Friday, January 30, 2015

Feb 25th The awakening “Charlie, listen to my idea, OK, it's the year is 2095 and the whole world is gay.”

My room: 6:08 AM. I was always a morning person in my mother’s image. And that next day I awoke earlier than usual and looking around those same four cornered walls that had housed all of my madness, a smile shined. I opened the day stretching my arms above my head talking to my homy. “Santo, you listenen? You just see that shit? Did you see what I figured out yesterday? Not black, I was forcen it, I’m going to college buddy, clean up my act, going to be a big time stock broker, a little wind, put me on that track and I’ll run away with it. I was now even coming around on white people. And on that morning there was never a feeling greater or more powerful. I looked back out of the window over the acre of land that was our lot shaking my head with a child’s fondness. My backyard was something wasn’t it? Look at the amazing pink and purple rhododendrons that dotted my Fenway cut. The large Oak trees that fortified the lawns east and west flank, the slinky Dogwood tree nestled in front of our Tom Sawyer fence. The fresh mulch and my own private green monster, a fifteen foot high green hedge that we used to determine home runs during our celebrated wiffle ball championships. “Yup I’m definitely not black.” I said again looking out into the woods, passed the chain fence that separated our back garden from the naked woods and all of its wonderful life and sounds. It was still our lot, but a divider was necessary. Back behind the chain fence was our compost pile. And further back was of course Craig’s famous attempt of building my sister her own frog pond just like the one she had in Cape Code for a present after her freshmen year. Yo Jesus I mean sir or just Jesus, my bad, gotta say, and thanks Breath had become nutritious. I’m sprung out of bed in dance. Smiling and scanning back into my own room, over my desk and personal computer, the trophies, curtains and air conditioners I was mortified. Springing up from my bed, I walk downstairs pass the dining hall, living room and den and find my rock the one constant in this whole maze busy working as always hard for me. My mother. “Wummy” I shout incredibly loud with my arms wide open. “There’s my boy. Good morning” “I’m sorry.” “For what.” “Just you know sorry for everything.” “oh that’s OK, Come give mummy a hug” “I might even take my Ritalin today” “You golden child.” “I know” Good times, I chose her side. I ran back upstairs. I believed her. Plus if I left there was no one the “family” thing had been reinforced everyday for the past four years. Only funerals, courts and hospitals could connect my dad and his family. It confirmed the whole story. Not one phone call, letter or house appearance. It’s OK because at that moment I was thinking to myself I’m probably the most selfish person on the planet, but I can still get out of it all, start apologizing across the board immediately. I needed Jesus. He saw me in the hospital and he see’s me now. He see’s me because I’m in trouble. And he see’s thin families like the projects can work, just a lift to get you where you’re going, he’d been with my mother when she was alone for those first two weeks. They formed quite a bond. And now, there’s a light, he see’s me now, Jesus, I’ve seen the light, please help. Let me rise, save my mother and sister in the process here. I’m asking, help. Blood outside of medical records it seemed in our story like Magic’s meant nothing. We were in trouble. Parker was lucky to be alive. We were still in shock, she was in a lot of trouble. My mother now had “ticks” when the phone rang, spasms, nerves frayed and delicately I had to shield everything from everything a delicate task with final loose ends to tie up. And for my teachers and custodians I’d pass in the hallways, my closing arguments. The Big Guy didn’t understand that. My mother, sister and I essentially had little adult supervision over the past three years. I needed “pals” a crew a family. It was just us. AND THAT WASN’T ENOUGH. I needed those guys or that 20K in paper never happens. Santo got me into college it was only in the wake of his tragedy that Mrs D and I build the rapport we had. And the same with the “shot”, party appearances, college, Lynx, this help came out of his passing. It was the first time the system was going to work for me. For this whole weird thing, UNLV, that whole “thing” was built to flip an enormous gravity that followed my mother and my sister. We just didn’t seem to have good luck maybe I was put in this situation because I was actually in spite of all of this, the luckiest point of view was crazy. It was an exhilarating last twelve hours. “ANOTHER BEATUFL DAY IN Zamunda!” I say kissing my mother and smashing heads like we loved to do with our long lost hero cat Butterscotch. “It’s a beautiful day kiddo! OK, now sit down.” She cutely says, “You have your usual cranberry juice, glass of milk, two eggs over hard with English muffin and cereal.” “I fucking love breakfast.” I got this every single morning. “And the Sports section is right there.” A wave of relaxation coats my exterior, quite frankly the Boston Globe sports section got me off suicide watch more than a couple times incidentally having put me on it made for convenience. “Mommy you’re the best.” In all of this association I’d forgot the biggest thing to ever happen in my life. “Oh ma!” I jump up on some oh fuck shit. “What?” She asks frightened. Any excitement with our resume can get her off guard. But this was big. “Sit down Charlie Peter.” “OK, OK, mom but guess what?” “what? You got into college, I know we’re very proud, I don’t have ADD I remember things people tell me a night before.”” “No! Not that. Yesterday I realized that I’m not black.” “you did?” She asked astonished “Yeah.” I say breathing out and nodding with affirmation like I can’t even believe it myself before adding. “Is that crazy?” And my mom triumphantly says in the happiest voice ever albeit screaming, “Well I’ve only been trying to tell you that since the sixth grade.” “I know, I know.” Looking down “I’m so proud of you.” The romantic in me hopes she was looking up to an invisible camera with the ‘this kid is retarded’ face while speaking her soft caring words. “Anyway I’m sorry. I don’t know anything at all. I’d tell Monster but he’s always telling me how retarded I’m.” “Well if your retarded, than he is too.” “yup.” I sigh and say like a young Dirk Digler. “I still hate white people.” I finger snap, point and fire back in a level tone. “Why?” “Just joking, I had you, I love you.” “Charlie, dear god, you are funny, OK eat up, Mike will be hear any minute, if I was Mercedes I’d never drive you to school again either.” “Anyway its been great, like an enormous weight lifted off my chest. I have so much to learn.” “Charlie you don’t know how good it is to hear those words. That’s a good boy.” She finished in Reggie voice. “Mama’s baby, you get tummy tickle.” I was racking up the hugs this morning. “Well anyway Ma, I think I’m going to go around today to all of the teachers and principles and apologize for being a jerk.” “Really?” “Yeah why you don’t think I should.” A quick breath before my mother makes eye contact with me and sweetly says, “yes, as your manager, yes, probably should.” “And I’m going to college, I’m going to major in business, play basketball hang in wealthy circles and make the honor roll just to show dad first semester.” “Wow” “Yup, just tellen you, and then I’m going to write a movie about all of this call it Mad-Vegas, and have famous friends in music and sports, and bring all the Young Guns with me, we’re going to start a charity, give back, Magic’s going to be mayor ma” “OK Charlie, settle down your scaring me” “It’s all going to work out mom. I love you.” “I know. I’ve always believed you know that.” “You always prayed.” I smiled a funny homage to how emotional we could get. “I know” “Pray for Parker” “I know she’s going to be OK.” And we’d cried every night since Parker’s accident together just us relegated to our own tears and reconciliation of how the fuck this happened here. This was all too crazy, great time to rally. “MWAH!” I saluted, picked up my egg sandwich (I never carried books) and walked out the door. “Have a great day, see you when you get home!” “OK!” I ran towards the car screaming. “Shhhh” Magic would say as I got into the car and slammed the door. And as the season dragged the arguments and sports discussion in ACE could turn emotional between any of us on a drop. But who cared if we got emotional, the person you couldn’t get emotional but sometimes couldn’t help it was the Big Guy. And the arguments always came back to the same motif, my moron friends, limits to a loyalty that misguided what a family was all about, they were just friends after all. And I still bit my tongue, the hardest bite, I wanted to scream, your all alone too and it sucks, you need friends you big dummy!” I bit my tongue after everything scared to speak my mind scared to battle his judgment against my own wisdom scared to stand up for what I believed. He still controlled my credits which I’d had no update on ever and was scared to ask. What I knew in my heart not in my brain the truth was we were both right but like my mother and I unwilling to make any concessions even though I think I almost had it. Soon with no more elections I would make my case. When he benched me in Melrose. When he suspended me for the first week of the season. He’d tell me, “I’m doing it because I want you to learn from it. Hey at this point? I’m still getten reports like that?” And it would get worse when the FACE program expanded. The veil had been lifted. My friends were welcome upstairs at their own peril, the virtue of the FACE quickly became a vice as this miserable season rolled on. My boy C my former vice president of gambling and choir boy at the Big Guy’s church would come up and defend us. “Your starting Jaffe over Magic? What are you nuts?” “Mike can’t hit a free throw.” The Big Guy retorted matter of fact, Coach jolted his shoulders against a stern face that rarely broke sullen on sensitive topics. “And why did you bench Charlie? On the road, Scully’s knee?” “Hey enough Cullen it was his fault. You think I don’t know he could’ve helped us down the stretch. You are such a banana head.” “C enough, it was my fault.” Soon the regular season expired and the seeds were announced. I had given up a month ago. On the morning before tournament the Big Guy had asked Coach who was now a head coach down the road turning around a beaten up program that included future NFL star and husband of thee Jessica Simpson Eric Johnson to ask me off the beaten path, “Hey, are you guys going to win tonight or what?” I was seasoned in ACE by then and knew this came from the Big Guy trying to see if I had quit. “Yeah we’re going to win, fuck yes. You comen?” But I didn’t mean it. I pretended to shit my pants when he walked back in to the main coach room. The state tournament started tonight and I didn’t give a fuck if we won or lost. I was deflated. We’d lose in the first round to Billerica on a floor that wasn’t even swept. The Big Guy had plugged me back into the starting line up wrong on some many level as had he’d coached this special group of friends ever since Santo and this past summer. I couldn’t forget what he said to Magic, “Eh Mike! We had a nice service, I don’t want to see you guys crying about this all year.” And that was June. He’d said the same thing about my heart. It reminded me of Porches and Mercedes mother saying the same thing to me just days after Santo’s untimely accident. Fuck is wrong with people, god dam. Final Game: We won the tap, Magic fed me, my first shot, state tournament, three ball that took a year to get off was swatted violently out of bounds. I was yanked yet making an inspired run at the end, the Young Guns fell short, 68, 61, we were 13-5, first round exit, final stat line. We’d lost the Middlesex league title among other things ultimaltely ranking middle of the road after 30 years of Madison basketball excellence. The program we were born to purport died with our stars. I was a role player. I remember Coach Brinklow whose missed free throws contributed to our Young Guns summer title coming in and saying, “nice career guys.” To me, Goldy and Magic and that was it just like that our whole childhood. What a weird feeling it was, over, tossing my gym bag over my shoulder eschewing a ride walking home for the very last time. The walk didn’t seam as long as it once did. My sister had recovered and had a fresh long scar on the right side of her face. She could part her hair a way and hide it, and still like my arm, eventually people noticed it. She had AA five days a week, lost her license for four years and was smoking weed everyday falling into her English books alone in a high rise dorm. I loved her, and Boone was going up there every single weekend making sure she was good which in retrospect we should’ve never let her speak with any of them again. I needed the company. The School Day Begins 8:45AM. Dripping with optimistic proficiency I burst into the main hall for my day: inside a re-born life. The season had ended and I had officially forfeited all gambling. I had side stepped out of all of it, dead presidents were flying around in chaos there was no control. A year from now nothing like this would occur. I enjoyed having nothing to do with it thinking how unbelievable it was that Skeet probably took heat for the whole thing, fucken dumb ass I’d deny everything as always there was no proof and I didn’t think at this point if we ever saw him again he’d drop my name, I did pray on it. Shedding the shit I started my week off by requesting a time to sit down with all the teachers in my arsenal. I had to tell them I knew nothing at all. An apology of sorts It was my own parade down Michigan Avenue this high school meant so much more to me than the other typical students getting through the gates of adolescents. I had always been famous for the wrong reasons but today on the heels of Santo’s passing and in conjunction of my acceptance of knowing nothing I was truly free. I felt like Magic times a hundred. “Dice!” “Beaver, what’s happening.” “Charlie.” “E squared, you see me doing my thing, right?” “Whatever you see me doing my thing” “What’s up Chuck” “What’s up Jamie.” “Charlie Peter Paradise! I love you!” “I love you Kim, I’m not black!” “I heard Emily told me, so proud of you!” “Mr. Robinson, have a good day.” “You do the same Mr. Paradise, keep up the good things I’m hearing.” “That’s all I do sir.” “Send your sister my love, get me her address” “Charlie, is it true your not doing the.” “Shhhh, Frankie don’t talk about that.” “OK” “Dice, you going to Lael’s tomorrow night.” “Lael having something? yes” “Chuck, what’s up dawg.” “What up Chuck chillen.” I was rolling, rolling in a good way, clean on all counts, and nothing felt better. I was a legend and couldn’t apologize to the faculty fast enough. I knew my first stop, the office of none other than Mr. Nichol’s, a legend among teachers, a football stud and Dartmouth guy that had instructed my dad and was his favorite instructor at this same school that like Back to the Future looked so very different so many moons ago. He’d coined the classic length of a paper line, “Long enough to cover the material, short enough to be interesting.” I knocked at the door. “Mr. Nichol’s, you in there?” I nudged the door a creak and could smell the smoke from his cherry wooden pipe. “Mr. Paradise, is that you? Get the hell in here. What-” And I repeated with Mr. Nichols being a wise ass beating her to the punch, “do I owe this pleasure too.” He stopped, and paused from his pipe, gingerly laughing, “yes.” “Mr. Nichol’s, I have some crazy news, and I really thought I should come to you with it first.” “Ok, my young scholar, bursting with energy and potential, I’m all ears.” His glasses dipped below his wise peepers staring at me like a famous lost poet back from the sands of an enlightened time now stuck here in the crappy early 90’s. “OK, I’m just going to say it. I really believed I was black.” “Really?” He harped on his tone cementing an early case as to why I was there for my first confession. “Why ever did you think that?” “Cause I wasn’t scared, and I could dance. I played hoops, had the struggle in me and hated white people. I thought that god had a mix up like a valued trading card all star misprint. Anyway I just realized for the first time that I’m stupid.” “Congratulations Charlie!” “for what Mr. Nichol’s?” “that’s the smartest thing I’ve ever heard you say.” “haha, good one dude.” Mr. Nichols was a treasure chest of information, all’s I ever wanted to do was attend the high school in the eighties or the seventies, I hate the lame ass grunge filled post Reagan depression known as the early 90’s. On that morning most of that washed away. I was going to college and wasn’t black Mr. Nichol’s wore a leather coat, he urged us to be courageous in our literary expeditions. He at almost seventy years old had jet black hair and for all intensive players in our eyes (me and Monster were the only Young Guns in the crew that had him as a teacher) with the corvette (even though I admonished him for that, I hated corvettes, too white for me), leather pants, jokes and penchant for openly gawking at slinky teenage ass he was a wise player. He smoked accepted beer as bribes and wasn’t your ordinary figure then again nothing about my Madison Hills life ever seamed to be. He’d even taught my own father in high school so many years ago. And only a true player in 1993, could offer a case of Bud Light, I would be the last like the era we’d known was unknowingly coming to an enormous cultural end that exploded borders wide reaching touching everyone in our modern globe. I had to maximize my record utilizing whatever juice, tact eyes and spine I had left. I still had no idea if I was going to graduate scared as all hell to ask the Big Guy what was up with my credits. 10th Grade. Mr. Nick flashback. I had finally been teamed with Monster in an actual class and the two of us were having the grandest of times. Out of respect for Mr. Nichol’s we didn’t ruin the class as was always the calling, plus here was a guy we respected (played football at Dartmouth back in the day) and could learn something from, I still moved down a level dodging a Tale of Two Cities for the “Outsiders.” No thanks Flashback over. Suddenly there was a slight knock on the door as it opened. It was my guidance counselor and good friend of ACE as well as Mr. Nichol’s, Dick Conant on the barbarian tip. “Jim!” Mr. Conant purported as he mightily walked through the door into his small office in F house. “Dick, come on in soldier, we have a special guest star honoring us today with his presence.” “Charlie Paradise, how the hell are you today, good to see you!” Mr. Conant was another rock star on the faculty tip that had always supported me and was a common denominator to both me and my long lost running mate the Black Knight. I’d close out two stars, important pieces, (good) Knights on my chessboard with one reading. Mr. Conant was a king, children’s author and former marine turned guidance counselor. He grew up in the same gritty section of Dorchester that the Black Knight hailed from although running that city neighborhood through the 70’s, 80, and three Republican administrators had upped the body count and depressed the area. There were no more whites to be found by a long shot, but both me and Black Knight always loved that he was a city guy, that spoke of gangs and the inherent struggle of growing up. Before I had one more small surprise in store “Um Mr. Nichol’s before I left, I just wanted to recite that passage of Shakespeare that you said could get us extra credit.” “Oh that one.” He stares at his pipe intently and with deep Yoda knowledge shoved and finally sprinkled all over this corner of the world for fifty some odd years. “Yeah I got one.” I memorized thousands of raps songs. I knew when he announced the extra credit it was be a piece of cake. And I began “For brave Macbeth - well he deserves that name - Disdaining fortune, with his brandish'd steel, Which smoked with bloody execution, Like valour's minion carved out his passage Till he faced the slave; Which ne'er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him, Till he unseam'd him from the nave to the chaps, And fix'd his head upon our battlements.” “Terrific Charlie.” Mr. Conant says as Mr. Nichol’s claps exuding words that launched a hyoper active state and smile. “You’re a star kid, you’re a star!” This warms me and I extend my hand with professional hunger and youthful optimism. “Thank you , thank you!” And finally stepping back to tell them both upon my exit. “I’m going to make you guys proud.” “Go get em Charlie.” “Just want to say sorry, sorry for my ignorance around here through the years.” “Ignorance eh?” I laughed over my new word, “You like that.” A smile and wink these two new had witnessed generations of teenagers, their stamp of approval was important. Leaving his office thug revelry was no longer something desired, at all. I wanted to be polished! Shined till I looked like a mirror stripped clean of dicey veneer, to be steered clear is what I was talking about. I wanted to use these dialectical desserts in a better way. Wow taking three to maybe five minutes with certain faculty I deemed dope provided me with a windfall of charmingly excitable comments. The compliments and all of a sudden good vibe I was getting everywhere especially adults had made skipping classes almost encouraged. Now that I’m stupid teachers enjoyed speaking with me. Fascinating, the great punching irony was this “schmoozing” is what I was built for. After this past winter, all its panic, problems and firestorm I stood there that day, accepted to college, clean on all counts. Just about Doing the right things was easy it seemed, on that day anyway, and certainly less stressful. All business involving me here is closed on the gorilla furilla. I’m not antsy there is no itch. Well that’s not entirely true but this new awareness has already provided a vibe that down right squashes even the most sizzling sensation making book ever sparked. It had been a closet cleansing expunging experience venting trapped truth with certain members of the faculty. Finally my loose and scattered life knowledge was becoming wisdom. My vices were being turned virtuous as I thought and thought, and smiled and talked. I owe it all to Santo, never gave a shit before you buddy. You really have saved one of us, maybe more what a fool, black, funny as shit, me, dam, I’m certainly not color blind. And that was the thing. And what a shocking thing it is for a seventeen-year old kid to realize that. It explained my love. It’s depth, dark secrets plain as the eye could see, the sadness understanding finally being accepted to college what “Kool Aid from the Smooth Adolescents meant, the color wheel. It’s true. That’s why I got away with everything, and I knew it, played it, over and over again, I was white with blonde hair, you know it’s like if you’ve ever accidently taken your cats side over your sisters kitten, they never get over it. Black & Spec two completely worlds, and as kittens they’d had a completely different life and world from us but we all grew up together. I would never however ever stop paying it homage. I appreciate what it gave me for the struggle of rap is so exquisitely necessary. I’d never relinquish my flow. I’d never relinquish the cats and culture that taught me a very important lesson in life, maximizing flavor. At least kids from the city projects still dress nice. Look at the dirt ass poor white trash trailer southern type of people, earth’s scariest race. When white people are down on their luck and mad poor they officially throw their white flag up and officially just give it up. Blacks in this country or wherever will always be my brothers and I’ll never tweak my nuance. METCO taught me strength, endurance and about getting on when all that exists is you. They taught me about playing hurt.

Back Cover - Insert, Book. A Son of Liberty, volume I, "Legendes" the adventures of Charlie Peter Paradise

Legendes. Follows the story of dysfunctional child Charlie Peter Paradise whose early brush with hyperactive death first occurred at the hands of a John Deere riding tractor lawnmower. This haunting accident occurred two days after his seventh birthday. His survival triggered the families agitation of the “gateway to Cape Cod‘s” gravel back to his fathers childhood hometown, inside the Victorian slopes of Madison Hills, MA. On it’s surface, Madison was the epitome of picturesque. A colonial masterpiece rich with historical significance and wealth covered a darker canvas of teenagers striving to be what older kids in town referred to as a legend. And from the very first time he heard this term, at his second home, the Hayden recreation center, this is all he ever wanted to be. The flip side of perfect was a dark world an aspiring legend would have to navigate full of loss and horror. Legendes is ... The story of a 1st generation “spaz” whose first brush with celebrity was surviving a haunting John Deer riding lawnmower tragedy two days before his seventh birthday on the “Gateway to Cape Cod.” It was in the intensive care unit at Children’s hospital in downtown Boston he’d first meet Larry Bird in 1983 which would foreshadow his own hoop dreams to come. The accident triggered the families monumental move back to his fathers hometown and birth place of the American revolution, Madison MA. A town of seduction and mystery where tragedy occurred with a surreal celerity tucked neatly underneath an airbrushed colonial canvas of an American Paradox. A young Charlie would soon be thrown into a high flying social system it became his mission to over throw or self destruct. Left with a mother battling an acute depression, a prescription of Ritalin and a sister whose own daring of death belied a talented figure skating star which had covered up their fathers departure and the cancerous elements it furtively invited Now unabated and fueled by ADHD, a longing for the 80’s, pills, panic and prosperity a school systems nightmare kids called Dream. Once in high school he senses grave inequalities, adopts a black persona honing his understanding of ghetto hustle against Camelot conspiracy’s thanks to the towns ABC program. A program designed to help inner city students receive a quality education became an unintended platform to capture his true high school diploma with honors. Pushing an unorthodox envelope under the simple mantra of “deny, deny, deny” and “I don’t give a fuck” his ambition and chimerical sense soon founded a gang of dysfunctional freshmen friends that proved a family / necessary army in his quest to change it all. He’d find his family at any cost. With unforgettable characters bridging worlds too seldom linked in our modern USDA, universal truths simply not taught lead into unique situations that are hilarious as they are heartbreaking. In the end one son of liberty with a family down on their luck created his own book in a town of legend. A dysfunctional memoir of the classic “dreamer” this unique and modern true life tale ripped from the early 1990’s, takes on the timeless topic of coming of age with courage, wit and candor. From every corner of American pop culture, storied success and epic failures, the simple quest of graduating from public high school has never seemed so daunting.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Cut Out Scene, magic + Dream - SOL, "Legendes" Dave Cowens camp

What follows in this flashback is the first time I officially lost it and the also the first kid to ever call me wiger. It was in the fifth grade shortly after my proclamation to God. “This so exciting for you too. Mike and Matt you guys are going to be great.” Mike’s mother obviously a great person in the mere fact that she adopted two babies and like my own mother was on to our celebrity early. My mother to this day can’t drive on highways, fly on airplanes, take elevators along with a long list of anxiety “just don’ts.” It was decided things would be easier on everybody if I went with the Masters. “I think you guys will surprise yourselves going against the kids from the other towns. You’ll have an interesting week.” Mr. Masters was driving and his tone was always staunch, to the point and applicable. He was so right, this would be the first time that the two us would be able to test our early successes at Hayden and check what greater Boston had to offer. “I think we’ll surprise everybody else. Mike I’m going to score a hundred more points than you.” ”Boys stop it already. Your going to be roommates.” “So?” I spoke very comfortably around the Masters having spent many a day at their home. We not only lived in the same neighborhood that ironically was south central Astori but had similar sounding last names. When west coast rap hit I thanked god I was from south central Astori. Also our fathers many nights that summer like many others hit endless fly balls where the only expiration on such an event is the suns cloak of the night. Playing till dusk was my favorite always reminding me of what it took and reaffirming my love for the game, tantamount to nothing. Dropping us off I quickly picked up while reviewing new “roommate rules” a new kernel about Magic, he sleep walked. And for the kicker he responded to verbal commands when sleep walking. Talk about leverage was my first thought. Upon their leaving an exhilarating rush of Christmas adrenaline flowed through our muscles realizing we were away from our parents for an entire week. Hayden had given us the social confidence of knowing hip things that others would sweat us over simply spending so much time at Hayden. Our basketball skill, local fame and bearers of a strong Astori b-ball tradition were the best but most of all we were excited to display. This was our first real grade sheet against what else was out there as we marched together towards College fame and one day the NBA. The Dave Cowens camp at the time was a whose who of local high school basketball coaches and the all scholastic athletes that helped make these legendary coaches jobs somewhat easier. Mike Jarvis was there touting a point guard just a year older than us named Herman Moore. Mike Jarvis came from a long line of coaches at the helm of the prestigious Cambridge Ridge & Latin. Patrick Ewing and also NCAA March Madness legend Rumeal Robinson attended Ridge as well. Also off the “basketball map” but squarely centered on the Boston all time list, Hollywood celebrities Matt and Ben also attended Cambridge Ridge. Jarvis as we know would go onto above other things including a multi million dollar payday in the Big East at St. Johns. Mike and I quickly separated ourselves above the bar in our division besides being the smallest we never quite got the respect of Herman Moore. Coach Jarvis offered him as a sixth grader a scholarship on the spot to Boston University where at the time he was head coaching a spot recently abdicated by hoops legend Rick Pitino who was twenty-five years old when his tenure at BU begun. Years later in high school we would see Herman head to head in an AAU tournament and he was stupid nice, but so were we. The camp week flew by just hanging around new fellas made time speed. There would be many more basketball camps every summer throughout all of our years. Good athletes by nature in the Darwinian sense attract the most attention, like the coolest things and stand at the top of their collective class whatever their age may be. This camp was our first chance to reaffirm our initial intuition. Basketball heads are straight from the fridge. It’s just that being so good at such a widely accessible and national art makes anything a player with serious acceleration of acumen in regards to their skills prowess says interesting. That’s why news wires across the country will offer a huge page six story on the mighty Curt Shilling of my own Boston Red Sox holding a press conference after we won our first world series in almost one hundred years to throw his support behind President Bush? Who gives a fuck what this guy thinks about politics. I mean aren’t athletes dumb asses anyway? But that’s the fascination of sport just like acting. Some become Senators. I of course was the Dennis Rodman as always at every camp I ever attended with Mike, Danny Studwell or Stanley Fullerton and that week was no exception. My deal, hating all, there for the run, late night hamburger soda Canteen, peep who could rap, get away from my family and make fun of retards. All of this aggression, talent and the general camp experience bring us to my first serious “wiger” snap. This entire scene was on display for the junior Friday finals of the three on three classic and not surprisingly I was in the finals. The fans were the kids that you spent the entire week jawing with and proclaiming your own pretentious propaganda. I had made it that far and they hadn’t. While Mike could always turn boundaries into rubble and make strides with any and all at camp for me it wasn’t like that. Too much hate, too much pride regarding where I placed myself. The answer at this camp was I just wanted to hang around Dave Cowens in the golf cart. Therefore the fans here were my peers that I had offended regularly over the past week. Yes they were out of the tournament but they could be heard and the very last thing anyone in my league wanted to see was the wise ass white black kid that got run over by the lawnmower to win the title. My fellow campers voiced delectable audio for their favorites with euphonious pleasure and cracked on bricklayers with the anger of a twelve year old girl that creates the “Melissa is a slut” list has everyone sign it and then at lunch hands the list to Melissa. So my squad starts to torpedo and I’m becoming increasingly disenchanted. After air balling a critical turn around jumper the crowd on the small hill starts chanting and yelling what I felt inappropriate things to me. “I turn to the crowd, grab my crotch and flip everyone the finger.” This sparks to life a quick dose of laughter which quickly gives way to a chorus of “ooh’s.” My head coach came over before the ball was checked back in and told me to “take it easy kid.” Extremely disturbed the ball is placed back in play. So angry I’m chest to chest with the man I’m guarding talking mad scrap trying to find the monster. “He can’t go by me.” So excited am I to steal the ball from him, lay in a bucket and then run over to that small crowd on the hill grab my crotch and throw the bird again that the ref calls a foul on me instantly. High scoring campers on the hill begin tantalizing me. Right as I look back I catch Magic Man becoming blotchy I hear as if it was the only audible in a deafening cheer, “Dreams such a wiger!” The humorous roar that my ear detected was the last thing I can remember before launch. Running directly at the small circle of campers that were laughing and saying the most I was throwing haymakers at anyone within reach. A short while later peace was re-instated and my team forfeited. I was to be monitored personally for the rest of the day on a tick by tick basis by an adult. “Thank God my mother never attends Championship Friday’s.” Was all I could say to myself. Magic Man still breaks out in hives to this day whenever HE brings that story up. If retarded kids have that illogical wiring that makes them act really retarded when you say one specific trip word? Well if I’m retarded than my trip word is wiger

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Son of Liberty, Volume I "Legendes" - update + Deleted Scene's

can I get a...... h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-hollA

Oh yeah

uh yeah

uh uh

What up Gorillas? happy new Year. Well it's certainly been a long journey with the memoir. I started in the summer of 2000 down here on the Han solo tip. Armed with no friends in DC, a 12 pack of bud cans with some bud I wrote, inspired actually every night, 2200 pages came out of me, the story was there but it was very rough in another language written in solely the first person.

So I had a story to tell. I couldn't write but I could tell a story, believed in my merits and self reality against the many tales I'd heard. And my story was important, for race, class, disability, litigation, public education, prescriptions, laws, and how we operate, for the US for Lexington, what I had lost, endured along with my mother and sister, no one cared, and we lost a ton, our youth, adding scars, broken "things", the three of us had been collectively abused in a variety of ways for as long as I could remember. There was a story, I was a high school legend, I made my family, formed my gang, and laid everything on the line a modern day teenager could ever imagine. Fuck yeah I had a story to tell, sports, music, the 1%, the hood, meriam Hill, resource room, molestation, book making, hard work, wisdom vs. knowledge. I had a story I had the characters, it all actually happened.

So off to jay then my sister for final edits and polish, I managed to get it down to 445 pages, LOL, big book, so much happened out of the norm, my own inspiring, cautionary story that continues to this day, quite simply, no one has stories like mine. I'll be posting on Amazon, digital publish and make some hard copies that will win which I'll later include with my next finish project the basketball, Lexington doc which plays Field of Dreams to this books, eight men out.

And trading blogs, YG foundation, Wig project, Preem updates, and book II A Son of Liberty, II "Outcry" (the Chicago Years) will all get run this year on GDD. I've crushed trading the UXXY, option on the VIX, low gas got us into DAl options at underlying 23 bucks, money, sports, projects, ownership. Love u all - bout to go down -

Deleted scene from original draft (2002) “So are you going to play space planet?” Rattled back into reality “Yeah I’m gonna, I might play Pop Warner still though.” ”people will laugh at you though?” ”But I’ll score more touchdowns.” “Good point.” Danny and I had played electric football since we were little kids, my inner circle same grade hoops circle but like me and Magic the die hardest of all enemies when it came to internal sports competition. Everyone wanted to be the best out of us. Danny was always bitter in the back of his head the recognition annoyed him, he thought he was better. The recognition that both Mike and I received by Hayden through Astori spat obtusely from its boiling derivation, and to some like Danny it was annoying. Always being above any measuring stick on all and working as hard as we did it was a known fact to us that the best of our group was going to make it pretty big. A true panacea to panic and pills my peeps and emotions for all of them ran steep, deep and my loyalty to them was to me the meaning of life. “This place isn’t that great for the amount you guys talk about it. Where are your rooms anyway?” “That’s gay.” Mike leaps in with an immediate response to this threat. Beyond that though we’re both in disbelief he used the gay line that hating older chumps use on it. Mike timed his response to snap because we expected Danny to come stronger than cliché. “Danny your just jealous cause you can’t stay out late, you can’t hang with the legends.” “Believe me Matt your not a legend.” Danny upping the anti. “I will be though. You have to go home and eat busted dinner now and me and Mike get to stay and eat candy bars and shoot hoops.” Trying to engage without unnesassry full blown verbal assault to kill. “What do I care?” danny says this cocky so its very non chalent, “I have a hoop in my house.” “good point.” Suddenly Fullerton on back from “squirting a one” was making a strong point. He did have a ten foot hoop real court in his house, upstairs in the loft. It was the shit but I still hated anyone with money somewhat even if they were my best friend. If verbal engagement was war amongst us which it clearly was than everyday we’d try to hit each others weak points with bombs, all to be the best. He was also pissed because he had gotten so good and still only limited chatter about him being the best. We always let him know he wasn’t on our level. In this crew bragging rights were king and the best at basketball supplied you big stomp. Stanly Fullerton in quasi the same vein was highly educated, photographic, tall, handsome and extremely well spoken for a twelve year old. He was super witty in a dry casual way that was always relative. An accepted Astori pedigree allowed Stanley to succeed in finding a vast audience of friends that made him the elected president of our whole seventh grades class. “Mr. Fullerton” as we refer to him as is the coolest kid around. Corruptible but cool, understandable but flawed so simple but an onion at heart he’s always chill “presidential” demeanor only flips like a light switch when he plays baseball, basketball or lacrosse. Then he becomes a wild beast the perfect guy you want to go to war with. We were all psychotic but I was the leader. I always preyed on Stanley’s weaknesses and itched at his dark sides that I learned very quickly he loved to have scratched. He needed to break free and still in Junior High he’s still holding it together. Coach Sullivan once told me at summer camp last year that he knew me and Fullerton were the “Big Guns” socially at our junior high school. I got goose bumps. “So you excited for next year?” Fullerton attempting to make sweet talk on which was obviously my territory I remembered immediately the bad. “Shut up Mr. Fullerton.” In a tone of disgust I flip. You could’ve been the first client at Sugar Rays and you blew it.” I was looking to expand my clientele past my only customer Monster but Fullerton as we’d say “buckled.” And I was pissed not only because of the lost “scratch” but I was dying to corrupt my friends and get them as dirty as me. Obviously Stanley as president and reigning present day cover shot of Astori A+ kids was a bit of a harder sell on the gangster shit. The paper in Astori loved the preppy photos of the rich white family with straight teeth or braces (at least you were on the right track.) These weekly photos typically celebrating the most garbage things always captured to me the pulse of life in Astori. It was all a fabrication, a façade, a photo stripped of life just a picture that looked great on paper and to the outsider that might happen to peak judging by this photo if you live here your family can look like this too! Knowing the depths of the maggots that lurked beneath the maggots here in Astori and pictures became frightening as the sick irony would always make me laugh. The pictures in the paper were always the very best. Mr. Fullerton wearing a polo golf shirt at Hayden like Danny had played all afternoon in junior gym and as we’re girding to break back home and reality. Fullerton sitting next to Danny Studwell quickly makes light looking at Danny but speaking to us all about what an unbelievable freshman year high school basketball squad we’re going to be. “We most certainly will destroy teams.” Fullerton only a young teen for some reason talks like he’s sixty but he’s dope and a strange sort of way, highly coordinated. “You’ll never get in tonight Matt.” Danny hating on me like that fool Jimmy earlier. Lucky his last vocal chord didn’t muster a big chunk of objective reality or I would have smacked him in the face or said something vilely disgusting about his mother. “Yeah you’re probably right.” I blow it off with a clam reserve that I trick people with. Before Danny Studwell jettisoned himself off the bleachers to catch his ride home from Fullerton’s mom he looked up, pointed and said, “I’ll see you tomorrow, that kid is fucking nasty.” “Five-Thousand.” Rick Mckeag was a thick monstrous bike rider that probably had ties to the heroin trade and if you saw him on the street you would never believe he could ball. His graceful touch belied an incredible hulk monster that could bang with anything and anybody Hayden’s nightly roster had to throw at him. Years later he would be paralyzed in a motor accident. As always you had the usual hand of former AHS varsity players that attended college locally and would come down on these nights before their own season to tune up and at the same time respect the institution and town that propelled them to success on the local college circuit. Then were as always the thugs, fools that eschewed any inherent talent they had at the game of basketball for a different what they must have felt more important high school existence. I always looked up to those dudes. “Fuck a football team.” Notorious B.I.G. Bitches, hustling, money the hoods were many, John and Charlie “Chuck” Squires, Rob Callahan, Cleveland Callous his brother Tony, Craig Casady, Scot Capece of course the locally famed and feared guy whose name you couldn’t mention. John and Charlie had been rumored to be involved in everything most recently a gun running scandal that started off with starter pistols and firmly made their way into heavier chrome. Rob Callahan in some ways really reminded me of and me and there in lies probably why he hated me so much. He was a common criminal, a thief and hustler. I once over heard my childhood idol (Sean Matthews) that stayed with Rob when he couldn’t get back to Boston tell a small elite Hayden group that Robs downfall would be not respecting the city, thinking he could mettle the hustle there the way he did in Astori. He said sooner or later he would be “checked” and probably “rubbed” out. Rob was currently illegally in Hayden due to a pending rape allegation that was charged against him by a female employee Carol that I had grown up around and loved. Of course she was much older too. I know because it was me that had to run out and get him the nights Carol worked. I had to let him know she left. Like I said it was my cab stand. Rob through the years of me not respecting him at all and reminding him of himself by the way I talked, rapped and dribbled had chased me out but never beat the fuck out of me. It was my royal claim to fame, I had never been beaten up. Rob did however once throw my head through gyms main doors upper glass torso. I had “pantsed” him in the middle of a game. My head was fucked up. It would’ve gotten worse but Jeff the senior director at Hayden once again like Superman came to my aid and saved my life. “That’s two you owe me junior.” Han Solo. “Yo Matt don’t come near me tonight. I’m not in the mood for your two year old bull shit.” Rob always wore a Kangol and his game was definitely more style than substance. He played with a beeper clipped to his longer jean shorts and secretly I would tell Mike Masters that I wanted to kill Rob Callahan. But there were also highlights decorated like Macys Christmas lights maintaining the levity of which star dust can gather. Hayden was my real home and I wish I had a bedroom there. There just were not many minutes in a week that we were not in Hayden’s divine presence. Soaking it all up but most importantly striving to be the best at a game so many played and respected. It was what we lived for, fostered and found our true identity through. Of course there was always a side show and with this maze of craze focused players that respected the circus existed everywhere. It always annoyed me that if play got rough, and big late crucial game calls came into question the real athletes had to back down to the grimy nature of the kid across from him who truly didn’t give a fuck and would risk it all right there just to have his way this night on a particular call just to “rep” he got the best of a varsity player. Of course in my age group I did the exact same thing but was that player. Of course the true stars like Lloyd Mumford always got there way because no one from Astori of any bend wanted to jeopardize their status with the coolest brother around. After watching the action go by, jawing silently to get a chance we break and head towards the office. That’s where we find Bart Graff and Jeff. Bart as a football star was given the “best ever” award and it pretty much summed him up. He was famous and even had his own football commercial in high school. He even dated Amiee Mann from Til Tuesday who later scored as the enormously gratifying Magnolia soundtrack, they met while she worked at New Bury Comincs on Newbury street in Boston. Bart was straight up Hayden coached us in the Hayden tournament and registered Llyod Mumford tilt type of respect. We got to kick it with him all of the time, hanging out on the regular with your idol whose even better in person was the best. With Jeff our surrogate father and Scott “Caps” the biggest bookie in Astori chilling in the office it was time to head into the kitchen of our home which was really the gym office at Hayden “No luck fellas.” Bart asked immediately knowing that we’ve been dying to get on forever. “No luck.” “I’m going to go back out there in a sec though.” “I know there a bunch of suckers out there tonight someone has got to let us on!” Jeff gets involved, “You guys are better than most of those hacks out there. Just remember your going to be better than all of them.” “Is everybody going to be here Saturday morning?” As our idol and father nodded accordingly we’re satisfied and back off to the killing grounds. “What do you think Chief?” Mark Brenchek aka “Bummer” loved basketball so much and in conjunction of like Makie and I living at Hayden had perfected some pretty amazing things. For example, Bummer and Haydens serendipitous drafts mastered the behind the back right handed shot. So much so that he drilled the lay up, dotted key, free throw line at a very young age. Now at forty and still in the same routine he’d matered the now three point line (1988 introduced into high school basketball nationally) and as fabled would have it the half court line. Like three point contests Hayden had “racks” of basketballs AND Bummer when he felt like it much tob our delioght on a lazy afternoon would jedi like walk out, pull the rack to the half stripe, miss his first thyree and always bury his next five or sox sometimes ru8nning the table. It was just ridiculous and that was the Magic Dream of Hayden because no matter how much we wanted it to be it would never be and was actually so far away from reality. In addition Bummer at Hayden was the pop frenzied “game room’s” biggest star. His other interest besides banking in half court heaves behind the bank and sinking fifty straight free throws was Haydens teen lit arcade arena. Only in Astori at the height and the American arcade apex could you have at private playhouse exclusively dideciated to Astori a gaming center that contained seven banging stand up machines on rotation on the top forty on the music tip, I,.e they were rotated depending on. The game room had a buddha doll Table soccer full feature table, ping pong, candy, soda, benches, fights, the works. Bummer simply dominated whatever arcade of the month machine he chose to conquer. His “gaming” ability had became fabled. Years ago I once watched Bummer or how the legends called him “the Chief” play a game of Burger Time from quarter of six at night past nine Hayden official closing time and by that time all of Hayden had tuned it. Kids would always surround Bummer when he went 3 to 5:45PM Sunday on one silver quarter. The echoes of sideline conversation remain gambling, sports, fights, pot use, cars, parking lot, high school gossip and of course Astori legend conversation which was discussed much the way barber shops around the world forever argue about sport icons, who was the best ever type banter. All of this occurring or not occurring as I dribble by myself waiting patiently for a shot in the big game that I still had never been invited to enjoy. The game in progress suddenly ended as the “point” man on the squad got hot and that was it. I noticed the guy whose name I can’t mention had come up from the weight room and was next in line unchallenged to get “next.” He was an accomplished boxer but also dabbled in everything shady that was bought or sold in Astori. This contra band contrast between born hustler and golden glove boxer gave him the respect almost of a pillar at Hayden but not quite. He always supported myself and Mike and one of his admitted favorite conversations like countless others was who was going to better in high school. Tonight only one of his sidekicks were present and he was in the market for two to run. Watching him go over and run through the many available players in attendance it was the kind of dialogue that I imagine fund managers wax as they dissect and discuss the best play for their client’s dollars. Scouring the edges of all wanting the run eye contact is made a smile is born and I nearly wet myself. I noticed his partner in crime, sport and life at the same time walking towards Mike and then it hit me. This was my chance. My time, effort, resolve, wit and loveable nature and just showing up, (that’s a big one) had all colluded to make this happen. We were selected to run with a team comprised with the imitable guy whose name I can’t mention, a member of his posse and us. “Do your thing little men!” Clapping to himself its apparent that he is already getting a kick out of his team selection amongst the backdrop of the many vocal chords that could be heard laughing calling our team a stupid joke. This strengthened my focus and will and Hayden my home had become my theatre which will always keep me coming back. It could happen to us. Walking into the center of court one I wheel dap to various off court potential participants as I can here jokers on the sideline talking about me and Mike, and I smirked that private stroke of affection you get when as captian ADD you get mad attention. I was glad Mike and I were paired up together and not on our usual separate teams. “Who do you think is better, Mike or Matt?” Hiding under the bleachers and listen to dudes dissecting the question was awesome! Anyway completely in tune with the status we have at Hayden as eleven years old molds us to the part. Ready to take that torch early we are the only thing we ever wanted to be, the next hot generation of varsity basketball in Astori. Mike is black, adopted and Jewish although purely listening to our vernacular one might think this was the other way around. Audiences watching us frolic would look straight confused constantly switching their heads back and forth between the two of us. The fact that we got each others skin color is an unbelievable coincidence. “Yo Matt come back and get this.” And so it begun and dam if we weren’t ready what happened over the next hour made it a movie, to me. The competitive synergy of Mike and me competing against each other on the same team in front of this small poignant audience pushed us to our best. This was our biggest stage yet. By the end it was destiny, the dust settled but the astonishment had not. After our first round hoisting of a quality opponent through our air bombs it was clear Mike and I could run on the big court. It’s the night I figured out why I never missed, I have to tell Barbara. My biggest handicap as God will play had become my biggest asset, again. My right hand though demoralized and retarded was still my shooting hand. I had only one tendon and it allowed me to bend my wrist. With my one tendon though and the one available motion it offered I would snap my wrist in exactly the same fashion unequivocally every time, ice, money and grand. My wrist now gave me confidence that I could pull from anywhere anytime. Mike raised his play and our tenacious defense, dives and hustle prompted many an enthusiastic supporter. The gyms office came barreling out for our last two games when they heard what was going on. It was a special family moment. At the end of the night, five games in a row, I felt cocky. I glanced over and witness Mike talking to a few former varsity players that arrived towards the end. They were giving him props and watching Mike I see a politician and a bright future. This moment stamped in gold was our calling, right there, our legacy in motion, go. Scott Arch a close confident, solid baller and top dude of ours rolled up. We seldomly would see kids in Junior High with us at these late school night hours. Scott Arch was aspiring young legend we respected and broke bread with. A year older we saw eye to eye on a great many plays stemming from safe illegal rackets, dunk contests, new trends, slinky chicks and top clowns at Hayden. “Yeah fellas, that was NBA, fantastic!” We both see Scott and abdicate our current circles due to excitement that one of our own actually bore witness to the wet sickness just displayed. Getting up with each other just like it was supposed to occur Scott said, “yo, check it – I got it.” “What up what up, spit it out son!” I just can’t take it. Pointing first at Mike and then at me off the cuff he proclaimed “Your Magic and your the Dream.” Re-write this whole thing, make it real, O just playing off something or Arch in this case that the Big Guy had called me and Magic, and that is why it’s so important, might to time to reel back a lil, def time, this was the first night people really started calling us something the Big Guy had mentioned. The guy whose name we can’t mention heard it instantly and strutted shoulder shaking on over with the confidence and giddiness boxing triumphs and pure quickness gives a young hoodlum with a thousand dollar smile. The guy whose name we can’t mention humbly took credit for putting us on and at the same time gave props as we killed it. Some many moments later the gyms massive lights begun their seven and a half minute shut down period and just like that it was time to go. Every night at Hayden I never wanted to go home. Home sucked and the gym was my ticket, my domain and the place that made me so much better. Tonight I especially didn’t want to leave. Home was worse than usual and Hayden was the best it had ever been. I declined multiple rides home which of course was undoubtedly the coolest social aspect of Hayden, riding in cars with high school kids. There was always a bit of a novelty of being the last kid to leave the gym. If I didn’t make it it certainly wasn’t going to be because I was a kid that didn’t work hard enough, a soft kid that wanted to leave the gym early. At Hayden after the lights went out there was always one soft spotlight in the far right corner that always stayed on. I would feel like an actor and in the quiet sanctuary of another night in the books I would stand there before making my exit and dreams would flash by me as well as friends lost and the overall tough nature of life. Right there in Hayden just me my ball and that spotlight. Of course I had to swish a free throw before I could leave. Walking home always made me feel tough. I cried the whole way home before eventually falling asleep right when I hit my covers fully clothed, I was going to be a basketball star in Astori. ============================================================================= A few days later at Hayden and with a new nickname I once again bump into the Guy whose name you can’t mention. “What’s up yo?” “I mean, you” Shaking his head like it’s a martini shaker containing thoughts needed to be poured but first properly mixed finally shakes it out. “What the hell are you always doing here kid, what the fuck you trying to be?” For me it’s the simplest question ever and subsequently rifle retort. “Basketball player, man, ball, ball, ball, ball, ball, I’m going to be one of those all times joints.” “Yeah well you gotta be tough, gotta have lift after six PM, plus you so dam skinny. Here you want to be the best? OK, come down to the weight room everyday at five and see me, OK? Like Rocky and shit I’ll teach you about the best shit little G.” A smug excitable grin composes the composure of my facial semblance. Walking away like Tarzan I can hear him beating his wind pipes as he laughingly shouts “The Dream!” It sounded like he was standing on his toes. And meet him I did. For almost two months every day. I never questioned what lurked beneath I was just ecstatic that this local legend buzzing with charm and magnetism wanted me to meet him in the weight room! To be the best, who doesn’t require training like that? More exciting was that I would meet him in the modern day spanking new weight room which they tore the bowling alley up for, if you under fourteen you were never granted access to. Now like Goodfellas, “they knew I was with someone.” Of course within the meat of my second week it all ended abruptly when Graces husband Joe acting on a rumor headed downstairs to the weight room and caught me there working out on the big bag with my mentor of the month. “Joe come on, you know me, Joe! I know he’s young and it’s against the rules but I’m just trying to toughen him up, you know he’s going to be big time, he’s hungry, he’s going to represent Hayden.” Joe Burns was not interested in any of this. Maybe on some occasions turning a blind eye but he was no irrelevant. He knew what went on in that weight room. The fact of the matter was that he was still there until six o’clock and any violation that occurred on his watch would be noticed and acted upon accordingly and in accordance with founding Hayden by laws. Dragging my eighty pound frame by one arm up the stairs back to normalcy I hear a faint but ever so definable shout “we’ll see you kid, stay hungry ya hear, stay hungry du!” Walking behind Joe back up the stairs my mood is a wash as I know it’s all over. “What in the dickens were you down there Matt? You know that only tenth graders our allowed to be in the weight room.” As my sneakers click in cadenced rhythm sputtering up the stairs powered by Mr. Straight we arrive at peak. I stand upright and next to the back side of Hayden’s back desk following Mr. Burns lead to a halt. “Grace did you know Matt’s been hanging out down in the weight room with the high school kids?” Just that sole statement right there presented everything intriguing about my personal dichotomy. It’s something that was always dastardly two sided for me. My dysfunctional background was certainly the backbone of my manically unique personal conflict. The straights knew of it because not only did they have to deal with me everyday but they saw my mother often and were therefore aware of her depression. Invariably a heightened interest and quick investigation made them “in the know” vaguely but vastly aware of some subtle obstacles I might be facing. It’s a double edged sword, a minor blessing and a fault in the fact that it makes people like the straights drawn to ones cause. But on the flip your fertile fodder for every dark cloud that chooses to rain close to an already stormy atmosphere. “You know Matt, I don’t want to have to call your mother. The stink bomb a couple of months ago, I’ve heard smaller kids complain about shower room torture. Forcible de-clothing, robbery, beatings, fix it now, don’t put me in a bad position.” “I know your going to be great. And if it’s just are little secret between us for now well that’s the way it has to be.” Smiling I hug her and head for the door, unable to stay there another minute I run home and tell my mother I got a ride home with Mike’s mom. I told her I had a great day at both school and Hayden. “But I didn’t see any lights? Oh another night of sitting by the phone terrified.” Past the point of caring she can see that I’m not worried about any consequence that may evolve from my muted response. “Your going to hell Matt.” “Whatever!” Slamming my door my father is home but like a tired war general only responds to major explosions and swears. Sometimes various acts of home avoidance cause my dad to fall asleep at his work desk. He gets to sleep at his desk just like I always had wished I could sleep in the Hayden gym bleachers. Of course as a kid you believe it until one day you look back and it all clicks. The next day I was back in Junior high. =======================================================================