Life With Fantasia
Part 1: An Idol Hopeful
Fantasia Barrino awoke to a heavy clumping sound coming through the thin housing project walls. Her neighbor's sons Delonte, Delmonte, Ashonte and Leroy were playing Def Jam Vendetta again. Since the neighbor didnt own a Playstation, the boys were acting out what they had seen in the commercial. Fantasia sighed as she got up feeling the hot, sticky humidity of the North Carolina summer. She quietly tiptoed across the room to where her daughter Pocahontas was sleeping. Fantasia gently brushed Pocahontas' Jeri curled hair away from the child's gold nugget hoop earrings then silently crossed the room to fold up the pull-out couch and replace the plastic-covered cushions.
Fantasia decided it would be best to get her shopping done before Pocahontas woke up. She threw on her jeans with the ruched bottoms and a fringed tank top, and then headed into the bathroom to brush her teeth. Twenty minutes later, Fantasia stepped through the cracked screen door onto the cracked sidewalk. The hot sun glistened off the crack pipe fragments making little pools of light. "How ya doin' Bobo?" Fantasia greeted the obviously intoxicated homeless man leaning against the building wall. Bobo said nothing and glared at Fantasia as he took a swig from his bottle of Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill.
After walking several blocks in the heat, Fantasia began to regret her decision to go the Piggly Wiggly, wishing that she had simply gone around the corner to Alvin's Liquor and Grocery. She walked by the Church's chicken where she had wanted to apply for a job. A car passed by her, stereo thumping bass,
"Cruisin' down the street in my 6-fo'
Jockin' the bitches, slappin' the hoes ".
The song made Fantasia sad as she remembered the times when she and her baby daddy Gtoe Washington III had made sweet, sweet love in the back of his Cutlass. She had loved Gtoe until she found out that he had hit that skeeza Bonifah and Bonifah was due any day now.
As she passed a graffiti covered bus bench, she wondered who the new red-haired Mupppet pictured on the bench was. As she got closer to the bench, she realized that the Muppet was not a Muppet at all, but was in fact Clay Aiken, the runner up of last year's American Idol competition. Fantasia had a strange feeling that something good was about to happen but she didn't know what it was.
The cool blast of air-conditioning felt good to Fantasia as she wandered the wide aisles of the Piggly Wiggly. She looked longingly at the blue boxes of Kraft Mac and Cheese while she placed the generic store brand Macaroni with Cheese Flavoring in her cart. After getting Oodles of Noodles and Spaghetti-Os, she wandered into the cereal aisle. As she selected large bags of Fruity-Os and Charms (chock full of colored marshmallows shaped like marshmallows) she noticed that the Muzak playing on the speaker overhead was somehow different. Instead of the usual instrumentals, the song had words,
If I was invisible
I would just watch you in your room.
Although the words to the song were creepy and made Fantasia think about stalkers, she had that strange good feeling again. The Muzak announcer began talking,
Thanks for tuning in to smooth and easy listening. We started off this last block with Yannis instrumental version of Christopher Crosss Sailing, followed by Kenny Gs Songbird, and concluded with the latest hit by American Idol sensation, Clay Aiken. You know, Clay Aiken is from right here in North Carolina. If you have any kids or grandkids who are good singers, you might want them to try out for American Idol. Auditions will be held soon. Who knows? The next American Idol might be from North Carolina again.
Chills ran up and down Fantasias spine. Fantasia was having one of those lightbulb moments just like Oprah talked about. She knew what she had to do. Fantasia would become the next American Idol!
After a quick stop in the frozen food aisle for Jenos frozen pizza, Fantasias heart was racing as she reached the checkout. Fantasia didnt even notice as the checker separated her carton of Newports from her food items and looked disdainfully down at the two packets of Kool-Aid drink mix and five pound bag of sugar. After carefully counting out the last of her food stamps for the month, Fantasia pushed the cart out into the parking lot, over the curb and back onto the cracked sidewalk.
As Fantasia pushed the cart full of groceries home, she was so excited she barely noticed the heat. She knew she could win American Idol, after all, everyone in church told her she was the best singer there. After sipping her grape Nehi, she lit a Newport and concentrated hard on closing her lips to keep in the cool menthol smoke that gave her voice that special raspy quality. In her happiness, Fantasia barely noticed as a drunken Bobo stumbled towards her. You gib me dat cart, I show ya how ta dance slurred Bobo in a phlegmy voice not unlike Fantasias.
To be continued .