Anger, one of the few things in life we hold on to dear no matter how much it hurts us. People who love us ask us to please let it go but we refuse, still harboring revenge in our hearts. The anger is eating us up inside but we’d rather satisfy it than release it. Eventually we give in to rage and act on our anger. The results are scary, unpredictable and usually detrimental to our lives. We are no longer angry… now we’re remorseful, guilty, embarrassed or incarcerated, all because we couldn’t let the anger go.
Love them while they’re with you; hate them when they’re gone. All those quirky little things they do that you found so adorable, irritate you more than anything now. Their small short comings you so easily overlooked are now viewed by you as glaring weaknesses. They were so fine when you had them, now they ain’t all that. Oh how your heart has changed… but what if you had them back? You know your heart would change again. It truly is a thin line.
Sustained excellence doesn’t come by happenstance or coincidence. It is gained through consistent diligence, preparation and dedication. You can’t just show up the day of a competition or event and be excellent. The days, weeks and months prior are when you work towards excellence. Through your work you gain experience, wisdom and confidence, the building blocks for excellence. “You know what it takes; now go be great, excellence awaits you.” Cam Rascoe
Comical Criminals 2
“Yo Tommy ‘member Uncle Cleav dumb ass?”
“You talkin’ ‘bout that time he got arrested in that liquor store because he couldn’t get out?”
“Yea his dumbass got in through a window to the basement where they keep all the liquor. He knew that they didn’t have no alarm on the basement window and no motion detector so he jumped in. His stupid ass didn’t look to see how far down it was first and he fell twelve feet through the window down on the concrete floor. He broke his ankle so he was limpin’ around tryin’ ta gather bottles and cases.”
“Terrance, man you know Uncle Cleave was a crazy crack head so he was always doing something stupid.”
The two brothers shared a laugh as they turned left onto Hastings off of Silver Star Rd.
“Tommy, this nigga tried to stack boxes up to stand on but kept on bussin’ his ass tryin’ ta climb out. Then he limped up the stairs and tried to get out the door but it was locked from the outside. He shook that bitch but it wouldn’t budge. He limped back downstairs started tryin’ ta stack shit again; after he bussed his ass about three more times, he gave up. The nigga opened up the liquor sat down on some of the boxes and got drunk. Then he limped over to a phone on the wall and called the police on himself so he could get out.”
The two laughed again then pulled into the parking lot behind the convenience store on the corner of Colonial Drive and Hastings.
“Yo Terrence I heard about that but how you know all the details and everything?”
“They had that shit on TV nigga! It was on some ‘ol dumbass criminal TV show; me and Uncle Harry saw it last week when we was smokin’ a blunt on the back porch. They showed his dumbass doing all that stupid shit; man Uncle Cleave a clown. I can’t believe that fool kin ta us! Damn he green! Tommy you ready?”
“Yea I’m ready.”
“Put ‘yo mask on and let’s go.”
The two brothers put their plastic bag masks over their faces and jogged around the building and towards the front door of the store. They entered the door and instantly the small shop was filled with noise and confusion. Terry yelled from behind his mask.
“Everybody get down on the floor! Get ‘yo ass down lady before I put a slug in ya belly!”
Terry pointed his revolver in the lady’s direction and motioned with the barrel of the gun to the floor of building. She complied to avoid upsetting the robber; Terry began feeling light headed as he panned the room. Tommy was behind the counter cleaning out the register; he never thought to ask the employees about the safe in the office so their take was only $322.22. Tommy put the loot into his brown paper bag and looked up just in time to see his brother pass out. Terrence forgot to put holes in his plastic bag making it very difficult to breath; his level of excitement expedited the effect of the lack of oxygen. There Terrence lay sprawled out in front of the entrance from slight asphyxiation. He would later be awakened by the police before being loaded into the back of a patrol car. Tommy waved his gun at the crowd and ordered them to stay on the ground as he stepped over his fallen brother and made his way out onto the street in front of the store. Tommy shook his head at his brother’s stupidity as he thought of how he would make his escape. He ran pass neighbors who recognized him through the plastic bag.
“Hey Tommy what you doing? You just rob that sto’? Boy you know you and ‘yo kin sure like to stay in some bullshit.”
Willie the wino said to the boy as he pushed pass him and ran around to the back where his brother’s car was parked.
On the trunk of the car sat three youths from his neighborhood smoking a blunt.
“Hey Tommy you wanna hit this?”
Tyrone said extending his hand holding the burning narcotic to his neighbor.
“No nigga, get off the car.”
Just then Tough Tony stood up and challenged the somewhat masked man.
“Yo don’t bring ‘yo ass out here wavin’ no gun tryin’ talk tough and shit nigga; you know you ain’t built fo’ dat.”
Tommy feared Tony as did most people in the neighborhood so he felt it more prudent to reason with him rather than challenge him.
“Tony, I ain’t tryin’ ta start nothin’ but I’m tryin ta get away from the cops. Look, you want this gun?”
Tommy extended both hands with the gun in his palms humbly offering the firearm as a payment of toll for his passage. Tony took the pistol, examined it, and then motioned his younger brother Taj down off of the trunk of the car.
“Alright Tommy, good doing business with you.”
The three young men moved from the vehicle and just then Tommy realized that the keys to the car were in the pockets of his unconscious brother. He looked at Tony and the two boys laughing at him as he fished through his pockets for the keys to no avail. Tommy didn’t have the courage to ask for the gun back; he was already afraid of Tony when he held the gun in his hands, he was terrified now that Tony held the gun. Tommy heard sirens in the distance so he took off on foot in hopes of escaping. His breathing became labored as he made his way through shrubbery, over walls and fences still struggling to breathe through his see through mask. Tommy fell over a fence snagging his white tee on the top of it and rolled down onto the ground. He looked up from his knees to see little Tonya Tillman and her grandmother looking in his direction. He felt extreme pain in his ankle as he attempted to rise to his feet; the face of dumb ass Uncle Cleave flashed across his mind. Tonya yelled over to him from the garden where she was helping her grandmother. The six year old was sharp and instantly recognized the man as well as sensed that he was doing wrong.
“Tommy what are you doing falling in my grand mama’s yard and why you got that bag on your head? Are you in trouble? You done something bad ain’t you? The police after you?”
Tommy didn’t answer one of the little girl’s questions or address her grandmother who used to baby sit him as a child. He immediately realized that he wasn’t in the presence of sympathizers so he limped into the front yard and down the block. He could hear the sirens three blocks over so he decided to make his way through a small creek and over a hill to his mother’s house. As Tommy hobbled around Pine Hills trying to elude the police, they were interviewing everyone he had come in contact with during his attempt to get away. His brother had been revived and taken into custody, the keys were removed from Terrance’s pockets and the car was searched. Tony turned over his gun to the police after negotiating a small reward. The cops followed his trail with dogs and dispatched the police chopper to hunt him down. Before the chase was over, Tony and his high homeboys were on the news telling their stories and giving shout outs to their peeps. The police, then news cameras made their way to Mrs. Tillman’s back yard as well and Tonya gave them all a full report. The little girl was somewhat of a ham so she really enjoyed speaking to the police and reporters. Tonya divulged everything that she could think of about the assailant including where his mother lived. Tonya made the most of her fifteen minutes and was offered and accepted the opportunity to be featured in a series of television commercials for a local chain of supermarkets.
The police collected the statements and the evidence from the fence; they staked out all of his known residences. Thirty minutes later a tired, injured Tommy staggered up the hill to his mother’s house. Plastic mask now torn and tattered he gingerly stepped up onto his mother’s front porch while looking behind to see if he were being followed. He just wanted to get a nap a dream this awful day away. Tommy wished none of this had ever happened.
“Get down on the ground now! Let me see your hands! Hands!”
Police rushed in and tackled the exhausted Tommy to the ground with great force.
“Stop resisting, stay still, don’t resist!”
The officer yelled at Tommy as he put pressure on he boy’s his neck with his knee and held his hand under the boy’s chin pulling back. Meanwhile other officers buried knees and elbows in different muscles and joints on Tommy’s slim frame.
“Please stop, I give up. I’m not resisting. I can’t breathe.”
Tommy pleaded as the officers’ weight on the youth began to take its toll. His cries and screams did not go unnoticed by the crowd that was forming. Tears could readily be seen flowing down the boy’s cheeks as he gasped for air; his “high yella” face was now bright red, eyes bugged out and bloodshot.
“Get off of him he can’t breathe, ya’ll already got him!”
Seventeen year old Tammy Tims yelled from the sidewalk in front of Tommy’s mother’s yard.
“Ma’am please move along, this is police business.”
A large police officer addressed Tammy while pushing her back into the street. Tammy tripped off the curb and fell into the road hitting her head. Just then her mother rushed off of her porch and into the street.
“Hey motherfucker, you don’t put ‘yo hands on my daughter.”
As she rushed towards where her daughter lay, her oldest daughter made her way towards the offending officer but was intercepted by another cop and eventually arrested for disorderly conduct. More of a crowd formed as a limp and lifeless Tommy was cuffed, carried and loaded into the back of a patrol car. As an officer attempted to put Tameka, Tammy’s older sister, into a police car a rock was thrown by a youngster in the crowd striking the officer in the head. The man dropped to the ground and the police all drew their guns. The senior officer on the scene began to address the people in the street through a bull horn.
“People please disperse. Allow the police to do their work. Please move back. If you don’t move back we will be forced to use deadly force.”
“What now you gonna shoot us now?!”
Tammy’s mother yelled back at the officers as she held her daughter in her arms. Tension between the police and residents grew as heated words were exchanged then an ambulance appeared on the scene. The paramedics ran over to tend to the officer while Tammy lay dazed barely conscious in her mother’s arms. This was seen as disrespect to the people in the street and the two groups got closer while Tommy’s body was driven away in the back of a squad car. Mace was sprayed into the crowd by the police then pepper spray was sprayed back at the police by women from the neighborhood. The police used stun guns on those who seemed to be the most aggressive. A mini riot ensued, seven residents were arrested and five hospitalized. They were all women or men under the age of twenty-one. Most adult males were at work. No police other than the one struck by the rock were injured. Later the local news would report on the event…
“Today in Pine Hills there was a riot where officers were injured trying to apprehend a fugitive from justice. A community of thugs attacked officers in an attempt to secure the freedom of an assailant accused of the armed robbery of a convenience store that afternoon. Officer Stan Mc Garrett a twelve-year veteran of the force was struck in the head with a flying projectile. He has been admitted to the hospital and is in stable condition at this time. Seven rioters were arrested and five others were hospitalized after assaulting officers. Officers have been met with resistance in this area before. Residents of surrounding neighborhoods have dubbed the community Crime Hills because of the increased crime in the area. We’ll have the full report at eleven.”
It is so easy to keep the pressure on someone else, make them try harder, do more, run faster. Holding them to a standard of excellence and imposing your will upon them comes natural. They are desperate to reach a particular goal but the only way they can reach their lofty goal is through you. One missed step will cause them to suffer your rage and fury. You hold the keys to their future, so you dangle them high, making them jump through hoops to grasp them. You may be great at making the rules and designing the course but could you pass or complete it yourself?
We rarely disagree but we occasionally have a disagreement. My wife and I don’t argue, name call or fight but three times a year or so we may have a disagreement. It’s not that we are at odds, we’re just misunderstanding one another. She offers a passionate burst off of what I feel is an innocent statement and I respond with quiet anger. Me not taking the time to understand how I’m being perceived is the root of the problem, my silence compounds it. Finally I speak, understanding is gained. We realize that we are both always working towards the good, just not understanding or communicating well enough. Thus the disagreement. Three times a year on average our relationship goes through this rebirth, for no marriage is perfect… but I sure love mine and I thank God for our union everyday.
We have to give our best if we want to be the best. Giving minimal effort garners us minimal results. Has anyone in history ever become a champion by trying just a little? Talent can only get us but so far; putting in the hard work separates us. If you’re content with only being good, you may be able to get by on your God given talents alone but if you want to truly be great you have to give your all. We have to give our best if we want to be the best.