Tuesday, June 07, 2005

my brother Will [the white one]

he got in last night at about 9:30 last night. three and a half hours after he was originally scheduled to land. his connecting flight got delayed in chicago due to the thunderstorms here in the apple. instead of taking jetblue he took southwest and some other airline ive never heard of. when i asked him why he said -to save $20. dumbass.

we met when i was living in a group home in Millbrae, an upper middle class suburb outside of san francisco. we were both 12 years old at the time. back then he was called Billy. i was still referred to as jon.

we were in the same English class together. or composition. or whatever they call it in 8th grade. since i was one of about 7 black kids in the entire school i was immediately considered exotic, like a rare species trolling the hallways [hey look! its a black guy. shhhh. dont move too quickly, you might frighten him away]. and the fact that i was from the city just cemented my status as the exceptional curiosity that everyone was just dying to study.

Billy, being what i can only describe as the biggest nerd in the world, was always trying to talk to me. i guess he was trying to get some insight into the urban mind or whatever and i figured he was pretty harmless so would play up my "city boy" persona as much as i could, regaling him with colorful stories [some true, some not] of life in the ghetto and the hard as nails adventures young black males persevered to survive into their teens. i would tell him how i had to sleep on the street sometimes [true], how i mean mugged the crackheads buying my rocks [untrue], how i stole and got arrested [true], how i was shot at and how i shot back [untrue], how i was in a gang [true], how my gang had to smoke fools every now and then [untrue] and so on.

now i know it isnt cool to lie about who you are but you have to understand, i was pretty lonely and completely out of my element. all these kids had parents and lived in a house and always had a refrigerator full of food and money in their pocket and were never hungry or angry or weathered with worry. so seeing as i couldnt fake like i was one of them, i just put emphasis on how much i WASNT. this worked to my advantage because unlike me, these kids DID try to fake like they understood where i was coming from. and the fact that NWA had just dropped straight outta compton there was even a soundtrack for them to pose to and me to claim was a melodic description of my background.

but that isnt why me and Billy became friends. here is how that went down: some kid named Jason who was somewhat of a bully and was a year older than us told Billy he was going to come to our school and beat him up. all "meet me on the playground at 3:00" style. Billy, being rail thin and aforementioned biggest nerd in the world was scared witless. im sure he deserved it [Billy had a big mouth] but i just couldnt bear to see this scrawny kid get his ass whipped by an older punk that was already in high school. so when three o'clock rolled around i met this kid on the playground and pretty much pounded his face a few times while telling him that beating up nerds wasnt cool. i cant say i was really trying to protect Billy, to be honest, i think i just kinda wanted to beat up a rich white person. or maybe im just a cool guy that likes to protect nerds.

in anycase, after that Billy was all on my tip acting like i was his best friend even though i always called him a dork and a nerd and to get out of my face because his breath smelled like milk. i think he even asked me once if i would be his bodyguard, which is like, the gayest thing you can ask anyone, ever. needless to say i declined but he was still always hanging around and inevitably he grew on me.

now being that i was either living in a broken home or a foster home [which might have been broken too], i spent a lot of time at various friends houses. Billy was one of the kids that would always invite me up to his moms house for the weekend. eventually it became every weekend and eventually me and his mother got pretty close and eventually, by the time i was in high school, i was spending the summer there.

im going to skip over all the drama of my family and how it came to be that his mom adopted me at the age of 15, because this post is about me and my brother [the white one], not me and my crippled familial past. by this time Billy had decided to start calling himself Will and had filled out a bit so wasnt as scrawny and awkward as when we were in middle school. the dynamic changed in our relationship and i was no longer the royal black kid from the inner city and he was no longer my eager understudy. after a while we got on more of an equal ground with each other [though i still call him a dumbass], and got comfortable calling each other brothers.

now, 15 years later hes crashing at the palace on the couch in L-bleezys pilates room. im gonna end it here because not only is this post too long but he just came home and i dont want him seeing that i let on that he once asked me to be his bodyguard. so later bitches. enjoy your day.

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:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at downtownalleys.blogspot.com.