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My Neyboarhud

I would wake up Saturday morning to birds chirping. I would get up, get dressed and go outside. The children in my neighborhood would come to my backyard, and we would play ‘til our parents called us in.I remember the trees being huge, and the days so long. I didn’t really know many of my neighbors. I had a handful of friends who lived in the same building, and that was it. The neighborhood itself was pretty bad. Sometimes I would wake in the middle of the night to the sound of gunshots. After living around Central Park and Armitage for a while I kind of expected the gunshots. In fact, my mother and I survived a drive by shooting.I am glad my mother restricted my interaction with the outside world. Were it not for her, who knows what I would be doing now. That is, assuming I were still alive.As you may be able to tell, I grew up in a poor community, mostly blue-collar workers. Even though I lived in that community for six years, from the time I was five until I was eleven, I wasn’t part of it. More so, it was a part of me.As a child, I remember having a strong desire not to be like the people around me. I know there was a better plan waiting for me. Most kids just imitate the stupid antics they saw older kids perform. I have always been just me.I used to think I had a horrible life. I was poor, and didn’t have many physical belongings. It didn’t help that my mother was nineteen. At that age she was ignorant of the things children need when growing up. Now that I look back, I understand it wasn’t her fault; she is a product of her neighborhood. And, like so many others, she did not know about the affection children so deserve.Anyways, I wasn’t too aware of my poverty. Nothing around me could possibly tell me I was poor. In fact I can only recall one time I went hungry. The boys and girls around me definitely did not dress any different than I, and at such an early age one doesn’...

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