An Epiphany and an Experience
My bones always grew fast af.
My orthodontist was astonished with my teeth because all of my adult teeth had already grown in under my baby teeth. A mouth full of potential. And obstacles they were physically unable to overcome. The only way through my mouth issues was with surgery. I had to get so many teeth surgically removed in order for my teeth’s second life to start. My adult teeth were screaming to be let free. Regardless of age or statistics or years of schooling - my teeth were here. I wore braces for 8 years. I always used to smile before and during my brace face phase. I knew better was coming. So I was chill.
I reached peak height (5’6”) in 6th grade. I always felt like “whew. Happy that’s over.” My long time pediatrician remarked how she knew this would happen. I always grew "quick, fast and in a hurry," with the tendency to stop growth afterwards. My hormones came all at once and they went straight to my bones. In elementary school my knees and back would pop as I walked. I would spend hours listening to every crack in my leg that went 'crinnnkk' as I went too get into bed every evening. It became a routine after my check ins with my PCP to run to school and yell, "I have high risk for juvenile arthritis!"
My bones always grew fast af.
As I sit on my deck in East Pittsburgh I've got my wig cap on. Ramen noodles cooked. And blunt lit. I hear Lauren Hill. I hear the children running in the streets. I hear the “hay babies” and “how are you doing” and “how ya mama?”The birds are chirping pretty loudly today. They seem to like this neighborhood too. My neighbor is sewing a couch pillow on his porch while my other neighbor fixes their car. I wonder where the neighborhood boy is. The one that comes to my house knocking on the door banging on the door who will wait in front of my house for hours just to play with my dog. "He misses me he needs me." "Yeah you’re right," I always tell him. Now I hear Mary J. I imagine being in my big boots and my fedora wide brim at Essence Fest. Big smiles with green plastic grenades in our hands. Screaming the lyrics to the latest Mary J Bop. I think of how similar this street sounds like the ones I miss in Houston. I think of the sound of the big bikes going up and down the road being the same as the lowriders in Texas. I sit and stare at my dog for a moment. Come to think of it: I love being surrounded by Black joy. Living in a neighborhood full of Black joy. I just bought my wraps from Sherry. Her family owns the neighborhood corner store. A picture of her smiling adorns the banner outside of the storefront. She looks so cute. I walked in to the convenience store and saw all these kids. all laughing. picking out their snacks for after school. "Aunty thanks for looking out and I told you I would get you back after holding me down in the morning but I came back and I can pay for all this now." "I know baby I know you’re good for it. I know you’re good for it". This elder I know from the neighborhood just walked by and said "hey baby." I yell for Kehinde. It’s time to head inside. East Pittsburgh.