Putting a nail through a dead snake’s head was what brought us together. Sometimes my way of making friends was to be entertaining in some way. My neighborhood was made up of mostly 2 groups. You were either from a poor immigrant Chinese family or a severely dysfunctional white family. I was a hybrid of the two. With there being no broken Chinese families, I often gravitated to the disturbed white kids.
We had the same name and lived a street apart from each other. He was as white as they came…blondish hair, blue eyes but his mother was of Middle-Eastern decent. At the time with my 8 year old brain I put people in 3 categories…white, black or Chinese and in my head she was white because her skin wasn’t that dark and she spoke English well. I couldn’t tell you the story behind his birth mother because it was only until I was older that the whole Middle-Eastern thing didn’t make sense.
Johnson and I did everything together. We walked home from school together every day, skateboarded, listened to music, rode bikes and whatever else we could find to entertain ourselves. I was a good kid until I met him. He taught me how to cuss effectively, spit really far and how to be a dickhead. It was interesting and fun but now that I think about it he was a horrible influence that probably shaped my personality for years to come.
One day after school we went over to his house but no one was home to answer the door. We went to the back and when we still saw no sign of anyone home, he panicked. He picked up a broom stick and rammed the butt end of it through the window of the door. He unlocked the door from the outside and ran to the phone in tears. He dialed 911 and with a hysterical voice he said that his, “parents abandoned him.”
I don’t remember it vividly but I remember standing there in shock at what was happening. In my head, no one being home at 3:30 pm was nothing to freak out about. It was normal to me because no one was ever home at my place until 6 pm but “abandoned?” I thought most kids would sit on the couch for a couple hours and eat extra cookies before calling the police. I guess he thought differently.
Looking back, he must have had some tremendous trauma occur in his life and I have to assume it had something to do with his birth mother. His dad seemed like a decent guy and the one he called “mom” was also very nice. She made great peanut butter cookies. They arrived home in the middle of his 911 call and consoled him like he was some kind of rescue dog from the pound. If I had done what he did, I would have been yelled at and berated by any adult that I had ever lived with.
Not long after we entered high school, everyone gravitated towards their own race and we drifted apart. Soon after he was involved as an accessory in a murder of a former elementary schoolmate. He moved out of town and that was the last I had ever heard about him.
If we were to speak today it would be interesting. I’m sure we would talk about what we found out about our parents/guardians and ourselves and agree how weird it all was. At the time we thought our world was so normal.
Daily Prompt: Childhood