Wednesday, October 22, 2008

memoir. part I.

I remember telling Shameeka that i wanted to be cool. "Teach me how to be cool." I stated. She laughed and told me to call her later on that night. She said would explain all the elements of how to be cool. We were 10 years old, and my corduroy jump suit didn't compare to her large black tee and tight jeans. To fifth graders, she held a "bad girl" image. Little did i know, Shameeka's ponytail that stuck into the air was not part of her fresh persona. But, rather the only hairstyle she knew how to do on her own, when her guardians neglected to fulfill her needs. Little did i know, that the big t-shirts were stolen from her father's drawer right before he left her mother who killed herself three weeks post his journey. In school, Shameka was friend's with all the coolest girls, well liked by all the boys, and never played by the rules. Little did i know, she was never given any. How could I, E.B., big box braids, jeans outfits, glasses and braces wearing ever compare to her cool? It isn't until now that i realize those parts of me proved that someone took the time to care.
I called Shameeka that night excited on being briefed on the law of being cool. A loud and abrasive woman answered "Fuck you want?", she asked. I asked to speak to Shameeka only to hear, "Meeka don't pay bills around here, so she can't use the phone." I found out later, that was her foster mother. Shameeka was moved to a group home that summer and stopped attending our school. I haven't seen her since. Staring at the childhood photos of me neatly dressed; i thank my parents for staying together, loving one another, and most importantly creating and caring for me.


Michael DeAntonio said...

Damn. That was intense.

Leslie Colleen said...

Yeah...its funny how much parents do to care about us, that we can only see as a hinderance. I remember my mother wouldnt let me wear high heels until well into my highschool years, while my baby sister was playing in my MOTHER's heels...
Now i realize, being way more curvacious than my baby sister, a curvy 13yr old in heels is a dangerous idea. She's such a smart woman sometimes