The Unauthorized Biography of Rosco P. Coltrane

When it's my moment in the sun, I won't forget that I am blessed, but every hero walks alone, thinking of more things to confess

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Location: Owensboro, Kentucky, United States


Monday, March 20, 2006

Blasting Tupac

My friend Jesse giggles rather than laugh. It is really funny. It is as though he tries with all his might to hold in the laughter, but inevitably, he cannot help himself and lets out these little giggles.

A couple of nights ago, I was talking to my old friend Jesse and I got him to giggle. I always consider it a conquest to make Jesse giggle just like I consider it a conquest to make my father laugh. Usually, it is the other way around.

Jesse and I were recounting our wild and crazy times back in Rhode Island. We both recounted the stupid and funny things we used to do. Every now and again, we get together on the phone and recall the memories of an equally dark point in our lives. We don't tell the stories often because most of the stories and what we associate with those stories are heartbreaking. The things we saw, the hurt inflicted on children by the world and their parents was mostly too much to bear. Even then, we knew it was too much. We could feel the darkness eating at our souls a lit bit at a time. So we lived crazy whenever we had any days off. We drank too much, we did too many drugs, and we spent way too much money trying to do more.

So now, we recount a few of the memories and try to laugh.

Somehow, we got on the topic of one of our old students, one of our old kids. His name was D (name withheld) and he was huge. And when I say huge, I mean huge. This kid was probably 6 foot plus a few inches and well over 350 pounds.

D was a rough kid. Both of his parents died of AIDS within a year of each other when he was really young. He lived with his Aunt, but didn't get much attention. At least not positive attention. He stole anything he wanted to. He assaulted anyone in his way. No telling what else he had done.

But Jesse took a real interest in him. And since Jesse was my best friend, I took an interest in him as well. We sat up with him those nights that he had nightmares about his parents. We held him as he cried. We helped him write a letter to his mother on the anniversary of her death, and helped him burn that letter in the campfire that same night. We listened to his stories of the streets and we tried to help him understand the right and wrong way to do things.

One day, the students got to go home for a weekend. D didn't have a ride home so Jesse and I volunteered to take him back to Providence. I remember we sped away down that old gravel road in Jesse's old beater of a car with D in the back seat. The car looked like it had a busted back axle when D was in the back. We had the windows rolled down and we were blasting Tupac on the radio. Jesse was driving like a bat out of Hell and we were both singing along to "Dear Momma." When we got into the rough side of Providence, Jesse turned the radio up as loud as it could and we both began to rap even louder.

I hung around with tha thug's and even though they sold drugs,
they showed a young brother luv
I moved out and started really hang'in
I needed money of my own so I started slang'in
I ain't guilty cause, even though I sell rocks
It feels good, putting money in your mailbox
I love paying rent when tha rents due
I hope ya got tha diamond necklace that I sent to you

D looked at us both and laughed, "You guys are the two craziest whiteboys I've ever seen."

(Jesse would later say that that should have been a scene in a movie.)

When we finally dropped him off, he showed us around his house. He showed us his "mean ass dog" that he had been raising. His "mean ass dog" tried to take a bite out of my hand, so I excused myself rather quickly. We gave D a hug and some daps before leaving.

When Jesse and I were walking back out to the car he looked over at me and said, "D is a bad kid. He makes horrible decisions and let's others dictate how he feels and what he does. One day he will be going into a bank to rob it, and I hope he remembers this day. I hope he realizes how disappointed we will be with him and it makes him not want to rob that bank. Really, that's all we can hope for."

I agreed.

That was five and a half years ago. When Jesse and I were talking a few days ago on the phone, he wondered aloud what ever happened with D. I told him I didn't know.

But I lied. I don't have the heart to tell Jesse the truth.

The truth is that D is in jail. Last time I checked, he was listed on a prison inmate roll I found on the Internet. Though, I am not sure what it was exactly he did, I am sure it was pretty bad. I can only hope that whenever he gets out, he will think of the two craziest whiteboys he has ever met. Hopefully, he will remember all those sleepless night and realize how proud of him we will be if he does the right thing.


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