Thursday, June 11, 2009
If you spend every spare moment of your free time roaming the neighborhood in a Bicycle Gang, you get to know the inhabitants pretty well. Sure, there is spying and gossiping involved; that's half the fun! I hope to feature some of the more colorful characters of my old neighborhood and not just in mindless Would You Rather? polls.
The T Family
This was a a family not much unlike others in our mostly poor neighborhood. They had crap on their lawn. They smoked a lot. Screamed at their kids. Had parties with lots of beer. The only difference was that the kids of this family were not included with us in the Bicycle Gang.
They lived next to this small house that was a Baha'i worship center and since I didn't know what that was, I assumed that with a hot tub on a screened porch, they were a secret sex club. So when we were spying on the secret sex club, it was natural to spy on the T family. They were a white family, but kept a black Santa on their lawn year round. They said it was cheaper than the white one. That Santa was a source of jokes for all colors all the blocks.
He was the oldest boy. He was my age, but I don't recall ever exchanging many words with him. I think when I first met him, he said "Jus' call me Beau". He had a broken leg once and since most of us couldn't afford adequate health care, it never healed right and he had the strangest limp. It was like he had a stiff leg and had to hop to walk. Being mean kids, we often did the Beau Walk for fun and exercise. I'm don't regret all the thievin' I did, but I am ashamed of all the cruel mimicking of that limp I did.
This was a very nasty dude. He was my sister's age and he ran with a foul crowd. We had an electrical box under this tree covered in Spanish Moss and it was a great place to sit and hang out and flirt with boys. One day, he came under the moss to say the freak nastiest things to me. I couldn't believe this young punk had the nerve to say them to me! There was no way I was going into the woods with him after the wrong he had done to me; he stole my jeans!
I had very few wardrobe options as a kid. I hated that I had to wear the same things in the same week, sometimes with just a day apart. I had a couple of pairs of shorts and a few pairs of pants to my name and that boy Reddick stole one of them. I had some new black jeans drying on the line behind my house and one day they were gone. The next day on the bus, I saw him wearing them! I confronted him, but he denied it saying they were his. Everyone knew what everyone had to wear so these jeans were new and obviously not his. I just cried and spitefully said he was wearing girl clothes. Every time I saw him wear them, I felt a little more hate inside.
She was the baby of the family. She rode the bus with the elementary kids and since there was just one bus for our area, they went first in the afternoon and then the bus came to pick up the older kids. She was a typical whiny, annoying kid with a lisp, but she always had lice. She also would never sit in her assigned seat so she spread lice from bus seat to bus seat. The bus seats were smeared with hair grease and nits and sometimes you weren't always careful about where you rested your head. I got lice twice! The second tim,e my delousing consisted of pouring gasoline in my hair in the backyard. The same yard where her brother stole my jeans!
You really have to be some shitty kids to not be part of the all powerful Bicycle Gang and two of the T family members completely ruined any chance of joining it. I think that I need to stop writing now because my head has starting to itch thinking about it all.
Posted by Jessica at 7:25 AM