Q4 BM- Memoir Vignette

Overview: “As Life Goes On” is what my assignment was titled. The book “The House On Mango Street” inspired this memoir vignette. The purpose was to take an important moment or moments in our lives where we can recap details that are pretty vivid. This moment had to be important and so that is exactly what went on in my piece. I expressed myself, in a manner that was never thought possible, which is the purpose of writing in general.

                       As Life Goes On(Memoir Vignette)

I was miserable when I was young. (Opener) I didn’t always live in the northeast portion of Philadelphia. I did in fact live in North Philadelphia. My sanity seemed to end at the age of eight when I was exposed to things I felt no one should ever be. No child, no sinner, no parent (magic three). No one at all.

Almost everyone was smoking, drinking and getting high. (Magic three) People shot each other, fought over unnecessary things, and thought it was okay to rob others just for the hell of it. (Magic three) Most people thought that they were cool if they did those things, but for me the word cool meant fool. As I walked alone in the dark as the shadows lurk behind me, I didn’t feel safe. I saw other people get jumped and hoped that I wasn’t the next victim. Everyday I was susceptible to fear every single moment of the day. I was only eight, maybe I didn’t quite understand everything that was going on at the time, but I knew what drugs and violence were and that they were one of those things people should stay away from. (Imagery)

All I can possibly recall is feeling anguish, anger, and confusion. (Magic three and vocabulary) I felt that feeling where I didn’t know how to feel, my heart seemed to beat faster as each beat went on. It was in those moments where I wanted to help the situation at hand, but felt helpless. Being in a room full of people, it always seemed as though I was the only one there. These feelings seemed to have evolved because my neighborhood in North Philadelphia was full of gang violence and drug addicts. (Imagery)

Day after day after day (rep for effect), it seemed as though these things just weren’t going away. I never expected that anyone in my family would ever fall under the influence of either gang violence or drugs, but I guess I should have expected the unexpected. My brother Raymundus (Ray) ended up falling into the influence of both things actually. As each minute passed I felt like my brother was slipping away from the grasp of my mother’s hand. Of course she tried helping him, but my mother seemed to be as helpless as I was. What my mother was trying to do just didn’t seem to amount to enough. (Part of my realization)

So everyday I seemed to go to my room at night and just lay under my covers. The months seemed to pass by and still no hope. In the summer and spring I could feel the gust of the winds feeling against my walls and slapping me in the face. (Personification & metaphor) The chills seemed to run through my body and it was as cold as a winter’s day, but the only thing I knew to do was pray for salvation and cry. In the winter and fall time I felt the heat of my tears warming my face up as the tears rolled down my cheek. I began to feel hot, angry and frustrated. (Magic three) There was frustration that didn’t seem to leave my alone. It wasn’t something that anyone could just brush off, but at the same time being eight it was hard to confront. I cried and cried and cried, but that didn’t seem to help the situation at all. (Personification, magic three and rep for effect)

As the time went by my family seemed to move up to the Northeast portion of Philadelphia. We hoped that things would get better, since we would be away from being in North Philadelphia, but we were wrong. That sister and brother bond that we had before, that I seemed to see again just never came back. Before he fell victim it was like a big happy family my sister, brother, and I were all best friends. After drugs took over his life we wouldn’t even say a word to each other.  In fact the situation seemed to get even worse. Nothing seemed to help, no talking to him, no leaving notes, my sister and I seemed to loose hope. Confrontations between my mother and brother seemed to occur everyday, yelling and screams is all that ever happened when my brother was there.

These confrontations led to my brother just walking out of the house. He wouldn’t come back until random times in the night it could be one o’clock and he still wasn’t home. All I could possibly do was hope that nothing happened to him and that everything was okay. I figured that with some time that I would possibly get used to it, but I never did. Every time I saw my brother his eyes were red.

My brother’s body was always as bruised as a tomato, from gang fights. (Simile) My family was never really ever to process this considering that my brother is so intelligent, but decided to waste his talent. My mother always seemed to lecture him about it, but it never ended well. Then again I can’t imagine anything worst than losing a child considering I’m not even a parent. My mother tried speaking to my brother because she knows he has the potential and she didn’t want her child to end up in jail or in a grave before his calling.

Ray never really seemed to understand the pain and agony that my mother was going through and indeed it seems that we end up hurting the people we love the most.  I can remember this situation like it was yesterday. My mother picked up the house phone and busted out into tears. I was scared and thought my brother was dead. I then find out that his drink had been spiked and besides that he had been given “angel dust”, which caused him hallucinations.

In that moment I was beyond frightened; seeing my mother heart broken always seems to make me heart broken, and feel beyond helpless. All I knew in that moment, like always was to cry. We hopped in the car, rushed to the hospital, and ran into the E.R. (magic three) Finally after a long wait we got to see my brother. He was on the verge of death, his skin was beyond pale, and besides that he was throwing up everywhere. (Magic three) The fact that he was throwing up didn’t stop me from my first instinct so I just I grabbed his hand, looked at him, and told him I loved him. (Magic three) It was in that moment we connected as brother and sister; it was like we were two chemicals whose bond could not be broken. (Simile)

Of course I knew that drugs could end someone’s life, but never did I think it could affect a family member and my relationship with them or with someone I love. All I could think of in that moment was how glad I was that Ray was alive. From that day on I made a vow that I wouldn’t ever do drugs or try to do anything that would hurt the people around me. (Realization)

The intelligence that my brother had, never left him being caught up with the wrong people at the wrong time is what happened. Also, Knowing that he needed help, but was too hard headed to admit it is another thing Ray lacked. My mother got him help one day and I recall it being the best day of my life. It hurt to know that although my brother and I didn’t even exchange words I wouldn’t be able to see his face everyday, though I knew it was for the best.


My brother made a vow to change his ways, but who knew if he would stay true to what he said. It took some time, but with time everything fell into its place. Currently, my brother is away at a school, un addicted to drugs (Magic 3) and striving to be the best he could possibly be. Soon he will be in college, and realizes that his actions weren’t the smartest. Our relationship hasn’t been the same like when we he was about 12, considering we just starting talk again about 2 months ago. Although, everyday that we talk it seems like its something we build up.