Chapter 5, Part 2
THE YEAR I HATED THE MOST IN THE RACIST, PENDLETON, INDIANA
I think it’s funny I’m probably the only person on the face of the planet with ‘Pendleton’ tattooed on their body, especially since it’s a place I dislike more than almost any other place. But it’s a part of my story, so it needed to be in it.
Since Phoenix didn’t work out and I still had one year of high school to complete, I moved to Pendleton, IN with my aunt and uncle.
My uncle’s parents had passed, so he and his sister were left the house. He didn’t wanna sell the house for sentimental reasons and a bunch of other stuff. So he decided he would move in, pay the bills, take care of it, etc. Plus, his current job was slowly going out of business, and my aunt worked there too, so they both took the hit and just moved to Indiana. Yee haw.
The house was 5 miles from the center of town on 6 acres of land. It was across the street from Mennonites which are basically Amish people that still use SOME forms of current technology. They were farmers, and there were fields of corn all around us.
The town was also 100% white. There were KKK barns, burned stakes, and crosses less than a mile from the house.
SO LET’S PICTURE THIS REALLY QUICK
I went from being the only white kid for 5 years in an ALL BLACK school in South Side Chicago. To an ALL WHITE RACIST raised children, hillbilly/country community.
I dressed in baggy clothes, my only skill was rapping, and I talked extremely black.
SOUNDS LIKE THIS MIGHT GET FUN DOESN’T IT?
whAT THE HELL IS ABERCROMBIE AND FITCH?
Sandals, ripped jeans, country accents, COUNTRY MUSIC, and me.
I already barely had any social skills. My only social skills came from fist fighting and rapping to fit in. This was probably THE WORST POSSIBLE SITUATION you could have thrown me into.
BUT HEY! MY LIFE WAS SO GREAT BEFORE THIS, RIGHT?
Everyone avoided me. I told kids I rapped, rapped for them, and they laughed at me. Even though kids from Chicago “got it” and knew I was good for a white guy.
I was just repeatedly getting shit on and couldn’t fit in at all.
And since everyone was mean to me, even the kids who were almost nice to me seemed like assholes because I assumed they were just fucking with me anyway when they talked to me, since some kids did just fuck with me in that manner a lot.
I went to school on Halloween at Pendleton dressed as a rapper. Everyone made fun of me. Real funny now though huh? 🙂
Kids from Pendleton have inboxed me over the years and said, “OMG I go to the same school you went to! Big fan man!” This has actually happened dozens of times. As well as all the people who used to pick on me hitting me up.
MY UNCLE WARNED ME
I’m going to say, at least 15 times, he warned me, “Do NOT go to that school and tell those kids you are from Chicago.”
Do you want to guess the nickname the English teacher gave me on my 2nd day of school?
“Chicago.” That’s right…not one kid in the school called me by my real name the entire year. Nahhhhh, they called me Chicago.
I felt really cool too. I knew that I stood out from all these kids because I was different. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a good difference in this environment. I was a complete outcast. I was already very aggressive because of my previous school system set up and because I was from the street/Chicago. I felt they were Country Hillbilly folks and the feeling went both ways.
I had NO FRIENDS. AT ALL. THE ENTIRE TIME I WAS IN. THAT. SCHOOL.
Oh my god. This was the very first ability I had since the 5th grade where I was able to be around girls all day. When you are 16 years old, every single girl is hot. I mean every single one of them. Every single girl in the school made me rethink my entire existence and what I was doing from the clothes I wore to my hair, my looks overall, the gym, etc. So…
I HAD TO FIT IN OR DIE…. SOCIALLY.
I wanted to fit in, period. I hated being home every Friday and Saturday in the country house 5 miles from town, angry at the world. I needed to do anything I could to make friends. All I had was a bike, and you can’t really ride a bike in pitch blackness to town, even if you had friends. So, if I made a friend, they had to have a car and be willing to come get my weird ass from the middle of nowhere.
MY FOOTBALL SIDE LINE STORY:
I immediately realized a sports team would be a great way to make friends. Even though I didn’t practice over the summer, somehow the football coach let me on the team.
That lasted like 2 weeks.
The main coach was a former drill sergeant. He just screamed at people. I didn’t like being screamed at, especially by a 55-year-old man, so I never listened to him.
There were 2 times where he and I almost got into fistfights because I told him not to talk to me like that and especially not to talk to me like that while being one foot from my face.
It was just a built-in reflex of not liking to be disrespected. I had never had a normal team coach before, so I didn’t realize if that was normal or not. I still think NOT. It wasn’t the NFL.
The last time he screamed at me, when everyone was practicing the next day, I walked right by the field and waved at everyone as I was walking the 5 miles back to my house.
As I walked by, both coaches were screaming, “Novak! Get your ass back here! PRACTICE IS MANDATORY!!!” and I just kept waving as I walked by.
I didn’t even get to play one game. They kicked me off of the football team.
RANDOMLY STUMBLED UPON HIS PICTURE WHEN LOOKING FOR A PH JERSEY. I’M SURE HE WAS A NICE GUY, WE JUST DIDN’T GET ALONG LOL.
Every year before the school year started, for as long as I could remember, my aunt Susie would buy me 1 pair of jeans and 3 shirts. If I was lucky, she would add a pair of new shoes that were $50 tops. That’s just how it always was.
Welp, before I started that senior school year, I had already made the decision to purchase my wigger clothes.
I didn’t know any better. The school was full of Ambercrombie and Fitch, Hollister, and whatever the hell else they wore. I totally 100% didn’t fit in. Being white was about all I had, but as soon as I opened my mouth, that went out the door.
I started really really REALLY REALLY liking the preppy girls – the look of them, just everything. This was the most important and transformative social year of my life. I had to fit in. I wanted friends and I wanted the girls to like me. Usually, people go through this shift in like 7th grade. Socially, I was 5 years behind.
This school year is what phased me into the hybrid look I have now that is partially preppy with a very wiggerish after taste lol. It’s why it was hard for me to find a fashion style that fit me. Half of me wants to smack the fuck out of me for spiking my hair, then the other half of me wants to do whatever it takes to attract a female. I’ve been torn like this since I was 16.
When I finally went back to Chicago, I was more confused than ever because the preppy shit was completely unacceptable to fit in with black people I started befriending.
It was way harder to be accepted than trying to be wiggerish around the white kids. That’s a story for after graduation though.