UNDER-DOG

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic

This is my second essay of many more to come. This is my memoir of my life from birth to early elementary. The struggles and tribulations I faced at a disturbing home. Again, I hope this will be inspiration for the younger generation to know they're not alone.

UNDER-DOG
“Is one that is expected to lose a contest or struggle, as in sports or politics?”
Born in 1979 to two parents that were probably just having a good time and enjoying the night; and didn’t know what was to come 9 months later. It was me Gabriel Smith, 7 pounds & 4 ounces and could have mistakenly been a Chinese baby. I was born in the year that crack cocaine was what’s happening and mushroom cuts and tights were in. I was born to Robin Smith and the Infamous “Uptown Stewart”. It was supposed to be a joyful occasion, but what I didn’t know was for 17 years it was going to be the opposite of just that.
I remember quite frankly that at the age of 3 is when I discovered the true meaning of favoritism. I had an older brother who at the time was about 11, but who acted about 1. My mother always had this special gleam in her eyes for him though. Of course I asked myself why? But this was an answer that I was never going to know. I would often get left at my grandmother’s house in Uptown DC while my older brother got the privileges that I hoped to enjoy. I was bounced from one house to the next and my brother never shared the same fate as I.
What was it about me? This was the only question I wanted an answer to, but maybe it wasn’t an answer that I would’ve wanted at the time. When I was around 5, I was left with my mother’s mom along with my brother and it would be years until I saw my mother again. There were a total of 12 of us living in a 3 bedroom public housing residence somewhere in Maryland. When the lights got cut off; we lit up the candles. When the heat got cut off; we turned on the oven and put the door down. My mother and my grandmother never got along. It was nothing to me though because I was often ignored by my own mother so I and grandma were always on the same team.
Until one day, my mother suddenly appeared. Her and my grandmother were arguing and fighting. My brother had a look as if to tell me “good bye”. He and I started arguing! The fighting between he and I started! The punches were flying and with him having the height advantage I was in a losing battle. Then without a second thought; I rushed to the kitchen, grabbed the first knife I saw. I stormed into the living room where my mom and grandmother were arguing. He ran up the stairs and with all of my might I threw the knife at him and as if I was a marksman; I hit my target. Wham! It stuck in his back, he falls down the stairs and I guess I sealed my fate with him and my mother at that instant. I was just a child, but life as I know it was about to become a mess.
My mother took me and my brother to live elsewhere with her in a 2 bedroom apartment. The space was nice, but the home was not welcoming. The evil stares from my mother suddenly became vicious verbal assaults. The teasing from my brother turned to taunting. I often felt like my mother only did things for me because it was the law, but she did for my brother out of love. Was his father the Billy D of the ghetto? I just couldn’t understand it. Where was my father? This is a question I asked until I realized that asking never bought results. We moved from that place to another and this is when it got real!
We moved from that place to another named Langley Park. It was no different from where I was used to being, but now with a few more years on me there was more for me to get into. The situation at home went from bad to worst. The verbal abuse turned physical. My mother would often throw phones or whatever she could reach at my face. She would tell my older brother to “get him”. I was always small in stature, so it wasn’t hard to “get me”. She always reminded me that I was “just like those no good Stewarts” and I “will only end up dead or in jail”. To me, death was life because there were more deaths in my family than birthday parties. The death that changed my life was the death of one of my favorite cousin. He died around the corner from my house in a high-speed chase with the police. This was the turning point for me as I knew it.
With the abuse ever increasing at home; I often stayed outside as long as I could. With doing this; I met a lot of new friends. My mother did always keep me fresh though, but for what I had to go through to get it I would’ve preferred to be a nudist. I am still wondering where is pops? I guess he’s still “in the army”. I always wondered would things be different if I wasn’t there. With that being said; in the 5th grade I would often stay out until the wee hours of the night. Hustlers, prostitutes, and crack heads were the only ones out late at night so it’s no wonder that I fell into the hustle game.
I met a friend in school that told me his uncle had a gun. This was exciting to me since I always played with air guns. We became good friends and this one day changed my life. He offered to trade his uncle’s gun for my air gun; I thought he was joking until he pulled it out. I jumped at this chance although I had no idea what I needed a gun for. One night while on 18thAvenue or the strip around 11pm I was approached by someone who over heard me talking about having it. He offered me $60 dollars for it! $60 dollars to me was like $600. I said okay, but instead of giving me $60 dollars cash he gave me crack. I asked him “what am I going to do with this”? He replied make money!
He took me under his wing that night like an older brother I never had. This was a feeling that I have never felt before. With every addict that approached he taught me multiplication. If they ask for a 20; give them one. If they ask for a 40; give 2. It became easy to me, so easy that I went home with not a worry in my mind. But man; I was in for a rude awakening! My brother was there and of course asking every question in the book. Mind you, I am only in the 5th grade so he pushed me down and went in my pockets. You guessed it! He took everything I had made that night which crushed me. He said he was going to tell my mother and I cried endlessly. He never told my mother; but instead came home the next day with two handfuls of shopping bags! Yep, he spent it all. With nothing but anger in my heart and rage in my eyes I………………………………………….. To be continued.
PART 1 OF A SERIES TO COME


Submitted: August 28, 2010

© Copyright 2022 GSmith. All rights reserved.

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