First day of Spring.
March 20th, 2013.
I was trying for a full circle story. And I found a full circle in my story. I really did. I just doesn’t have much girth. I only made it as far east as Arizona. And Arizona isn’t east at all. But its farther than most folks made it.
I’m back in the hometown. A gray, moist place. I stand smoking on a four by four square of concrete on a porch in the projects. I had quit smoking. Like, forever ago. But back here that’s all out the window. As I exhale a cigarette that I’m not nearly enjoying I think, nothing has changed. Including me.
We let our childhoods zoom by like big trucks with stick shifts and little cars with loud noise. When we are just bud-children, we let our innocence go, just a-begging for maturity, tires peeling as we do. Goodbye forever girl-child.
Ten, twenty years later we stand where we used to play. Squares of grass with little hopeful daisies sprout along side cigarette butts and empty, fallen drug baggies and we think we’ve come really far but we’ve just grown taller and back-pedaled.
Other people have children now. But I chose not to bring a child yet into the world. I never minded two children. Boys, I think. Though how would I know. I like to think I’m spiritual, “in-touch”, following my destiny, have God on my side and what-have-you. But other days the world is hopeless, gray, flat, my past a heap of mistakes.
I thought we’d all gotten somewhere. But last night it was me and my dad and 2 aunts and a cousin and all any of us cared about was getting our own individual highs. Nothing big. Tobacco. Alcohol.
Love. Sex. Attention. That’s just how it is in the projects. Oppressed. It’s like cursed or something. The manager had each apartment building in the complex painted a different color–baby blue, yellow, sea-foam green. But even the best makeover couldn’t change the projects.
The projects are a body, a soul with something missing. There’s a hole inside of it that can’t be filled, as they say. The projects have a mind of their own.