#WEDJ2020 (07/31) | Bad Company
“Bad company corrupts good character.” — 1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)
Him? Finessed out. Drug dealer certified, thoroughly Southwest Philly. Me? Straight from the suburbs, street game depleted. But I understood why I was his escape. I had no idea of the streets. I couldn’t hold him accountable to their games. He could hide.
College was a weird time for me. It was my first time away from home; my first time with a taste of freedom. I didn’t know much about life plus I really didn’t know much at all. The streets I ran had no streetlights and sidewalks and the police came in less than five minutes. We heard crickets and witnessed deer frolicking in our backyard. Barely heard a peep from the neighbors. Such an oasis.
Such a boring, boring oasis.
So he brought excitement in whatever spurts he could give me. He’d hustle into my dorm at night when he needed to escape from the cold of always being locked down to the corner. I wouldn’t ask him about his day; he’d always ask me about my classes. I started going off about “Silent Spring” and he’d stare into my eyes like he’d be quizzed on them later.
He first told me that he worked “construction”. He was the flyest construction worker on this earth. Dressed to kill, that was him. I was too naive to question but also too “overstanding” to fight his lie. I accepted him with open arms, no judgement or cynicism. He was too fine for that.
He had me bouncing off walls, crying at the sight of his impending touch. Weeping as he walked out of my door, I missed him as soon as the elevator door closed on the both of us. I wanted him to be with me in more ways than I could figure out what to do with.
And then he was gone.
It rained cats and dogs the night he begged to come over. I could see on his face that something wrecked him to his core, I felt his spirit hit me and drop to the ground. I tried to hold him up from the weight of what just transpired. “Hood niggas don’t try to kill themselves…” He just left TUH. He begged to be around someone who wouldn’t remind me of what he thought was impossible.
I sexed his pain away. I tried, at least. That would be the last of everything.
I don’t know if he scared himself into thinking that he was too “street” for me, thinking that I wouldn’t be able to understand when things get rough. I knew the roughness of suicide, I knew the roughness of gun violence and lost chances. My suburban exterior is just that. I’ve seen the worse in the best of places. Nothing of his would have scared mine. But he bounced before we could both find out.
And my bouncing off of walls ended just like that.