Monday, January 14, 2008

My Life Sucked Which, Psychologically, Affected Me To Aspire To Become a Vaccuum Cleaner Or a Writer!

January '08/ This is a part of the Prelude (The Wonder Years)to my new book. I will reveal snippets of my colorful life until I find something more interesting to write about during the course of '08.

Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, during the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement was both a scary and rewarding experience. Prior to 1955, I never thought I had anything to worry about. Then all hell broke loose for me! Emmit Teale was murdered, there was a big march in the South, Black folks needed Federal marshals just to get around town and everybody hated everybody! Now, living in New York at that time, was a little different than living in the South because racism was deep under cover. I did not know I was hated until a big Irish cop ordered me and my friends to get off the street corner before he knocked the shit out of us. (Which may have helped me because I remember being constipated a lot?)

After I graduated from Junior High School, integration set in. The high school all the black guys went to was two blocks from my house. I could have slept late, walked the two blocks and never been late for school. But, somebody decided that blacks and whites needed to go to school together so I was shipped out to Flatbush, Brooklyn to go to an all white high school. What a joke that turned out to be. The blacks hated the whites and the whites hated the blacks and I was stuck right in the middle. I didn’t hate anybody, at that time. There were race riots every week! I didn’t like fighting, although I had my first racially inspired fight in high school. The guy I fought was an Italian kid with a funny accent. He talked like “Vinny Barbarino” from the sitcom “Welcome Back Carter.” (I wonder if that kid was John Travolta?) I had to find a way to get home without getting my ass kicked. Back in my ‘hood, I was running with a bunch of guys who fashioned themselves as young revolutionaries. We all had big afro hairdos and we wore African garb. We spoke in “pig Latin” because Swahili was too hard to learn and we talked about killing the enemy all the time when we smoked reefer.

The Vietnam War was in full effect and I knew that I did not want to go there. I felt like going to Vietnam was like going to Flatbush except that there was no bus or subway there that could bring me back home. To me, at that time, it was one thing to fight for your country and it was a whole ‘nother thing to fight for your life! I chose my life! (No, I did not defect to Canada… My mother would not let me go there- kill joy!) By my junior year in high school, I started rebelling. I did not want to go to school anymore but, since I had to go, I figured I would start failing all of my classes! (I got bored being an honor student!) The only one in the school who seemed to care whether I passed or failed was my young, Jewish English teacher, who had just gotten married and had a crush on me! I didn’t think anything of it until she asked me to take her home with me and I could not figure out a way to sneak her into my crib without my mother finding out about it. She had “jungle fever,” only it was more like Malaria now that I look back on it. She was good looking but way too motherly for me. I already had the “mother of all mothers!” Don’t get me wrong, I loved my mother but she was a motherf#@ker!

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