They could have been childhood friends turned high school sweethearts who never lost their spark. Or they could’ve met in college and spent the summer after finishing their undergrad studies backpacking across foreign lands, doing work in The Peace Corps, seeing and saving the world together. Or maybe he was stationed overseas in the Navy when he saw her on base and he just had to have her. She was swept off her feet and when he proposed, she said yes.
In any case, they were in love, positively and forever smitten. They got married and had a house full of happy, healthy kids, and now they’re enjoying their grandbabies, still side by side.
The harsh reality is that my mother was a whore, my father was a trick, and they had met at a dope spot on Bromley in East Oakland, California.
If I had come just a decade earlier, I could have been a seventies love child with a cool name like Rainbow Spirit. But my parents are black, so they may have been really “radical” and named me something Afrocentric, like Assata or Malika. I could have lived with either one.
I was born in nineteen eighty six, smack in the middle of the crack epidemic.
Oakland in the eighties was the Mecca of dope, gang violence, prostitution, and pretty much any other type of debauchery one could think of. If you’ve been there recently or if you watch the news, you know that not much has changed. I suppose my parents were just slaves to the culture.”
This burned me so bad for many years, especially as I entered adulthood and became pregnant with a child of my own. Being conceived from a drug induced, pay-per-hump, loveless explosion is so not kosher. If they had been hippies on some sort of psychedelic and I was brought into the world being loved and cherished, I could have dealt with the irresponsibility. What really mattered to me growing up was that they just didn’t care – not about each other, not about life, and most certainly not about me.
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