"All y'all bias can suck my dia, biaaa!"
The building manager walked through the door to the outside playground just as the last two words left my mouth.
"It's a song!", I sweated a bit frantically, yet casually, trying to save myself from getting in trouble.
"I know". She had a slight smirk on her face as she continued walking, not really ever breaking stride.
She knew that wasn't me. We had a good relationship - like she was an aunt. There were a few times she had to be the one to pick us up from school and we'd listen to rock music on the radio. I liked her.
I have to admit...I was mad at myself. I hated rap music, but my brother listened to it so much that it'd get stuck in my head. He never made any sense...it's like he never knew his own self.
I was blowing steam off when I said it. The sun was beating down on us as we played a little bit of basketball, some sunburn setting in. I didn't really like basketball either...unless I was making all my shots. Just something to do.
Maybe I didn't really like anything. Guess that's depression.
These other kids...they just didn't understand. I'm 10 years old. I might as well be 25. That's what I thought at least.
Still feel that way...old.
I had just put on my backpack as I waited at the front of the building. The day-care teachers were doing their usual tasks - making sure everyone's being good or that kids are ready to leave for school.
"A plane just crashed into the World Trade Center", the building manager said as she had assumedly left her office at the front of the building before just now entering the double doors ahead of me.
"What?", said another teacher.
I listened intently even though I didn't understand. Partly because I didn't know what the World Trade Center was. The Twin Towers.
New York's a long way from Illinois.
Also, no one really understood. We don't think about terrorism.
I stared out the window as we drove to school, probably not much different than any other day, but the building manager's words stuck with me. I knew it meant something.
That whole morning in class was just us watching the news. They combined our class with the older class as we all watched together.
We were too young to know, really.
16, 17, 18...
"You're gonna have to try harder than that!", screamed the recruiter as the high school freshman finished his reps on the pull-up bar.
And yet when he finished, the man in camo promised him the world to join the military - also somehow reflecting a sense of being happy to have someone of the caliber of the student.
I wondered if they all knew they just say that same shit to everybody.
The African-American recruiter approached me not long after, his calmed hostility reverberating from within. Luckily, I was fat at the time.
It still didn't seem to prevent him from trying to recruit me. "How much money do these guys make for this crap?", I thought.
He gave up not long after and I finished my lunch hour avoiding other kids by hiding in the bathroom stall waiting for 1 o'clock as per usual.
I had a friend when I was in day-care. Well, I mean, I had a few friends - but I had a specific friend.
We played cards together. Some sports, too, and whatever other stuff we did in day-care.
He was a year younger. Not like me - and not like the other kid who was a year older than me. Me and the older kid, we went on the roof through the upstairs bathroom window.
It's so silly in hindsight, but what a treacherous rule to break when you're 10 years old in day-care. But, I mean there were sports balls stuck up there that no one else was getting down for us. Sports were the only good part of our day.
I got in trouble for that.
The younger kid seemed mostly good. Don't think he really did things like that. I felt like an older brother. But I don't let anyone in so, of course, I kept him at a distance. He didn't understand anyway.
I left day-care for good two years later. I felt like a convicted felon being released from prison.
No more closing my eyes and pretending to be asleep on cots during nap time. No more putting the younger kids to sleep by patting their tummies or brushing their hair on those same cots when we became too old to be forced to sleep ourselves.
It doesn't seem so bad. In a lot of ways, it wasn't. I mean, we had food cooked for us and video games we could play. Maybe it wasn't enough.
I met that younger kid 10 years later after I had lost myself.
I worked with his best friend and his best friend was the one to get him a job with us. I didn't even recognize him.
He was buff and tall.
I hated the feeling I had. This feeling of being lost to the extent that I was not only stuck at this crappy job but also this feeling of feeling like I had to entertain my old friend.
Like I had to connect the past and present while being stuck in between. Even though I owed him nothing.
Maybe I was just so desperate for a friend, but we became friends again. I found out he was in the military.
Me and the two guys I worked with, including the re-acquainted friend, partied together a few months or more into our friendship together.
I didn't fit in, but I forced myself to. I hate myself when I'm forcing it. Somehow it worked mostly, I guess. Maybe the alcohol took away some of the burden.
I got so drunk, probably to forget, and I passed out on the couch. Well, kind of. I never really went into a full sleep that night - not because of what happened later, but maybe I'm just not good at sleeping away from home.
I heard the sound of sex. I had only had sex a couple of times by that age, but my brother forced me to watch pornography enough for me to know what damn sex sounded like.
We were on an L-shaped couch and my friend from day-care, now 20 years old or so, was fucking our friend's future wife's cousin on the same couch right next to me. Not a care in the world as he was on a break from a relationship with someone else.
I should have just left, but I didn't. I closed my eyes and stayed as still as I could, almost feeling like I was raped even though it had nothing to do with me.
I questioned a lot that night. I wondered why I was friends with this person or why anyone here was friends with him, not seeing that my other friends were no different.
A day and a half later, he left for his bi-weekly compensated military obligations. 4 years too late, I left our friendship.
© This writing was created by and remains property of the username, lionsmane. It is to be claimed as an original piece only on whaleshares and steemit under this username. Creation date: April, 2019
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