Waiting for the Sky to Open

Let me preface this by saying that I often get brilliant writing ideas in the middle of the night when I’m desperately trying to fight the monster in my head.

I can remember going to Sunday school each week on Mrs. Tidwell’s 3rd floor back porch. She would gather up all the BDs (street gang on the Southside of Chicago) and kids from my complex to teach us about God and the second coming. I imagined the sky would crack open and all the saved ones who somehow remembered to repent before going to bed would slowly ascend to the sky, surrounded by a bright white light and stardust. They would be greeted with open arms, living in bliss and everlasting life. When the world became filled with too much hate and strife, I was prepared to see the sky crack open.

The witch rode my back shortly after. I was sleeping in my mother’s bed to the left of her. Although I was 11 or so and had my own bed, I chose to sleep with my mom (code for all things great). All I could do was pray to God and ask him to forgive me for my sins, especially the lie I’m sure I told my mom yesterday. I thought the sky would crack open then but it never did.

I witnessed the beauty and struggle of parenthood as my mother tried to make ends meet. Sometimes they did and sometimes I prayed for the sky to crack open.

When I was 12, a high school student wanted to fight me but my big sister (code for guardian angel) fought her for me. She came to my elementary school and there was a huge fight because sometimes you know people that know people that know people. I received a 10-day suspension the following school day and I was certain the sky would crack open.

My cousin was shot and killed by the Chicago Police Department when I was in the eight grade, yet the sky never cracked open.

I missed hella days of school during my freshman year of high school. My mom found out I had missed a month straight and I just knew the sky would crack open. Nope. Not even then.

Some boy from the projects on Federal or Dearborn thought he would appear to be tough if he whacked my brother (code for guardian angel) across the face with a golf club, nearly breaking his nose, in front of some neighborhood kids. We searched for the guy on Wabash Avenue (his last known whereabouts) and didn’t find him. When I saw my brother’s face I knew the sky would crack open.

One of my childhood friends was gunned down by a rival gang member a few years later. He still visits me in my dreams. He’s doing great by the way. I waited for the sky to crack open.

The doctors told me I would have to deliver my second child au naturel because she was ready to enter this world and I prayed for the sky to crack open.

When I was raped at 25, I convinced myself that the sky had indeed opened up because there was no way in hell this was the real world.

I was with a former friend in Bar Louie’s when the jury found Zimmerman not guilty. I marched in protests and waited for days, praying the sky would crack open.

And here I am tonight/today at 3:07 a.m., just a few months away from our nation choosing its next leader, waiting for the sky to crack open.