It never should’ve taken that long to understand myself. But it did. It too me 23 years until I suddenly realized what am I. Who am I. What’s this world we’re living in and how can I live by knowing I’m only a single drop in a pool of millions.
I’m an African man. Not African American, not born out of a mixture of different races and I came to be with a dark skin. No. I’m Sudanese. A 100% “chocolate or mud” colored man.
Do you know how hard it is? To be black? It always starts at school. The teasing. The bullying. A nerve some people will have, and the extremes some might go to are just kind boggling. Let me tell you some snippets of my lovely life.
After the loss of my mother in 2003 at the age of 10, my father started to go out a lot. Which meant I had all the time in the world to be alone and miserable without any kind of observation. I’d dance, sing, read, write, cook, play and everything in-between. But that was in my home. Let’s go to my morning life at school. And let me tell you it’s not pretty.
During 6th grade I had the misfortune of going to a private school, which meant people if all types and origins are mixed up together for 8 hours with only 30 minutes to stop the eyesore. So here I am minding my own business and eating some crisps when suddenly I’m pummeled to the ground by three meatheads. When they stopped, everyone looked at me as I looked at them, then they started laughing. Not the kind of laughing because people see you wearing a miserable face. No! It was the kind of laugh that grates on your bones because people think that you’re less then them. Then the name calling started “Falafel , Falafel, Falafel,” I didn’t understand it at first but then I realized they were talking about my hair because it was curly & short. So imagine my surprise when I look around and see nothing but jars of mayonnaise galloping around like a bunch of hyper crazed crazies. But I was a chicken. I’ll not lie. I was scared, and I wasn’t stupid. I was alone and they were a lot. Then I liked around and saw another “Sudanese” guy looking at me in wonder. When I tried walking to him he jumped standing shaking his head. It was a no. “Your place isn’t here scum!” It was written all over his face. He was ashamed that I got jumped, me a person from the same hell hole as him, got jumped because I was a pussy. And I didn’t do shit. That’s the tip of the iceberg really, as the name calling turned strange after a while. I was overweight. Not excessively but it was obvious. So they started calling me “Two Dirhams.” What does that mean, you say? First, Dirham is the currency of the United Arab Emirates a.k.a UAE. They said two because apparently I was a cheap lay. Anyone who offers me two of those magical money-coins and I would bend over and take it up my you-know-what. As per usual my dense mind didn’t want to comprehend what was that about. You know what? I realized then that I didn’t give two fucking shit about what they said. Ignorance was a bliss. Not to me tonight the name calling and trashing didn’t deter from my physical appearance so I didn’t care. What baffled me though is that during exams those same shitheads that insulted me earlier sat next me, actually fought between each other, so that they can copy whatever I was writing on my papers.
I thought about a lot of things but then it clicked! No more copying unless you shut it with the insult. Hell I was even gonna snitch on other people just to have a little bit of control on my so called bullies.
One by one, each and everyone stopped. Yes there was the occasional contributor but it was harmless. It always was. It didn’t get physical anymore I didn’t give two shits really. But then came “Noddle Head Rakan.” Rakan was the type that never gave up. He was the guy that tried competing with you for no other reason but being you. So imagine my surprise when he, out of the blue, insults my mother.
Time stopped. Everyone stayed silent. I didn’t turn my head from him. All I saw is an enemy. He insulted my mom, the only person that I ever cherished with every bit of my being. So did it. I did what I never wanted to do. I hate fights but he left me no choice. Even scared mouse will bite when it’s cornered, only I didn’t bite. No I jumped at him with strength that I never knew that I had. I jumped at him and kept running until his back hit the whiteboard. And then punch after punch after punch I kept raining it. I didn’t want to stop.
Ambulance was called, because a “Sudanese(black) boy almost killed a classmate.”
I was suspended for a month from school. And Noodle head Rakan git transfered to Dubai. But I never backed down again. I stood up for myself, I fought for myself and I never told or cried to my father about school troubles. Till now my father is oblivious to what his son did. That or he’s just playing dumb.
But the result is that I never got jumped again. They all knew me as the fat kid with the bad temper, something which I carry until this day. If you saw me back then and now you’d realize how much time can change people. But for once in my life, I can say that I’m happy that punched your daylights out, Rakan.
So, if you’re reading this. “Fuck you!” And thank you for everything you taught me, now when I’m fighting with anyone with a bit if hair that can be grabbed I’d pull it and started punched the exposed cheek.
Fuck you again, Rakan!
That photo is for reference only. I’m in no way half as handsome, just look at the hair. Yup. My “Falafels.”