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Flashback for Autumnal Equinox
Writing/Workshop
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Autumnal Equinox

Before i had some experience in challenging authority and the status quo, i first glimpsed how my immutable characteristics were perceived and fell off my axis.

Opened eyes, come with me.

Avocado green raining mango yellows and reds, it was my favorite time of year. Outside, i crossing the open courtyard connecting the old High School building to the new one. i picking up a brilliant cayenne pepper colored leaf. Birds leaped, burst into song. Whistling with the same warm breeze tossing the gold, red, orange brown foliage yon and hither and luring busloads of nature worshippers to Connecticut. i bending down, kicking an ankle high booted leg at the carpet of brilliant foliage. i trudging my way inside from the school courtyard which had become an open aviary.

On that fine autumn day, i opened a door before the appointed hour. Another harvest, a ready for gathering crop of busy senior year in high school students, with no paprika in their veins, looked up, like deers lost in the autumnal equinox, caught off guard by the sun's crossing lights, or was it the brilliance i had brought in when i opened the door?

That senior year in high school, i, the only naturally tanned person expected there in the seminar class. The only golden bronze leaf amidst a plethora of winter white faces. i accidentally discovered the advanced "O" group i was in had a little elite club which met on the side to discuss the philosophies of Descartes, Rousseau, Nietzsche, Russell and the other European seers. Closing the door, i asked the teacher "Why haven't i been invited to attend?" He said, "You don't belong. Blacks have not contributed to Western culture."

For a nanosecond, i felt three feet tall, shame i had reason not to feel, scalded major nerves. i was helpless and unknowing and without the muscles to un crouch and return the punch which left me feeling as if i'd been hit in the belly by a sledge hammer. Then a quick breath caught in my throat, words collided in my head and in one fell swoop, i did every un-mannerable thing mother had taught her girls not to do.

Shaking my head pitifully at him, i sucked my teeth in a loud click, rolled my eyes heavenwards in disgust and swore.

Rupturing up, volcanic, orgasmic, that was the first time i lost my cool, in public, outside the family.......That was the fallen day i first found i actually had an affinity to that language they call "of the ghetto" to throw all over that teacher and the entire class. i never knew this me before.

i watched myself.

The words swirled. Hit interiors i'd not bumped before. i was born to make this flavor, this calculated coarseness slipping off my tongue. "A rude asshole" i said, "with stinking high-fallutin' airs, terrorizing high school students because his phony punk ass can't get a better job elsewhere should do everyone a favor and get psychiatric help", i shrieked it, sulking, trembling but feeling the calming force of an interior energy i didn't know i could manufacture while furious.

My words dropped heavily into the mounting classroom silence, but if i had stopped, i wouldn't breathe, my lungs would explode. So, gathering speed, i stuck my finger at Mr. Western Culture preparing to point out the nastiest thing i could think to say about "white people" in a rational tone i knew would enter his mind. But nothing came out........

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