ONCE UPON A VEGAS
My mama and I have always been super close, I remember times in middle-school, when most kids were hiding things from their mothers, I was open and honest about who I dated, kissed—and just about everything you can imagine. I wasn’t a bad kid either, I just didn’t have a lot of friends in middle-school. I was teased because I skateboarded, looked like a ‘boy,’ as they would say. And everybody claimed I was a lesbian but I got to the point where I thought, fuck this, I am who I am, I look like I do and I love me for it. My mom has always been my friend. Today, I’m blessed enough to have a husband and family. Mama’s always going to be my best friend.
I remember how hot it was walking home from school in Las Vegas—I didn’t take the bus most times because I didn’t have a bus pass. I wasn’t allowed because I lived literally one block out of the radius that was required by the schools in Clark County School District. The walks were long and filled with thoughts and memories from home, accompanied by Greenday’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.” It was 5:00AM and pitch black, the moon was tall above the city—the song was a comfort yet a bad reminder of how things were at home.
“You’re emo, you’re a boy, you’re stupid and will never find love,” that’s what the told me. And honestly I was a teenager, so it was pretty hurtful—especially when people would call me a “poser,” just because I loved Blink 182 and didn’t mind jamming out to some Backstreet Boys or NSYNC. Come on man, I’m a laid back, down to Earth person, but God forbid not being perfect in middle-school, especially in Las Vegas where “swag,” is everything in school.
“God, why Am I such a loser,” peering over the top of the gym track—everybody had friends, but I only had one or two and even they didn’t want talk to me. At least I felt pretty damn annoying. Snickernoodle was there for me and so was Soysauce, JelloBobDude, Lay, Peratik, Franny, Natalie, and Khadija. I’m not quite sure where I would be today. And everybody I used to skate with Rusty, Akira,Roger, Estaban, Jon and Anthony, were the boys, who I considered my best guy friends—thanks’ boys and Mama for always supporting me on those cold days, where suicide was the only option in my mind.
They didn’t know anything because, well, I kept it on the down low.
“Ah—Laura! Come on, try jumping over the three bricks. You just pop it a little harder,” hell yeah, I’m going to try it. I start running, throwing my board on the floor and jumping on it, right as I thought it had enough speed. Shit, the bricks were, getting closer and my balance was def, not steady. The board pops up and the back wheels slam against the bricks, throwing me forward. “Are you okay,” my friend ran toward me. “yeah, it’s a good thing when you skate, you learn how to land.” That’s not to say my knee’s didn’t have scrapes or bruises—it was just part of the sport.
Skateboarding was truly my get away from all the negative—it felt good to be alive and the adrenal rush was like a drug. Hey, it was my verb what can I say? It’s good to be alive when you feel good. It was getting late the apartment street lights turned on and that meant “time to go home,” I hate it going home. “You’re five minutes late, what were you doing?” I looked away. “ I was skating and I lost track of time.” God, nothing I said would make a difference, lying took too much effort and telling the truth—it didn’t make a difference.
“Dad, no don’t throw it away, come on, please.” I started to cry.
“You’re not a teenage boy, you’re a girl and when I don’t want you to skateboard anymore. You need to be classy, act like a lady,” this was just the beginning, “look at me in the eyes, don’t look away, do you hear me, look at me when I’m talking to you.” he started yelling. “I’m sorry.” I shouldn’t have said anything.
“I’m sorry,” was enough to gasoline on the fire to set him off even more. “Don’t raise your voice to me, if you’re late again, ever again, you will never go outside again.” Then he stormed out of my room, slamming my dresser, so all of the contents fell from within the inside the dresser.
“I don’t know why you always have to pick on the kids, she wasn’t even five minutes late.” Mother was always my shield and protected me. If it was one thing she couldn’t stand was anybody, saying anything about her children. Especially, Dad, she just felt so stuck, scared and alone.
“She needs to learn to obey me and we had a girl, not a boy that’s why I yelled at her.” I could hear him through the walls. “She is probably a lesbian.” Then I hear the door slam and pick up the phone to try and call a friend—in attempts to get my mind off the situation. And the old dial-up tone came back at me—mocking me as if saying,
“I knew you were going to try and get comfort—now I’m going to go on Pal talk and commit adultery.” I started to wonder if all men were that way and if they were I didn’t want to ever get married. I was laying in bed thinking about a time when mom and I put everything in a suitcase, go to the pawn shop, sell it and run away, forever.
Maybe—just maybe we could live, happily ever after.
To Be Continued…….