Warning/Disclaimer Deep themes contained. Read at your own risk.
It had rained yesterday. I stayed inside all day, just listening to the rain drumming against my window. Now today is just wet.
No extra rain was soaking my skin, but remnants of water was everywhere, in the grass, making it squelch on my feet. And I could smell the rust. The thick rust of the amusement park.
This park was 30 minutes away from my quaint neighborhood, and the neighbors always complained about it.
How it is such a disgrace, how it’s the brown stain of their white perfection, blah blah blah.
I’m thankful for my grandfather and my great imagination, though, because it helped me throughout the slurs that made my heart hurt.
Sometimes, when the neighbors talk about this park, I have this strange, crinkly feeling that they’re talking about me and my family.
Being the only black family in these suburbs, we were almost bound to feel this way, despite it being 2019 instead of the 1960’s.
Once one of them opened their mouth, I felt like they were slamming me into the wall of my own home.
Today I was peeking through one of the neighbors’ white fence to watch their dog spin around and around everytime I stuck out my pink tongue.
And one of the neighbors came out, with her bathrobe that was as bright as Pepto-bismol, pointing a finger at me, “What are you doing, Boy?
Get outta my lawn--” although I was not on her lawn at all, and she kept yelling words that jumbled and jiggled in my head like Jello.
So I jumped up and grabbed my red bike and pedaled, fast and faster and fastest until the Amusement Park loomed over me.
The sign had been repainted so many times that it was a pale rainbow against a rectangle board. I couldn’t make out what the park was named.
There was a w and an h and an i and an o, but they were all blending and mixing with each other that seems to be bleeding out. I stood up, threw my bike down.
I put my hand to the sandy boards that blocked me from seeing the inside. All I could see was a glimmer of light peeking through a tiny hole. I want to, I want to go...
I look around and all I saw was tape. Keep out. Keep out. Stay out stay out go away away away.