I am in class right now. This is my tenth grade literature class and my second class of the day. This morning as I was walking into the school I saw a police officer escorting a young Mexican student onto the campus in handcuffs. That made me sad.
This class is out of control right now.
Now I'm waiting at USC for an interview that starts in an hour or so. Parking sucks here. Free parking is non existent. I applied for a writing program. I don't know if I've been accepted or not yet. Submitting a sample of my manuscript was the first step. This face to face meeting with the panel is the next. I can't imagine me blowing the meeting but stranger things have happened. Where the hell am I going to find change for parking around here?
Thankfully I had a good class today. Actually both of them were good. As good I was expecting anyway. One of my students called me extra today. He calls himself a blood. Everything he says is blood this and ck (crip killer) that. I wish he could see himself from my eyes. He is a beautiful young man who has no clue his gang life is going to get him nowhere. I want to sit with him and tell him to stop talking so L fucking A. I want him to know (that I know) that he is not a killer. He wants to know why I don't allow the word nigger (or nigga) in my class. His defense is that he should be able to say it because he is a nigga.
Telling him that he is not a nigga won't help. Instead I treat him like a human being. Today though, I had to kick him out of my class. He walked out without permission. I have a rule about that. If you walk out without permission you do not have permission to come back in. We can start again next class next week. By the way, this was the student who called me extra.
I have to go now. I have to see if this Taco Bell will give me change for a dollar without buying a nasty ass burrito.
I'm sitting outside of the hall where I'll be meeting soon. I love being on this campus. I wish I saw more black faces walking around. There are all these bikes and trees. A car alarm is crying for its owner. Young men and women rushing by. A woman riding her bike with her baby in the car seat connected to the handle bars. There is a black woman. A student it seems. With braids and an accent from some African country. There are birds flying just above me. People jogging and an old Mexican woman carrying grocery bags. There are skateboarders and young Asian men smoking cigarettes. A black woman I think I know just came through the doors. Our eyes didn't meet. We didn't speak. Some white person could say we looked alike with our dark sandy skin and tired eyes. Our full hips and black woman lips. Only the white folks who think all black people look alike.
I write when I'm still. I just do. My fingers need to move. See, this is why I collect so many journals. I fill them so fast. With musings about life and my days. With stories about my minutes.
Do you do that? Do you write when you are still? Do you see a story in every moment? Do you make up tales about the strangers in your path? Do you pretend to understand languages you know you don't know? It's quiet now. And dusk and almost still. And another black woman came out of the building. Our eyes didn't meet either. I'm starting to think it's me.