Okay, so basically I'm writer | Teen Ink

Okay, so basically I'm writer

December 19, 2018
By ChaLee, Stockton, California
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ChaLee, Stockton, California
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Favorite Quote:
yeet or be yeet'd

Author's note:

I wrote this for my Creative Writing class. It was basically our spin on The House On Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros except mine pales in comparison to Sandra Cisneros' literature prowess. I wrote this with the intention of telling some stories that I've experienced throughout my life. Although, I'm not a big fan of sharing, so I bend some stories and say less of what I should say and more of what I shouldn't. I think I just revealed the whole gimmick of the book, but that means I'm good at dissecting literature. Albeit my literature. I personally don't see anything profound about my work, but feel free to look for something thicc and juicy. Oh yeah, I say a few no-no words here and there, so don't let the kids read this. 

This is 464 34th street in bum ass Richmond or San Pablo. It’s kinda dumb to be honest with you. San Pablo is basically Richmond and vice versa. All the scenery is the same; it’s all an urban setting with Mexican culture everywhere, ranging from beautifully painted murals under freeways and on the brick walls of mom and pop shops, the street art showcasing what the people are capable of, the countless mexican restaurants along with little shops that simply sell pan dulce. It’s all so inspiring and amazing to experience. I digress, Richmond High School is in the city of San Pablo which is on the same street that conjoins the two cities, so what the hell? It’s all basically Richmond. Richmond, California not Richmond, Virginia. I never lived anywhere, but California, which is just fine. I honestly could care less about the toxic political correctness, the infernos that break out every other month, and the occasional earthquake that probably shook someone else harder than it shook me. I love California, I really do. We have some pretty cool things like Alcatraz, Folsom prison, San Francisco, Disneyland, great weather, diversity, which means great food, we used to be part of the wild west, and we got some kickass music festivals like Knotfest and Aftershock. Oh yeah, KoRn is from California, so that’s pretty cool.

Rendon Avenue is a cool little street I live on now. I live in Stockton, CA now since things didn’t go so well for us in Richmond er San Pablo I don’t care where the hell it is. Point is: we don’t live in the bay anymore since I pulled a job and ran to Stockton like it’s the Mexican border like a Clint Eastwood film except I didn’t look cool doing it and I didn’t pull anything. We just faded from existence and our physical forms manifested back into existence in the streets of Stockton, CA. We started off with a house in Weston Ranch on MacDougal Boulevard right in front of Great Valley Elementary which I spent 1st and half of 2nd grade there before we lost the place and moved into Delta View apartments in downtown Stockton. It was pretty cool walking around the port of Stockton and seeing how filthy the water got and seeing bums camp there made me feel grateful for at least living somewhere with a solid roof over my head. We lived there for about 6 years and in 2010 we moved to an undisclosed address on Rendon Ave because my mom birthed another kid which her and my dad actually anticipated unlike the arrival of me and my sister. 8 years have gone by now, and I’m still manically screaming at my friends within these walls when they come over to hang out. I have plenty of friends around the area within biking distance. Hell, my friend, now amateur barber, lives around the block and that’s probably the most convenient thing to ever happen to me since velcro except I don’t have velcro anything because I’m a big boy who can tie shoes and stuff now. I digress, this place is still a shithole and I have no pride for Stockton whatsoever. All the people I know either had bad luck elsewhere and moved here or they’re born here and want to leave or you’re a filthy degenerate who likes it here and has a jolly time here being a scumbag. This applies to Rendon Avenue since it’s a whole street full of all kinds of people who do all kinds of things. Some of my neighbours have crazy episodes of domestic violence and abuse and others are hard working citizens who sadly aren’t citizens and their neighbours are completely legal, but are deadbeats and contribute nothing to society. On Rendon Avenue: it be like that sometimes or all the time, really. 

This one time: many moons ago, but not too long ago because we see moons every night except that one night every week where the moon completely disappears just like my dad did except my dad is still here except for that part of my life when a kid could really use a dad. I digress, awhile ago my sister screwed up the wheels on her precious 2009 Toyota Yaris or AKA the 4 banger single jingle car that hauls her ass from Stockton to Turlock Monday through Friday. She made up this fabricated story explaining the damage because my dad was furious and demanded an explanation, but my dad, being a Mexican with a plethora of knowledge regarding automobiles, knew that was untrue and CNN could make up a better story than that. My sister refuses to tell the truth despite being called out even though it’s obvious she screwed up her wheels hitting the side of a bum’s shopping cart of worthless valuables and not because she quite possibly scraped the car against the concrete on the highway. I have a troubled history with women driving vehicles and frankly this incident doesn’t help the belief that women can’t drive. She literally paid for the damages and got scolded by my parents, so that’s pretty cool.

This one time during the short time I spent in IB pretending like I was actually an intellectually inclined person by using big intimidating words and being smug about it, I had Mr. James for English 1st period in 8th grade. Since English is my favorite subject, I decided not to act like I usually do for the sake of keeping Mr.Hanes’ sanity intact and also to learn English and never actually apply my knowledge when needed because I’m lazy and unmotivated and by binge watching Chicago Med I can confidently self diagnose myself with a myriad of mental disorders that justify my incompetence and entitles me to sympathy and attention preferably from women, but I digress. It was a normal morning like any other except I was starving. I brought an orange from the cafeteria, so I can eat it in class while my english teacher Mr. Hanes isn’t looking. Here’s the thing though: Mr. Hanes is always watching. I never related to a book so much before I read George Orwell’s 1984. That book is unoriginal by the way, but I digress. I started peeling the orange and eventually started consuming it at my leisure while pretending to do some work on the chromebook for whatever book was assigned to us at the time. He caught me lackin’ and walked up to me and calmly demanded that I throw away my morning snack to which I replied with “But Mr. Hanes, I need my vitamin C.” This pissed him off for the first time in 1st period English history and he said a no-no word out loud. Something about not having my shit from this class because he already deals with enough of it from the periods after 1st.

First off, I don’t really associate with any family that isn’t my immediate family because they’re all shady and have no idea how people are nowadays, so their advice is about as useful as my appendix which isn’t useful at all unless it kills me thus freeing me of this plane of existence, but that’s not happening anytime soon. I digress, I associate with a few cousins here and there although they don’t have life figured out either, so they’re not ones to talk. I have one uncle who is completely honest and a wholesome human being that lives out in Oregon because like me and my family: they don’t wanna be close to drama except they chose a nice to place in. We drove out to Oregon over the summer to visit him after a whopping 8 years and it was much needed. I had recently came home from camping, so it was nice hanging out in the cold weather of Hillsboro, Oregon while my skin peeled off like a lizard man or snake because that’s my chinese zodiac. We sat outside on the porch, just me, my uncle, and my dad drinking beverages that I may or may not be allowed to consume. They went over their whole life story. The story of the American dream that so many of us first generation kids have heard from our parents. I respected my father and uncle a lot more ever since they told me the whole uncut story. After some hearty tears and laughs they eventually started talking about me and what I plan on doing with myself. I explained to them how badly I want to pursue something artistic and despite being told how dumb that is by an old teacher of mine. I still went on and became a published illustrator; albeit by sheer luck. This led to my uncle telling me how it’s nice to pursue things like that, but at the end of the day I need to find something that will allow me to live comfortably, which justifies what my former teacher had told me when I talked about my dreams, but hey at least my uncle didn’t make me feel like a starry eyed moron when he told me, so that’s cool.

Life in North East Texas was never easy, but I wouldn’t know because I lived in El Paso, but that isn’t true because that’s just a desperate attempt at referencing Big Iron by Marty Robbins. I’ll keep this up though because Life in North East Texas is a valid chapter on the rubric provided by Mrs. James for this assignment. Anywho it was about 18XX or whatever year is valid for a wild west story to be told. I was a handsome young man; an outlaw to be exact. Texas Red was the name and gunning down men was my game. Though the youth of 24: the notches on my pistol counted 1 and 19 more. I hid in this town that isn’t exactly North East Texas, but it could be since it’s a wild west story and also I don’t want to invalidate this masterpiece of a story, but I digress. I lied low in the town of Agua Fria and lo and behold an Arizona ranger pulls up asking for my name. Boy, was I screwed haha! I knew this dangerous life of mine would be short, so I got ready to meet up in the morning for a stand-off with this Arizona Ranger. It was 20 past 11 when we walked out in the street. Everyone thought this handsome ranger was about to meet his death and I did too. We were staring at each other for quite some time until he pulled out his big iron and shot me in the rib. I hadn’t even cleared leather before a bullet had fairly ripped and the ranger’s aim was deadly with the big iron on his hip. Long story short: I died that day. 

This story isn’t really funny to be honest with you. I still tell this story very often because of what I do at the end, but other than that: it’s not a laughing matter. This other time in 8th grade when I was in IB pretending to be a smarty pants I had this wonderful history teacher named Mrs. Bardinger. She’s a great teacher who takes pride in making sure history is told the way it happened no matter how sensitive you may be. Too bad I would consciously contradict myself regarding the matter of discussing events and their associated vocabulary the way it was told because I’m a scumbag and actually not a comedic person whatsoever. It would drive her nuts when she’d address the matter and I would either nod in approval because I honestly do assimilate with her ideas or shake my head no because I’m stupid and think I’m funny. I never clarified to her that I actually did approve of her teaching style, so maybe she thinks I’m blue pilled and sensitive. I digress, we had a debate which needed tremendous amounts of preparation and frankly: we didn’t prepare at all and we had nothing to present upon our deadline. That sounds awfully familiar….Anywho, she was completely bewildered by this so much so that she had no idea what to do. We talked over her as she tried the assess the situation and I assume the pressure and stress of being an IB teacher had reached its threshold for causing a mental breakdown. She became catatonic and sat at her desk and we all finally decided to fall silent. She said it was okay for us to talk now since she doesn’t care anymore, but everyone now guilt ridden remained silent. Until a noble young man named Carlos Medina decided to speak up and say “Soooo Raymond, how’s your day?” I don’t think that sat well with the class because they told me to shut the f up. Weird coming from my peers who didn’t care about Mrs. Berninger’s feelings awhile ago.

The year was probably 2000 because I’m not a math wizard and I don’t like math, but it’s still probably true because I was born in 2001. My sister is now 1 year old and my parents are in the mood to f their life up with another child, so one night...I’m assuming it was a night because I don’t want to ask my parents what really happened because I’m already a tainted soul. Long story short: my parents got jiggy with it and of all the possible children that could’ve been if I wasn’t the fastest to the womb like maybe someone who is remotely cohesive and respectful of people’s feelings or maybe someone who could cure terminal illnesses or maybe be an amazing country artist like Taylor Swift, but instead they got…..drum roll please…..me. The most amazing, most generous, most comedic, most artistic, most handsome young man-child to ever be birthed on this Earth. I digress, I was about 9 years old when my brother was born. My parents actually wanted him to happen, so I’m pretty jealous of that. I’m not saying I wanted to exist to begin with, but I’m still green with envy. All my life I begged for a little brother, so I can have someone to play video games and watch movies with, but my order was processed pretty late and now I have buyer’s remorse. I can’t return him or anything, so I pretend to love him and then I smack him around when no one’s looking because that’s what brothers do.

I have many accounts of happiness, but for right now: I just want to focus on a certain collection of happy memories because those mean the most to me. A little more than a year ago, I had someone very special in my life. I won’t be awfully specific about the role this person played because it may lead those with cynical minds to belittle the importance of that person, but it’s obvious. I used to have someone that; in spite of all the reasons to hate me and all the shortcomings of my persona such as my lack of compassion and empathy for others, she still found reasons to say “I love you.” While I never was diagnosed with anything and I don’t want to make assumptions because it isn’t right. It’s safe to say that prior to meeting her: I didn’t get much excitement or enjoyment out of the life I have. I was detached from people and from myself. I was so consumed by monotony that I never really cared to study and enjoy the nuances of life. I felt alien. Being myself seemed like a charade that must be acted out for the sake of maintaining the monotony of my life because I didn’t know what else to do, so along comes this beautiful soul. She makes her way through my mind and to my surprise finds no reason to be deterred from me. I’m not entirely rude anymore because she sees right through this feint and knows that I’m just a person no different from her with many things to share. Eventually, this person claims a place in my life that now seems irreplaceable. We’ve never really done anything exciting or went out all the time. We were collected and that was just fine because no one else needed to know how happy she made me feel except her. I did my best to reciprocate because no one I’ve ever known has exerted so much love and compassion for another human being. There were times when I felt overwhelmed and thought that maybe I wasn’t enough, but frankly I just didn’t feel like I deserved any of it. I digress. Nothing about my life really changed because of her. Life with her looked pretty much the same it did without her. All that really changed was my perspective. There’s nothing inherently special about walking with your significant other and there’s nothing inherently special about me either. When I’m with her: I still act like myself, I still said stupid idiotic things that made no sense to which she’d honestly and most affectionately reply with “You’re a dork.” there’s nothing romantic about it and there was nothing insulting about it either, but for some reason I’d crack a smile and laugh with her because even though I was nowhere near my house: I was at home. We’d roam about all the time without a single notion of what was happening around us or in our lives. All that mattered was how big of a dork I am and how much I love her and it sounds monotonous and mundane just like my life always has been as of late, but that’s okay. Smiles are the best when you’re not used to them. Now life never really goes the way you’d like it to, whether it’s you or fate itself that decides to rearrange how everything goes, but now: I don’t have that person in my life anymore . Sometimes I really wish I could forget everything about those times, so I wouldn’t feel sad remembering how happy I was. Yet, I still smile nonetheless because she taught me that there’s beauty and joy in the simplest things and I could never forget that.

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