Short Story

by Ounce of Game

I come from a very cultural Polynesian family.  Our values are the second to third things individuals in my family cherish and or respect.  For me, this also applies, however, I perceive the point of view differently.  I try my best to abide by the rules.  I was taught, but as you can see, I’ve tripped up.

I’m Tongan, Samoan, Japanese and Chinese.  I grew up in various places such as San Francisco, San Mateo, Los Angeles and San Jose.  I mostly have memories in San Mateo, on the east side, in a part called Shoreview.  My memories in San Mateo consist of me being a hooligan.  I was drinking by twelve, smoking by eight.  My experiences with alcohol and drugs were with my older brother. I have one older bother who has me by two years, three younger brothers and one sister who is the youngest.

Yeah, it’d been nice to also have your family like that, huh?  I’ve always been the role model for the family, but I eventually fell off, too.  I was deceived into doing things that weren’t always beneficial to me.  The consequence?  My freedom.

The first crime I ever committed and got caught for was in July, two years ago.  Guess with whom?  Yup, my older brother.  It was my older brother’s wife’s cake day and we celebrated.  Let me tell you, you haven’t drunk until you’ve drunk at a Salvadorian’s house.  Long story short, my older brother’s wife’s father gets out of hand.  I did about a month and got out on the electronic monitor program.  I cut that off, went on the run for about three months.  I got caught and this time got the same things and got the same result.

I went on the run for about six months that time, and got booked in, and have been sitting ever since.

I keep myself occupied by doing work in school and received my high school diploma. I graduated high school as a junior, and skipped my senior year.  I’ve been taking classes for college ever since.  So far, I think I have about three to five units.  That’s getting me closer to my Associate of Arts degree.  I’m not sure if I want to major or double major in kinesiology, psychology, and computer and information science.  I’m still planning on playing sports for college, too.  Getting my Bachelor’s degree is promising.

It sucks to say, but I’ve finally seen the light.  After I spent both junior and senior year incarcerated.  I could’ve been playing sports, going to school, partying – all of that – if I simply listened and stepped up to the plate.  I could have been at home with my family.  For some people, it takes more time to realize that no one can help you more than yourself, and some people take less time to understand the concept.  I just wish I could hit the rewind button.  Other than that, my childhood is really just a blur.

I don’t know, sometimes adversity does that and can have that affect on some individuals.   A wise person once said “Life is based on 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it”, author unknown.

I plan on striving for myself, my siblings and my circle.  I always felt that I had to give individuals something to help them out.  I later realized that these things weren’t given back, and that’s what started to change me.  I started changing who I was.  I started to add a little more swag to my demeanor, personality, the way I talked.  All of this I did because no one was raising me.

My Pops was constantly in and out of my life, going to prison, jail, whatever.  He constantly had my Moms playing both sides of the parent.  I started getting used to telling people that my dad was “at work” whenever someone questioned his whereabouts.  I got used to living a lie.

My older brother was the same way, always in and out of the halls.  He had no one to raise him either. He was basically the second crash dummy and I was the third.  We just didn’t know.

As for my younger siblings?  They were kind of lucky.  They arrived when most of the adversity had passed us or so we thought.  Bottom line is, I didn’t come from no silver spoon.  I wasn’t getting or asking for no handouts from anyone.  We savved it out until we got something.

A lot of these kids today get pampered and no discipline is given.  This makes kids more rebellious and what not.  I know this from looking at the kids that come in.  The less I talk, the more I hear myself think and can actually respond rather than react.

I get out in August.  Between now and August, I can say that I’ve made enough progress to get terminated from probation and possibly do self-release.  I’m trying to keep everything in check right now so that when I get out, I don’t end up doing the same things that got me caught up and in here.  I’m trying to change my ways, trying something different for a change.  I want to get out of my comfort zone for sure.  Why?  Well, I’ve noticed that when I’m comfortable, I tend to do the same activities, and get similar results.  I want to open up my options by trying new hobbies or getting familiar with the trade union.  I like working, but one thing that I don’t like is doing jobs in which I have absolutely no interest.  The majority of the individuals I see who have jobs in the union, do scaffling and other hard stuff.

My whole perspective is, why do the hard stuff when you could do the easy stuff and make a lot more money?  Yeah, I don’t know either.  Well, this is where I’m going to wrap this thing.  Until next time, Beat Within.