Saturday, June 13, 2009

the not-so real world.

Let me give you the positive before the negative:

Looking forward to a fab vacation. this weekend. Birthday Extravaganza! Not mine, but still something to be excited about. Just landed a summer job teaching youth poetry/language arts. I'll post all the information about the program a little later on so all you NYC parents and big brothers/sisters can send your precious ones right over. The program is for kids ages 5-13.

Now for the heavy stuff:

Sometimes, there are too many things to cry for. Leaving for college tends to keep you out of the loop when it comes down to those that were left behind. There's this kid I did karate with when I was 14. (I studied Ninjitsu for a while.) He was incredibly intelligent and I even heard he'd graduated high school at 15 headed to an ivy league college. Unable to drive to the location I was headed to today, (for fear of parking prices) I hopped the train to my photo-job. Usually I'd take the cab or the bus to the railroad station. However, I walked, which is something I haven't done in my neighborhood in a while. On the verge of getting my wings and coke for the train ride there was a kid yelling obscenities to someone non-existent in front of the store. When I turned around, I spotted the kid from my old martial arts class. Seven years later, here he was, talking to himself, and yelling at everyone that walked past. He was the reality of my declining old hood that I'd avoided for years. Sure, I'd confronted it a time or two. However, they were people I could make excuses for because I knew their situation. I had a best friend who had been in and out of mental institutions throughout my college career and had her child taken from her. Yet, I rationalized her situation with her rough childhood and hard transitions. I'd also had another friend who was severely strung out and chalked it up to her parents over protective nature. "Maybe this is her way of rebelling." But, when its someone you don't know that well and you're absolutely bewildered at what made them steer down such a path, the shock is inevitable. The kid I saw today is a metaphor for a beautiful neighborhood I once knew, now starving, now desolate, forever gone.


Militankerous said...

Eri, u know I love u. But this is lowkey depressing as shit. Still beautiful. But in that Shakespearean Tragedy kind of way.

amirah. said...

wooooow. I feel that way about my old neighborhood.

Amoni said...

It's amazing how life can drastically turn.
Heartbreaking,but oh so real.

Anonymous said...

i feel that way about my neighborhood too sometimes.But in some cases things weren't ever really good to begin with and you were either blind or in denial to the warning signs.

Muze said...

first. i absolutely LOVE your blog. thank you for following mine and allowing me to discover this. :)

second, this is the unfortunate story of many, many disadvantaged neighborhoods.

it's so commonplace to say 'oh she just has issues' or ' you know she's just crazy..' but not actually seek professional help for it in our community.


anyhoo... hope all is well. i shall return! :)