22 August 2017

"Sell Dope, Rap, or Go to NBA"

by Andrew

These are the only decisions for some. Getting a job is not an option. It's not the solution. How do we get out of here? We have a wicked jumpshot and can jump, dunk o'r all these other folk. Or we get some bags and sell some dope and duck the cops, chasing crackheads up and down the block—Jay-Z. Or we rap, with the beatboxers down the corner by that dumpster that always caught fire.

I never sold drugs. I never had the heart I suppose. I never had the opportunity really, actually. I wasn't quite poor enough then to be so hungry for money. Everyone I knew who did sell drugs,—marijuana, if that can even be considered—they got caught. So much so, that I always used to say, that everyone gets caught—a given, like growing pains, getting caught. Nope, that's not my path, flirting with jail so closely as I believed, my freedom. Even then you see, I valued freedom most.

I did however have a wicked jumpshot. On street signs we used to hoop. What I know about milk crates, Nelly? Nothing. We never had those. We bent to hell stop signs and handicapped-parking signs instead. My Jordans were too ragged, scraped to shit on the concrete, to steal. I'd painted empty apartments to buy them. And plus I never wore socks. But white folk can't jump, it's true. If only, I had a shot.

And I never took rap seriously. I listened to it of course, all surrounded by it. Only slightly did I have the desire. I tried to make a few rhymes one time. It's when it all began, my little experiment in rap, the rhymes, which led straight to poetry, the private school education, I was lucky. I read hungrily, devouring R. L. Stine then, I remember, "Goosebumps," and "Fear Street," all of them, each. And I drew in my room, alone, at night or on rainy days, caricatures, nearly improved enough on my own to portraits till I stopt. The rap, that they say, is not necessarily rap. It's art, the outlet, rap, art in general.

But I was only poor half the time. The rest of the time, I was a typical white kid, spoiled—a bit—and comfortable. I loved to be outside, the beginnings of my wanderings. Those big Stephen Kings I was onto then. High school approached. And that was different. I didn't know then. I know now, that school is a joke, just jumping through the hoops they want you to jump through, not a real education. Read books instead.

"Love" taught me young what life was all about, that. But heartbreak,—I laugh, heartbreak—what'd I know about heartbreak then?—what do I know of it now, be careful—it showed me what life really was, that veil pulled from my eyes. I've been nihilistic since.

I'd also worked during high school—even before. And I'm glad of it. My friends are 30 years old now, just figuring out what it is to work really,—if indeed they are discovering, maybe not too—that it's nothing short of slavery. But I knew way back, way ahead the crowd. A job is not the solution,—like the drug dealing, a job—I had to discover—the 40 or so I've had since, jobs, a nice average of things as they stand, I'd say. But before I become nostalgic again.

You see though, that as a broke, young boy, I ran to art. But I got distracted, with school. Well, I got broke again, naturally, after the school. But I got focused. And to what did I run again, do you think? Just look, how radical I've become, living outside as a bum—my path instead the drugs, the NBA, or a job. I got serious about my business, you see—in a strange way. I've become radical. You can read all about it, my doctorate in writing.

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