Growing up in the suburbs is hard on street cred.
Growing up in Jersey suburbs is even harder. And even though i try and tell fools the suburbs is home to some of the world’s biggest gangsters and hardest thugs who steal entire continents, it doesn’t seem to be a particularly convincing argument. Try as one may, this just ain’t enough collateral for no kinda street loan!
Another thing hard on street cred? Enrollment in an Ivy League university.
Picture me: a 17 year-old tryna front cause i got peach fuzz, yellin ‘bout “Uptown, sun! 114th and Amsterdam, what?! Harlem World all day, kid!”
May’ve worked, except everyone i was yellin that to knew that, technically, 114th and Amsterdam is not really Harlem, but Morningside Heights, a quaint little neighborhood filled with dog-walking white folks, French cafés, and high-end grocery stores.
Oh, but if only i could steal a little more than the 4.7 seconds she affords me for greetings each morning!
“Hey, how you feelin today, sister?”
i’m fine, thanx.
Smiling, always, in a neighborly way, fulfilling her neighborly duty and moving on to the day’s next task. No pause in her stride. No extended eye contact. The whole exchange, warm, but…well, not exactly the temperature i’d like.
She doesn’t even know my name. She: Kimberly. Her favorite flowers are Marigolds, which she grows on her porch. And Nefertiti better go somewhere if Kim decides to tuck one into her auburn-tinged hair. Gliding, as she does, down the street like a Spike Lee scene—long, denim skirts perched on slim waist—leaving frankincense and desire in her wake. A smile that lights up the whole block like springtime.
Kimberly, from which fruit stand do you pick your smiles? i wanna bring them to you throughout the day! Read on…