I always found a passion for writing even as a kid. There was something amazing in being able to take words, and create a passage, song, poetry, monologue, and plays.
Come to think of it maybe it was my way of escaping to venture somewhere new. My brother and I managed to take my closet and use it as both our writing domain and our stage.
There we wrote so many plays, and the best part was the aftermath. Once we were done writing we would often dress up, put on our fake accents and act out whatever we wrote ourselves. This process was soothing, relaxing, and rewarding.
Growing up in the ghetto with a hard working mother and a father with an addiction. We found a way to escape our environment through writing. As we grew older we continued to write for fun. In fact I recall a time in grade school when a teacher gave the class an assignment of writing a story.
I was beyond excited as I rushed home to my mother eager to write my story. Although I was in grade school this was a very easy aassignment. I sat down and got right to it and before we knew it I was done ready to turn it in.
I put on my best because I wanted to be presentable for turning in this story, my story. I rushed to school with a smile on my face and sat in my seat. As I handed in my assignment I sank into my chair happy and eager for his feedback.
The next day was the same I rushed to school and sat in my seat with a smile on my face. My teacher paced the classroom floor while we placed our heads down with the lights off it was very hot.
One by one he called our names and gave our review, his personal thoughts, and our grades. Everyone was happy because he was saying such wonderful things about their stories.
I was the last student but I was anxious, and more than ready. The teacher stood in front of my desk, looked at me, and proceeded with his personal opinion of my story.
In front of the class he called me a liar, and told me that I did not write my story. He told me that I stole it from somewhere, and continued to call me all sorts of names.
I was hurt, crushed, embarrassed, and shamed full of fear. The more I tried to convince him in front of the class that I was telling the truth. The louder and more stern he got in calling me a liar. The other students sat in their seats looking at me while laughing uncontrollably.
He looked at me, snatched me out of my seat, and stood me in front of a cabinet where each student could see me. He then took out very thick and heavy dictionaries. As he walked over to me he began telling me in his thick accent that this is how they dealt with things like this back in his country.
He began telling us where he was from, and how lies were not allowed. He then made me hold both of my hands straight up in the air as he placed each dictionary on top. One dictionary was very heavy so imagine me holding several which I did.
I was not allowed to move as I spent what seemed like for ever holding these books as he taught the class. My arms were tired, I was shaking, and filled with both tears and fear.
Once he was done teaching the lesson he dismissed the students. Yes I received a huge lecture while still holding these dictionaries. At some point they were removed and I was told to sit in my seat.
As a kid I was afraid I never spoke of this incident. One thing is for sure I stopped writing for a long time.
Words are powerful, and their weight can be heavy and severe. I took time away from what I loved the most missing out on many opportunities to enhance this gift/craft but I never gave up.