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These Are the Pieces of Me

I was that loner kid who read comics when everyone else was playing, listened to the B-sides and watched old movies ... Now I write about it

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Priscilla Hunter ...

That's my name.

It's been so long, I forget that I had a name other than Hunter once upon a time. But then the happy memories seemed to start with my mom's marriage. And though it was a little weird having brothers and a sister, our rough edges became smooth over time ... And then our parents died ... And then our big brother, Mario, died. And things just became different ... I don't know ...

My brother, Peter was the third sweetest, after Dad and Mario. But Peter was also sort of the town hoe. If I may be honest.

That may sound a little harsh, but let me give you just a sample of his exploits. After giving up the single life to marry Felicia Scott, mid way through the marriage, he had sex with her sister, Stacy. So he basically has three sets of kids; kids from his bachelor days, kids from Felicia and kids from Stacy.

Then there's Lisa ...

Lisa was a hard sell in the beginning. At first she wasn't really excited about having my mother come in to replace her biological mother. And even as she warmed up to her, she wasn't at all keen on having a little sister. Especially when Dad would tell her to take me with her so I could get to know the neighborhood and make friends. Nope. Nada. I was cramping her style, no matter the time or the place.

There was always a sense of ... I don't know ... Competition? I guess. And it was definitely all one sided. Because all I ever wanted was for her to love me. And eventually, she did. I believe it. But just as we were at our peak of possibly being that legendary type of sisters, she packed up and moved to Kramertown U.S.A. -- five hours away. And with Peter having a house full of kids and business endeavors keeping him busy, I moved into my own spot, feeling as if I was all alone in this world ... For the most part anyway.

It was as if they felt like they'd raised me and didn't have to check on me or make sure I was alright anymore. But little did they know, I needed them just as much now as I did when I was 12 years old.

Ravioli and lamb.

Ravioli and lamb.

They took care of me?

I took care of them.

I did all of the cleaning and the cooking. But don't get the impression that I was their personal Cinderella. Nothing of the sort. I did it because I enjoyed doing it. Plain and simple. Simple and plain. That was just my ... spirit? Yeah ... A lady at church once told me that my gift of the spirit/fruit of the spirit was hospitality. Peter called me "Lil' Mama" because I was always taking care of folks. And that's what happened with me choosing to move out. Once he had Felicia, I didn't really feel needed anymore. Not that she made me feel that way ... But I just kind of felt that I should move on. And then my need for unconditional love ... My need to have people to take care of, led me to making my own babies.

I have six.

Six kids and single as the day I was born.

Crazy, right? But it is what it is ... But thankfully, I could afford them.

As a writer, I'd been blessed to be able to self publish a few books. Some poetry. Some short stories ... And I've been able to make a semi decent living without even leaving the house. Though I did leave the house sometimes to speak at libraries and colleges, which was still an amazing thing to me after all of these years. I still couldn't believe it when I got calls to come speak. Crazy!!

With the spoils from my labor, I was able to move out of a modest apartment to a 5 story brownstone apartment with hardwood floors, 5 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. But that wasn't even my favorite part.

My favorite part was the stoop.

My friend, Juantee Carlisle and l could sit on that stoop for hours, just watching the world go by and talking gossip about people in the building or in the neighborhood. Perhaps a bit petty, but that's what we did, sitting on double stacked milk crates, sipping orange pop and watching the kids play Double Dutch on the sidewalk.

Juantee was a single mom as well. But she was more of a party girl. I was more of a homebody. Yet we seemed to click immediately. Both living vicariously through the other I suppose. Both semi wanting the other's life to some degree. But more than that, both of us finding that need for sisterhood fulfilled through our friendship.

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Over time, I was able to get Juantee to start going to church with me. Not that she was really looking for a "word from God", but at the very least, she enjoyed the music. And then afterwards, she'd come to my place for dinner and movies.

Also, she became my travel companion, riding with me to different destinations where I was speaking or being honored. And sometimes we'd take the kids and turn it into a family trip, sightseeing along the way. As well as going to local car shows in the park, parades and whatever else there was to see for free in the surrounding area.

Juantee even encouraged my amateur photography.

Nothing fancy. I didn't have some kind of zoom lens Peter Parker type of camera. Just my cell phone camera. But I love to take photos of things that catch my eye. Whether it be food or sights or the kids .... And Juantee didn't make fun of me. Though I could hear my sister doing so in the back of my mind.

It was weird, because I found myself enjoying my time with Juantee more than I would trying to date some random guy. Maybe because I'd dated just about every type of random guy that there was and I was kind of over it all. You know ... Random date. Get pregnant. Never hear from them again. Been there, done that, wrote a blog about it.

Not that I was gay or even leaning that way, but sometimes I would notice people looking at us when we were together ... sometimes holding hands ... and I knew what they were thinking. They were thinking that we were some kind of couple, some kind of lovers. And though it made me feel some kind of way in the beginning of our friendship, over time it just didn't matter to me anymore. Because I cared more about having a special someone in my life that I could count on in a pinch. Someone who had never let me down since we'd been friends (about 10 years). And that was more valuable to me than a whole bucket of gold or even a bowl of Frosted Lucky Charms. Because somehow ... some way ... she'd become more family to me than my own kin. And that was really saying something.

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© 2022 LaZeric Freeman

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