How We Came Up
In the beginning…
We grew up just like those teenagers
on the television show Beverly Hills, 90210. The difference was that we were in Atlanta and those kids were wealthy and we were not. The television show was about the coming-of-age of a group of friends. Another noticeable difference was that those kids were
white or Caucasian and we were not. Together those suburban teens experienced homecomings, proms and graduations. We spent a vast majority of our teenaged years smoking weed, getting drunk and mourning the loss of our adolescent counterparts. In all actuality,
the truth is we were nothing like those actors on that television show Beverly Hills 90210 whose lives were scripted roles portrayed for the purpose of entertaining segmented to fit between acne endorsing commercials. The day-to-day details of our lives were
too packed with too much drama and destruction, but that was regular in the dirty south in the area where we came up.
Had the setting of our story actually been out in California, Beverly Hills perhaps, there were not that many white
girls in our crew. The star character playing the role as the nephew visiting for an extended stay, one semester to finish school after trouble was made in our neighborhoods. No rich aunties or uncle ringing bells, putting on heirs and living everyday like
it was a day of fun in the sun. Our uncles were judges; cases were handled in the streets.
We had cousins who danced but that was before the real violence: the gun violence that penetrated our generation. We had cousins who were business
minded only their tactics leaned towards illegal activities. Instead of watching stocks on Wall Street our cousins were too busy selling rocks on our on street. We had beautiful cousins, too, and look but don’t touch types; daddy’s girls. Pretty
and smart with enough blonde moments to last a lifetime of seasons. We spent our days at the playground organized sports were expensive and elite groups, so as wayward individuals we gathered in a fashion that was all our own. Playing cards, especially spades,
tunk, dominoes or Uno and we even got physically at times; playing inner hawk, basketball or even wrestling. Wrestling was a training tool, girls versus boys. They overpowered us with strength for the chance to roughly caress our developing young and tender
bodies. Struggling for rank we survived off pure skill and we also found strength in numbers.
Drinking brown liquor and white liquor or whatever color wine with no discriminatory preference, smoking weed like there was no limits to the
supply and talking plenty of trash. We were occupied.
We always said “it would get greater later,” looking back at those times they were greater back then or later arrived too late or never at all for some of us…