"Looking back as a kid just turning seven, i had no regretts; no siblings, and a small version of a world i did not understand. Nor did i feel the need to understand them at them. Life was whatever i did at that time, and i didnt ow anyone an apology.
The worst thing to look forward to was my father Edward Edison Jones, a very tall lumber jack looking guy, masculine shouders, kind of jewish facial features, hugh chest; his temper was moderate most days.yet he was a highschoolGym teacher and inspiration to many.Well liked with the children, enough that they voted him in as the basetball coah for the Hawks at Secondary Highschool. I barly seen my father except towards dinner at nine, and sometimes mom and i would make a trip to his basketball practices. There i would sit on the bleachers bored out of my mind, loatheing all the kids there.
They all dressed in the same gear and when he spoke they all followed his direction.Everything was planned out and they looked for ways to manipulate the oher players so that they could end up with the victory in the end. The Players then began to critize eachother, making the other players laugh at the faults of that odd one out of the game. Sometimes they cried about not being able to be manipulated. This i did not understand. Play time was suppose to be open, with no rules, and no fouls. Yet they actually liked being planned out by the evil dictator they called "coach".Dad would give them prasie when they did something right , and make jokes about them when they did something wrong. He teases them hurting their pride and they found this amusing? They cracked jokes i didnt understand and everyone laughed including mother.
I was restless.
They all dressed in the same gear and when he spoke they all followed his direction.Everything was planned out and they looked for ways to manipulate the oher players so that they could end up with the victory in the end. The Players then began to critize eachother, making the other players laugh at the faults of that odd one out of the game. Sometimes they cried about not being able to be manipulated. This i did not understand. Play time was suppose to be open, with no rules, and no fouls. Yet they actually liked being planned out by the evil dictator they called "coach".Dad would give them prasie when they did something right , and make jokes about them when they did something wrong. He teases them hurting their pride and they found this amusing? They cracked jokes i didnt understand and everyone laughed including mother.On the side i was disturbed but on the outside i came as being restless.
I would rather go play with my best friend Tommy Henderson in those enchanted fields across the street from our house in the park located next to a basketball court. There we were free to become anything at anytime. Tommy came up with the best ideals from being in space fighting off evil aliens, to pretending that we were stranged soilders in antartica having to keep warm, to stay alive. However I would make up something simple listening to my moms a track from her boom box like we were hugh international rockstars the grass was our audiance and we had to perform live in front of all of these cheering fans. Tommy never sang with me he would just let me go and make cheering noises for all my fans.
My mother Tina Mccarthy , a very creative women with a hugh passion for music would always have all the newest tapes out and records from her highschool years. she really inspired me to learn them then and teach me the lyrics to the song. exspaially from the black man with the bushy hair. One that i knew of today as Jimmy hendrix. My mother had a marvoulous voice that i loved listening to from outside that while i was painting with my water colors.She also played the keyboard, she tried to teach me how to play but i was getting sort of bored of it after a while, i told her i would much rather listen to her do it.
Sometimes while i was playing with my water colors on the porach outside i wouuld sing along to my mothers chaka Chan cd and dance to it joyfully not really noticing my father standing at the door watching me with a 40 onch beer in his hand shouting "Jonathan, shut that mouth right now, you aint no fagot!And you aint the newest version of Elvis!" He dragged me out to the park across the street even when it was cold outside tellin me,"what you gonna do is shoot some hoops.A lay up, 2 point shot, free throw, a three point, and a half court shot.If you want to sleep in the house tonight youll make at least 4 out of the 5 of them.If not then you can sleep next to spot on the poarch."he handed me an orange basketball.
I was sure he did not exspect me to make every shot, that he loved me and would never make me sleep in such conditions.however just as he was agressive and unfair with he boys on the basketball team there was not telling how hard he would be with me.He would actually leave his own son in the cold, for missing a basket. I bounced the ball so that it flew over my head and landed inside of my hands.Then i ran up for the basket feeling the cold wind cut my skin as i went up for the layup, my dad shouted "use the backboard!use the back board!"
I did not know excatly how to do that, but it went inside anywa.The ball smacked aganist the fence rolling toward me. It was now time for the next shot. Inside i felt like i did not need coaching, i was going to make the last four shots all by myself.The street lights poppedon frighting me a little, though it did not stop me. I made my two point shot, all reasdy to hit my free throw.
"Bend your knees son, use your leg muscles!"Dad ordered.
He spoke too soon, becasue i missed the free throw by an inch.Dad hollared at me. his words did not sit to well with me, then tears started falling down my eyes as i began to try again.This time i bent my knees and pushed right through my legs.It was another air balled.According to dad it was a terrible release.I missed for the thrid time out of pure fusteration and the ball bouced against the back board and popped over the court dad yelled at me to go catch it.
when i came back Pete henderson was outside, Tommy's father.He was also one of dads close friends that coached the basketball games from time to time. he was also working as a representative for the town, bring home a decent check here and there.Tommy wanted to be just like him.
"Hey E.j!what cha doing out here this time of night?" Pete had this cowboy thing going on all the time.I dont remember ever seeing him without a hat;let along food.
"Just shooting some hoops with my boy,thats all now you go on back to your pretty little wife in the house. Petes wife had left them a long time ago, to run away with a brizillion guy she met on line.
Pete leaned up against the fench belly pressing into the holes."Looks like your boy would rather be playing with dolls E.J he all cryin and what knot."
If my dad loathe anything in the world, he had nothing on his fear of homosexuals.He got defensive when the children at school would call me gay.He got pissed when his friends around the neghborhood called me gay.
"Hey shut your mouth!"Dad fired back"Jonathan loves basketball, we watch the bulls play everynight.He is just a little worried about sleepi outsid with the dogs tonight.Caught this boy looking at naked girls from my closet this morning.I havent decide on his ponishment yet."Dad laughed a little bit,sliding his hands in his pockets hopping that Pete had bought the story.
"Oh well, what you looking at playboy for huh son?"
I stood there looking agaped,I hated lying.To me it was for poeple that were afriad of somthing.I was more afirad of my father so i openned my mouth studdering.
"The people are quite interesting."I barly knew what girls looked like naked, and to be honest i could not have cared.However pete began laughing so hard the entire fench shook.He hit his knee a few times before he said goodnight, and went into the house.My dad tooked the ball from me saying, "Thats why you werent making any shots, the ball is flat.Lets go on in your mothers got dinner ready.