Is it strange to say a number of times? I’ve found myself in one dangerous situation or another and I honestly don’t know how I’m still alive. I’ll share this one experience.
I was about fifteen years old. We lived in the 7th Ward of New Orleans, which is not far from the French Quarters and downtown. The area was weird because like most urban areas, you can be on one street and it look perfectly fine, but you turn the corner and walk a block or more and it’s like entering a war zone.
My Street Onzaga was that nice street; we had a mixture of younger and older couples in the area and everyone was pleasant. However, my cousins lived on the next street Lapeyrouse and it was that war zone. Well, their block was.
My cousin T, the youngest of the two, had this habit of getting into it with the other girls on her block. These young women were mostly the girlfriend’s of the drug dealers who sold on that block. It was always over some dude–I know ridiculous.
This day, she called me saying that they were threatening to jump her and her sister. I was like, they gone have to fight all three of us. So, I went walking my butt around there like Wonder Woman!
I ended up scrapping with one of the girls and at the end we whipped their butts. I guess they didn’t like that, so they called their boyfriends. I told my cousin, “We just need to chill until your mom gets home.” She agreed, but low and behold, we were sitting on the porch when I saw my 13 year old brother stomping down the block with what we used to say, “A boot in his mouth.” Which basically means, you look mad. I looked at her and said, “Did you call my brother?”
She nodded. I was ready to whip her tail. She called my brother to fight grown a$$ men with guns. I said, “Are you trying to get him F@#$%^! killed?!” The look on her face…she realized that was a mistake.
I heard one of the guys say, “What that lil N**** coming around here for? Go get my piece.” I hopped up from the step that I was sitting on and started walking toward my brother. By this time, the guy had pulled out his gun, my brother stopped, turned and ran. The guy pursued him and I pursued the guy screaming, “Don’t shoot my brother!” All I was thinking is…he’s gonna have to kill us both.
Now, my brother and I were both fast. We used to challenge each other in foot races all the time. So, my brother had already made it to the corner of our street before me and the guy. As we rounded the corner, I saw my step dad with his weapon walking toward the corner and my mom screaming, “GYAITHRN!” The guy suddenly broke in a different direction going toward Broad St.
My mother was so mad! Lord. She didn’t want us to go back over there on Lapeyrouse ever again. In fact, I remember soon after that, my aunt left and my cousins came to live with us until they went off to live their own lives.
So yeah, when some of us say, we grew up kinda hood. We really do mean it. That was a different life and a different time. I thank God for keeping me in spite of my foolishness.