Our apartment was a shabby unit in a four family flat her granddad owned. We furnished it with golden velvety sofas, wonderful old-school tables, and art donated from her family. We were grown! Hah! We had people over, we worked, we went to school, and we did as we pleased.
During lunch, we sat together and often talked about gossip. There was a girl at school who had gone down on a boy! Everyone was talking about it saying things like “don’t let her drink out of your soda!” We had a whole panel discussion about how we would never do such a thing and what extremes it would take for us to EVER consider it. This is so funny and was definitely a different time, all the scenarios involved a gun, a knife, a bat, or marriage!! We were young and thought we knew what was, what should be, and what would be. In reality, we had no idea at all.
More than anything I wanted to be loved. I wanted to know that somebody truly loved me. I craved to feel of value to another person, mostly because I was unsure of my value. I knew all the catch phrases, I knew that I was beautiful inside and out, I knew that I was supposed to love myself, I knew that I was in charge of my own happiness, and I really believed those things but only on a surface level.
I honestly wish I had written down some of his Floydisms. I just remember a few but whenever I think of him it feels like him bossing us around, silly words, laughter, and love. This one-time Tonya and I tried to do laundry on New Years day and he caught us and went off! We didn’t know it at the time but apparently it was bad luck to do laundry on the first day of the year I mean he was big mad and could not believe we would do such a thing. Our favorite quote from that day was “I can’t believe y’all up I here doing laundry! Niggahs in this house is crazy!!” lmao!! To this day we call every New Years day to make sure that no one in our house does laundry, we laugh, and the story is retold again and again.
You can’t just take a kid from a bad situation and plop them into a better environment and expect them to act as if they had always lived that life. You can’t expect them to just be grateful to be there and adjust. They have so much to unpack. Clothes and whatever other tawdry belongings they might have will be swiftly and neatly stowed away. What remains in the darkest unseen corners of the last trash bag they brought with them is all the years of pain, hurt, shame, and anger they have been dragging behind them. I stayed away and didn’t tell them where I was that weekend. I returned after school that Monday, I knew that I probably wouldn’t live there long, and I knew I didn’t want to go back to my mom. I had no idea what I was going to do. I felt numb nothing mattered except finishing school, so I could get into a college to get away from everyone and everything I knew
I had all the hormones, emotions, and anger of a normal teenage girl added with a difficult childhood, abuse, and neglect. In my mind I was GROWN. I examined many of the “adults” in my life and was confident that I was their equal or superior in a multitude of ways. I watched how many of them lived their lives and vowed that I would not live my life like them. They would serve an anti-example of how to live my life. I worked, saved money, I was responsible for two kids, and I knew Education was the key to changing my situation because no one was coming to save me. I would have to save myself, not my “real” mom, not my aunts, not my dad, no one. I would have to save me.
Stacks were a hair style from the late 80s and early 90s and if your stacks were on point it could totally change your young life. It sounds crazy right that a hair style could have such a big impact on one’s life but it’s true. Lol! As we talked she mentioned how when she transitioned from getting her hair done in the kitchen to actually going to a real shop she got her first boyfriend!! We laughed but she said, “it was like magic”. One day she was just regular old Candy, and nobody was checking for her but the day she her stacks got done right “it was on and poppin!”
Its odd but I have never been a super fan of another human. Yes, I really enjoy the things that artist create, but I have never owned a poster of anyone. I have never been a crazy screaming teen fan girl, hell I barely put my hands in the air because I actually do care. I would find myself at Saints skating rink bopping along to music in the party room looking at the total immersion and joy of my friends and wondering what that must be like. To allow yourself to just be so completely into a person or song that you lose your mind when they walk in the room or you simply hear the song.
another odd fact about me was that sometimes my life had theme music, sometimes it was a popular song of the day but often it was like theme music theme music…lol Sometimes when I was running it would be that sound from the Bionic Man “Beennn nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh”, if I was climbing a tree it would be orchestra music from Indiana Jones “Dun dunanta dunantan duntan duntan dyantan duntan dun dun dun dun dun atan dun dunn dun dun duntan duntan duntan”, and on days that were just good it would be the theme from Greatest American Hero!
Looking back, I truly feel as if every time I thought I couldn’t make it or wanted to just drown myself in a sea of my own, tears something or someone wonderful would be integrated into my life. Most times it was ephemeral, but it was always enough to keep me in afloat with dryland in sight.