Musa Jackson

The Gardener opens on typical day in the life one of Harlem's long time resident Miss Bertha Douglass toiling her backyard garden. She is an eighty year old fixture in the community known for her organically grown produce, earning her the reputation of having the best sweet potato pie and greens in Harlem. Having seen the neighborhood go from renaissance to urban decay to now experiencing one of the most aggressive gentrifications. Stubbornly she avoids taking her medication instead continuing to touch the lives of crack addicts and the homeless while fending off ruthless real estate brokers. Douglass holdouts selling her classic brownstone awaiting instruction from Johnny, the grandson she raised and sent off to medical school. She begins to loose her battle with reality sifting in and out of happier times of raising her young young grandson Johnny. As night falls she opens up her home to a demented homeless Stranger, she feeds and lets takes a shower. The Stranger returns only to kill and bury her in her beloved garden and finish off the remaining slice of sweet potato pie. Her neighbors unable to locate her believe the cause of her disappearance maybe because of her Alzheimer's. A veteran Detective and one of Johnny's childhood friends reveals that Johnny indeed went off to medical school but got sidetracked by bad hallucinogens and eventually spent most of his years in the Bellevue's psychiatric ward. We finally realize that the stranger who puts an end to Miss Douglass's life and her further descent into dementia was her beloved Johnny.

Copyright 2006 Musa Jackson
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