The Southside Stories – Chapter 7

The phone rang, rang…and rang. And just when I thought it would go to voicemail, I heard a “Hello?”

“Hi,” I said. “It’s Jazmine.”

“Jazmine!” he said, his voice full of recognition and authentic surprise. “I was hoping you would call. I wanted to call you but then I realized I didn’t have your number at all.”

“Yeah, I realized that too in hindsight.” And also realized that we were Facebook friends (or maybe I imagined we were?) and he could’ve contacted me that way but alas, Facebook is not the real world. Continue reading “The Southside Stories – Chapter 7”


The Southside Strories – Chapter 6

Our conversation turned to more mundane things like what was happening in my life, love life, and miscellaneous topics you talk about with your parents.

Then I asked what I didn’t think I’d have the strength or energy to ask.

“When is she being buried?”

“On Monday morning,” he said. “Are you going to be there?”

I was going to tell him, “I’ll try to make it,” but realized if I wanted to heal, maybe this would help me get closer to getting closure with her.

I paused. “Yes.”

“You sure you’re okay to handle it?” he said, his gently eyes probing mine.

“Yeah, Dad, I’ll be fine.”

That settled it and we said our pleasantries. I told him I’d be exploring more of the city on Sunday and that I’d meet him at the cemetery on Monday morning.

He got up to leave but I stayed in the same place. Continue reading “The Southside Strories – Chapter 6”

The Southside Stories – Chapter 5

When I look at my wristwatch, I noticed that time had flown. I was going to be late. I hopped on the closest subway to go to Williamsburg. Oh, Williamsburg, Brooklyn – how I miss you but am glad that I live away from you. As the saying goes, distance really does make the heart grow fonder.

I stepped off the Lorimer stop on the L train and walked on Union Avenue to the other side of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway (we just call it the BQE). In the Southside, there are two sides because the BQE divides them. For a long time I lived on the Northside of the BQE but then moved to the less gentrified version (at the time, in the nineties) of the Southside. Continue reading “The Southside Stories – Chapter 5”

The Southside Stories – Chapter 4

When I woke up the next morning, I saw my dad had called and left me a message. I didn’t feel like listening to it so I set the phone aside and checked my emails instead. I was never a fan of the Blackberry but when I got one, I understand why it’s often referred to as Crackberry – because it really is like crack! I can’t get enough of being plugged in twenty four seven. It’s not even like I’m working right now either.

I just got back from the Macondo Conference and I’m waiting on hearing if University of San Francisco will get back to me about teaching freshman English in the fall. Granted they would call me but it doesn’t hurt that I keep checking my emails, just in case.

After I check my emails, I check my account balances. So far, I’ll have enough to stay in New York for a bit before going back to San Francisco. Continue reading “The Southside Stories – Chapter 4”

The Southside Stories – Chapter 3

When I was in junior high school, as most kids in my neighborhood, my summers were spent on the stoop. I had friends and cousins I hung out with. We played Uno, I Declare War, Gin Rummy (even though we knew it as Three and Two), Spit, and people watched.

While other kids went to Puerto Rico or Dominican Republic for the whole summer, I was outside on the steps of my stoop. Continue reading “The Southside Stories – Chapter 3”

The Southside Stories – Chapter 2

In junior high school, I wasn’t fat or unpopular; I was a nerd but the nerd that people knew and liked. I was heavy into extracurriculars and liked being in the mix. I dated sporadically; less than more so my other female acquaintances.  The majority of the guys in my school were dirty, inappropriate, unattractive, straight up ghetto, superficial (well, boys at that age don’t believe in personality yet. You’re either hot or not), or just straight up stupid. Even at that age, regardless of looks, I couldn’t handle dumb boys. Plus, my vocabulary was expansive before I entered high school. I started at eleventh grade level English as a sophomore! Continue reading “The Southside Stories – Chapter 2”

The Southside Stories – Chapter 1

As promised, I have provided the first chapter of my attempt at writing about my native Williamsburg, Brooklyn neighborhood. Feedback is encouraged and appreciated.

I can’t believe I’m back here. Los Sures in Brooklyn. I swore I’d never come back here unless I needed to. Well, here I am. Attending Mom’s funeral. I can’t believe she’s gone. I don’t even remember the last time I saw her. Continue reading “The Southside Stories – Chapter 1”