when it arrived. I had been avoiding violence since hradu and had been happy that way, but part of me was`missing the silly victory and triumph that comes from winning a physical confrontation. Being taller had made me assume that beating up this scary newcomer was going to be easy, and in a spurt of overconfidence, I had decided I was going to let him take the first swing.

We were facing each other on a hallway, waiting to get into a lab, or the class. The rest of the class wasn’t far, and though some could see us, most didn’t. I hadn’t touched him, but was very serious – maybe my posture was threatening. I don’t remember what I said or did (I’m quite sure I didn’t touch him), but it was enough for him to start warning me quickly, two times, “stop hitting me or I’ll hit back.” It was a bit confusing at first, but later on it made sense: it was his “get out of jail free” card in case I was going to complain or snitch.

It was my first fight in a very long time, so it had to count. I was determined I was going to kick his ass, but I was going to do so nobly, like a b..arron. I thought taking one punch was something to easily recover from, so seeing him take a wide swing with his right hand was not worrying to me in the least. Yet somehow, reality and his experience combined to hit me in a way I had not anticipated.

The memories of our first “fight” are still blurry. One punch is all it took to take me out of commission and the worst part was that I simply could not understand what happened. It was imperative that we were going to have a second fight, and we did, and that one went by the same canon. This time, my senses were sharp despite a lingering headache and I sort of knew what to expect, but when his first punch came my way I was again sent to la-la-land. It’s not that I was knocked out, for I remember his second punch, but there was a clear change of tempo in my memories between his two punches. The second one was almost choreographed – I remember it in slow motion, as if I was no longer there but watching it on YouTube on half-speed, and I remember the strange feeling of paralysis and defeat taking hold.

Shortly thereafter, I discovered that my left ear had become painful to the touch and almost entirely black from bruising. Only a few years later I figured out that he had messed up, at least temporarily, my sense of balance (the Romanian idiom is “he beat me to sound off the liquid in my head”).

I never snitched on him – although, as a “good” student, I could easily get the system’s wrath on my side – and I even continued to help him. I felt that it would be weak to hide my defeat, so I described it to anyone who asked, carelessly and with the casual detachment I’d be reproducing office gossip later in my life. It pissed me off that, when my classmates eventually learned that he nearly shattered my ear, the seem to put my lack of snitching on account of fear. I just felt that it was me who wanted the fight and he reacted in a predictable manner. I wasn’t happy to let it go, but I was angry mostly with myself, not with him. I could make him feel bad by letting only the rest of the repeaters copy the homework, but letting him copy as well allowed me to continue to feel superior in my generosity.

Some time after this “climax” of our collegiality, a classmate who had the pinkest penholders and fanciest stationery (from some relative in Western Europe) complained that some of her things had been stolen. All classmates instinctively blamed Moulea. Just one look at him and I knew it wasn’t him. When I raised to his defense, everybody was surprised – some became even suspicious that I might have stolen those silly things myself (how else could I be so sure it wasn’t him?!). Still, he was able to weather that storm.

We never became friends, but we both got something out of our encounter. I got to feel superior and know that my influence was only positive, while flirting with danger and getting the feeling that I could easily walk through the wrong side of town and at least survive. He got some homework done and, possibly, the feeling that not the entire universe is hell bent against him. And this is where my inspiration or whatever took its place has really run out.

LE: I've just learned about a theory suggesting that our male ancestors have evolved the facial features I saw in Moulea as a protection from fist fights - the "protective buttressing hypothesis."

Sources / More info: siyonqoba-alb, es, acasa-droguri, muzeu-uniforma, wiki-albino

Thank you for reading (mulţam fain pentru cetire)! Publicat Monday, June 09, 2014 . Similar articles under the following categories (poţi găsi articole similare sub următoarele categorii): (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe) . Dacă ţi-a plăcut articolul, PinIt-uieste-l, ReddIt-eaza-l, stumble-uieste-l altora, trimite-l pe WhatsApp yMess şi consideră abonarea la fluxul RSS sau prin email. Ma poti de asemenea gasi pe Google. Trackback poateputea fi trimis prin URL-ul de sub Comentarii.
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