I remember following in the footsteps of my older cousin Romeo Wrangle. I decided in the 11th grade that I wanted to be a mathematician. He was attending University of Akron at that time majoring in the subject. It sounded like a good subject that would provide me with a nice job and well-being in life. In order to major in math, I was told I had to take physics so I signed up for the class as my first step toward the journey of becoming a mathematician. When I got to physics class, I had taken algebra, geometry, and was at the time taking algebra II.
In physics class we had to do these conversions of like inches to meters, miles to kilometers, etc. I had never seen or heard of such math and I was completely not getting it at all. I had nowhere to turn for help, the teacher who I had before as a science teacher was not a very enthusiastic person. He was dry I guess you could say. I tried asking him for help, but he was no help. I came into class early a couple of times and he explained it to me, but I just couldn’t grasp it. I had decided that I would drop the class. I remember one day crying in my room after struggling with the homework, thinking to myself that I would not be anything in life because I couldn’t pass this course. I didn’t know of anything else to be but what Romeo was gonna be. I guess you can say Romeo was my big brother, idle, etc. He got good grades in school; he had nice looking girlfriends; he had friends in school and was an average cool kid. Personally I could say that if it hadn’t been for his influence, I don’t know where I’d be today. No, I actually can’t say that because I wasn’t on to a bad road before we really started hanging out a lot. I think that he was just that person I needed in my life to look up to. And looking at his image and what he was doing in life helped me stay up and focused as far as my life went.
While I had alright clothing to wear and the latest named brand tennis shoes, one thing we could never afford which I wanted so bad was a brand new car. I also wanted to live in a house and not in the projects. But my mom could never afford any of this.
I had friends, the Lindseys, who lived in a nice home; had a brand new car, nice clothes, and their other friends had the same. Come to think about it, I don’t know how I fit in with them; and I guess I didn’t considering how I used to beg Long to come and pick me up to go to basketball games with him and his brother Aderale and sister Alice. No, I don’t think it was that I didn’t fit it because I wasn’t a total scrub or nothing like that, but it was just they had so many other friends that I was just a pebble in the stone yard.
See Long and them grew up from birth until about age seven or eight or nine, in the Highland Holmes. When their dad, Mr. Frank died, they moved to the northwest side of town. They were the first kids I remember playing with and being friends with. My mom and I moved to California when I was five years old the summer before my birthday. By time I came back to town to stay three years later, they had moved to their new neighborhood. It wasn’t until ninth grade that I got back in contact with them. Long who had flunked a grade was in the tenth grade, 16, and was driving a brand new red black and grey Chevy Blazer with a spoiler kit on it and a booming sound system, and this car/truck shot his and his brother and sister’s popularity through the roof.
These were the people I wanted to be around for one, because they were so popular and for two, because they were my first friends. So I forced my way into the crew. I’d go over their house from time to time and chill. In the summer when I got my Honda Elite 80 scooter back out because I had my license then, everybody was on my nuts wanting to ride it so I guess that gained me some acceptance into the crew. I didn’t let them ride much though. The crew was Adrock, Hardy, Long, Aderale, Sachel Harville, Wicky Dejean; they all probably rode my scooter once each. One crew member, the oldest of the bunch was Leon Bonnard. He was living with the Lindsey’s for some reason or another. He wasn’t so accepting of me coming around. He didn’t know why I came around. I guess he seen me as the little bug-a-boo trying to hang with the most popular black kids on the west side of town, and he even said as much to me a few times. But one thing about me was that if people cracked jokes on me or said insulting things, it never really bothered me much. I guess I was always in tune with myself and people cracking on me or like Leon, who would ask me sometimes when I came over, “why you come over here?” I don’t know if he was playing or not but he didn’t bother me. One thing in my mind I had over him and all the other kids who hung around the Lindsey’s was that I knew Mr. Frank. I’d seen Mr. Frank in the flesh; he and Mrs. Janine together as husband and wife and family, ate dinner with them, went to the Hot Dog Shoppe together with them. And I was a friend of the Lindsey’s before Leon ever knew who the Lindsey’s were and before the Lindsey’s knew who he was. I remember Aderale coming outside with whepps all on his arms because Mr. Frank had whipped his ass the night before. Now none of their other friends could share this story with Aderale and Long and Alice. So Leon, while you were right about me wanting to be down because y’all was the most popular and all the girls liked y’all; you really had no clue why I stayed coming around. And reminiscing back on the times, Leon and I actually became good friends as well and I used to visit him at his dad’s house when he moved back to Ohio from an out of state stint. But on to the subject at hand; Romeo lived in a house, his mom worked at General Motors and his dad and she owned a little soul food restaurant called Rosa and Parks.
Wicky Dejean who I knew through church, when he was sixteen, his father bought him a brand new Buick Riviera. He wore nice clothes and they lived in a nice home. I tried to make friends with him also at one point in time but that didn’t really happen. I just always wanted to be around these type of people. My friends I had grew up with in the projects like Jay Claude, they had went on to sell drugs and were smoking weed, etc. Those weren’t my things. So being around these type of people I guess fueled my drive to have a decent life. I was heavy off into Hip Hop at the time also; BDP, PUBLIC ENEMY, BIG DADDY KANE, ERIC B & RAKIM, BIZ, MARLEY MARL, NWA, STEADY B, MC LYTE, KOOL G. RAP & POLO, SALT & PEPA, QUEEN LATIFAH, SWEET TEE, DOUG E FRESH, JAZ, 3 X DOPE. These were all like my favorite groups at the time and I was dabbling into writing rhymes myself.
By time I got to 12th grade, I made up my mind that I was going to New York to live to get some of the Hip Hop experience and to become a rapper while attending college. As I told before, my guidance-counselor talked me out of that. I went to college on an academic scholarship that he got me. I can thank Romeo for that also because I followed in his footsteps of making the honor roll from like the middle of ninth grade to the end of the eleventh. My senior year, forget about it, my grades dropped but not below a 2.5 average. I went to college and pledged Alpha Phi Alpha following in Romeo’s footsteps once again. He had pledged two years before me at University of Akron.
After my freshman year in college I visited N.Y. and decided from that moment on that I wanted to live in NYC. From my visits there, I discovered that it would be hard to find a woman there (I’d speak to young ladies there and they’d just laugh in my face) so while in college I started searching for my love whom I could take to New York with me when I graduated. I told myself at that time that I wanted a woman who wanted something out of life. My eleventh grade history teacher Mr. Snyder hipped us on to the fact that by the time we grew up, we wouldn’t be able to purchase a house (he was right, at least to date for myself) because they simply would be too damn expensive to afford by time we graduated college. He said we were gonna have to live in apartments or it was gonna take two to live comfortably in a nice house, have a nice car and 2.5 kids.
So in college my search began for my love. All I wanted was O.K. looks and someone willing to work toward a better life which was what I was doing. Here is what I ran into. The only girl I ever really liked in college was Lynette Treason, she was beautiful (still is to this day with husband and children) but she had a boyfriend. I ran into Rebecca, a white girl whom I’d messed with my senior year in high school. She provided me with great sex and finance during my college years. Rebecca, when I think about it, if I loved her, we would have made a great team. She’s a lawyer and I’m an accountant. She’s bringing home 50 to 70K in Ohio, so in New York that would be about 80 to 90K. I’m, of course, an underpaid black man making 36K when I should be making 45 to 50K. But I didn’t love her and I don’t love her so that is that. I ran into Lauren who had three kids, a bangin’ body, and good pussy that I could bust nuts in because she had her tubes tied. These were my two girlfriends for like two or three years.
My mom and grand mom never told me to be prejudice against women with kids, which is why I didn’t run the hell away from Lauren when she told me over the phone that she had three kids when I was – years old and she was –. I had never heard of that before. I grew to like Lauren a lot; it was never really love, it was lust/love. She started attending school while we were going together in an effort to try and better her life, but she couldn’t do it. I was stuck with Lauren thinking how I would be able to move her and her kids to New York with me when I graduated college. I had no answer. We eventually broke up due to other factors, but we ended up messing around off and on until last year. We even discussed marriage, but three kids, a man and a woman in New York City on like 50K wasn’t happening, and other factors also brought the situation to a head.
There was also this other girl I loved at first sight who attended Kent State University named Jackie. I’d see her when I’d be there at Alpha parties. She talked to me shyly and distant every time I seen her. I even got her number and I think talked to her once on the phone, but never nothing else. There was also Mirabelle who I loved at first sight, but she never gave me the time of day because I wasn’t a drug dealer and had no money. I see her from time to time now in Warren. She still looks good to me but she was messing around with my friend Flynn last time I checked.
The summer before my last quarter of college and being broken up with Rebecca and Lauren, I ran into Elizabeth. I liked Elizabeth and spent the whole summer with her. She was depressed from going through a divorce and being a single mom I guess since she had grown up with her mom and dad and brother in a nice home on the outskirts of our little city. We had a pretty boring summer together and our relationship ended in the fall.
I hooked up with Rhonda who was free because her boyfriend was in jail. I really liked Rhonda, but she wasn’t too enthusiastic about us since we both lived with our parents and she couldn’t figure out how we would spend quality time together so I broke it off with her, our little thing. I then got hooked up with Victoria and she was cool in the beginning. She got pregnant after three months of us messing around and during her pregnancy I discovered little personality differences between us so we broke up. I had graduated from college by this time.
Dumb ass me, wait until I graduate from college to get a girl pregnant who was not my wife and who decided on keeping the baby, and I didn’t pressure her about her decision, I just went along with it. We broke up, we got back together, and then we broke up again. If she would have been a little bit more understanding about her social and financial situation, and been willing to move to New York with me, we probably would still be together. She made it clear to me that New York was out of the question, especially with a child. Her social and financial situation was that she didn’t have a college degree, a job or money, but yet she wasn’t trying to make this better by doing a simple thing like taking a little job to make her situation better. Her pride wouldn’t let her take a job other than an office job. And in our town in Ohio, if you were black and knew nobody, even if you had a degree, you wouldn’t obtain an office job. Hell, I couldn’t even get one after I graduated college. But that, in a nut shell sums up us.
After her, I hooked up with Sausha. Sausha was also free because the father of her three children was in jail. She wanted to attend college to make a better life for herself but the obstacles of the kids and not being prepared academically for college kept leaving her short. I liked Sausha because she was easy going. She was in a worse situation than Victoria, but she would take a job from time to time to make her situation a little better, to get her kids some school clothes, etc. I thought about moving Sausha to NYC with me, but the three kids, and her not having any skill to obtain a good paying job, and also her burning desire to get through college held that from happening. We broke up finally last year. She claimed she couldn’t handle the long distance relationship and that she wanted to stay in Warren because it would be easier for her to go to school, etc. I probably would have brought her to NYC if she wouldn’t have decided not to come the last time I asked her.
So really to my luck, I don’t have three of someone else’s kids to worry about feeding, which when I think about it, those were ridiculous ideas, which would have ended in disaster. So through my searches, all I found was women who had kids and women who didn’t want to or couldn’t push to achieve their goals to come along with me to NYC because wasn’t no stopping me getting here. I was comin’ no matter what. So now I’m here, and just like I figured, it is virtually impossible to find a woman here or at least what I am looking for. After those four or five women in my past, I’m looking for a career job woman, with one kid or less, with car, own apartment, good looks, knows how to dress, good sex, and good companionship. I probably won’t find all that, but right now, I ain’t acceptin’ no less. I’ve accepted less all my life as far as the women I’ve been involved with. I got all of the above that I am looking for in a woman and I am lookin’ for someone of equal or better stature.
I’ve met a couple of friends here who I complain to that I ain’t got nobody and they say they can hook me up with some pussy. But see, pussy was my main downfall in the past. I was with Lauren two years steady for pussy. I was with Rebecca three years for some pussy. Don’t get me wrong, while I liked each of these women to some degree other than sex, the bottom line of what they really had to offer me was pussy. I don’t even want to fuck a woman unless she has some of the criteria mentioned up above that I am looking for.
And that is why I’m livin’ like I’m livin’. See cause if I mess with a girl that I really don’t like and we’re fucking and messing around and dating, I’ll start being with her and getting used to her. Like my friend Burton says, you get comfortable with it and stay in the situation blocking yourself from finding what you really want. I’ve done that for seven years of my life. It’s time out for that shit. And I’ve always knew the kind of woman I wanted. I’d see them all the time while I was on frat trips in DC, Atlanta, and even just hanging out in Cleveland. I’d even talk to them. But I’d always use the excuse of a long distance phone bill for not asking for their number. Or they would tell me they weren’t interested or that they had boyfriends. Or even at some points, I’d be so comfortable with Lauren, Rebecca and Sausha that I’d just not talk to them at all, saying to myself, “I’m making my thang work with them so I ain’t gonna bother with this and break they heart.”
My drive to do better and surround myself around those who had more than I had has gotten me everything I wanted: a college education, a new car, nice clothes. It has gotten me everything but a better woman and a house of my own. Well the drive for a better woman is on now. I have a female room-mate who I could probably have sex with and be going out with since she complains that she is so miserable. She is sexy, wears thong underwear, not that cute in the face but that’s o.k. I won’t make an advance or touch her or even think about her like that because she doesn’t have the criteria I’m lookin’ for. This hard bargaining has me womanless and pussyless. But in the end, it’s got to pay off. I’m strivin’ for better. The story of my life. 2019 IT HAS NOT GOTTEN BETTER!
HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE THE MAIN LIFE EVENTS (PARENTS, MONEY, FRIENDS, GIRLFRIENDS, HEROES, IDLES, MENTORS, DREAMS) THAT GOT YOU TO THIS POINT IN YOUR LIFE?