Memoires of a child

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
Memoires of a child

Submitted: July 08, 2010

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Submitted: July 08, 2010

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Memoires of a child 
 

Every morning I took an oversized yellow horse trailer that carried rowdy soon-to-be teenagers to and from school. My bus was filled with mostly white adolescents, yelling and throwing papers at one another. The school I went to was an intermediate school, a step above grade school and right before high school. The school consisted of mostly blacks and our bus was carrying about eighty five percent of the white population that attended I.S. 27. School wasn’t fun for me at that age; I was twelve years old, depressed about life, skinny, wore black all the time and had long hair. I was teased a little about my long hair but nothing to provoke a suicide or a traumatic experience that would change my sexual orientation. The bus picked us up and dropped us off at the same location, at the same time everyday, right on the corner of Slosson Avenue and Victory Boulevard. I lived about a quarter mile from the bus stop and walked there every morning and walked back home every afternoon. Across the street was a deli called M&M. I use to buy my soda and bagels there in the morning and sometimes a Snickers bar in the afternoon.

It was a dark and cold October afternoon when I realized what survival was. The afternoon had gone well considering nobody took my money and the name calling was kept to a minimum; I was feeling less depressed than usual. I had felt worn and tired from the dull day at school and needed to stop into the deli to buy a soda. My mom never had soda in the house. She just didn’t believe in buying soda, she said it was an unnecessary expense for the family. All I drank was water and ice tea; I was deprived of what most children considered normal to have in the house. I said hello to Jerry. He was the old man working behind the counter. Jerry always had a Back Woods mini cigar in his mouth; the cigar became a fixture on Jerrys face. I could see the tar line on his face from where the cigar was. He always had it in the same place, on the left side of his mouth. Even when he made my bagels, the cigar was in his mouth. The cigar would bob up and down as he talked in his old, hard, raspy voice, “Hey kid, how ya doin?” The ashes from his cigar were about two inches long,. the ashes were barely holding on to his stogie. I would watch in amazement, like I was waiting for the guy on the tightrope to fall; Jerry seemed to have it down to a science. He never let one ash fall, at least not in my food. I stood outside of the deli and opened up my canned soda; the sound a canned soda makes when you open it for the first time is like someone softly saying “ahhh.” Just that sound alone is refreshing. The cold soda coated my throat and I remember feeling the cool liquid pour over the inside of my empty stomach. The caffeine rushed through my veins; I was soon rejuvenated and had the strength to make it home.
I crossed over to the other side of Victory Boulevard I walked past a church, and onward home. Victory Boulevard was a steep road and on the following block after the church was what some would call a hill, but it’s not really a hill, more like a slope on a steep road. I noticed Frank running back and forth between two familiar faces. It looked like they were playing a game of monkey in the middle on the side of the road and Frank was the monkey. As I got closer, I noticed Frank was with these two well known bullies from the area. Frank was my neighbor from around the corner and I knew he was no bully, he was only a victim his whole life. Frank’s dad used to tie him to the bed and beat him with the buckle end of his belt, so Frank understood abuse. His dad used to make his own wine. He never sold it, just drank it himself, everyday.
The two bullies were taunting Frank saying “Come-on pussy, get it!” and Frank ran helplessly between them like a dog following a ball. This cruel game I was all too familiar with. I unwillingly played the same game with these same bullies before. I could have walked across the street to avoid this, but it was too late. I found myself right in the middle of all the action. I put my head down and I watched my left foot catch up to my right foot, avoiding all that surrounded me. I thought to myself “Don’t look up whatever you do. Don’t look up.” A black Jansport book bag fell to my feet and I nearly fell over it. I bent over to pick it up and held it close to my chest. Within seconds they were all right in front of me, staring at me; Frank with his desperate eyes and the bullies with their angry red faces behind him. One of the bullies yelled “Throw it to me!” I looked down at the book bag that I was holding so tightly to my chest and glanced back up at Frank. He looked back at me with his slightly teary eyes and said “Please give it back to me.” I had to make a choice; do I save Frank and risk getting beat up, or do I join in and become one of them? At that moment I lost my identity. My body was plagued with rigor mortise and I was unable to move. I held the bag over my head and threw it over Frank. I ran fast, I ran hard and I didn’t look back.
I can’t explain why I did what I did but I understood what it meant to survive. I cried that night and I felt horrible about what I did. I saw Frank the next day and kept my head down but I was happy to see that he was still alive.


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