When Manhood was a Myth


And then sometimes I want to go back to the days when manhood was just a myth. When we used to sell wolf tickets about the girls we had been with to try to conceal the fact that we were still pure. When we used to pay local drug addicts to buy us cheap liquor from the Arab stores and drink until we threw up. When we used to have cap sessions for hours. I talked about his fat bottom lip because he tried to clown me about my wide nostrils. Then he talked about my old shoes so I got on him about his black ass mama. That’s when he started getting serious which meant that I had won.


This was before Sean got shot to death and before he went to San Quentin and even before juvenile hall. This was before H.G. lost his mind and started living on the streets and before his girlfriend had his baby and didn’t let him see his own son. This was before Kamari went to prison for life. Before he violated those women and told us that he didn’t do it but the newspaper down in San Jose said otherwise and so did the jury.


This was when we all played junior varsity football and we all wanted to play in the NFL and be millionaires and have all the women and pull up to the club in an old school Mustang or a brand new Lamborghini like Latrell Sprewell, C&H, and The Luniz. When we used to get on the bus all musty after practice and see a girl from school and argue over which one of us should go and try to get her number.


This was before I lost touch and shut down. Before my daughter was born. Before I got arrested for the first time but was never charged and started having daily fantasies about killing the police officers who harassed me and sneaking out-of-town never to return again and being a ghetto folk hero like Frank Matthews.


These were the days when I used to fall in love everyday with some beautiful girl that I couldn’t have as opposed to this day where I have a beautiful women that I don’t know how to love. When we believed in our future success like we believed in the words of Tupac. When we used to roam the halls of our high schools together acting way harder than we ever were. Before I had to write them letters in prison and before I had to visit them in the cemetery and before they came to my house in unkempt clothes and disheveled hair asking for a dollar, we were all friends.


We all wanted to be men. We all wanted to be somebody.