Saturday, August 01, 2009

I'm Down

I just finished an awesome book, I’m Down by Mishna Wolff. It is about a white girl who grew up in an entirely black neighborhood. It is real and honest and totally hilarious. Okay, I’m not painting the best picture, but the observations she wrote about are EXACTLY how it is in my neighborhood. Here are some excerpts taken from the book:
Explaining how she knew she didn’t quite fit in…“I was a honky. I couldn’t dance. I couldn’t sing. I couldn’t double dutch – the dueling jump ropes scared me. I didn’t have great stories that started with 'we was at…' and end with '…I told her not to make me take my earrings off!'”
How she passed the time while her parents argued…“I sat on the floor of my room for the half hour while they were yelling, and I did some pretty bitchin’ coloring.”

You may remember some of my other blog stories about my ghetto neighborhood, and maybe you wonder if I am exaggerating at all. Well I’m not. In fact my hood was just recently written up in the RedEye (the Chicago Tribune’s free paper) for being voted the “crustiest station in all of Chicago”. I think it was due to the perpetual stench of urine and fried chicken (there is a Popeye’s Chicken right under the tracks). All of the store fronts around the station are boarded up and covered in graffiti. The lack of lights and close vicinity to homeless shelters (and frequent roaming junkies) make it is real family environment. Of course I cut out the article and posted it up on the refrigerator to remind me that I wouldn’t have it any other way (granted getting that Target will sure be a bonus).


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