If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison–your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, even your own life. Luke 14:26.
Her first name was April. There had never been anything like love in her life, nor would there ever be, she would often tell herself, while looking out to space. There would never ever be such a thing for any sort of girl like her, who had to leave to get ahead.
The night they found Christopher in a ditch, dead, bleeding, a head of well cut hair headed for the morgue, still wearing his campaign pin, she had been thinking about something completely different. Had her life gone to waste? Would she be able to get any of the years back that she spent working hard toward “not being poor anymore?” She sacrificed her youth, her fucking youth, instead of wearing thin highlighter color dresses and living sun as jovially as everyone else, all for her mother first, and then for herself, when she came to understand what money is and what it can afford a woman.
Why, why, why, why?
Why, why, why, why?
In the carpool home, she sat quietly. Some of her friends had gone on to get married and have a whole life that she could never claim to have. She had also felt triumph so there was nothing to feel down about, but still. Had she by this point ever loved a boy or man enough to want to marry him? No. She was just happy to see the friends that she spoke to through telephony, but did not see daily.
When Christopher died, he had by then stopped hallucinating to Dead Prez and stuff like that. He was not one to believe in the philosophies that they performed, and honestly believed that there was no future in such music. The future was in elitism, it was obvious, and so he chose to join a political campaign and participate in long hours of debonair talk with the girls and boys who had taken all school loans, like himself, in hopes of civility.
Christopher was found in a ditch by Thelma, while she was also canvassing. She was his partner for the day. 76, she screamed and then immediately called the organizer responsible for launching them on her cell phone.
Is it wickedness
Is it weakness
Are we gonna live or die?
She hated it all, especially being asked if she liked the new album. No worse, what she thinks about the whole thing. About what? Not having a thing to do really, except feel a deep feeling of boredom about life. She was the girl who didn’t say a word in the room, she realized in the campaign office. She hated that, so hated it all.
This time, I might put you down
Last time, I ain’t give a fuck, I still feel the same now
My feelings might go numb, you’re dealing with cold thumb
I’m willing to give up a leg and arm and show empathy from
Pity parties and functions and you and yours
Pay attention, that one decision changed both of they lives
One curse at a time
Reverse the manifest and good karma, and I’ll tell you why
You take two strangers, and put ’em in random predicaments; give ’em a soul
So they can make their own choices and live with it
Twenty years later, them same strangers you make ’em meet again
Inside recording studios where they reapin’ their benefits
Then you start remindin’ them about that chicken incident
Whoever thought the greatest rapper would be from coincidence?
Because if Anthony killed Ducky
Top Dawg could be servin’ life
While I grew up without a father and die in a gunfight
The answer is that she did not listen to the actual rap, she listened to the flow. The flow offers rhythm, she felt, instead of wording.
Did April care that Christopher was now dead? Not really. She had no time to think about it. She spent most of her time thinking about how lonely she felt about having to revolt, or having to scream. Christopher died? Wow. She sort of knew him, but nothing more.
I’m on the way
We ain’t got no time to waste
Poppin’ your gum on the way
Am I in the way?
I don’t wan’ pressure you none
I want your blessing today
Oh, by the way, open the door by the way
Told you that I’m on the way
I’m on the way, I know connection is vague
Pick up the phone for me, babe
Damn it, we jammin’
Bad attitude from yo’ nanny
Curves and your hips from yo’ mammy
April did not like the fact that Christopher acted the way that he did. She felt that he was not genuine and did not respect the way that things generally go when boys and girls of different races come together at a job. He was the sort of person to be “that guy” at the bar after work. She wanted such outings to end quickly, whereas he seemed to crave attention. He seemed to be emotional about his own race, but always willing to be more excited than most. Christopher, to her, had a negative presence. She, however, never expected him to die. She thought about him on her drive home, and then no longer did.
April thought again, and then slept.
*all lyrics from Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN