Growing up my family moved to Canada for a month or so, and one night while we were out grabbing lunch I saw these guys riding bikes together. There must have been twenty to thirty guys all riding in formation through the street with a “yeah, we’re badass” attitude. Leather Jack, white tee-shirt, it was like someone finally cloned carbon copies of James Dean - overweight copies, but copies none the less.
      I’m looking at these guys while walking down the road with my family and it’s the coolest thing I’d ever seen. My sister asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  I respond, “I want to be in a gang.”
     It’s been years and I still haven’t figured out why she slapped me. There is no way anyone was/is letting this kid into a gang. Not just because I don’t work well with other people, although I imagine that’s a trait every thug needs. I can’t be in a gang because I don’t have “it.” I don’t know what “it” is, but I don’t have it.
     First off, growing up I wore high sock, sweat pants - with the matching shirt - and the kiddie collar. Fuck that kiddie collar. I don’t even think my mom bought the collar for kids, knowing her it was probably cheaper to buy a leash. And this is why I didn’t need a deterrent. The kid with the matching sweat suit and the kiddie collar doesn’t grow up to be a thug; he grows up and murders his parents.
     Second, we were in Canada. Enough said.
     Finally, being in a gang is like AOL; it’s way too much commitment. I want the benefits of being in a gang like cool bikes, and the James Dean style, but I don’t want that monthly service charge: getting shot, stabbed, going to jail… getting raped in jail. I’m high-yellow; jail isn’t the place for me. Plus, gangs aren’t cool anymore. Why use AOL when we have Yahoo, Gmail - literally anything else?
     So why slap the kid in the dog leash? Just in case, I guess; especially if your little brother’s a pre-tween who wants to fit in. So thanks for the slap in the face sis. Whatever you did worked, it’s been fourteen years and I haven’t pursued a life of crime…yet.


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