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Standing on a BART train surrounded by children who look like… - Piano wire. [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
The richest girl in town.

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[Monday, Jul. 12th, 2010|05:17 pm]
The richest girl in town.

Standing on a BART train surrounded by children who look like children I might have some day, little boys with their heads shaved close, little girls with hair in braids, tiny plastic bird barrettes clamped at the ends. I'm refreshing my smart phone as I travel back to Oakland on this BART train under the bay, looking to see what our lives are worth to those twelve people sitting on that jury at the other end of the state, where other juries have decided in the past, that our lives are, simply, not worth much.

But my smart phone isn't so smart, and instead I smile at the children surrounding me who are acting like children:  climbing over their seats, climbing over each other, voices raised in the sparkling cacophony that happy children are known for. They are on their way home from a long day of field-tripping with young white teachers who look exhausted and protective when a middle-aged white man in a suit presses past the children with his briefcase clutched to his chest and his face a mask of annoyance. I wonder if he sees these children as children, or if he sees these children as a drain on the system, or a shitty way to end his work day, or living, breathing bull's eyes. What do the other people around me see when they look at these little boys, smelling like little boys, full of energy and excitement, eyes full of sun as we come above ground in West Oakland?

I refresh my phone again and know what our lives are worth, know that the twelve on that jury decided these children are little bull's eyes. I want to hold them all close to me, spread these arms about them, protect them from those who will involuntarily pull out their guns and slaughter them for being little boys, for being little boys full of energy, for being children who look like children I might have some day.

 

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: rmjwell
2010-07-13 02:29 am (UTC)
I wonder if he sees them at all.

As always, hauntingly well-written.
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[User Picture]From: tuckova
2010-07-13 08:14 am (UTC)
I like very much the way this rolls in and back, perfectly constructed, and I thank you for putting "protective" in the middle because it gives it some hope, that somebody is seeing them as children every day: maybe exhausting, but always worth protecting.

You would have gorgeous children, inside and out. Anybody who can't see them for how beautiful they are would of course hurt them, hurt you. But also (albeit in a possibly less literal way) they would be hurting themselves, same as if they were texting through a double rainbow.
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[User Picture]From: jjodelle
2010-07-14 12:06 am (UTC)
I learned today that there will be a rally in support of Johannes Mehserle. I read some of the comments of people supporting Mehserle stating that they feel bad for the injustice he has been the victim of. I heard that Mehserle said he felt the family of Oscar Grant was "mean spirited". Things things let you know how much they value children that look like us. A man was shot in the back while handcuffed. Since it was a black man killed, there is a rally held for the shooter. It makes me so angry!
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