I will free verse this so that I can freely go in and out of a set scheme with no reason other than expression.
I attended a funeral in Rome, Georgia on 11/26/2016. I will admit that it had more to do with the living than the deceased because he knew how much he meant to my life. One of my many bodyguards gone but not until he was sure that I could hold it down. I saw friends from the neighborhood that had slowed to a pace where they could actually appreciate life. I reflect on how our neighborhood got labeled as being bad and most took the bait despite the hook being visible. Despite the slabs and bricks being thrown, and the pies being cut. The slice was still disproportionate.
The most beautiful part of the funeral was the moments when some of the toughest guys from the neighborhood validate you as a hall of famer from the block that you only occupied for a brief season- just passing through.
The moment when your attempt to be modest is met with a “At least you did it man!” We are the last of a breed that understood our roles to the continuation of a beautiful struggle to change the world from the block forward. They never asked for payback but insisted that I pay it forward.
Before I knew what it meant to trust God, I trusted my neighborhood to provide for me. In the process I connected with all four sides of town as an inebriated court jester dancing to the beat.
Thank you North Side, West Side, East Side, and forever respect to South Rome.