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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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Nuthin' But Problems.
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Saturday, September 08, 2007

Rated "PG" by the Author.

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A boy writes of his life in the ghetto.

I be livin' in the ghetto wit my family. Life is very hard for us. Momma, she ain't workin' 'cause she on disability (has a bad neck and back, can't walk wit'out crutches or a cane on her better days), an' Pops, he ain't hardly ever home; spends too many days at the bingo parlor--or at the bar.

When he is home, he be hittin' on Momma, an' yellin' at us kids to shut the heck up. He make me sick at times; at times I wish he'd stay away permanently; he get on my nerves REAL fast.

Pops is an alcoholic. I don't like it when he drinks; when he drink he turn real mean.

It's scary as heck when he drink; he don't know what the f--- he doin', and I'm scared he gonna' hurt Momma or the little kids really bad one of these days.

I have four younger sisters an' two little brothers; three ain't much more'n babies, they so little. Two are still in diapers. They are named Cordell (1), Cushing (2), Diamond (4), Keishiya (5), Penelope (6), an' Valencia (8). My name Jerome; I'm thirteen, I'm da man of the family. Take care of the kids, try to make sure they stay out of trouble, keep them safe.

It hard though, especially wit my Momma being so sick. She has diabetes, too, and sometimes her blood sugar get so out of whack I have to call the ambulance on her. Then we have to have the neighbors watch over the kids while I be at the hospital, to make sure Momma gonna' be okay.

On weekdays, I go to school, but any other time I be home with the family. Don't go nowhere; neighborhood full of gangs, drug activity; not safe for man or beast. On weekends, in the day, I go to the parkin' lot just down the street, play b-ball with my homies Tyrone, G-Man, Humpie (don' ask me where he got that name; that's what he known by), Harold, Reginald, and Vincent. We see each other at school; we be real tight. We always together; at times it like I have six additional brothers cause they always be at my place or I be with them!

School is real  hard; not doin too good. Readin' lousy, writtin' not much better. I'm a terrible speller. I guess it's partly due to my daydreamin', hell, I'd much rather be someplace else than havin' to sit in a stuffy classroom all day! My teacher, Ms. Gilford, is always gettin' on my ass for daydreamin'; she says I need to apply myself more if I wanna' bring up my grades.

Yeah, right. Try telling that to someone who's not cut out for school! I HATE school! There! I've said it, and I'll say it again. I HATE school--hate, hate, HATE it!! No, I LOATHE it!!

I don't like goin' outside much, particularly at night. We hear gunfire; fights and shootin a real common occurrence here in the projects; too many time we see ambulances, firetrucks, police cars screamin' down the road, their lights blazin' brightly. We keep wonderin' who be next to get shot, stabbed, or hurt; it's a hard life, and too many people who make the mistake of walkin' down our area be mugged--or worse.

There've been people who be murdered on our street. I've seen several shootin's, several murders already in my thirteen years, and it get to the point to where nothin' surprise me any more. It a part of life here in the ghetto.

Yet the only satisfaction I get (besides chillin' with my homies or bein' with my family) is when I go to church on Sundays. Sundays are always my favorite time of the week coz church like an escape from all the bad stuff goin' down. I don't know why I feel safe at church, but I do. Everybody be so nice to me, I like the songs, I like how God touches me, how the message (or the music) reach clear down to my soul an' shake me. It be really cool!

I guess I say that my life not easy. It clear I have problems. Yet I see people around me who have it far worse, then all of a sudden I don't feel so bad. I just wish that my life were a bit easier, where I don't have to fear for my life (or the life of my family or friends) each and every day! I wish they'd do somethin' about the playas, the druggies, or the addicts; they need to be taken off our streets; I especially wish they'd do somethin' with the ever growin' gang problem; our street have been taken over by gangs, and we are scared as hell!

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Reviewed by Joyce Bowling 9/14/2007
such a sad write...our childhood should be filled with happy memories and not fear of our neighborhoods, and our own've captured the thoughts and the realistic life that many live...well done my friend!
Joyce B.
Reviewed by Regino Gonzales, Jr. 9/13/2007
The good Lord gives the boy a tough life but He paves the way towards the Light, the church. He is preparing the lad for greater things. In my point of view, the character of men destined to be God's trusted messengers are molded early in their lives. Great story Karen, my dear friend.


Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 9/10/2007
OUtstanding write Karen!!

Love Tinka
Reviewed by Georg Mateos 9/9/2007
But we have a couple of trillion bucks to spread around some God's forsaken land for the grace of oil.
Americans aren't citezen anymore, just an hindrance to the GOP and its cronies.
Reviewed by Mary Coe 9/8/2007
Very good write. Childhood should be the best years of our lives, however, so many children are faced with abusive parents due to substance abuse. I'm so glad that this little boy found hope in God. Thanks for sharing.
Reviewed by Aberjhani 9/8/2007
The combination of individualized dialect and adolescent psychology is quite powerful in this story. Not at all difficult to read it as the real deal. Which is both good and bad. Thank you for putting pen to paper and making me think.

Reviewed by Patricia Bankhead 9/8/2007
Wow, what an awesome story!
I sure can relate to it. My dad was an alcoholic and very abusive. Just like this kid I found hope in God.
I hope this story reaches some kid who is going through this.
Thanks for sharing. God bless you.

Love, Hugs and Smiles
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 9/8/2007

Babies raisin' babies: too much of that goin' on. Sad. Powerfully, poignantly stated: I hope things improve for this young man. :(

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.

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