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Friday, 26 October 2007

Flash Back

By Leah Aronoff

I dreaded it. The walk home from school. The treacherous walk home from school. Always there were the boys - young men? I wasn’t sure - hanging out, draped over the brownstone stoops. Nothing to do. Too young to work? Unemployed? Truants? What? It didn’t matter. I had to get past them.

These carefree young Puerto Ricans were always, always there. Waiting. Waiting for me? So it seemed. Waiting for me to run their gauntlet. Eight, short, perfidious blocks, 118th to 110th was forever.

The sidewalk was treacherous out of all proportion: man-made grooves and irregular cracks alike took on the characteristics of miniature Grand Canyons. This demanded cautious maneuvering, for I was a natural born tripper. Given the slightest degree of concrete irregularity, my head played tricks and a graceful walk turned ugly. But only if I was followed by mischievous eyes.

Adding to my anxiety over potential catastrophe at every mini-chasm, was the certain knowledge that as soon as the boys caught sight of me they would yell, “Hey, keed, djoo mahrried?” I would not so gracefully trip on a crack, my pigtails would give a jerk, and my face would turn red.

Fortunately, verbal pursuit never gave way to physical. I knew that. I always knew that. Every weekday I knew that. But I would trip. And blush. Every time.

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 02:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post

Comments

I don't remember anything like that from my childhood. I would have blushed and tripped too....LOL

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