What happened is that my mother is a very disturbed human being. She could be certifiably crazy. Not crazy in the sense that she likes to chop people’s heads off and paint her face with blood, or has the balls to do anything, crazy in the other way. This past weekend there was a party at Amy Nogus’s house where many other girls were to come, obviously because of me being there. Amy Nogus has a scratchy voice and is said to have had five abortions already(1). When it came time to ask my mother for a ride, that onion flavored slice of Manischewitztold me she’d already talked to Amy Nogus and said I wasn’t allowed to come, and get this, to call her immediately if I did. Isn’t that fucked up? But Amy Nogus played it smart and told my mom that she’d never even heard of me. This was a very slick move, but her craftiness didn’t soothe the wounds and scrapes on my end.
         “What are you, retarded?” was my first question.
         My mother sighed the same way she does when her and the other yentas talk about how much they hate men, but this is only because they’re nasty as hell and no guy’s ever gonna marry them again. “You’re not sleeping at an unsupervised party. If that little girl’s mother lets her children do that then that’s beyond me.”
         “But embarrassing me isn’t?”
         She touched my shoulder and got her hand smacked away big time. Then she looked at me like she did after all those birthdays when my dad didn’t call(2) and had the balls to say, “We’d both be embarrassed if you slept there and something... if you had a problem.”
         A problem. Yeah. Like what if while they took it out someone got a concussion, or what if some chick forgot to take her pill on purpose, or even what if Amy Nogus’s mom came home and wanted just one lick. One is all it usually takes and excuse me for saying so, but the old sack of lox has a point, even if she’s retarded anyway.


            Darren Jones is a big black loser who sold me a bag of Oregano last summer and it is okay for me to say this because not only are most of my friends black, but I essentially have the soul of an African American. Darren offered his services in Biology class during ninth grade summer school, but it wasn’t until later this year that we did the deal. He told me to meet him in the bathroom during lunch, at which time he looked both ways and shoved a crumbled up piece of cellophane into my pocket and told me to give him seventy-five dollars. These were friendly prices for a gram of funk, so I gave him a hundred and told him to keep the change. What’s more, even when it dawned on me that Darren Jones had sold me a gram of seasoning, I went ahead and smoked it anyway. This is simply my nature.
            Darren sits in front of me in first period Psychology and without mentioning the Oregano incident I jot down on a piece of lined notebook paper, “Hey, bro, you want to steal my dead grandpa’s ride and run away with me tonight?” and slide it onto his desk. Darren reads it and doesn’t really say anything but it is obvious by the way he looks at me all squinty eyed that he is tempted. After class I like to go out by the PE lockers with my skater friends and show them some moves. What’s weird is that while taking a moment to smoke and watch my boys practice their ollies, Darren and some lanky friend of his named Derrick come up on me from behind Derrick says, “Why you blew smoke at me, dude?” Just to be humble I tell him sorry, but then he starts digging through my pockets and taking my wallet. Ordinarily, this would be a declaration of war, but it occurs to me what’s happening isn’t about whether or not Derrick has a death wish, no, this is Darren apologizing for the Oregano as well as saying, “You my nigga’ sho’nuff,” in the only manner he knows how. When Derrick slaps me and spits on my moccasins(3), all my conscience will allow me to do is stare at the ground, pretend to shake and wait until they’re gone, knowing that it is me, their white brother and savior, who understands and loves them more than anyone. That my skater friends don’t rush to my aid only proves that all these things are true.


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1 It is with great shame that I confess responsibility for three of those instances.
2 We have a secret understanding.
3 What I’m wearing are ripped jeans, a sleeveless Floyd t-shirt, a faded denim jacket with an REM patch and brown moccasin boots that end right below my knees. Not bad is right!