An encounter I will never forget.
  1. So I sat down at a table on a coffee shop patio.
    He said, "on average how many times a day do people tell you your hair is amazing?"
  2. I introduced myself and sat at his table.
    Not because I found him attractive but because I was intrigued by the vest, large African beads he wore and the Wonder Woman comic in his hand.
  3. He told me I looked like a writer and he introduced himself as Pree.
  4. "My dad named me after 2 great fighters. It took me 30 years to appreciate my name."
  5. His name is Kenyata Ali.
  6. He went on to explain why he still gives the abbreviated version.
  7. "You should watch the original animated Batman series."
    Then he told me about an episode in which they tried to trick Batman and he still prevailed. His accomplice asked him how he knew - he said I don't call myself Bruce in my mind."
  8. We got into his journey as a "creative professional." He talked about how he had lost his way.
    "Young, dumb and full of cum"
  9. "I do things backwards. I blame it on my autism."
  10. He said that being an artist was a lot like being a Black man in society.
    "They're constantly telling us we have no value, but this whole economy relies on us."
  11. We talked about his move to LA, how he began to find his purpose.
  12. "LA is Darwinian. So when people ask me how I am out here I say it suits me."
  13. "I wanted to be the musical Moses."
  14. He talked about how artists have the power to heal the world.
  15. "In the gutter I found perspective and opportunities."
    "I had my moments where I could've got a jobby job for my comfort but..."
  16. Then he talked about being Black in LA. How LAPD had surrounded him one day but he turned to the right, relieved they were apprehending another Black man.
  17. "It's the nigga lottery. We're always one lazy description away from calamity."
  18. He gave me his card, told me to contact him later this month because he's doing a film for AFI.
  19. Despite the filth on his clothes and large bags surrounding him, I believe him.