By: La Swift
The old me died as I packed up my entire room and migrated to Dryden, NY. Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge dreaming of a new life as the New York skyline became a faded memory. I didn’t literally die, but I felt like my past was dead to me. The night before was all a blur as my mom burst into my bedroom yelling, “Lala wake up you in here hungover like you don’t “gotta” take your ass up to that damn TC3.” Secretly, my mom didn’t want me to go to college, but that’s a different story.
Going away to college gave me a sense of accomplishment. My friends were going away as well but not to college. We were products of our environment: robbing, stealing, doing drugs, everything they portrayed in a stereotypical black adolescent from Brooklyn. College birthed a new me no more “hood rat” activities. I was forced to grow up. A sort of force you put upon yourself like walking to the corner store during a snow storm for snacks.
Putting my things in the car was the wake for the old me. My friends helped me as we carried everything into my dad’s baby mother’s truck. My mom dragged the last bag down the steps with a worried look on her face. I helped her lug the heavy bag full of sneakers into the trunk as tears rolled down her face. “You’re always going to be my baby Lala, my number one firstborn,” she whispered as she kissed me on my forehead and walked back towards our building. Well, my old building, that part of me was dead. No more project pissy elevators. No more gunshots and sirens at 4 in the morning. No more crack head Joe begging for a dollar. Everything faded into memories of who I used to be.