Friday, September 5, 2008

The Rundown (with Sean not Seann)

- arrived in the world early by at least a month. Very small baby. Spent a nice portion of my first few years in the hospital. Used to have epileptic seizures (possible west syndrome?) and stopped breathing at various points along with having to endure spinal taps. Good thing I don't remember any of that shite.

- my older sister gave me my first name. Why a five year-old was given that sort of power over my life, I don't know. Middle name came from my dad. Various mispronunciations and newly created nicknames ensue.

- got one full, angry younger brother, an older half-sister that I didn't realize was a half-sister until my twenties (not that it matters), an older half-brother from Coney Island that used to visit us in The Rock all the time when we were young. Found out I have another half-brother and half-sister a few years ago at my dad's wedding. Also, a younger step-brother now. My dad was busy.

- mother has been a hard-working telephone operator for as long as I can remember. Taught me all about hard work and dedication. She was the tough, scary parent. The real disciplinarian and I used to assume all arguments between her and my dad was mostly her fault but I grew up and learned the truth. In the past 6 or 7 years, I have gotten very close to her. Not an outwardly emotional person (hence, why I am who I am) but always looks out for her loved one and is extremely generous, to her detriment (another trait I seem to have unfortunately inherited as well, like my sis)

- father was the "cool" parent when I was little, i.e. he was the one who bought you cool toys and talked to you somewhat like an adult and was funny. He was the emotional one of the mom-dad duo. He was very relaxed, but this may have been very much due to marijuana abuse. Nation of Islam half-supporter, which was why I had to end my love affair with pepperoni for awhile and was always of the initial mindset that white people were the devil (except those who bought drugs from us-kind of like George Jefferson in that regard). Disappeared for days at a time, went to rehab, cleaned up his act, came back different and then just left one day not to return until he wanted the crap he bought back. Nice. As you can tell, I still have some unresolved issues with dude and haven't seen/talked to him since my brother was assaulted last year.

- always lived with my grandmother and aunt and various uncles who have flitted in and out of the house. Aunt always looked out in her own unique way and uncles contributed as well as they could but they are also the reason for my inflated "Fields Ego" at times, meaning the belief that we can get any woman we want if we say the right shite. Have slightly overcome that cocky mindset.

- emotions/emotion related activities in my house in my youth- anger, sarcastic responses (prerequisite for being in my family is having tough skin), not backing down from fights, non-use of the l-word and limited hugging or any other act to show the l-word.

- I was the third oldest in the living nearby cousin rankings. My sister was definitely in charge of all of us but she was also at least 4 years older than my only older cousin and his parents brought him by to play infrequently with us before they moved to Maryland (later learned they thought me, my bro and my other cousins were kinda bad influences- J.Witnesses, wha are you gonna do?). So, that made me the default one in charge when I could be bothered to lead. My father was sort of the official male role model for me and my cousins. Pretty good example, when he was there, outside of the drug use/selling but then again that was sort of a family tradition that still continues in some form ‘til this day. He left, I had to pick up the slack. Should have done a better job but I have kept the situations from getting worse than they could potentially be. Hopefully, my brother and cousins feel the same.

-Where I grew up....

Nuff said.

- exposed to drug use/selling at early age. also, other criminal activities were nearby at most times. definitely brings to mind a term from the movie Sleepers in my head- " a place of innocence ruled by corruption." This essentially means while the neighborhood is safe for children, the people in charge are often involved in illegal incidents. People followed some sort of rules back in the day though so I was never really worried except when police showed up. Didn't like cops as a kid- can deal with them for the most part now. Unless they are pricks. Hate prick cops.

- saw people shot full in the face before, as well as other extremities. One incident pops into my head instantly- must have been fifth or sixth grade and my sis' boyfriend (future husband) was visiting for the first time. Cool guy. He, my sis, my bro and me are inside the house at the time (don't recall if my cousins were there or not). my mother, grandmother and aunt were outside on the porch talking to some dude we knew from down the street. grandmother's husband was across the street probably doing something illegal. All in all a good night. That was until someone started shooting at my grandmother's husband. Or at least I think he was the target that evening. Think they only caught him in the foot but the man my grandmother was talking to was hit in the face. Bullet went in through cheek and out through the nose. What I remember clearly was my brother freaking out because he thought my mother might have got hit and my future bro-in-law keeping him and my sis calm. I also remember the dude leaking blood out in our hallway floor near the front door. Kinda weird scene to see around the age of 10. Wouldn't be the last time I saw someone hit like that either but luckily this guy made it. And my sis' boyfriend came back the next day. Dude gets all props for that because I'm not sure what I would have done in the same predicament. Kudos.

- didn't sleep a great deal as a kid, a tradition I carry on somewhat to this day. still only sleep about four hours now too. Always stayed awake until like 3 in the am constantly on the weekend with my father on the porch outside. saw a lot and heard a lot. Also stayed up a lot in the house so I was privy to discussions (read: arguments) that my brother missed between my parents. Lucky him.

- there used to be a show that filmed in our neighborhood for CourtTv called The System. It was about local crime. My bro and cousins were on it during a drive-by filming of our street. Lived next to the crack spot so that made our house a hot attraction. Well, that, and all the drug dealers that hung out at my house or on our porch. oh, and my father was on the intro for awhile-getting arrested. He went missing one night and found out he got arrested for drinking on the porch. Recognized him because he was wearing a letterman's jacket that I used to rock sometimes.

- had to replace a few house windows, dig bullets out of our wall and visit a rehab or two in my time (not rehab for me- for others).

- how I learned to swim- went to a party on the beach (literally, one block from my house). Random cousin of the birthday boy picked me up and threw me into the water as I was screaming my lungs out. "Swim or die." Guess which I did.

- went to public school until 8th grade with mostly minorities and some white people who were not of the highest caliber. Then went to private school and had to adjust and overcome my perceptions of all white people. Took me about three years to overcome my racism. Realized that white people aren't jerks because they are white. They just happen to be jerky AND white. Also met jerky black, hispanic and asian people.

- outside of e, al, shak and crew, my closest homeboy was normally a big white boy who was funny and/or violent on my bus. The first was dan reynolds who fell more into the violent column. Then there was neil mccarthy, who was definitely in the funny category. Good people, that neil. Still on my friends’ list on Myspace.

- another person who helped me overcome my initial dislike of anything other than me was Dee Madison. Cute, funny, smart ass blonde chick. Tough too. Reminded me of my mother a little bit in that last aspect. Had a crush on her but didn't make a move. Still had some of that old daddy programming in me. Plus, I was a punk. Also, on my Myspace friends’ list.

- that's not to say high school was all sweet. The table where all the minorities sat was nicknamed "the Nable". Guess why. Yeah….that was a fun time.

- drink a lot less than I used to. Used to swill a lot and get those moments of binging when I'm with crew still. Thinking my drinking really started in force after sophomore year of college when I was living in Georgia. Also, the vodka lemonades I had during the junior and senior years of high school didn't hurt. And when I say during, I mean DURING- like between classes.

- smoking of the trees begin around 16 and ended last year with differing periods of sobriety. Been exposed to second-hand since I could remember though. Not gonna go back. Done with it. T and crew will pick up my slack. Was fun while it lasted.

- outside of those two vices, I've only ever tried one other drug and that was mushrooms. Did them once. Won't do them again unless I become filthy rich. Wasn't a horrible experience but I'm in no rush to do again. That or drugs of any kind.

- girls/chicks/ladies/wimmens- normally attracted to the crazy, odd, and/or shat upon chicks. Don’t know why. Maybe it goes to a savior complex or I like trouble. Regardless, when I find myself attracted to a woman, I wonder what is gonna be the problem I will have to deal with later. Hopefully, I have broken this trend or I'm going to have to really re-evaluate myself.

- relationships- as you can tell, emotional expression is a difficult thing for me. Feel I am improving but I still need work. The only successful relationship in my family is my sister and her husband. All the others have not been good. Hence, my fear of marriage and long-term relationships in general. Also, don't want to be a total man-whore like my older male family counterparts.

- need to work on my focus. Used to like school and really get into my work. Since about high school that has been on the decline. Outside of moments of extreme focusedness (know it isn't a word but we use it anyway) on certain things, I need to dedicate my self to elementary school focus. 9 year-old Sean would be cursing out 28 year-old Sean right now. Used to rely on luck too much and still have a tendency to leap without looking. Need to address that too.

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