And now I’m here with you, Pac. I wrote about it but didn’t remember the name. The Tupac Shakur Foundation headquarters in Stone Mountain, replete with an arts center and a peace garden. It’s pretty far from where you died and not at all where I wanted to end up, but here in post-apocalypse world we take what we can get. Jack has put me here in the shade by your bronze statue. He’s sitting right beside me, crying.
Here’s the truth: I don’t like hip hop. Never did. I don’t even like you. The Malcolm X stuff, the partying and guns, the charges of sexual assault – there’s not a lot we have in common. But your book paid the rent for a few months in Brooklyn. I sent a copy of it to Marie for Christmas, just as a joke, since she hates your music. She sent it back. Inside the cover she wrote, “I don’t want this in the same house as my daughter,” and I got so mad I didn’t call her until the Creep started. The phone rang and rang, but no one answered.
Life is short, Pac. I should have known that. Should have learned that from you.
“Susan,” Jumping Jack says now, his voice soft. His eyes are still watery but his face is calm as he raises the pistol. “I guess I have to do this now.”
Just then, a white government van whips into the driveway and stops with a squeal of brakes. Men in hazmat suits jump out. Rescuers! Their leader looks just like Ed Harris. He is talking quickly, words that I barely catch – you got her here just in time, we’ll help you, we have a cure – and then I’m in a military infirmary, voices and blurred images swirling around me, the heart monitor beeping like a hip-hop song, and then one of the white-garbed doctors turns out to be Marie, with Mike and happy baby Monica at her side, and we laugh and laugh at our good fortune while mourning the rest of the world, and then Jack fires his gun, and the screen goes dark.
As Jack carries me in, I see a bronze statue of Tupac. Immediately I read the sign on the wall, The Tupac Shaker Foundation. The irony is crippling…literally. My body is beginning to resemble Tupac’s statue more and more by the second, rock solid and cold. Jack places me next to Tupac’s statue and then sits down next to me.
“Susan,” Jumping Jack says, his voice soft. He raises his arm and points his finger into the distance. “Is that who I think it is?”
My eyes follow in the direction his finger is pointing, and then I see him. Tupac. Not another statue of him, but the real deal…in the flesh. My first thought is, “crap, my book was a lie…he’s not dead.” I can’t believe it. I am looking right into the eyes of a supposably dead man.
He begins walking towards us. His gold chain blinding me more and more with every step. “I can help you,” he says when he reaches us. Jacks eyes immediately light up, and he jumps to his feet. “She has the creep,” he says. “And I have the cure,” Tupac responds.
The next thing I know I am laying on an operating table. Doctors are surrounding me, poking and prodding. One doctor looks down at me and says, “count down from ten, when you wake up you will be cured.” I follow his directions and begin counting, “10, 9, 8…” and then darkness.
When I awake, I can move. My body aches like I just worked out for ten hours straight, but I no longer am paralyzed and I am thankful. I am in a hospital bed, hooked up to a bunch of monitors. The door of the room I’m in opens. In walks Marie. “Oh Susan! I am so happy you are alright,” She says. I immediately ask her where Mike and Monica are. “They’re just outside the door, we are all fine,” she says calmly. A wave of relief washes over me. “Where is Tupac,” I ask. Marie looks at me, confusion washes over her face. “What are you talking about Susan? Tupac has been dead since 1996. You’re exhausted and just had a traumatic past few days…get some rest.”