Hard Knock Life

Those closest to me know my rough past. They know a blue bandanna was a staple for me. Despite going to a catholic school with uniform we still managed to make it look as hood as possible. Thick black eyeliner, curly hair, blue bandannas and white K-Swiss kicks paired with a very short kilt and with a white button up or over sized white golf shirt. That was the look that set the cholas apart from the predominantly white population of the high school I attended. The school was mostly full of Italians and Polish kids. Most of the coloured kids concentrated their lockers in one or two hallways. If we were assigned lockers somewhere else we either traded with someone or ended up with two lockers for the year. The hallway was dubbed “the night hallway”, it was where you found all the black kids, Filipinos, Latinos and the white kids that grew up with us. It was the hallway where you found all the singers, the breakers, the star athletes and the roughnecks in one place. We were a family. It was us against them. You call one person a n****r, you call all of us a n****r. You call one person a s**c, you call all of us a s**c. We were like a swarm of angry bees if you disturbed the nest. We used to go to each other’s court dates. If someone thought she was pregnant, we’d borrow a health card so she could go to a clinic. If we knew you were gonna get your ass beat at home for whatever reason we’d walk you home in hopes that your pops or mom would forget why they were mad in the first place. When the time came to go home we’d let you know that if shit went down we’d have a bed ready for you. We looked out for each other because nobody else was doing it. The other kids would call us juvies, short for juvenile delinquents. Teachers would always be trying to catch us in something to suspend us or telling us we would end up like our parents if we didn’t smarten up. As if it was the worst thing in the world. Cops would target us and follow us home. It was always us against them. Some of us made it…others didn’t. It’s a hard knock life.

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