Story 1: Mission Plans
By: Juan Carlos Diaz
June 17, 1998
The shrill of the house phone seem to bounce off ever wall of the first floor of my house as I ate my customary bowl of Corn Flakes that morning. Letting the cereal in my bowl become soggy, I couldn’t help fell the surge of excitement course through my body as Moms announced that my best friend Marcus was on the line. With the thought of what we were going to do that day playing itself out in the projection booth of my imagination, I quickly powered up my electric wheelchair and backed away from the dining room table and made my way toward the house phone in the living room, guiding my wheelchair expertly through a maze of plastic-covered furniture.
“Yo, are you ready? Marcus’ voice chimed excitedly on the other end of the phone.
“Shit, you know I’ve been ready all week my nigga,” I replied, my voice reflecting Marcus’ excitement. However, a cloud of doubt suddenly blotted the shining rays of my excitement by bringing to mind the realization of the fact that we were two thirteen-year-old boys with plans to stroll inside a video store and attempt to rent a porn movie. It donned on me that we would stick out like two sore thumbs; a wiry light-skinned African American kid that could have been a dead ringer for NBA Hall of Famer Dr. J’s Mini-Me, complete with a well-kept Afro. Not to mention that he would be walking into the video store with a mousy looking Puerto Rican kid who drove a motorized wheelchair and wore the thickest Coke bottle frames ever created by man. Yeah, we would definitely be a sight to see, asking the owner of the video store if we could enter the “Adults Only” section of his store.
“Dude, do you really think it’s a good idea to get a porno from that place, I mean the guy who owns the place is likely to throw us out on our asses.” I said this as I let my concern surge through my voice.
“Nigga, would you relax, the owner of the video store isn’t going to be there today.” Marcus’ response was so matter of fact that it somewhat seemed to help dissipate my apprehension about our plan. Marcus explained that he had good word that the owner of the store wouldn’t be in that particular day. Instead, in his place would be his son Harry, a snobby Indian-American boy who was a grade above us in school, which he felt gave to make fun of me every chance he had.
“Man, fuck Harry,” I said angrily over the phone.
“Look, I don’t like the motherfucker either, but we’re going to have to deal with him if we want to get our hands on that porno,” said Marcus in a stern tone. Within fifteen minutes of ending our conversation on the phone, Marcus was at my house and we were off to the video store, telling my mom that we were going to go watch some friends of ours play baseball at Banning Park. With that blanket of a lie covering our true intentions, Marcus stood atop the battery back of my electric wheelchair as we made our way outside onto the sidewalk.
“Ha, you dudes are such faggots!” The voice of an unseen young man exclaimed as we made our way to the end of our neighborhood. “Hey, fuck you,” yelled Marcus to the heckler as my wheelchair sped away.
To Be Continued…
Painting by Rosie