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The Streets Still Call My Name

645 words - 3 pages

I had always been told by my father, “Never show your tears. It is a sign of weakness.” At that time, I was eight years old and without question, I believed him. While boys played video games together and girls attended sleep overs, I stayed at home, barricaded by these four walls, only to be entertained by the TV. That was all my siblings and I had to drown the noise of my parents bickering, of unpaid bills, mortgages, accumulating debt, and questions concerning my father’s disappearance for the last week. I remember my father’s familiar laugh and how he grinded his teeth when shouting. This lifestyle became routine for me. I first began suspecting that something tragic had begun happening when I was told that our phone number changed. I learned that my father had not only gambled away his entire paycheck, but that he borrowed money from friends, family, multiple banks, and credit card companies, but most importantly from loan sharks. That night I looked into my mother’s eyes and learned what fear truly is. My father, a most vicarious and desolate man, developed a gambling addiction at the age of 13 and began smoking at the age of 10. Due to my father’s compulsion, my family lives a life in the shadows. Forced to adopt a new identity, I had been pigeonholed by the social shame of being homeless, a fact that I never wanted to come to terms with.
I remember holding an empty pot for nearly an hour before my arms began to hurt hoping someone would toss in a coin. Among all this, two local homeless men began to viciously attack one another. Their eyes began bulging wide as they resorted to cheap moves and began biting one another. As suddenly as it began, it soon dispersed as the police arrived and ended the confrontation. The officers soon talked amongst each other and laughed at...

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