Grand Mama House | By: Darryl Johnson | | Category: Short Story - Life Bookmark and Share

Grand Mama House

short story called grand mamas house: where do I began the year was 1959 was just a baby crawling around in my crib listening to a song call the monster mash, and I remember some long staircase leading out side or into the basement someone was doing something around me maybe my mother, my life began as I remember in a place call DETROIT; MICHIGAN/ Chattanooga Tennessee. at my grand mothers house my mothers mother. Playing around the house like kids do with my other brothers. [Danny] [Richard] Ronald] and my little sister [sue], my brother Danny was my best friend at the time we would play all day in the house in the back yard I went everywhere with Danny it seem as if he was my protector I felt safe around Danny the rest of my brothers Richard and Ronald I didn’t play with as much for some reason, Ronald was the quit one I use to see him off to himself most of the time doing things like building something like houses out of what he could find around the yard or the house. he had some kind of nerve problem he would always make strange noises out of his mouth and tap on everything with a stick .he was kind of different from the rest of the people that was around me my brother Rick I don’t remember him at all much when we stayed at my grandmothers house I don’t know why, at the time I don’t remember much about my mother either except when we would pick her up at this big building with my grand mother. my grandmother was more like my mother then maybe my mother was to busy at the time. in fact I wasn’t close to my real mother. at that time I just knew she was my mother and loved her anyway. most of the time my grandmother we called her mama. and my great grandmother we called her nanny. was much like our mothers at that time. both were very strong black women I felt very safe around them at that time I never seen my father before he was in new York city at the time but I did see my grandfather he was so funny he would come in drunk and play with us all day he used to chase us all over the house playing like Frankenstein and dancing like a clown we loved our grandfather very much those were some loving times at my grandmothers house. One day my uncle came to visit, his name was Dubai he seem nice at first talking all the time there was a dark side to him one day I was playing on the floor like I always did and he just attack me rolling me so hard on the floor I was crying for him to stop and my great grandmother came to stop him and said boy what is wrong with you doing that child like that. I was so scared that was the first time I can remember being unsafe at my grandmothers house after that I seem to withdraw from people for a while I never forgot that day and I never trusted other adults around me for a while. Then we moved out of my grandmother house and got our own place we were so happy and excited because we were going to be with our father for the first time he was so tall like a god he had a long nick we use to say he could reach up to a tree and get our Easter eggs with his long neck. we were joking, but we felt very happy to be with our father he was so nice took us everywhere with him he used to cut hair on the side and work odd jobs here and there. we moved a lot from one place to another in Chattanooga, but we were happy I remember we were out for trick a treat and a guy took my bag of candy my father ran after him got my candy back, you see my father was very nice it seem like he had no toughness in him at all but after that night he was my hero after that night I always felt safe with my father he was a tough dud.. Lets back up a little to our first place it was a apt complex called Wilcox blvd that was the first time I have ever seen the city this place was so big we met all kind of people there boy it was like we were living in some kind of new world every thing was big we could walk for days in that complex it was so big. Every body began to settle in there, [my family]. I miss my grandmothers house but I got used to it. I began to explore my wild side and decided to play with some fire ants. At first I was curious never seen red ants before, before I knew it they were all over me biting me all over my body it was so painful that I got up and ran like hell saying please someone get these things off me I was crying and yelling help me please the whole complex was laughing at me but no one would help except one dude began to spray me with a water hoes, that help some but the ants were trying to eat me; so I ran home and nanny put me in the tub and washed them away and I didn’t play with Tennessee fire ants again. As time passed on I began to fill sad and lonely, I miss my grandmother house she would come and pick us up and we would spend the night or two and I began to realize we were never going to live there again, So I said good by to the old world and excepted the new one. I was about six now and nanny had moved away. I began to withdraw from my family and sat out to find other people to be with my mother had a friend in the complex she use to take me over there so she could baby site me when she was at work. I liked her very much I was so happy when I was there I began to walk over there by myself she was just like nanny I felt so safe when I was there I was happy again she use to take a lot of time with me telling me stories about her life and the world, I use to think she was going to be my new mother, I was happy to be with her. one day I went there and no one was home I ask my mother what had happen to her she said that she had died. I never found out what really happen to her until years later when I was grow that she had died from a fall in the bath tub, mom said she had a hearth attack. Any way we moved away and I never forgot her. We moved a lot after that one place after another moving on a street called 38th street they were one big happy family. But for me I felt a deep sadness in side trying to find that lost love and care that I had felt when we stayed at my grandmothers house I would go places by myself as if I was trying to find where I belong you see I never felt close to my mother at that time she was always working or at her friends house my father was working all the time my older brothers well they use to fight all the time but I had Danny I use to go with Danny much of the time, you see at that time me and Danny was the closes. so I was happy for that but I still was a sad child. one day I met this strange man on the railroad tracks and he took me to his home somewhere I don’t know where, he had birds and I use to lay down and I would fall a sleep on the couch and he would feed me and talk to me about the future and life I felt like I had found a new adult friend who I could talk to again. he use to put his hand on my forehead and say close your eyes and just listen to me and he began to tell me about the world and the future I could fill my self going places with him sometime far away places and sometime places right here I began to like him very much I could not wait to get out of school to see him. you see he wasn’t my father. I love my father very much but he help me with my sadness and wisdom he was like a mentor or something like a god but I told no one about him no one ever knew he was in my life he said that they would not understand I liked him very much I felt safe with him so one day he touch my stomach and said I am going to leave you something and you will carry this until you get old it will help you in times of trouble. when you go home you will see it on your stomach he was right there is a mark there looks like a hammer. You see he never did anything bad to me like child molestation nothing like that. I think he left me with a gift. So that day he walk me to the railroad tracks like he did everyday and said good by Darryl, not knowing it would be the last time I would see him and I said by I felt something wasn’t right so I turned around to see and he just faded away in front of my eyes and I ran home and that night a sledgehammer like image was by my naval or belly button never went back to see him, in my heart some how I knew he would not be there believe it or not, its true. And after that my sadness began to fade and I was happy with my family again Then one day my father came home from work mad and crying a lot he told my mother that they didn’t pay him his pay check and that he was going to go back and kill them that was the first time I ever seen my father cry and in so much pain I felt so sorry for him. A year later he left us. My mother told us he was going to find a job up north I didn’t fill sad when he left somehow I knew he would be back someday, my father was my hero and I knew he would never forget us. So we went on like kids do playing and doing what kids do. that’s when I began to be close to my mother when my father left. she was funny all the time seem like she was so happy with us she would go over to her girlfriend house across the street virginal young. I remember one night we were looking at a movie called the bat it was a horror movie and she came to the window and scared the hell out of us that’s the first time I really connected to her, so we were one big happy family again. I was about 7 or 8 now things are about to get even better my father was coming home. My father came back from the north and boy we were so happy to see him he was tall and sharp to the tee he huge my mother like he never did before and at that moment I knew he was never going to leave again. So we stayed on 38th street for a little while longer and one day my mother said boys pack your bags we are going to live up north they were so happy but my world just came to an end. I was so sad. I had friends that I loved I had my grandmother that I didn’t want to leave I loved the south we had walnut trees tulips we had raspberry trees we had life here, and I didn’t want to leave I was so sad I just cry to myself it just seem like every time I find happiness, something comes along and take it away. so I said to myself my grandmother will come and take me to live with her, but that was not to be she took my older brother Rick to live with her so in a couple of days we moved. I can remember looking back when we were all in the car with the trailer on the back of the car looking back at our home and watching it fade in the darkness of the moon light saying to myself goodbye Tennessee. I was so sad I lay next to my uncle who came down to help us and went to sleep. Not knowing that my life was about to take a lonely change. Life as I knew it was gone forever and at that moment the gift that was given to me just didn’t work. And for the moment my closeness to my father was forever gone. I began to dislike him for that and in the north he became someone else I didn’t know. my hero was gone forever. The year was 1966 waking up from a deep sleep I took a look out of the car window I remember seeing telephone poles going by like big sticks thinking where in the hell am I then all of a sudden I see a big bridge it was huge I said mom where are we she said you are in Ohio baby then I ask when will we be at our house she said real soon now be quite so I just look out the window I was amazed looking at all those factories down there. time went by and we arrived in a place called Ypsilanti Michigan. the first time I seem our new place it was another place out of this world man it was beautiful it almost remind me of home but it was all new we went inside mother told me to stay inside I think she had to take my brothers to enroll them in there new schools so I sat there all by myself looking out the window and looking at the trees I was sad because the trees remind me of home as far as I was concern this was not home so I just sat there and cried for a while looking at the boxes in the room I finally came around and began to adjust to it our new home was nice I met more of my family members my cousins they were so nice I said to myself this might be ok I got real close to my cousin Cecil he looked to be white I said to myself we got white people in our family. everyday I would play with Cecil but he became to selfish so I began to explorer my new world first I couldn’t find any kids my age so I huge around with my crazy brothers they were ok we were close we had a good time trying to cook up every thing when mom and dad were working man we ran that house we had the best mother and father you could have they gave us everything we had new toys new clothes our cousins use to come over everyday man it was the best time I ever had in my whole life my mother and father was so happy they use to party all the time our house stayed full with people it look like we were the only people in the whole world it was so many of us I didn’t have time to think of home we had places to go, things to do. there was one place called the ran building I can tell you, some stories out of that place, we were having a ball. but at night I would go to the window in my room and look at the stars at night and the trees, and say I wonder what grandmother was doing we are having so much fun I know she miss us. then I would go to sleep. Later that year we went down south to pick up nanny. boy I think that guy who gave me this gift must have been god we are going to pick up our great grandmother nanny. I was so happy life couldn’t get any better but good thinks do come to an end, Later that year I heard we were going to move to a place called Detroit. I had just got use to this new place, and some one is saying we are going to move, I just didn’t think about it beside who would leave this good life for something else so I just went on playing and being happy I met this lady she was my aunt rose. She was the sweetest lady you would want to meet she remind me of a school teacher. rose took me under her wings I stayed over aunt rose house more than my own at the time my mother was so busy working and trying to give us the world she just didn’t have the time to spend with me so I went to rose. she kept me busy all the time she spent so much time with me I wanted to be with her all the time she took me shopping then she would help me with my school work l loved rose so much it was a selfish love on my behave because I didn’t want anyone to take her a way from me like other things in my life. I began to fill scared again about moving away again I began to fill the same pain I felt when we left home down south so I wanted rose to take me and adopt me as her son. knowing I will be leaving this place I began to act out in school in my neighborhood I use to fight kids on my block because I didn’t want to leave this place I was so happy here. I refuse to say good by to anything anymore I was tired of things and people being taken away from me to start all over again so I hung on to rose like a frighten cat so when her cousin moved here I felt like rose was giving me away to give him more of my space, so I felt all is lost so I stop going to aunt roses house. now this was all in my mind. aunt rose was the sweetest lady in the world and she loved me very much even when she wanted to adopt me she knew she couldn’t, so we went our separate ways. deep down inside I know she was hurt. that summer the state fair came to town by now I had become very sad, I just didn’t care about anything anymore. we were going to move to Detroit. That summer my brothers and me went to the state fair. I didn’t want to be with anyone. at night I use to look out my window and wish I was home because by now in my mind there was no home. I felt like we were like gypsies running here and there never staying in one place at one time so at the state fair I left my brothers and called myself running away from everyone. but it didn’t turn out that way I got lost on the freeway, I was about 11 now all of a sudden some black birds began to attack me I tried to fight them off but they just kept coming, look like hundreds of then I was so scared I think I went in shock so after being on the freeway for about an hour or two this man drives by and said you better cover your eyes nigger those bird are going to pluck them out so I just kept walking something came over me and I came out of my state of shock something guided me to our friend down the road he was at the car wash a weight lifter at the ran building and he said Darryl what’s wrong? I said the birds are after me he said get in the car I am going to take you home. when we got on the freeway I beg him to let up his drop top so the birds wouldn’t get us and he did and he took me home my mother said were are your brothers and how did you get home I just said the birds. You know I wonder if that was a warning from my railroad track friend from down south guiding me back home. after that I never wanted to run away from home again. There was this guy who came down from Detroit to visit his cousin. at that time me and my brothers started a dance group my other brother Ricky was living with us again and started a dance group with us. man we were good so he wanted to check us out we dance to the sounds of Motown. that summer we moved to Detroit. The year was 1967 By now I was 12 anything that matter before didn’t matter now we were in the big city everyone here look like a tug before I left Ypsilanti I told my school teacher I will die in Detroit we moved in a house so big it look like a school house it didn’t matter if I liked it here or not, by now home seem to be a long ways away, that feeling to go home again was dead, I was a city boy now. I didn’t like this place it was more of survival thing for me than anything else I didn’t care about my filling any more I just wanted to fit in to this ghetto life. our neighborhood was a nice place but our surrounding was bad. the schools were bad, the people were bad, I just hated this place. we had our good times here to, but something in me was dead and I was a very angry young man. I hated everything and every body I didn’t show it. but in a place like this, who would care Anyway. me and my brothers began to practice our dance steps and practice everyday. we went to Motown and they wanted us back but the guy who took us there had died so we just dance for our parent parties in time me and my brothers went our separate ways and the brothers I new were finding there own life. at that time I felt so along. I just played with my toys and went to school. by now I was just numb to everything. I didn’t what to walk down my on street so I never really made to many friends in my neighborhood I met a friend in another neighborhood later that year and we became good friends. we use to sing all the time I guess we had much in common you see his family had just moved up here from the south he played an instrument called a guitar and he let me play it and I found my way again, We were playing music everywhere we were so good I started to fill good about myself again his name was Kevin Padgett. Kevin came along at the right time and I thank him for that he is dead now, I will remember him always. In the summer of 1967 a riot broke out in Detroit and I was scared to death. black people running around burning everything insight it look like a war zone we went up the street to see for ourself what was going on I seen something that really disturbed my mind I seen a man chop to pieces, they cut him up like a piece of meat I ran home and just blank it out of my mind they sent the army in that night and put a stop to it after the riot we walked around the city and it look like something out of world war 2 buildings burned down to the ground some buildings look like bombs were drop on them the smile of smoke was everywhere bullet wholes everywhere I didn’t know if I was still in the same country or not, I was just amazed. In 1968 I got caught up in the politics of the times and became anti white. we wanted to kill every white person we seen, not because I hated white people, because I never had those fillings before but because I was caught up in the politics of the times. I join the moment we use to march in the streets saying black power and death to white people. now if I was home I never would have been caught up in such a mess. but things cool down after a man name martin l king was killed, I don’t know what this place was like before we moved here from our peaceful place, I just know that what I have seen I would never be the same. But I didn’t care about black power anymore I just wanted to make music with my best friend Kevin. I think I found peace in my music and blank everything else out. I found the most peaceful place with my mother in our living room listening to music the year was 1969 I became very close to my mother after the riots my father the man I use to see as my hero became someone else and bitter. I don’t know why he wasn’t the same man I knew back home it seem like the whole world was just full of hate. the Vietnam war was raging,, drug attics everywhere, and all I wanted to do is survive this mess. later that year we had a new baby brother name Maurice he was something else I use to play with him all the time. at Christmas I use to put his toys together and watch him in the morning when he got up, and we would play all day with his toys. I loved Maurice so much. in 1972 I began to distance myself from my family and take up with other people on the other side of town. everyone at home seem to be full of hate and fear. when I was home I still love to be with my mother in the living room listening to her music and playing with Maurice. there came a time when most of my mothers time was spent with my little brother. and I spent most of my time with my friend Kevin and his family. by 1974. My school years were wasted by now so I just quit my lovely mother sent me to trade school and I became a electronic tech and I have been working in that position. my personal life was about to fall a part I got married in1979 and I moved out on my own with my new family it was ok at first but my marriage began to fall apart and it was painful I stayed married for 8 painful years I had one son out of my marriage his name is Lamar Marlon Johnson we named him after one of the Jackson five a music group at the time I don’t know where he is now I have not seen him in 30 years she moved away long time ago, it was very painful. I am 32 now and the year is 1987 and I wanted a wild girl her name was hurler Allen. she was a wild thing and I loved her more than anything, our relationship was crazy she like to smoke crack and I like to smoke weed during this time I was just about over with my marriage and came to terms with it. so I was ready for a new adventure so I started to mess around with hurler she was a street girl some what like a gangster she could trick the fur off a bear and she could be the sweetest girl in the world some what child like she needed to be loved and so did I but our past was about to catch up with us. to make a long story short it ended with a son she named Darryl allen. because she said my ex wife wouldn’t let me see my own son that’s the kind of girl she was. killed on 7-21-1995 in Detroit ran over by some guy over and over again the last time I seen her she was walking in the park were my parents lived our old house. and she just faded away me and my new girl friend watched her just fade away we were shock at what we just seen but down in my heart I knew her time was up. I will always love hurler Allen. That’s all I got to say about that. by now I have been taking care of myself pretty good until I became ill in 2005 I was doing ok. My little brother Maurice was killed in 1994 in the navel. I can’t go in to his story because its to painful we called him mo short for Maurice he was my hearth and I loved him more than anything in the world. Maurice had a son name Maurice jr he never met his father. he died 18 years later 2013. there death is personnel to me I will leave there story blank its to sad to talk about. I stay mostly to myself these days the year now is 2013 am 59 now. the rest of my family is doing ok Richard is 61 now he lives by himself he lives in Pontiac mi. Ronald is 60 he lives in Indiana he don’t tab on things anymore he tab with his wife now. Danny is 60 he lives in Riverview mi he don’t watch over me anymore. but I still look up to him. my sister sue I didn’t talk about sue much she grow up in grandmamma house and came to Detroit when she was older she is sweet as candy and I love her exceptionally much. she live in Washington state. mom and pops still live in Detroit still living in style and still in love I was right when I said pops was home to stay he never left my mother. he is 85 now and mom, well what can I say she is still the queen she will be 79 this year. And me well I never went back to grandmamma house to stay and I never really left it either. I am 59 now and I live in Inkster mi I have been sick for a while now but I still have the gift. yours truly: DARRYL GLEN JOHNSON

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