Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday Thirteen: Things I Used To Do As A Teenager

A followup to last week's post: These are things I did when I was growing up in Savannah.

1. Play Nerf basketball in my grandma’s hot garage – It would get to be like 100 degrees in the summer, and seemed even hotter in the garage, but that was my escape from the rest of the house. I would emerge sweaty and disgusting and then go do the next thing on this list.

2. Take hourlong showers - Again, I had no privacy in the house, so I spent as much time as possible in the shower. My grandma had the gangsta water heater. It never got cold. I would lay down and go to sleep in there. I still do that sometimes when I have a headache, but my water heater doesn’t let me stay in there nearly as long as I used to.

3. Play with a stop watch – I had this watch that had a digital stopwatch on it. I was obsessed with stopping it on the zeros… you know. Like 12.00 seconds, as opposed to 12.34 seconds. I could do that for hours.

4. Cut my grandma’s grass – My job was to mow the lawn, and I hated it. The front wasn’t that bad, but by the time I got to the backyard, I was so hot and dirty that I usually did a half job. I also was lazy and only picked up the pine cones when someone made me. And raking the pinestraw up? That’ll be a no.

5. Writhe in pain from migraines – Around age 14, I started getting migraines. I thought I had a tumor or something. They tried everything to make me better. I had a bunch of different medications I was supposed to take when I got a migraine. Then they put me on something that I had to take every day to prevent them. I got shots, they even tried this new age sounding thing called Biofeedback. It was basically calming sounds like the ocean, or nature that were supposed to put the pain out of my mind. I actually felt like they were trying to hypnotize me, and it rarely worked. My only solution was to go to sleep with a pillow over my head and hope I woke up okay. Luckily, I grew out of it, as long as I avoid caffeine.

6. Play football with the boys – That used to be the highlight of my weekend. We would go on campus and play on this big grass field behind the school. I couldn’t tackle, but I was also really hard to tackle.

7. Listen to rap music with headphones – Yeah, at first I could listen without headphones. Then people started cursing all the time, and that wouldn’t fly in that Christian household. Or with my great grandmother, grandmother and mother in the house. So I took my little walkman headphones and plugged them in my boom box. Every 6 months I would upgrade to better earphones. By the time I graduated high school, I had these huge Sony DJ earphones, that I loved and made everything sound crisp like it was live.

8. Sleep anywhere but a bed – I alluded to the fact that I had no privacy. That’s because we lived with my grandma in a 3 bedroom house and there were 6 of us. My great grandma got one room, my grandma got one room, and my mom (and little brother for awhile) had the other. That meant me and my sister had to get in where we fit in. I had the family room for awhile, then switched to the living room. I slept on a cot, a sofa bed, a couch, or the floor. I did this from age 11 until 22. This is probably why I don’t sleep in my bed now, and a couch is just as comfortable to me.

9. Hide from my grandma’s prayer meetings – Imagine the scene… Summer vacation, Monday morning, you are sleeping on the couch. You smell coffee and cinnamon rolls in the kitchen. Sounds like a good way to wake up, right? WRONG. That meant that it was time to gather your crap, fold up your bedding and run to the back of the house before a gaggle of little old ladies started rubbing oil on you, praying in tongues and making small talk about “how big you have gotten.” I used to hide out until it was over, but if I needed water or something, I got sucked in.

10. Watch TBS movies at 1:05 – Remember when TBS used to have that crazy schedule that started all their shows 5 minutes after the hour? During the summer, I used to watch all the C level movies that they showed in the afternoon. Things like “Escape From The Bermuda Triangle.” “Revenge of the Ant People” or my personal favorite “Day of the Triffids” about plants that came to life and killed people. There was also one about giant rabbits killing people, but I can’t remember the title.

11. Stay up all night/Eat once a day – Age 14 or 15 is when I started this horrible path that I’ve been on ever since. I had a dream about someone getting killed that came true the next day, so I stopped sleeping for awhile. Since then, my natural night owl tendencies were amplified, and haven’t slept normally since. And somehow I stopped eating lunch at school, and my mom stopped making me eat breakfast before school, so I started just eating once a day. I haven’t been able to break out of that habit yet, much to Jameil’s dismay.

12. Study my history – Rashan X was in full effect. After reading Malcolm X’s autobiography, and then watching “Eyes on the Prize”, my eyes were opened. I wanted to know everything about the Civil Rights struggle. And what was still being done to improve the Black condition (Black with a capital B is one of the things that I got from my teenage years. I know it’s supposed to be lowercase, but not in my mind.) I learned all about Marcus Garvey, H Rap Brown, etc, and about Africa, and African religions. I just had an insatiable lust for learning about the subject. I NEVER studied for school, but for myself, I immersed myself into Black issues.

13. Watch scrambled PopcORN - If you are slow, take out the lower case “opc” and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Really no need to elaborate on this one. I may seem like a nice guy, but I’m still a guy. And I did all the same things that healthy redblooded American young boys did at that age.


Ginae said...

That's an interesting list. So do you find yourself trying to work on some of those habits from your teenage years like the only eating once a day or sleeping different places or are you ok with it all?

I would have lost it not having any privacy like that. Privacy and space. Gotta have both at least sometimes.

SincerelyGo said...

This was interesting. I can imagine even in the house with no vacancies there were some good times. I'm the baby of eight but because of the age differences I wasn't in the house with all my siblings at the same time. The one next to me is 8 years older sooo...yeah we had fun.

Sounds like a typical boy and how dare you call me slow because I had no idea wat pOPCorn was...Meanie! LOL



12kyle said...

You know I'm down with #6 and #7!!!

Nexgrl said...

Scrambled POpcORN, why not just smuggle a VHS from one of your friends?

I'm with Jameil, when are you going to work on your eating habits(or lack of?)