I grew up listening to my mother scoff at all the T.V shows and books that I watched or read. She told me how it was all ‘rubbish’ and ‘garbage’. But the thing is, I think somehow, watching along the show I also grew up. I know everyone says that, like when Good Luck Charlie ended everyone was upset and was like ‘I grew up now its gone!’ Or ‘Aww. My childhood gone’ But its not like that with me. I actually grow and learn more things about myself. And some of the shows or books I watched/read, motivated me. They were always there. So if that is the definition of ‘rubbish’ and ‘garbage’ than please. Cover me in filth.
He pulled my skirt up. I began to worry. Everyone knew he had broken in girls before and I didn't want it to happen to me. I said, 'No. Get off, please.' He pulled me down the alley and pushed me to the ground. As I lay on my back worrying about my new blue coat, he pushed his fingers up between my legs — and rammed himself into me.I was crying. His lips were pressed against mine but I was motionless, like a small corpse. He grunted and I knew it was over. He got up, I just lay there on the ground, my tights round my ankles. The clock was striking twelve.As he walked away, he turned and said, 'I've always wanted to do it to you. I like your mouth'.When I got in, my mum said, 'Tracey, what's wrong with you?' I showed her my coat, the dirt and the stains, and told her 'I'm not a virgin any more.' She didn't call the police or make any fuss. She just washed my coat and everything carried on as normal, as though nothing had happened.But for me, my childhood was over, I had become conscious of my physicality, aware of my presence and open to the ugly truths of the world. At the age of thirteen, I realised that there was a danger in innocence and beauty, and I could not live with both.(describing childhood rape)
My mother wasn't a fool," I say. "She just understood something you didn't. That it's not sacrifice if it's someone else's life you're giving away, it's just evil."I back up another step and say, "She taught me all about real sacrifice. That it should be done from love, not misplaced disgust for another person's genetics. That it should be done from necessity, not without exhausting all other options. That it should be done for people who need your strength because they don't have enough of their own. ...
I grew up watching my father make plates that featured penises as centerpieces. Pink, proud, and stiff, encircled by cerulean Greek key, Dad’s creations made me feel scared and small. I saw a private part of the man I could not measure up to. At six years old, I lived in a world shaded by his ceramic glazes. There was love and color, but anger, too, in the way he kneaded his clay, palms pounding the rich, wet earth into shapes of his choosing.
I was on one of my world 'walkabouts.' It had taken me once more through Hong Kong, to Japan, Australia, and then Papua New Guinea in the South Pacific [one of the places I grew up]. There I found the picture of 'the Father.' It was a real, gigantic Saltwater Crocodile (whose picture is now featured on page 1 of TEETH).From that moment, 'the Father' began to swim through the murky recesses of my mind. Imagine! I thought, men confronting the world’s largest reptile on its own turf! And what if they were stripped of their firearms, so they must face this force of nature with nothing but hand weapons and wits?We know that neither whales nor sharks hunt individual humans for weeks on end. But, Dear Reader, crocodiles do! They are intelligent predators that choose their victims and plot their attacks. So, lost on its river, how would our heroes escape a great hunter of the Father’s magnitude? And what if these modern men must also confront the headhunters and cannibals who truly roam New Guinea? What of tribal wars, the coming of Christianity and materialism (the phenomenon known as the 'Cargo Cult'), and the people’s introduction to 'civilization' in the form of world war? What of first contact between pristine tribal culture and the outside world? What about tribal clashes on a global scale—the hatred and enmity between America and Japan, from Pearl Harbor, to the only use in history of atomic weapons? And if the world could find peace at last, how about Johnny and Katsu?
I love my lecture tours. I get up onstage. I have my stack of books and a glass of water and a microphone. No podium, no distance between me and the audience, and I just talk to people and get all excited and tell a lot of jokes, and sing some songs, and read from my work and remind people how powerful they are and how beautiful they are.
I used to think that when I grew up there wouldn't be so many rules. Back in elementary school there were rules about what entrance you used in the morning, what door you used going home, when you could talk in the library, how many paper towels you could use in the rest room, and how many drinks of water you could get during recess. And there was always somebody watching to make sure.What I'm finding out about growing older is that there are just as many rules about lots of things, but there's nobody watching.
I don't really care if people forget me. My legacy wasn't about me. It was about everything I could do for another. When that sinks in...well you try a little harder. You dream a little broader. Your heart stretches a little farther and you find that you can't go back to the same place and make it fit. You become a person of ideas and seek out your own kind. And then it happens: One day you discover that staying the same is scary and changing has become your new home.
What infinite heart's-easeMust kings neglect, that private men enjoy!And what have kings, that privates have not too,Save ceremony, save general ceremony?And what art thou, thou idle ceremony?What kind of god art thou, that suffer'st moreOf mortal griefs than do thy worshippers?What are thy rents? what are thy comings in?O ceremony, show me but thy worth!What is thy soul of adoration?Art thou aught else but place, degree and form,Creating awe and fear in other men?Wherein thou art less happy being fear'dThan they in fearing.What drink'st thou oft, instead of homage sweet,But poison'd flattery? O, be sick, great greatness,And bid thy ceremony give thee cure!Think'st thou the fiery fever will go outWith titles blown from adulation?Will it give place to flexure and low bending?Canst thou, when thou command'st the beggar's knee,Command the health of it? No, thou proud dream,That play'st so subtly with a king's repose;I am a king that find thee, and I know'Tis not the balm, the sceptre and the ball,The sword, the mace, the crown imperial,The intertissued robe of gold and pearl,The farced title running 'fore the king,The throne he sits on, nor the tide of pompThat beats upon the high shore of this world,No, not all these, thrice-gorgeous ceremony,Not all these, laid in bed majestical,Can sleep so soundly as the wretched slave,Who with a body fill'd and vacant mindGets him to rest, cramm'd with distressful bread;Never sees horrid night, the child of hell,But, like a lackey, from the rise to setSweats in the eye of Phoebus and all nightSleeps in Elysium; next day after dawn,Doth rise and help Hyperion to his horse,And follows so the ever-running year,With profitable labour, to his grave:And, but for ceremony, such a wretch,Winding up days with toil and nights with sleep,Had the fore-hand and vantage of a king.The slave, a member of the country's peace,Enjoys it; but in gross brain little wotsWhat watch the king keeps to maintain the peace,Whose hours the peasant best advantages.
I was 23 when I learned how to cook; I grew up around the same time. It was precisely then that Thanksgiving started to mean something more. Growing up, Christmas was always about me, and eventually you, when I finally started to enjoy the giving part. But Thanksgiving is always about us.
People always say that I didn't give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn't true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.
I’m not the only kid who grew up this way. Surrounded by people who used to say that rhyme about sticks and stones. As if broken bones hurt more than the names we got called, and we got called them all. So we grew up believing no one would ever fall in love with us. That we’d be lonely forever. That we’d never meet someone to make us feel like the sun was something they built for us in their tool shed. So broken heart strings bled the blues as we tried to empty ourselves so we would feel nothing. Don’t tell me that hurts less than a broken bone.
Was I still myself? If so, who was I? I wasn’t really interested in knowing that. It had no sort of importance for me anymore. Some moorings had broken, some taboos had fallen, and a world of spells and anathemas was springing up from their ruins. What was terrifying about this whole affair was the ease with which I passed from one universe to another without feeling out of place. Such a smooth transition. I had gone to bed a docile, courteous boy, and I’d awakened with an inextinguishable rage lodged in my very flesh. I carried my hatred like a second nature; it was my armor and my shirt of Nessus, my pedestal and my stake; it was all that remained to me in this false, unjust, arid, and cruel life.
Although Geoffrey, Gilbert and I grew up in this small place in Africa, we did many of the same things children do all over the world, only with slightly different materials. And talking with friends I've met from America and Europe, I now know this is true. Children everywhere have similar ways of entertaining themselves. If you look at it this way, the world isn't so big.