A Moment in a Boy’s Life By: Eric Blair
Just recently, I stop to look at my life and the people who are in it. I noticed that we’ve come a long way from children living in North Philadelphia. I see friends bonding in a marriage, I see friends settling down and starting a family with their lover and child, friends enjoying life, friends buying homes, friends watching their children grow into preteens, friends that’s welcoming a new edition to their family, and then there is me, Eric Terry-Blair. I have grown as a person with life experiences, I just experienced one major event; Erin’s first day of kindergarten. Big day for her and I was there giving her a speech about being herself and never follow anyone. I was going to tell her the story about my first day in kindergarten but she interrupted me with, “Um, daddy, I have to go put my clothes on.” Since I never got this story out and it needs to be told I am going to tell it to you guys today.
The month and year was September of nineteen eighty-nine, I was a strapping and adorable five year old. I was ecstatic to start kindergarten; I have been talking about it to my grandmother, Nookie for a whole week. So, I was dressed very crisp and clean with my little backpack on my back waiting for my mother to finish dressing. As always, she takes forever to put one item of clothing on. Time passed, back then I didn’t know the actual time but I sensed it. I had grown impatient so I unlocked the front door, walked down three flights of stairs because we lived on the third floor. I opened the front door, looked to my left, looked to my right, and then I heard someone yelling out, “Hey Eric!” I looked up and saw my neighbors, “the twins,” they were twin boys. I waved over to them because they lived across the street. I had a huge smile on my face looking very dapper as I yelled back; “I am going to school, Twins!” Thinking back, I wonder why the hell they didn’t stop me because they were like three years older than me. Hey, it was the eighties but we digress. So, I proceed to walk down the steps to the front of our apartment to the sidewalk, at the time, we lived on Fifteenth and Oxford. I walked to the corner and began walking towards Broad Street. Honestly, I did not know where I was going; I just was walking hoping to stumble onto a school. I walked along Broad Street, southbound. As I was walking I realized how big and amazing the world was outside of my block. It was beautiful through a five year old’s eyes, the big cars, big buses, and the big building. Now that I think about it, why the hell didn’t an adult ask me if I was lost because I was gazing at my surrounding in complete awe. Finally I realized I was lost, I start leaving the sidewalk of Broad Street to enter Blockbuster; I don’t know why I picked Blockbuster, maybe my love for movies and story telling began there. I entered Blockbuster and just let the tears pour like a waterfall. I cried my little heart out; the workers gave me a big tub of popcorn to calm my cries and fears. I believe I was upset because I can’t find my school. The workers called the police and moments later they picked me up and took me home. That whole time I was only around the corner on Girard Avenue, I believe. Once the police returned me home to my mother and grandmother, the two embraced me with love. My mother took me up stairs as I was waving bye to the officers, my grand mother stayed outside to speak with the officers. Once we entered our apartment, a belt appeared. My mother beat me so f’ing bad; she struck me as if she was Thor with his hammer, Mjölnir. Oh, I screamed for help, “she’s killing me,” “murder!”, “my wee-wee hurts”, anything to get my grandmother’s attention and maybe the officers. She was beating me so hard that the neighbors across the street heard me screaming. My mother struck me with the belt so hard and forceful I was naked by the time she finished; I originally had clothes on when I entered the apartment. True story! I cried for one whole hour after the beating because the beating was like a half of hour. From that day on I never left the house without my mother or informing her that I was leaving, still to this day. The last lesson I learned from that beating was how to tell time. The “crying hick-ups” were like seconds as I sat in the hallway in my underwear. Still till this day, I do know understand what happened to my clothing.
That was the story I wanted to tell Erin but she kind of blew me off, what kid blows off their father. Rudy never did that to Heathcliff. It’s okay, the kid gets one pass, just this once. Anywhoo, I had to tell my story to you all. I hope you all enjoyed a moment from my life. Okay, here is where the tale ends…