Her words played on my ego. I was keen to show her the high level of my skill set when it came to fighting. I thought I was a strong contender in that department, and the reputation I started to build for myself reflected this.
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I ran through the dark estate as I always did. I was on what we called my Ps and Qs. And it didn’t mean ‘please and thank-yous’, which Mum would say to prep mine or Safire’s behaviour when out in public. It denoted being alert, being on your toes or on your guard.
Whilst Nicola checked out Charlene I checked out her. She was kitted out from head to toe in designer clothing. She wore skin-tight patterned Versace jeans, a fitted white top with Giorgio Armani sprawled across the front, a Moschino belt with the gold block lettering and flat black Gucci loafers…
By the time I got down the stairs, making gun signs at the historic portraits of the likes of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X on my way – this demonstrated an appreciation of their contribution to history, and something I had copied from Dad – Dad was in the kitchen.
As featured in Chapter Four (Non P Territory) of Once Bad Intentions, Who the Cap Fits was another of Bob Marley’s numbers that spoke the wise words of old folk sayings.
For some moments I lay there on the bottom bunk trying to ease my stresses out. Dad continued to let his mouth run over and above the reggae drumbeats of Dennis Brown’s ‘Stop the Fussing and Fighting’.
I saw red. My eyes blazed with venomous stupor. But this is what happened when my adrenalin rose to that level, when my anger became so uncontrollable I thrived on the sentiment it provided: someone got hurt…
But once we’d eaten, everyone quietened down with the dimming lights, spread out on the floor or across the sofas overlapping someone, we watched The Colour Purple which I hadn’t seen in a while. That Celie gave me joke.
I remember aligning the severity of the chastising with the character Kunta Kinte in the TV series Roots at the time. I wriggled from her grip and screamed whilst she lashed me with a curtain wire and dared me to call the police, pushing the handset to my ear and urging me to dial 999.
He drove us around Lewisham stewing for information, but when Musical Youth’s ‘Pass The Duchie’ came on…it all suddenly stopped. So we ‘bubbled to the riddim’ loving Dad singing and being chilled for once.
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