“We both have natural hair, so one day, Dean told me to put an egg in my hair,” Paula Simmons recalls. “And I’m like, OK, what should I mix it with? And he says ‘just leave the uncracked egg in your hair and stand still for a couple hours.’ After that I was like oh nah.”
Dean Parker has been Executive Assistant at the AIK marketing agency for over seven months. Like in most office spaces, the few employed POC have formed a closeknit circle, but they’ve all resolved Parker is just too “weird” to be let in. Though he’s an approachable, affable guy to AIK employees, he’s grown a reputation for–”Deaning”–offering advice so strange that they’re scared to invite him to any social gatherings.
“I didn’t believe all the girls talking down on another Brother, so I tested him,” says Donteese Kendrick. “One day I told him I was having some issues with my girl where she won’t answer certain questions about our future. He said you need to press the issue until she answers. I said you’re right, how should I go about it? He said text her every 33 minutes. It’s been hi and bye since then.”
Sandra Williams had a similarly perplexing experience with Parker, who notes that after a “cathartic” discussion with him about the qualms of being a recent graduate and fears that her mother may be ill, he “burst her bubble” by suggesting she bug her parents room to find out if her parent was OK. “I was lowkey feeling him too,” laments Williams. “He’s got these intense eyes. But it only takes one wrong comment for them to look like murder-suicide eyes.”
Lou Bennet says he was “side-eying” Parker since he interjected into a discussion about the needlessness of a degree with a proclamation that Florida should have given 18-year-old fake doctor Malachi Love-Robinson “a chance to show what he could do.” Bennet’s suspicions were confirmed when he told the 26-year-old Parker about “a gay cousin who I wasn’t sure was comfortable in crass, heteronormative social spaces with our family.” Bennet says the two had a “fulfilling” discussion about hypermasculinity and gender roles that abruptly ended with a curveball:
This negro tells me to “say f—k f-gs and see how my gay cousin reacts. I’m the gay cousin.”
Parker doesn’t know why his co-workers quiet down around him or haven’t invited him to their bi-weekly hangouts. He notes that he recently bought a tray of donuts, but no one touched them.
“He brought us donuts that he said had a mystery filling in them,” Williams says. “Ordinarily I’m game, but who knows what the mystery is with this n—-a. Smart, fine, career-minded, but so god damn weird,” she says while shaking her head.
“It was cricket custard,” he notes of the donuts..