Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"What's hard is knowing that KeeKee may be six or seven now but that in three or four years she'll be thirty."

Last week in my Literature and Resources for Young Adults class we were assigned Christopher Paul Curtis's Bucking the Sarge (2004, Random House), which is narrated by a 15-year-old named Luther T. Farrell who works for his mom, "the Sarge," and is forced to grow up fast. Below are two excerpts I particularly liked.

"There's always something desperate and fake when you have to deal with someone who's about to get evicted. They'll say anything to try and get another rent-free week or two. That makes it easy not to listen to what they have to say, 'cause you know there's a pretty good chance they're lying. It's nothing to make your heart hard to that. Even if you feel bad for them odds are they're not doing nothing but playing you, and who wants to get played?

"People will throw their babies in your face or have their sick, dying mommas cough on you or they'll tell you the check's in the mail or that the Department of Social Services computer is down or that they've got the inside word on what next Thursday's number is going to be or  any of a million other stupid excuses as to why they haven't paid the rent in three months. It gets real easy to let those excuses slide right by you 'cause it's real obvious that they are what Ms. Warren calls rhetoric, or speech designed to influence.

"What's hard is a stupid little picture drawn by a little mostly-As student who's got a dope fiend momma. What's hard is knowing that that girl was gonna be living in a busted-up Impala until her momma drags her into some other hole to live. What's hard is wondering, and I know some philosopher somewhere has wondered this and probably figured it out to the day, how much longer that little girl has before she's beaten down so bad that being room C's Citizen of the Month doesn't mean a thing. What's hard is knowing that KeeKee may be six or seven now but that in three or four years she'll be thirty." pg. 61-62

"Once you get some years on you and a little experience under your belt it turns out that those things you have great expectations about are just as tired and played out as anything else in your life. I don't know why so many of the fools I go to school with can't wait to get older, it seems like with age fewer and fewer things are exciting. And it seems like the more excited you are about something, the more time you spend dreaming and wondering and fantasizing what it's going to be like, the more disappointing it turns out to be.

"Which has got me seriously worried about sex." pg. 68

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