This is wonderful. ^.^
omg I actually do the one on the top left though if I walk into traffic without paying attention
On days that sunshine erased the shadowy dream creatures dancing behind my eyelids, I woke up smiling. Mornings when my mother called up from the kitchen with the smell of french toast climbing the stairs, I arose certain of many things. But in my last years of high school, nightmarish Strangermen awaited me beyond the covers. Men with unexplained vast holes in their walls and long fingers and faces. Grownups who did not make breakfast, but clung to my tiny frame like a woman much older than I. At that time, I knew many young Black girls who had left home. They had wandered streets alone, only to find that no matter the horrific circumstances they had escaped, this world of silly and starving men came with new insecurities and terrors. I cried for my family every single night that I spent away from them. But when my new host returned from the shower or rustled in his sleep I wiped my eyes and prepared my body to be held. No swallowed up.
Marcus had found me on the sub. My short life with him began like my time with many of the other men. He whispered words to me from seats away that gave me hope at sixteen, but now I can’t remember. I do remember ascending the steps to Broad street and inhaling, really breathing for the first time since he’d made eye contact. A day later, I had a drawer in his giant leaning house. Somedays, I sat in front of his broken television flicking cockroaches from the arm rests for hours. I’d attempt to make conversation with a quiet woman who sat next to me. She found my interest in her life an annoyance. Responding with one word or no acknowledgement at all. But with her slow moving limbs, see right through you eyes, and what I perceived to be a fatigue from life I had to know who she was and if she’d ended up here for reasons similar to mine.
Did you grow up in Philly? soft nod
What part? roundhere
oh yeah me too. I’ve lived all over Germantown, but right now my mother’s on Haines.
I’d wait for an inquiry about my mother, about my old block and why I wasn’t there now, but it never came. Some people say change happens quickly. Some brief event touches you so deep that you alter your whole life. But that woman’s apathy caused me to react something scientific and slow. I started to evolve in that living room. While she sunk into the couch we shared, I began to hover on the other end. I grew tiny wings that I thought about constantly.
My college essay was about a trip to Africa I’d gone on the year before. I never shared this experience with Marcus or the quiet women even though I had written most of it in their presence. I had felt guilty about my privileges many times before, and suddenly that guilt was complicated by the circumstances I currently found myself. A year prior I’d been accepted into a prestigious program along with other top tier students, and now I was homeless. But, I didn’t regret anything at the time. I had shown my mother that I didn’t need the home she took away from me. I had fooled the terrorizers of my streets into loving and housing me. I had smiled in the faces of white savior teachers who believed they could easily spot a teen in distress after all their years working in Philly public schools. I had tricked the adults. Though they had made growing up seem an impossibility, I was joining them on my terms.
Fall 2009, I left my city. My new Liberal college home gobbled up all my struggles and penciled in a percentage increase under Black and Poor on their pamphlets.
to be continued…
UK Female Allstars(Amplify Dot, Baby Blue, Lioness, RoxXxan, Mz Bratt and Lady Leshurr)
posting this again because it’s disgustingly good. I’m never really interested in the UK hiphop/grime scene but I love all these girls on their own and especially together. SOOOOOOO GOOD
Yo this goes hard
that beat goddamn