1986 TOYOTA COROLLA LEVIN AE86 GT APEX

I REMEMBER BEING ANGRY ALL OF THE TIME. FITTING IN WAS HARD FOR ME. CULTURE SHOCK HIT ME HARD. NOBODY CARED ABOUT YOUR IMAGE IN AFRICA. WE CHERISHED PERSONALITIES MORE THAN ANYTHING. BEING THRUST BACK INTO THE BEAST THAT WAS AMERICA DESTROYED THE LITTLE CONFIDENCE I HAD. THIS ONE KID, CODY WEAVER, USED TO CALL ME FAGGOT ALL OF THE TIME AND I WISH HE KNEW THAT I CRIED EVERY NIGHT BECAUSE OF THAT. I WISH HE UNDERSTOOD HOW I FOUGHT WITH ME SEXUALITY AND MY IDENTITY ALL OF THE TIME. I JUST WANTED TO BE ACCEPTED. BEING A WEIRD BLACK KID WASN’T A NORMAL THING IN GEORGIA. YOU HAD TO BE THIS CERTAIN CONCEPT OF A BLACK MAN AND IF YOU STRAYED AWAY FROM IT, YOU WERE AN OUTCAST. FRESHMAN YEAR WAS HELL.


MY TIMID DEMEANOR RUINED A LOT OF THINGS FOR ME. I COULDN’T DATE GIRLS AROUND ME BECAUSE THAT MEANT I HAD TO BE SOCIAL. I ALWAYS FOUND MYSELF DATING GIRLS THAT LIVED IN DIFFERENT COUNTRIES OR STATES FAR AWAY FROM MINE. I FINALLY MUSTERED ENOUGH COURAGE TO ASK ONE GIRL OUT, BUT HER DAD DIDN’T LIKE BLACK PEOPLE SO WE DATED IN SECRECY. I WAS MORE OF A SCIENCE EXPERIMENT TO HER THAN ANYTHING. SHE WOULD YELL AT ME IN FRONT OF PEOPLE AT SCHOOL FOR REASONS I WAS NOT AWARE OF AT THE TIME. SHE PUSHED ME AGAINST THE LOCKERS ONE DAY AND IT WAS SO EMBARRASSING THAT MY NOSE BLED THE ENTIRE DAY. EVENTUALLY SHE WOULD DUMP ME FOR A FOOTBALL PLAYER. MASCULINITY WAS SOMETHING I LACKED. IT MEANT THAT TO ME THAT I HAD TO HIDE HOW I FELT INTERNALLY.


CARS WERE THE VESSEL THAT CARRIED THE MOST FONDEST OF MY MEMORIES. AS A CHILD, I REMEMBER BEING IN MY DADS 1992 VOLVO 240 AND LISTENING TO AL GREEN AND EARTH WIND AND FIRE. DRIVING TO LOUISIANA FROM TEXAS SEEING THE SUGAR CANE AND COTTON FIELDS BLEND IN WITH THE EVENING SKIES AS THE RAIN HIT THE ROOF OF OUR CAR. VEHICLES PLAYED A PIVOTAL PART IN MY LATER YEARS. IT WAS MY SECURITY, MY FORTRESS OF SOLACE. I ALWAYS DID MY HOMEWORK IN THE CAR, THE DEAF SOUND IN MY PARENTS 2010 KIA SORENTO MADE ME FEEL AT PEACE WITH MYSELF. I CRIED IN THAT CAR A LOT.

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