Put The Fucking Mic On!!!
The Mic is On?!?!?
(I’ve been Waiting to start a Post like that or say that for no reason what so ever)
The owner of the apartment building I grew up in, in my teens passed over ownership of the building to his younger reprobate son. That I believe is the story. His first son went to West Point and was a decorated officer. (The landlord and my father became good friends, there was a time were the threat of eviction was imminent and they talked a lot in the courts one man to another.) The second son was really good for nothing. It may sound harsh but he was a hardcore drug addict and he used to give apartments to people temporarily in exchange for Cocaine or heroin. One day my pops came home and had to fight a guy off who tried to rob and mug him with a loaded gun. Luckily in the course of the struggle the bullet hit the ground and only a piece of it went into my pops foot. It was scary to go into and out of our building at times. There were people hiding behind the stairs to shoot-up, and I was put in charge of my sister’s safety and making sure to “watch the house”.
There are other stories. My next door neighbors son got involved in gangs and when he tried to leave was beat badly and put into a hospital. Another dude I used to play as a “ti garcon” got shot to death, outside his building I think. His father died of heartache a few years later. Many terrible things happened and for some reason or another those stories will never find their ways into the cozy setting of a Barnes & Noble with a Starbucks attached.
We have wasted History like a bunch of drunks shooting dice back in the men’s crapper of the local bar.
Those are the stories I think of when it’s black history month: the sleeping on the floor in a roach and mouse infested apartment, helicopters searching for people, guns being fired in the streets, police really mistreating people. There is the real NYC just below the bowdlerized image projected onto tourists. Though of course I never had it as bad as many others, I still think a lot of what I saw was troubling to say the least.
That’s the beauty of gentrification, layers of cement are poured over the history of a neighborhood, muffling the cries of so many years of agony , pain, and violence in order to make way for trending spots devoid of any humanity. This is why many people in the real NYC hate hipsters. They come into a neighborhood so rich of the history that no one wants to hear, they dress up, and by the virtue of their purchasing power and need to differentiate themselves from other by drinking PABST and looking like shit, a great hermetic seal is placed over the voices of so many people. This is kind of what tourism industry does in foreign island nations and 3rd world countries.
History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
Suffice it to say, with all that going on, my parents kept us home, especially me as they couldn’t figure me out. Any free time I had I spent at the Central Library in Brooklyn. I read and read like my life depended on it, in part because it did; I had no friends, no pets and no outlet and spent such a long time looking at life from behind a window or listening to it from the sounds that leaked through the doors where I lived. It was my only out for a long time, especially when I hit puberty and sickle cell disease really asserted itself in my life.
There is so much that falls to the wayside, really serious stuff. It makes me wonder. So far for me there has been great ruin and an even greater treasure under the debris. Every now and then you see something that brings you back and makes you remember things. Just my two cents today. I got to keep you guys guessing with the unexpected bouts of realness and honesty in between my forays into a profanity, innuendo and irony and gratuitous pictures of myself.
Tenants of the house,
Thoughts of a dry brain in a dry season.
-TS Eliot, Geronition