My life is really, really cool and it's fun to be me sometimes. What's cool about me is that I'm always sometimes the tallest person in my class so the kids pick me on there team to play kick ball even though I can't kick that far but they think I can. Terry can kick farther than I can but they don't pick her because she's fat and mean. It's not bad that she's fat because people can't help it if they eat too much but she don't have to be mean to people. Especially people that don't be mean to her.
But anyways, my hair is longer than some of the other black girls at my school but not all of them. The Japaneese girls think I'm cool but I'm not though but I'm cooler than them! I have a little sister and I even like her alot. One day I'm going to be a very famous writer and if I have time I might be a model and actress and lawyer. I am also going to work at JC Penney because they have cute clothes and I'm going to give my mom alot of free clothes and makeup too. She is pretty.
Anyways, when I am a famous writer I'm going to write a letter to the president of the United States of America and tell him that black people have rights too and not to be mean to black people because we useto be slaves like on Roots but we are not anymore! My uncle knows all about everything about black people and he told me. I like to get letters from him. He is in jail so he rights me alot. He is not bad. He's fun. My dad is fun too and he is not in jail. When I'm big I'm going to be rich and when I march around to put money in the offering at church I'm going to be up there a long time because I have more money than they do. I sing in the little kids choir at church but I don't sing loud. I sing soft because the other kids sing better than me but I can run faster than them so it's ok. None of them can sing better than my auntie Janice. She can sing better than anybody and my mom can usher better than anybody. And my grandmother has the most firestick candy of all of the old ladies at my church.
I don't have a boyfriend but oneday I will. Sometimes I think I'm not cute and sometimes I think I am. They say that Donna P. is the cutest girl in school but she is not taller than me. I think she can run faster than me so I don't race her. I have the best writing in my class. One of these days when I'm like 20 years old or something I'm going to travel around the whole entire world and write a famous book about it. Everybody in my class is going to remember me and the boys are going to whish they were my boyfriend but to bad for them because I will be marry already to somebody who is cuter than them and has a faster car and is nicer too. My husband is going to hold my hand when we go to church and the movies. I dont have to give him a kiss if I don't want to. He won't be mad. He will be lucky. I will tell my daughter not to be kissing boys at the park like Lisa useto. She wasn't fass she just like to kiss but not me. I don't like other peoples germs because I might be a doctor one day and a doctor can't have germs. I'm probably going to have a boy to.
I don't think I will have a whole lotta kids like my grandmother did. Maybe just a boy and a girl and they can travel around the world with me and my husband can come too. but he might have to work construction. I will take pictures of the world for him. He will be lucky! When I finish eating my food and writing this famous story about my life then I'm going to go to cheerleading practice. I'm not the best one on my team but I can run faster than all of them except for 2 of them. But my hair is longer than those 2 girls so it's ok. Being a cheeleader is not as important as being a famous writer anyways. Maybe I won't let my daughter be a cheerleader. She needs to be practicing her cursive writing anyway. Sunday I'm going to give a speech at church and I hope I don't mess up. The boys at my church don't think I'm cute but that's ok because they aren't either. If I could have anything I want I will probably pick to be able to sing real good and not to be scared of anything. There is alot to write about me but I'm not going to tell you everything because I don't no you.
You were beautifully fragile. Nervous and often you were happy. You were inquisitive and sheep. Soft spoken. You tried to say everything correctly so that everyone was pleased. You were so gentle. That's how I remember you. I love you. I do.
I stayed a few days at Sam and Tatiana's house. They have such a welcoming backyard. There are pink flowers and trees. I don't know what kind but I know beauty when I see it. Past the trees and flowers is a table with two chairs begging a human body to come, sit, eat, pray, write. I bit. Tatiana came minutes later.
T: When I was a little girl I didn't like the color pink.
Me: Me either.
T: Maybe because pink is the color of self love and maybe I didn't like myself when I was a little girl. I love pink now.
Me: Me too. Yeah (inside smile) Me too.
About a year ago I was driving to work and I called my uncle Therman. We talked about legacies and what we will pass on to our children, to the children of the world after we leave. We discussed the relevance of leaving our thoughts and ideas. This is what happens when I talk to Therman.
It's too easy and dismissive to assume that the world doesn't need my two cents. Your two cents. Whoever you are. The world needs all of our cents. That's why we are here. For me, it was Anne Frank's two cents that shed the best light on what she and many Jews experienced during their persecution. As I read her words in the seventh grade I hid in the basement with her. I heard the footsteps she heard. I cried when she cried.
I listened to my grandmother tell stories about how she grew up in Louisiana as the youngestnof sixteen children. Listened to how she navigated her parent's and the white man's rules. How she worked, cooked, went to school.
And thank God Alex Hailey told his story. In telling his, he told the story of his family. His ROOTS. Our roots. Yes, his story too. Your story too. My story too. They are all necessary, I believe.
I think we get caught up in believing that our story has to be this dramatic, explosive thing. And if we don't have have that kind of sizzle then it's not worth reading or telling. No. Children who grow up in abusive homes need to read and hear stories about loving households. My mother used to say "You might be the only Bible that someone else reads." Your story of a loving household might be the example that touches an abused child. She might be touched so deeply that she does not become a statistic and grow up to be an abuser. Who knows?
Someone might be embarrassed about telling his story about rape but your story about abuse is necessary because someone else might be living with the same struggles and just needs to know that he's not alone. Also your story might bring awareness to someone who may not be aware except through your story.
I'm just free writing here. I know I'm sounding preachy here. That's not my intent. I just believe that all of us have a story to tell a particular way to a particular person or people. We may not know who our audience is. For some of us our audience might not even be born yet. That's not our job to worry about that. Our charge is to put the work out there. Take the pictures. Tell the stories. Write the poems. Build the houses. Sew the clothes. Find the cure. Every one of us is charged, as Noah was, to build the boat. Whatever your boat.