Ten days later we took the long flight to our new home. Our stuff was sent to Philly ahead of us so it’d be there when we arrived. The whole flight I just sat there as my parents sat there watching movies under a blanket on their laptops. I took like four naps on that flight, the stewardess came by three times and offered some us some pretzels and peanuts I just said no until she came back with cranberry juice I drank that. I dozed off again; when I woke up we were making our final descent into Killadelphia. I pulled the blanket over my eyes when we landed I wasn’t ready to be there yet. I left behind all my friends and even this girl I liked she said we could never be together because I wore sweater vests. *fasten seat belt sign goes off* we were officially in our new home.
We caught a cab to West Philly, the most I ever heard about this part of Philly was from Will Smith on re-runs of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The cab driver was telling my dad about everything there was to see on our way to our new home. We pulled up and I went into the vacant house our things were in thepod out front they had just been delivered. They were row homes, they looked like George Washington’s house very old. I walked in I heard voices out back so I went on the deck. There were two thuggish looking kids out there one was on the balcony and one was in the driveway below. Their accents were weird.
“Yo Tyrel!, wassup cous?” Yo bro I screamed back from my balcony as I spit on to the concrete down below. “We on the block today?” Rick screamed back while still walking. “ Yeah dawg we out here.”
The two guys names were Tyrell and Rick they didn’t see me peeking out the sliding door. The one kid spit on to the driveway below and he was blasting some rap music out of his back pocket, his pants were sagging they looked like real scum to me nothing like my friends back home.
“Yo Tyrell who’s that moving in next door?” “Probably some old head who’s probably gonna try to take over the block again.” I’m bout to slide over there to my steps to see what’s popping said Tyrell” Tyrell and Rick sat on Tyrell's front steps watching as Ray and Ray’s parents carried in leftover boxes.
Tyrell and Rick looked over at Ray and laughed at him as they said “sweater vest”
Ray just glanced up and carried the box in the house.
Later that evening he went back out front to watch everything that was going on in his new neighborhood.
I swear I hate it here and all the people imagine when school starts.
The two “new neighbors “ emerge from the next door house and pull their marijuana and lit it. They offered Ray some but he kindly said no.
They laughed and whispered to each other.
“Oh you looked like you don’t want no smoke” said Tyrell - in urban Philadelphia this would mean Ray doesn’t want any conflict.
“I have no idea what that means bro but I’m new here so could you just umm how do I say this so you could understand.. just you know , chill?” said Ray.
*laughter from the tandem breaks the silence of the quite street*
“Where are you from dawg?” said Rick to Ray.
“West Side” said Ray
“West Side of what cous?!” said Tyrell in an annoyed tone
“Of Long Beach” said Ray
“Yeah well be more specific next time youngboul” said Rick
“What on earth is a youngboul?” said Ray
“How do I say this so you can understand, umm a scrub” said Tyrell
Tyrell and Rick both laughed simultaneously again and said Squad.
In Philadelphia squad is something said in urban communities normally at the end of sentences by two or more people who are friends most commonly used after a punch line in a joke between them.
Ray removes himself and goes into the house where his mom is sitting on the couch he storms up the steps she asks how he likes his new friends. He replies back saying that they are not his friends.
The next morning through the wall Ray hears more of that loud rap music he bangs on the wall and the music doesn’t stop.
The music even sounds like a foreign language to me. All I hear is obscenities I miss Long Beach where it was nice outside I didn’t hear sirens all night. I went to turn on the news and all I saw was murder it was so different even the news people had accents. In the next few weeks I had my first cheesesteak and water-ice. Pronounced wooder-ice here. I even became cooler as they say with Rick and Tyrell. I even gave their music a shot. They didn’t like my pop music too much but theyheld me down. Which in Philly meant they watched after me to make sure I was okay.
I will say that I prejudged this whole city as a whole and especially their accents which I still despise. Philadelphia has been good to me thus far. I’m chilling.