Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Things You Find When Stealing Food From Your Parents House

I went to my parents house last night to pick up my mail(I'll never change my address)and do some grocery shopping(only the essentials, you know, the things I can't afford to buy like meat and diary products)and I while I was in my mom's office(shopping for office supplies)I came across some old photo albums.
The first was full of pictures of me from what looked like every single moment of my life. I still find it a little strange that my mom took pictures of me every month for the first year of my life, but I guess this goes along with having your first baby. The second was a work in progress of my little brother. I got the warm'n'fuzzies looking at pictures of me holding him in the hospital, us going Trick or Treating and him in various sports uniforms. God, how nine years does fly. Then there were pictures of various family members at weddings, birthdays, family reunions etc. All the smiling faces mirrored my own in some way. By the time I got to the last photo album it was late in the evening and I knew my parents would be home soon ( I try to steal their food and toilet tissue while their gone so they never have hard evidence against me) and I almost didn't bother to look because it was a lot thinner and a little less interesting looking than the others, but as I was putting the other albums away the last one fell open on a picture of my parents. It was old and faded and they looked like extras out of a blaxplotation movie. They were sitting on somebodies car gazing at each other the way only the young and in love do. It was clearly a time before I was born, maybe before I was even thought about. My parents were young and unhurried looking. Like nothing mattered except that moment in time when they were posed on somebodies Impala. As I flipped through the photo album I saw pictures of my mom with Farrah Fawcett hair and hot shorts and my dad with a bad ass afro and long black leather jacket. There were pictures of them at their various sorority and fraternity functions, road trips, barbeque's and candid shots. About half way through the album I realized that this book had nothing to do with me or my life. I find that I never really think about my parents lives before they were my parents. Like the only reason they even exist was to raise and lend me money. As I flipped through the pages I found myself wondering about who my parents were before me. Not the stuff that we've talked about over the years, like my mom going to the jr. prom with Marlon Butler instead of my dad(this subject is guaranteed to start an argument) or my dad going to Black Panther meetings in my grandfather's church but the stuff that mattered before they grew up and lost that idealist gleam in their eyes. The things they wanted before they realized that you have to work to eat and that rent will come regardless if you have money. Their hopes and dreams that they put aside to raise me. Their secret longings and wants that got filed away on April 10th, 1981.
I sometimes wonder when I have children will they find a photo album like the one I stumbled on. With pictures, love notes and dried flowers. Will they wonder what I was like before they became the most important thing in my life. Will they smile a pictures of me and their father in outdated clothes and marvel at how small I used to be.
The last page of the unfinished album only had three pictures one of an ultrasound dated November 1980, a pic of my mom when she was seven months pregnant(she's a documentation too) and a picture of a newborn me and my parents gazing at each other the way only the young and in love do.