Lesson From The Dead:
A True Story.
At the age of 16 I became the President of the Young Turbans, Crotona Park Chapter of the Bronx, NY.
When this Chapter was born, and the way I was suckered into becoming the President, was all, under a pack of lies. We were supposed to exist to protect the whole neighborhood against any outside invading or trouble making agencies. It took no less than two years to show the members up as drug addicts and thieves. I was devastated by this, My dream of what we should have been was a wash.
I gave away my Presidency, but was so angry at them that I challenged the War counselor for that position as I stepped down. I won. Then slowly but surely there was no need to step down further for the gang began to dissolve.
It was becoming a regular sight to see them, nodding off in the park. At times passing a joint or shooting up out in the open.
Sad, I began to think of myself, progressively as better than them. I didn’t understand. I did not have enough wisdom to assess it all correctly. We, I forget to mention, were a mixture of the Old Turbans, and the Young Turbans (Same Chapter area though).
In a way I should have known in my heart there was something beautiful about them.
Well I often would be at the Four handball lower courts in Crotona Park (we had the 21 higher ground courts). On this particular day they came, about 12 of them. Sat around by the sand pit to the left side of the rear facing courts (where I was playing doubles with some friends). They were doing drugs as usual. I was very disgusted, sick of them. I tried not to show it but I was in heart thumbing my nose at them.
One of the players hit the ball far away, out of bounds, about 50 ft away. I yelled out I would get it. I was that many feet away as I straightened up retrieving the ball. Four grown men surrounded me. One had a knife, two had bats, and one sported a gun. It was a 25. They meant business, though they were mistaken. They thought I had stolen some little kid’s leather jacket. The kid was right there pointing me out as the guy who had swiped his jacket.
It wasn’t me. I told them they were mistaken. I could see all sorts of things on their faces. Though for the most part my eyes were on the weapons. I saw above all, that they were scared but felt under pressure to prove their manhood, which meant they were going through with what they had searched me out for. I didn’t know it at the time, but they must have been waiting for me to leave the company at the handball courts.
Again, I was gripped by the sense of injustice familiar to me, due to the physical abuse I had experienced at the hands of my father. My eyes watered. I braced myself and said, “You’re making a mistake but whatever it is you came to do, do it now.” I was wired by then. I wanted to get over the fearing part. This was me, what I had become, dumb.
One by one the dead walked into that circle. They surrounded me. And of all things, began to talk sensibly. No you’ve got the wrong guy, Mickey doesn’t do stuff like that. The dude you want is Little Man. They were devils, though, they knew every activity of crime that went up and down those streets. They had seen Little Man,who looked enough to pass as my brother, for as much as he looked like me, with a stolen leather jacket earlier.
Well, they were too many. They were out numbered. It would look good now for them if they believed the story about Little Man, they did! They packed up, and I even think they were angry at the little kid who led them to me.
Yes that was my lesson from the dead. I tried in the following days to hang out with them. It was fruitless, for we had so little in common now. You can never go back home any more.
But they taught me to be ashamed of myself, when thinking I’m better than someone, when but for the grace of God there go I. It was at age 25, that I trusted in Christ for my Salvation but there were various steps leading there. This was one of those steps
Thanks for the visit, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Face Book as Miguel Angel Oquendo (“Mickey” of Huachuca City, Az.)
Also these very reliable men might be near your area; Reverend Angel L. Oquendo (my Brother) at MinisterioAPG (Pembroke Pines Florida) on face book (Spanish and English), or Reverend Bob Schembre on face book also (Missouri)