Dear LA: #1

Dear LA,

It seemed to me that you were my birth place from as young as I can remember. But there was a past history- one that marked me a citizen of another nation- the phenotypes that registered light skin, black hair, and brown eyes. I was their’s and then I became your’s through my five senses, but never in document. Your neighbors on map were in possession of a soul that spent the early days of my family’s migration on the road as we canvassed 48 states in three months. I was in the back of the car mostly, sitting on my mom’s lap and they told me I was a quiet baby.

I grew up not knowing much and couldn’t remember if I spoke to more than two people in a day’s attempt to make it an adventure. Mark another page off the calendar. School was a pleasant upbringing- I harnessed the quilt of giving and taking there; I asked Marvin to be my best friend in kindergarten; that relationship didn’t last long. My dad helped me with my book reports. I was a translator of his anger because I couldn’t come up with a summary- he read with me and I fixed his grammar on the sheet that gave me trouble comprising sentences. I was a loud one through elementary school perhaps because there was not enough supportive voice around me.

I drew attention to middle school in Beverly Hills- still in your county but relevantly different in vibe and nurture. I remember masturbating for the first time and possibly made it an ongoing fascination because I was a boy still yet to be shipped my growth spurt. I was wild about holding girls’ hands and hoped to walk around school as part of girls’ talk. All the while I grew numb to my parents fighting at home and hated that I was so hungry what seemed like every 30 minutes. My mom never could get the pot off the stove in time- I was angry that I had to burn my tongue to eat away my starvation. I played 1-on-1 basketball with Mr. Toutant almost every day. He never could figure me out.

Life had a meaning and I didn’t know that I meant something to it.

To be continued…



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