Doubleday, E. Lynn Harris, Kingett Reads

Kingett reads Basketball Jones chapter 18



In chapter 18 of Basketball Jones all the drama halts as AJ goes to Mo’s place, whereby Mo demonstrates his cleverness and determination all in one chapter. Intrigued? It’s time for Kingett to read Basketball Jones.

It’s really refreshing that I can stop and take a breather here because the last two chapters were very intense. This chapter does not have any suspenseful moments and/or odd happenings. For once, we get to listen to someone tell a funny tale that doesn’t even relate to AJ at all.

This chapter centralizes on my boyfriend, Mo, and his finale. He’s going to host the party because he has the support of one of the biggest gay bloggers ever, Tay, also known as TT.

My husband, though, is really resourceful, and it happened by complete accident. After Mo had been treated really bad by his ex, he was at a really low point in his life. He wanted some sort of solace from what happened, so he began to look at gay dating sites and gay social networks to see who he would meet. He was lonely and he didn’t really have anyone to turn to, so he starts looking for different black men. He meets a few and knows that they would not be the best fit for him. When he tells one of his dates this, the date, without even batting an eye, tells him that he may have someone for Mo.

Before we go any further, Mo talks a lot, partly because he’s had one too many drinks of white wine.

Maurice poured his fourth glass of white wine, chattering away about his party, which he no longer referred to as simply “the party.” In a nod toward grandeur – real or imagined–he had given it the illustrious-sounding name “Glitter and Be Gay Ball.” Whatever he called it, there was much about the whole setup that still puzzled me. Apart from how Mo planned to pay for everything, even with sponsors, there remained the unanswered question of how he and TT had become so tight. Everyone knew that TT was the gossip to end all gossips and that there was no depth so low that he would not dig for dirt. But what I’d heard also was that behind TT’s flashy-trashy persona was a big, snobbish old queen who thought he was royalty; in other words, exactly the kind of “uppity bitch” Mo railed against. Although I enjoy a word of gossip now and then, as a rule I steer clear of this type of gay man. People like him made me grateful to be with Dray, no matter the obstacles and occasional pain involved. Maurice, however, was not altogether outside this world. In fact, I sometimes thought the only thing that separated him from the likes of TT was that he didn’t have his fame or money. But it was more than this that distinguished them. Mo didn’t run in TT’s celebrity circles, and breaking into that group was about as easy as crashing a party by scaling a barbed-wire fence wearing a tuxedo; you could give it your best, but chances were you’d end up getting shredded

Back to Mo. Mo has gotten to the status that he has because he has met TT, also known as Tay’s boyfriend. How did this happen?

After Mo realized that the guys he was going out with were not working, he thought about closing his gay online account. He hesitated, though, because he saw that a user had written him. He explained a bit about himself and Mo soon realized that this person was very elegant and articulate, but that there was something odd about the message. The message said to write him letters at a certain address because he didn’t have a lot of internet access. Mo Googled the place and realized that it was a prison in a different county. Figuring that he didn’t have anything more to lose, Mo began writing the mystery man, who soon revealed himself to be Dill. Dill had been framed by someone and is now paying the price. The two really like each other, so after about eight months communicating, Mo thought that he should go meet this man simply because his letters were so amazing, and he didn’t know another gay black man who could write so well it would make Mo drool with anticipation just by reading something on the printed page. Besides, he would be surrounded by guards, and he really wanted some of that ass anyway.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is where shit starts to get real.

Mo gets in a car and drives all the way to Florida, where he is sure that he’s going to meet the man of his dreams. He does meet Dill but there’s something Dill has been holding back on in their communications. Whatever it is, Mo will not learn the answer until a bit later, but he guesses that Dill has a boyfriend already, the low life street thug, Tay. Mo recognizes the name immediately and keeps the information in the back of his mind, deducing that it was Tay who has been doing some dirty work here, not Dill.

He sits down and takes Dills hand, not in love with him anymore but now just using the connection that they have shared to learn what happened, and how Dill landed in jail anyway. Dill had been a very successful man with a booming business, carrying millions of dollars years ago. He had met Tay a long time ago. Tay is a thug by this point, and will be until the event happens. They are happy but Dill wants Tay to be someone better because he knows that Tay can be better than what he is now. Mo didn’t know that Dill was lying but soon picks up on it a bit later as Dill talks. He decides to keep this information, though, even from AJ.

I just have to say this is epic accidental detective work.

Playing on their connection, Mo presses for even more information. Dill tells Mo how he was framed.

“Tay grew up down in Miami, right outside of Little Havana, and was a hustler coming out of the womb. When he graduated from high school, he moved to South Beach, where he was dating this thugged-out nigga who also happened to be one of the city’s biggest drug dealers. The dude had bank and nobody ever knew he was on the low, but they had been messing around for a long time. Well, old boi used to like to slap Tay around like he was a real bitch after he’d had too much Henny, and I guess one-day Tay got tired of being smacked like he was a rag doll. And so like any diva, Tay started plotting his revenge.”

Tay needs a way out so he concocts a plan. Since Dill has a lot of money, Tay is going to just take it and be rid of this abusive boyfriend once and for all. Tay gets some drugs, guns, and a host of other incriminating items, like pictures of girls and boys from the internet, and plants it in Dill’s car and then calls the police. Naturally, they see a black man with drugs, they do just what Tay suspects they would do and arrest Dill without hesitation, leaving Tay to the house, because it’s illegal for gay couples to share ownership of anything, so he stays in the house for free for a while but he knows that he will have to leave eventually.

After a few months, Tay does leave and he takes some money in the house. All of it, $85,000 because he knows that Dill will be in jail for life, especially after those battery charges on the cops that he had added to the drug hoarding, so he takes the money and leaves, and then starts his own blogging business. Tay soon helps the poor black man, the disabled black people, and otherwise. He hosts a wonderful blog because now, he can finally write without his boyfriend hitting him repeatedly.

He soon becomes a legend. Mo meets him a week earlier and says just three simple words that change everything: I know Dill. Tay instantly reacts, Mo has a new best friend who is far up the gay black social ladder, and I am astonished all at the same time.

That HAS to take a lot of patience and determination on all of their parts. Jesus. I can’t even begin to wonder what kind of waiting and planning that would have taken on everyone’s part. For one thing I am quite amazed at what Mo is doing and what he has figured out. I didn’t think that he had that kind of patience, but I also did not think that he would have that kind of resolve either.

I am astonished. Now Tay can’t tell Mo to go away. Mo has a lot of dirt on Tay now, but I am glad that the Two of them are working together, and I am very glad that Mo’s story has come to an end. He got the party that he wanted, and he got the closure that he wanted too. This is a really nice ending to the saga of Mo. I hope that Mo does well, I really do. The chapter ends when Mo finishes his story.

It just goes to show that eventually, what you do will be reflected back at you.

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