Thursday, December 23, 2010


It was a typical summer day. The sun was shining, and there was a slight breeze. At the time I was 8 years old.

As a child, my dad let me go anywhere, alone. I decided I was going to go the public park about 6 blocks down the road. I walked since the bike I had last summer had broken. Like any other visit to the park I immediately sat on a swing. I began to go as high as I could go, feeling the wind in my face, and listening to the sound of the swing creeking. For one reason or another after I got tired of that, I'd always find myself just sitting there on the swing, hardly swinging or not swinging at all reflecting on my thoughts.

It wasn't that I was racist or anything, but whenever I saw black people I had always stared a lot. It was strange to me, and I didn't quite grasp it. I went to a Roman-Catholic Elementary School, therefore, black people were foreign to my culture. Not only that, mentally handicapped people were obscure in my mind. I just couldn't comprehend why they couldn't act like 'normal people.'

I sat on the swing, thinking and rocking. Walking down the path, toward my location, I could see two black boys. Thet appeared to be larger, and older than me. I stared a little, and tried to act as innocent as possible, since I was kind of terrified of black people. As they got closer, I must have been laughing to myself, in between staring (which I didn't realize that I did, until now). The kid came over to me, with his friend behind him.

I began to get incredibly nervous. I was just unsure of how to act, how to portray myself. The kid piped up in a slurred, almost uneducated voice, "You making fun of my brother?" He had a serious attitude problem. I treated him with respect, since that was how I was taught to act no matter what the circumstances.

I replied with, "No, I wasn't. I don't even know your brother."

I was thinking that this all must have been a misunderstanding until he said, "My brother is mentally handicapped. It ain't right that you're makin' fun of him."

In my head I remember thinking that this kid had to be retarded. His yellowish eyes looked in two different directions. In my memory, he was slightly hunched over, and seemed to be drooling, with his mouth hung open like a barbarian. He even had an irregular breathing pattern that only seemed to be noticeable due to the peculiar weezing noise he made.

Now in fear, after taking my first good look at his brother I said, "I wasn't making fun of him. I'm sorry if you thought I was. I didn't even notice." Those were just about my exact words. Since I was genuine, but clearly appeared to be kissing ass, he wasn't happy and left with his brother.

At this time, more fear had set in and I waited a normal amount of time, and then started on my way home, where I knew I would be safe.

I was within 2 blocks of my house and had just crossed the street to the side which my house was on. I had turned with complete paranoia to find that him and his brother, were riding on bikes behind me in the street. For the next block, I told myself that they were just passing me. Before I knew it, they were completely caught up with me.

Without even thinking about it, I had opened my mouth. "My house is right up over here, so you can stop following me," I piped up. In the scariest cluster of disoriented seconds in my entire life, he had come up behind me, jumping the curb with his bike, silent.

I had frozen. He was close to me, looking me in the eyes. His eyes were similar to his brother in the fact that they were yellow. This extra dark completion only enhanced the yellow which glowed from his scleras. He said in an aggressive voice, "What did you say?"

Stammering, I attempted to mutter the words once again. I was unsuccessful. He drew his arm back, and before I knew it, he had punched me in the face. Like a sling shot, his hand drew back slow, but it retracted with multiple times the force. He had hit me on the left side of my face. He had knocked me to the ground. He quickly left on his bike.

It was my teeth more than anything else that hurt. Yes, my cheek and jaw were throbbing also. I had ran the last 20 yards or so to my house crying, and wanting to die. I thought, how could I have had allowed something like this to happen? I had a revolting taste in my mouth, and could feel bits on my tongue. In time I had realized that two of my teeth were chipped in the event. Not many can say that they know the bitter taste of bone marrow, but I can.

I have been looking forward to getting my braces off for years. I've always plotted how I could go about exposing them for the first time since I got braces. When I get them off in a few months I'll be excited but when I smile in the mirror I will still hate my smile. I don't know if I'll ever be able to overlook the chips and love my smile after my braces are removed. As far as I know, almost 5 years of braces will be worth nothing because I will still hate my smile.

No, Lady Gaga, I will not show you my teeth.