Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Morning Edition - 12/19/07


Long Time No See; Aggression
My mom tells me stories of how aggressive I was as a child. “I couldn’t take you anywhere without finding you balled up fighting with some other kid. It was embarrassing.” As I got older I found myself in a few school fights and some neighborhood battles, but nothing out of the ordinary. When I left home at 15, it was a bit different. I was on the hard NYC streets and didn’t have the luxury of being a pushover. Once I hit my mid twenties, my bone-chilling wit, ability to carve hearts with my words rather than a weapon and more polished exterior, replaced the once carefree – almost careless kid. Then an odd feeling started creeping back about two years ago. The old Cocoa began immerging. More ferocious, more fearless and certainly more challenging. This isn’t to say that I’m that guy you can’t hang with without the threat of impending physical violence, but I’m certainly not the guy who is likely to be caught on the receiving end of a gay bashing. Then I realized that regardless of who I was interacting with the mentality that where-you-do-it-to-me-is-where-you-get-it was a mantra I began living by. Case in point, a few weeks ago I was out with a couple of close friends and ran into a very old friend who was out with his crew. An hour into the night and I noticed that my old friend was sitting down with his new peeps crowding around him and fanning him. As I approached, I asked him, “Are you alright? What happened?!” He mentioned he fainted, probably from skipping lunch and dinner that day. I reached in my pocket, pulled out some candy and shoved it in his mouth. I said, “The sugar should hold you for a minute, but you need to go out and get something to eat.” It was then that I heard one of the guys in his crew say, “Dr. Rosie Perez in his wife beater needs to mind his business.” I felt my skin crawl, but I can play the dozens with the best of them, so I simply looked at the dude and said, “Maybe if you regurgitate some of that mess in your gut you can hold him until he gets something to eat.” I smiled and stood up waiting for his response. A few inches taller than me, I suspected he might want to turn this into something physical. He said, “I’m focused on him,” pointing to my old friend, “so don’t start no shit.” I looked at my crew and back at him before saying, “He’s going to be fine, but I’m focused on you bitch. You say one more word to me and I’m crackin’ you in your fronts.” I waited and waited and waited. He tried doing that side-talking to his own crew, but I was unrelenting. “Nah, bruh…I’m right here. Who the f*ck are you talking to?!” Finally, he said, “I wasn’t talkin’ to you, so why you trippin’?” Cowardly, side-steppin’ hoes have no business speakin’ to grown men and then backin’ down. I looked dead at the guy and said, “I don’t know you kid, but the next time we’re out and you look at me wrong, we’re getting ‘86’d from this joint cuz I’m puttin’ my foot in your natural ass!” I turned to my old friend and said, “You really need to get a new crew to chill with. Later.” As I walked off I stopped at the bar and got my drink before joining my friends on the dance floor. Ultimately, I would’ve had my hands full with ‘ole boy, but at that moment, my fight-flee mechanism was trapped on fight and the natural instinct of preservation never kicked in. I’m an upstanding, professional, classy guy, but don’t sleep...under it all, I’m still a Rican-Boogie-Down-Bronx dude that had to assert himself early on to get to where I am. Guess that Cocoa comes up for air every now and again.

On Blast
Whether it’s old-style ghetto aggression brought on by years of battling to survive on the streets or the powerlessness that was a product of being bullied, everyone has a character trait that is a result of their upbringing. When stressors or life-changes occur old traits may bubble to the surface.
Which of your old traits do you see resurface occasionally – like it or not?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

For me I would say my tendency to just cut folks off. I have been done dirty by some folks over the years, so I have a very short fuse for bullshit. Once you cross a certain line, I am quick to say "fuck you, goodbye!" and cut you off 100 percent. However, I have tried to change that part of myself with me knocking at 30's door. People make mistakes and I'm trying to learn that. Though, I had to bring that hand down on two relatives ... sad as it is, it had to be done. The hoes don't exist to me anymore.

Chet said...

By all means pay that brotha no attention and pay even less attention to his posse or crew. Fu*k em and feed dog food! Never allow anyone to get to you like that, besides it appears you get much respect as it is so no worries man. Remember you are not shady, just fierce.

D.LavarJames said...

In the past I had a problem speaking my mind and would just let other people walk all over me, then it got to a point where I think I just sort of snapped and started going off on folks for just looking my direction. I had to finally figure out the best ways to handle situations and come to a happy medium, I mean I still takes no BS, but I'm not quick to jump and over react anymore either.

I think I have become sort of a mellow person that can communicate better.

M-Dubb said...

You ever heard of a happy medium? That's where you were that night. Seriously ready, but not wanting to take it there.

Sounds like you would've beat dude down if you were feeling jumpy... lol

I love my happy medium. As a 6-foot-8-inch black man, I find myself there a lot.

Kensilo said...

Lately I been feeling like people wantto just try my patience for the sake of it. There ws this one incident where I was minding my own and a former associate( never been a friend) just running off at the mouth. I step to him and cuss his ass out and at the same time dug into my bookbag to pull out my metal lock for my rims. It's just long enought for me to hold and strong enough to crack that head if you try me. I always keep it esp. when I walking alone in the dark night on the street. Hey then small peeps got have their weapons to. Needless to say it a life saver!!!

WiseYoungMan said...

Boy that put a smile on my face. Sometimes you have to let folks know that just because you're nice doesn't mean you that way all the time.

Shoot your story gave me flasbacks of walking to school with a razor in my mouth, and i'm not talking about my sharp wit either....just in case

WiseYoungMan said...

Oh I didn't even get to the old traits part of you entry before commenting lol...an old trait of mine is being manipulative. I try very hard not to do that b/c I can read and engage people very well to get them to do things that I want them to do. That's what happens when your mom's a psychotherapist you pick up a few thangs.

Anonymous said...

a few weeks back, as Cocoa knows, I was "confronted" by a 5'3 latina in 4 inch knew high boots who thought she was Pimp Threats as she grew inpatient waiting on the double yellow line divider while traffice roared by her at 40mph in both directions...she was ready to give her life for a run to the bus I guess. So I passed her and when she screamed into my drivers side window I thought maybe she put her worst foot forward as she tettered in her ridiculous boots. I immediately jammed the breaks and she was moving behind my car. At this point the cars in front of me had stopped and traffic was waiting for the light to change. She came to the passenger side window and when I put the window down I asked if she was ok. She called me a fucking white bitch...while my 7 year old daughter was strapped in the back seat. I said to her are you out of your mind? Why are you standing in traffice. oney reached into her Canal Street special fake as margarine Gucci bag and said she had something in there for me. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I LOVE to surprise people who automatically assume that my red hair and milky complexion = scared punkass white girl. Its hilarious. Because this here white chick was raised in the hood and brawled with the best of them. Far as my homies are concerned I am La Rubia, a Sistah, etc. So, thinking my daughters life was in danger by this crazy bitch reaching in her bag while we are stuck behind cars waiting for a light to change, I jumped out of the Gray Lady (my Camry) and moved quickly to the passenger side of the vehicle. She sized me UP and try to plead about not wanting to "miss her bus", I asked her what she had in her fucking fake bag and she said I should be more responsible in front of my child in the car. Bitch tried to flip the script on the great white hope I suppose. In any case...I threw her ass to the floor not once, not twice but THREE times because I am a lady, but most importantly because I am all woman. You threaten me or my cubs and I am going to FUCK you up thirty seven ways till next Sunday. If it wasn't daylight out I would have thrown her bony ass under the bus. Theres dumb bitches everywhere. Men and women. I hate to get physical because I am liable to do some serious damage. It was funny watching her get up off the ground, having no blance with those boots on running to make the bus. She was an ass. Probably still is an ass. But I betcha she'll think twice the next time she sees a white bitch in a car and automatically assumes white = passive.
Cas the Unfriendly Ghost

SpecialK261 said...

well i really cant say i have alot of traits resurfacing at the moment but, what i can really say is that i've gotten rid of alot of weaknesses that were part of my character in the past...they are not supressed..they are totally gotten rid of so i donn't really see em sufacing in the future...hopefully im not wrong...i guess everyone goes through that at one point in life...good the thing is once you learn certain abilities..esp taits for survival, you'll never let go of them..i htink that's what occured with you...

One Man’s Opinion said...

Alright, Billy Bad Ass, you do you. I most say, I wish you would have stopped once the guy started to back down (because I think that's why we have so much street violence, because people don't know how to back down). That being said, I totally understand why you didn't. It urks the hell out of me too, wheh I am trying to be nice and somebody just spits into the face of it. My hackles go up and I am ready to attack. And having other people around only enhances that state of mind (it's kind of like a mob mentality). Anyway, I always feel bad, if I actually react, because I should be in control even when the other person isn't. I feel like I have allowed them to control me in some way.

Happy Holidays, my brother.

sammygirl said...

LOL I'm with Cas the Unfriendly Ghost...I can usually chill and walk away, but if you threaten my kids, or hinder me in a way that questions their safety, I will fuck.you.up.

Joey Bahamas said...

I have a vicious tongue that usually cuts right to the chase, going for the deepest blow the soonest. And, I can be very malicious using my intuition about people to manipulate them. Nasty, but true. I may not fight with u then but my ability to hold a grudge and pay it back at the most opportune time made me one of the most feared in high school!

yet another black guy said...

see, i knew from the first time i heard you speak, you were still Boogie Down lol! but on the real, dude had it coming, so you were in the right.

i'm a little too indecisive and impatient sometimes. pisses me off, but what can i do?