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My Life Sumed Up
In 1993 I was 8 years old still living in Atlanta, Georgia. By then my mother was about a year and a half into her second marriage. My stepfather, Phillip, who was cousin to the then up and coming rapper Bone Crusher, was a real good guy in my eyes. Especially compared to the terrorist my dad was. Phillip was quick to take my sisters and I up under the wing. We all loved him, he had that charm. A charm he could teach. I remember he taught me how to charm my way into getting what I wanted at McDonald's. Before we went in, he asked me if I wanted a Happy Meal toy, of course, being 8 i said yes, so he came up with a scheme so beautifully simple. We were to go to the register of a female cashier. Phillip being about 6'5 and 50lbs lighter than Wayne AKA Bone Crusher, had that "Southern Playalistic Cadillac" pimpin' to him. His swagger and height automatically attracted the women, but then he topped it off playing the daddy role. So, once we got to the register, while Phillip fronted like he was interested in the menu, I did my part and said to the cashier, " Lady, I think you're very pretty" and gave my best shy-kid smile. As planned, she got all gooey, saying," Aawww" while blushing. That's when Phillip asked me what I wanted, "What you want, Big Boy?" Part two of my scene in the scheme I said, "Daddy, I want a toy" and pointed at the display. Phillip said, "Woowww, Lil Man I cant even get it for you this time" The cashier lady, still oblivious to the whole play, cut in and said, "Dont worry about it, Baby. Which toy you want?" I was in business. Looking back, I now understand that Phillip was a Master in Manipulation and I was his 8 year old protege. I was a master at using whatever I can to get whatever I wanted in such a simple way, where as to prevent suspicion. My biological father still made himself known but he always wanted beef. As big as Phillip was, he never came near enough for any physical confrontation, though, but he'd call and ask me if I wanted him to kill Phillip and make me feel bad because me and my sisters called Phillip, daddy. I only got use to it because we schemed alot and played the daddy/son role, but my sisters, especially Jaida who was only one, called him daddy because to them he was. For my real father, I stopped. Phillip seemed like the perfect dad to me but I still knew otherwise. He use to fight my mom too, but never as violent as my real pops. Phillip was more like a big playful kid who liked to wrestle alot and my mom is only 5'2. He never gave her swollen faces or bruises like my pops but didnt know when to stop. Both of my mother's big toes are broken because of Phillip. He also use to steal my mom's paychecks so we always were hungry and in the dark with no furniture even though my mom had at least two jobs. Little did we know that for a while Phillip had a crack-cocaine addiction. Pops was too busy holding a grudge against my mother f0r leaving his abusive ass and remarrying that he wouldnt send a dime to make sure we ate and eventually he moved from ATL to Gastonia and we'd seen him even less. Catching my mother trying to hide her tears, my sisters crying from hunger pains and me sick of eatting that nasty no flavored rice with tomato sauce and knowing if Philip couldnt be, I was the man of the house, instinctively responsibilities kicked in and I began to use my cunning to bring home the "bacon". I did everything from borrowing things like video games from my classmates, selling them to others and giving back a dollar or two, to knocking on every door in my apartment complex and offering to take out their trash for money. Sometimes I would run up the block to McDonald's and bring back a couple of meals for my sisters while moms was at work or I'd sneak money to my moms. Shit' we're Muslims but was so poor that we were eating pork chops and ham hocks. The other white meat was cheaper. Plus Phillip wasn't Muslim. This is pretty much how my life was even after my mom divorced Phillip and we moved to NY. I was use to having to maintain the house while my mom was at work unless I'd figure out a way to get my father to let me stay with him in NC, but eventually I'd get fed up with him harassing me about my mom, hitting me and calling me names, where I'd have my mom send for me to come back to NY. This was an on and off process. Family drama and my own personal issues added with continued fights with people because of my fake ass Timbs or just my southern accent. I truly believe that if when I was with my mom, if it wasn't such a loving environment, I'd be one of the weak minded kids who do crazy shit like shoot up schools and malls killing innocent people, because for a minute everybody outside of my mom and sisters seemed like my enemies. I never really had friends because we bounced from place to place, shelter to shelter, State to State so much in the early parts of my life, I just learned how to look down and not even bother. I became a lone-star. Then I met that one friend...... From 93 to 96, I've been from Atlanta to Columbia, SC; Long Island, NY; Gastonia, NC; Harlem, NY; Bronx, NY to finally landing and staying on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in a real nice area. People were jealous of us but little did they know as luxurious as the place looked, it was part of Section 8 and the shelter system. We were still broke. I was still wearing button-ups before Jay-Z made them hot and rocking Jimblands, the fake ass Timblands' look-alike from Pay Less. They were hating out of ignorance. By now, I'd pretty much shut down socially. I had no real social skills but people would either like me or find themselves wanting to fight me anyway. Eventually the ones that fought me wounded up liking me or acting like they did when they realized they wasn't going to freely whoop my ass, but just like every elementary school, there was at least one bully, and I was his main target. Michael Slater. Why is it that everybody always remember their bully's FULL name? Anyway, Michael and I always found ways to fight for no known reason, by then I was pretty much accustomed to fighting and certain shit seemed normal in NY, so I eventually started bullying people also, but I had a crew. Everybody I beat up I became friends with eventually and we would beat on somebody else. That's how i met my best friend Paul. At that point in my life, I loved school. It was my stress reliever. I'd be grown at home and I was allowed to be a child at school and I took advantage of it. From there I was going full speed ahead on what some people may call my path of destruction. Paul to me, was like Damien to DMX. Although I was older by a few months, he put me on to a lot of things that I was naive to, but we were a team. I was the calm when he was the storm, but the tables turned when we got older. He became the spark where I was the flame. I was created a monster by the life I was given and I began to realize a lot of people began to fear me and I still cant understand why. Someone recently told me that I attract people because I still am the calm before the storm, only thing is the calm's only a few minutes before I flip into a dangerous storm. Its only when I feel provoked. I'm fueled by anger and I guess that's what was meant by me being on a path of destruction. It may seem this way, but when I think about it, I realize religion teaches that everything happens for a reason. I had an officer ask me if I could go back before my incarceration what would I do differently? Thinking about it, I concluded that I wouldn't do anything different. My experiences are the reason I'm wise, now I can pass my wisdom to my family. Jay-Z said on the "Reasonable Doubt" album, "In order to survive, you gotta learn to live with regrets." Looking back on my past, I've proven to be a survivor. I've learned something from everything, which makes me well rounded and open minded, Where a lot of people are one tracked with no common sense. No, I wouldn't change a thing and my goal is to show the world that I dont need to. Life prepares us for our destiny. I have to remember, whenever I feel like giving up, that I'm destined for something great.
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