copyright © 1989 Todd Ristau

My Life, My Heart, Fuck You and Yours

My Life. I Can't really tell you about it because I lived it, man. I'm still livin' it. Mama called me Nicholas. Anybody else call me that get a nosebleed. First place I can actually remember livin' on was Front Street. Over there is nothin' but killing. That's all there is. A regular routine. No one night, we, that is, tje boys in the club, we was out just hasin' fun. We wasn't out to shoot nobody in particular. I remember I had a .41 Magnum and one of my partners, Count Dracula, had him a .38 special, and another stud had mi a .32 short. We went down to Harding shooting up peoples. I don'tknow who we were shooting at or what for, but I remember we weren't out to shoot nobody in particular. At that time, we, us Lords, was fightin the Cobras, but I think we boys was just out shooting, you know? At anybody. Ringo, he go shouting out like, "We're the Vice Lords, we are the mighty Vice Lords!" or some such shit, and this stud comin' up the street says, "Well, you Vice Lords, huh?" We says, "Yeah." Well, this fool take his hand back for his back pocket....I guess he didn't get out what he wanted to get out before I got out what I wanted to get out. Boom! He go down all splattery color of red like strawberry syrup, baby. It was funny, too, cause I can remember it all being in like slow motion in a movie....crazy. I only got his leg, but when he went down it was just after the last time he'd ever stand up. We all stomped him to death. I forget if he was dead on arrival or not....anyway, it was just one of those things. Part of the hood, dig? (pause) I got six brothers and, I think, three sisters. You know how it is. The way things ran down was me and my brothers we grew up fast 'cause we had all kinds of family problems, funky clothes and shit, people laughing at how we dressed and even the fuckin' teachers, man, givin' us shit. Which they do to a lot of peoples, I know, but you asked so I'm telling you about me. We had a hard time even goin' to school, you know, on account of our clothes. And you know, it was hard for us. I got failed one year. That was hard because I was actually real ashamed I got failed. You know, I run away 'cause I didn't want to tell that to Mama. I'm faild. So I beat it out of there. That was the last and only time I was ever ashamed, you know? Shame a thing that can kill you inside, and man, that is one hundred times worse than some cat stoppin' your heart for you. See, you start to be ashamed of shit you did, you start bein' like everybody else. You got no confidence in yourself. Never amount to anything 'cause you're too ascared to make a decision. I don't ever want to live that way. Maybe you decide wrong, but then it come up again you know what to do now. When you're on the street you learn what's what. School don't teach you about life. What the hell that failed year mean? Mean I got out on the street and learned to live younger, which I guess made my life better than if I hadn't failed, right? Say a stud got an education. Oh, yeah, he got the right answer for two plus two, but he couldn't go out and make five dollar on the street like I could. He might get a job before me, but I don't care how much education you got, if you can't make it on the street it don't mean shit. Maybe them people in school and their fucking hair suits ar more advanced than me, but where thy gonna use the knowledge except on the street and that's where I got it slicked. Their parents put them in and kept them in school so long the truth is they are ten or twelve years behind me. And when the come out and try to make it on the street, or hell, just walk down it, I'll catch up with them. You don't believe that, baby, I don't see how you believe anything. School tell you what to put in your head but the street teach you how you gonna live when you're grown. The street teach you how to live and how to keep on livin'. Ask anybody you meet down in my hood, they'll tell you the self same thing, because if you ask 'em, they's got to still be alive, huh? "My Life, My Heart, Fuck You and Yours" IS COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL AND MAY NOT BE DOWNLOADED, TRANSMITTED, PRINTED OR PERFORMED WITHOUT THE EXPRESS PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR

AUTHOR'S NOTES: (4/14/02)
Not sure the original date on this either, but I have done it here at C'ville no shame last year some time. I wrote it after I moved out of the house I was living in with Lisa Schlesinger and into the basement room at Scott Smith's, so 1990, I think or 1989, somewhere in there. It's about gang stuff remembered from my time in Geese Company.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: (7/5/02)
This piece, it turns out, was never actually performed at IC no shame, only read at the No Shame presentation I did during playwright's festival that year.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: (7/6/02)
It was early in 2001, like May or June, because I was recycling a lot in those days, and don't forget when we were jumpstarting this puppy there were nights when I was doing up to four pieces in one night.

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