Monday, March 26, 2018

Mainstreaming from Two Feet Below

Afternoon, Guys…

So, Thursday, we went to Penny’s to get our haircuts.  We’ve been going there for years with the same stylist, Melissa, after my stylist, Pilar, was out for a while on medical leave.  She’s alright, and I still see her when we come through.  It just works better for Joey and I to have the same stylist.  Although Melissa was hers first, I don’t think Joey minds sharing, I hope.  The three of us mesh well, and the convo’s always stimulating.

Anyhoo, Joey was done in, like, two minutes, because she’s letting her hair grow out from the swoop she’s been sporting for the last few years, which was cute, but she’s ready for change.  I’m ready to see her longer again too.  I love it either way, but it’s been a while since I’ve see it long and down.

Me, I almost always never know what I’m gonna do with myself.  I’m always trying to reinvent myself every time we go.  I’ve been everything from bald to having dreds with various colors populating my hair…blue being the last.  We’d talked about letting it fully grow out, which, I think, would be cool, but I was at that stage when I had wings. Farah Fawcett wings…HELL naw!  I guess I could’ve thought Wolverine, but, still, they were bugging me, plus, the back was a nappy mess every morning.  Curly hair in the morning’s a bitch to comb out, so I did a strip, which’s versatile, AND stylish.  Needless to say, mine took longer than two minutes.

While we played with my hair, we talked about life, which is always cool.  Joey and I like learning others’ lives, and, for some reason, people are curious about ours.  Thursday, we talked about Melissa’a impending move from Penny’s to a stand-alone shop since the company deemed it necessary to retire their highest-grossing stylist.  She was telling us where she’d be moving, and invited us to come with if the buses allowed.  Bus or not, we’d make it happen as we do with everything we do.  It’s just the way it is.

The convo migrated to her younger years and how crips weren’t in her school.  They were either in a “special” school or institutionalized, in which they probably were just left to die without a face or history.  Just facts.

I’ve brought up mainstreaming here, I have haven’t gone in-depth.  I told Melissa it was probaby the institutionalized bit as to why she didn’t see crips running the halls of her schools.  I told her my brother and I, among a few others like Carter, Russell, Chelsea were selected to be “mainstreamed” to the public schools in ’83, 31 years AFTER desegregation.  Before that, we went to the CP Center, where we got PT as well as rudimentary school skills (sharing…sort of), your alphabet, colors, some math and geography, and computers on old Apples…forget Mac.

I remember the folks gathering with other folks for meetings in the CP Center’s Big Room while we either came with and played or stayed home with the babysitter.  It all boiled down to politics as it ALWAYS does with us.  Then end result was we were to be mainstreamed to Bowie Elementary.  The catch was we were held back from the grade we were SUPPOSED to be in, because we didn’t get the education needed to be, say, in 1st grade or 2nd grade that I was supposed to be in.

Today, there’re remedial classes for those with learning disabilities (cripnesses just didn’t roll off the tongue in this incidence to me) as well as the ability for the kid to stay up to 21 if need be to graduate, which I know of a couple.

I’m not mad, though, because the friends I made and came up with are history-makers whether we’re known as such.  Also, the friends I made in the public school system, I’m still friends with to this day, some 35 years later.

Be good to each other.


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