With a Queens accent
Him: I don’t wanna go to camp!
Me: I wish I had camp as a kid! (annoyed) For goodness sakes, why not?!
Him: (sadly) I don’t want to be away from you, Papa!
Well, I’m a jerk.
Just got back from a 12-hour Scenic Fights shoot. Pac, Chad, and the resta the crew are still there shooting.
I suppose that I’ll tell you more about the shoot some other time but Pac was there along with the producer, who – like Pac and me – grew up in Queens.
Pac: (insert very questionable language here)
Me: It’s funny. I spent years trying to hide my Queens accent and speech patterns and you highlight it.
Him: Why would you do that?
Me: (shrugging) Long story. You know, I stopped cursing when I was 18 and started up again just a few years ago?
Told you once that I read the entire side of a library once. But never told you why.
What were your summers like as a kid? Camp? Parties? Just hanging out with friends in a basement?
Mine were nuthin like that at all.
Like I said, I grew up poor. Really poor. Air conditioning was essentially non-existent.
But the local library had air conditioning and both my parents worked full time.
So, every summer from third to roughly seventh grade was about the same: I would wake up, eat, and walk to the library – either by myself or with my mom – and sit at the entrance of the library and wait for it to open.
Here’s what it looks like, same as it did when I was nine years old.
I knew the librarian there so well. She wore a red sweater no matter what the temperature was outside because, man, that AC inside was kicking.
I was always the only kid sitting outside, waiting for the library to open, unless my brother or sister were with me. Then I/we would go in and read.
I read until they kicked me out. They literally kicked me out every night. Although I did head home in the middle of the day for lunch.
This lady named Susan Wiggs once said that, “You’re never alone when you’re reading a book.” And that makes sense to me because those books were my friends.
I read entire series of books – every single one of the Little House books, all the Narnia ones (The Horse and His Boy was always my fave – The Silver Chair sucked.), all the Great Brain books, all the Sherlock Holmes books, all the Tom Brown books, the entirety of the World Book Encyclopedia – for serious – all of Bullfinch’s Mythology, etc.
By the time I was 15, I was reading 750 words a minute. I still read about 650-750 words a minute.
I read the entire fucking wall. It took me four summers. But I read that whole goddamn wall.
These were my friends. My only friends, for most of my childhood.
It doesn’t make one well socialized. At least, not for a long while.
Ultimately, though, you either change, the world changes, or a little bit of both.
Him: Cursing is fucking great.
Me: (nodding) It’s fucking great.
I told the Counselor about my summers not that long ago. She found it both sad and endearing, which was really sweet of her.
There’s a point to alla this, though.
But it’s super late and my brain’s feels heavy, so I’ll tell you the rest tomorrow.
EDIT: Day after tomorrow. Got injured at the gym being dumb. Again.
Location: 8:42PM, just catching the train before having to wait 12 minutes for the next one, on 14th Street
Music: Every day’s another day to have the best day with you (Spotify)
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