When I was in elementary school one of the main things that made an impression on me was this one film they would show in the school auditorium. It seems to me that I most have seen it about fifty times or more, the reality is that I could only have seen it twice, maybe three times at the most. The film dealt with “Stranger Danger” and addressed how you were not supposed to talk to or except candy from strangers. I don’t remember every aspect of the film, but I know it was sort of a How to Guide on How NOT to get abducted. The only vivid memory that I carry of the film, to this very day, was the part where there is an empty playground where a merry-go-round slowly spins and near it the remnants of crushed candy. This films use to scare the hell out of me every year and I’ll tell you why. My family only lived two blocks from Paul L. Dunbar Elementary school; a school in which I walked home from. ALONE. Now I wasn’t one of those latch key kids, by any means. No, in fact, my dear Grandmother was always at home waiting for me and my older siblings. But still, that film would make a young brother’s two block trek home a thing that horror films were made of. I think that I have probably mentioned in previous post that I was a very sensitive kid and I took the fact that someone was out there willing to snatch me away from my love ones very seriously. I kid you not when I said that I would be paranoid for at least two weeks after seeing that damn film, convinced that someone wanted my rusty, snappy headed, ass. (You can probably image how I reacted when I was in the third grad and my mean sisters explained to me about death and made me very much aware that all things had to die, including myself. I remember the events that lead to that conversation quite vividly.) Anyway, I tell you the story of that film because I always thought that it made a big impact on me, because of my reaction to it. So what happened during the summer, before I went to the third grade was very surprising to me.
Of course I don’t remember everything that happened that faithful day, but I will try to paint you the picture that replays in my mind every now and again. It had to have been on a Saturday because I remember that my mother didn’t have to work. And it had to have been sometime in the late afternoon, because otherwise you would not have caught my happy ass outside; not while there were cartoons to watch. Anyway, I remember playing in the middle of the street, right in front of our house. Out of all of the kids in our family, I was the most sheltered. My grandmother did not like me to venture far. Hell, I think school and up the block to play with my young cousin D, was about as far as my Gammy would allow me to roam. That woman loved me more than life itself, and visa-versa. It was her that threw my Step-father out when he beat me so bad that I could go to school the next day (but that’s another story altogether).
So, I was playing out in front of the house, alone, when this vehicle drives up beside me and stops. I am standing on the passenger side of the vehicle which is being operated by this white guy. This should have been my first clue that something was wrong. I lived in the hood; in a neighborhood was build for black folk, by black folks. It was the FUBU of neighborhoods. Hell, the only white people I ever came in contact with were the once I saw on the little black and white television set, in my grandmother’s room, and the one white teacher I remember from the first grade. The man spoke to me from the driver’s side of the car, telling me that he was looking for my mother and wanting to know if I knew where she was at. Well, my mother was just down the street, at my ainney’s (aunt’s) house; literally just six houses away from where we were, and I told the man so. He asked me where exactly and I remember pointing up the street and telling him it was the first duplex on his left. Hell, you could see the damn house from where we stood.
The guy, for some reason or another, was not comprehending and asked me if I would get into the car and show him. Well, I don’t know where all my paranoia from those kidnapping films went because before I knew it I was saying yeah and preparing to open the car door so I could get in. Through the grace of GOD, all of a sudden my little cousin D came running up from behind the car yelling for me not to get in. I mean he was hauling ass to catch me before I made the mistake of my life. In that instance the man drove off.
When D, who is two years younger than me, made it up to me he called himself lecturing me about how I should never get into cars with strangers. It wasn’t really a lector. All he said was that I should never get into a car with a stranger. But keep in mind, I was two years young, and considered myself to be a heck of a lot smarting than D, so I was somewhat offended that he had presumed to tell me anything. I remember actually saying to him, “I know that” and walking away. Can you believe that crap? What an arrogant little bastard I most have been. It wasn’t until a couple of day later that it dawn on me that the man had never actually went up the street to talk to my mom. And it wasn’t until years later that I realized exact what fate my Cousin D probably saved me from.
There is not a doubt in my mind that white man had evil intention for me and if God had not sent D to stop me from getting into that car I would not be alive to tell this story. Like I said, every now and again this story will play itself in my head. It went through my head when I read Jaybee’s blog the other day and I just wanted to share. Me and my cousin never speak about that faithful day, but sometime I wonder if he remembers it. The day that he probably saved my life and my childhood innocence. I’m thinking that he probably wouldn’t remember, even if I were to bring it up to him. After all, he was just being a good cousin. It was my life that almost ended.
-One Man’s Opinion. Peace.