Antwon Alazar is sitting alone in his barber shop. The sign out front says “Antwon’s Hair Cutting”. Old school. Antwon is a white dude, just so you know in case you were surmising otherwise. Which explains the fact of his favorite meal being scrambled eggs. Antwon’s a “keep it simple” guy and creating a meal of scrambled eggs is darned simple. It begins with gathering ingredients – dab of bacon fat, eggs. That’s it. Sometimes when he wants to get way crazy, like one of those gone cats Kerouac said were “mad for life”, he’ll grate in shavings of pepper-jack cheese – Oh, you go go wild man, way out there on the freakin’ edge Brah. Dig it. Love it. Bacon fat dab, eggs, bitchin’ cheese. In fact from here out I’m never using the term “keep it simple” or the preferred “keep it simple stupid” ever again. No need, Snead. Ima gonna write the words ‘scrambled eggs’ and that’ll be metaphor enough.
Simple is Antwon’s thing, and for your information the whole nom de plume deal was his parents – Freddie and Gina Alazar, former Yippies and edge creatures themselves — they figured you name a honkey baby Antwon it won’t take but by the second grade when a host of white supremacists come into little Antwon’s life (yes, still in big Antwon’s too) and get right up in his grill, them offended by a white guy with what you expect to be an Afro-American’s name, meaning, Freddie and Gina figured, little to big Antwon would go through life with a never-ending supply of opportunities to have to deal with racist, stupid motherfuckers, which of course was/is the real deal and early on Antwon – a true devotee of the movie and even monaural album “West Side Story” — began carrying a zip gun, a 50’s thing and a favorite among kids of all colors and religious propensities from poorer neighborhoods, so little (second grade) Antwon scored one from a very cool uncle (Gina’s crazy ass brother Howler) and began zipping that baby on shitheads everywhere, by third grade with a reputation nearly as wild as adding pepper-jack to your scrambles, and just like Brian Wilson and Mike Love would be predicting a few years down the road, “The bad guys know us and they leave us alone”, which is how it went down.
And moving out from home when he quit school sophomore year to do a stint in VISTA and then a couple of moves around to different cities, yeah, you got to get that rep built up all over again and again, and he would and did and Gina and Freddie pat themselves on the back to this day doing right by their boy, and 19 months ago Antwon was offered a free ride at the Livinia Levesque Hair Styling academy and followed his mantra of strange travel suggestions carry you out to the edge and (remember that crazy mofo Uncle Howler) a relative hit the lottery and staked him to a year’s rent of a sitting-empty barber shop down off 14th Street in Oakland, a couple blocks up from the city library and, aside from all-alone meditations like when we entered this tale, Antwon makes enough to bring home the bacon (Ha!! Yes!! You maniac. Eggs, cheese and freakin’ bacon!!)
Which I hope you’ll agree is a fine old happy ending.