I think we had watched too many movies with happy endings because we kept expecting someone to come in and discover us, to save us from the existence of our realities. It wasn’t going to happen. Whoever it was we were expecting was never coming. We had to stop watching crappy TV or else.
The girls became clichés. They became their mothers, in tight dresses, gaudy jewelry and heavily made-up faces. They sashayed and swayed their hips, learned how to flirt and follow through. It was a game they got good at quickly.
The boys inevitably turned into their fathers, but that analysis needs to stand on its own. Or perhaps in a revised edition of The New Jim Crow.
Alas, there was no real thought process behind it all, no tangible plan for the future. We just went along and kept hoping things would change. We kept hoping that by imitating the crumbling people around us, it would be just fine. We gave it everything we had, but it wasn’t enough.
In retrospect, I see now how it could never be enough. Our destinies were tied up, or rather aligned to the shitty neighborhood, the vacant spaces between the buildings, the ratty mattresses, and ash filled cigarettes. Dancing all night because the day offered nothing to live for, butterflies all havin' fun, you know what I mean. But feeling good offered no escape. The kids were all hungry, the apartment was a mess, and the bills were still due.
“I don’t have Daddy issues” she said. “I don’t even know who my Daddy is.”
She annoyed me because she reminded me of me.