Fried Egg-roll with Swiss Cheese.

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My friends and I are what one would call a friend egg-roll with swiss cheese mixed in between. For we were not anything alike, nor were we anything different from one another, just simply unique in our own ways. Through the tiny ant bites one would normally find in swiss cheese-- we filled up those holes with friendship. For we did not unite according to religion, nor culture or identity; instead we formed our own to match each other. It could have started in 3rd grade when our teacher, Mrs. McFarland, told us about the Farmer and the Stork (an elderly woman she was, short and stout with a shade lighter than golden hair):

"There was once a farmer who set a trap for the pesky cranes who would come to feed on his seeds. In this trap, the stork was trapped as well and began to beg for his release. He spoke of how he was not a Crane, but a Stork, a bird of excellent character.

He argued, "And see how I love and slave for my father and mother. Look, too, at my feathers. They are not the least like those of a Crane."

The Farmer laughed aloud, and said, It may be all as you say; I only know this, I have taken you with these robbers, the Cranes, and you must die in their company...birds of a feather flock together." It was true, through thick and thin we flocked together ever since.

Ever since the age of 6, my friends and I would religiously spend every Saturday together, not missing a single one. We went from coloring, to board games, to ELA and Math State Examinations to the everyday incidents of high school together. Never would a Saturday become a bore, for we didn't grow up to be a typical teenage crew; instead, we grew up to be travelers and adventurers. We walked outside in the bitterness of winter in our wolf-fur "name brand" coats and stayed inside watching sob story movies on HBO, in the smoke-laden air caused by Tina's father's cigarettes, on a perfectly nice day just because we could. We dragged each other on the scariest of roller coaster rides and screamed until out throats probably became cherry-lollipop red colored.

My friends and I are crazy, yes it is true. When we used to enter fast food restauraunts, the workers must have thought that an entire zoo of animals went loose, what a racket we would make. When my friends would say "Where da baffroom at?" in the grocery store the guy with the Indian accent would say "Customers only" and we would buy a 5-cent piece of gum just to get in. We would watch the store clerk's bald head shining under the dim light redden whenever we came around.

Other cliques would stare at us with confusion; Indian, Chinese, White, Arabic, Black, Bengali, Spanish and Pakistani, yes that's what we were. Except Rina, who made herself Arabic and "half Puerto Rican" because of those nasty racists. Once we even ran around wearing hijabs, or head scarves, on purpose to receive those nasty under-the-breath, mumbled comments. We used to look at them and reply "Shut up, or we gunna bomb you!" And we would laugh evilly as their pleasant faces turned a pale white.

18th Avenue and 60th Street is the best place on Earth. It was the only place we would spend more time in than school. Come to think of it, it may have been our second home. I don't exactly know why it was the best place on Earth, maybe because it had the memories of our first school, or the park we first scraped our knees in. It may have possibly even been the place we developed our friendship in. To give you a straight answer of why it was the best place of Earth, I couldn't give you a good enough sentence to explain; however, I could tell you that you could find the best fried egg-roll with swiss cheese there- Us!





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