A Small World of Struggle

By Tarringo Vaughn
© 2013 Diversity Rules Magazine and Tarringo Vaughn.  All Rights Reserved

vaughn_thumbTarringo T. Vaughan always believed he had a love affair with literature.  One of the first pictures he saw of himself was of him at maybe the age of three or four year’s old sitting with a book in his hand.

He is the founder of the Flexwriters Creative Network.  Future plans include a publishing company as well as actual an actual café for writers and spoken word nights.  His writing consists of many styles as he does like neglecting rules and going beyond the norm.

It is the nutrients of struggle to feed and nourish the hunger for survival.

A roach stumbled its way over a dripping kitchen faucet and then paused seemingly staring back at a five year old child who was willing to share the existence.  As I looked around at the stained walls, down at the raggedy floor and up at a cracking ceiling with spotted holes this was all I knew.  I thought this was how everyone was living.  I didn’t know there were other families out there that had more than us, I didn’t know other five year olds indulged in a little more than syrup sandwiches made with the ends of a loaf of bread, hell I didn’t even know that roach wasn’t supposed to make its habitation where I made mine.  We had just enough to get by back then but don’t know if I would trade growing up on Savin Street because without that environment; without the struggle I don’t think I would be one of the fittest who survived.

There’s a line between poverty and complete poverty, when one lives in poverty they can afford some things sometimes and when one lives in complete poverty they can’t afford anything all of the time.

And I guess we lived on that line just above complete poverty because we had some things and made the most out of what we had.  My granddaddy taught us all not to let anything go to waste because he said we would never know how long things last.  And speaking of granddaddy me and my little cousin Jerome hadn’t seen him in quite awhile.  He was the missing piece of the puzzle but no one ever really explained why.  I remember him humming all the time and being that stern figure who defined presence.  His talent was with his hands as he was an auto mechanic and handy with fixing most things but the one thing he couldn’t fix was his marriage.

When the heart loses what it values, it becomes an unused tool.

My cousin Jerome and I were at it again.  We were out and about roaming around and learned our way around the corner and down Warren Street where the liquor store was.  We always wanted to see what we could buy for a nickel which was usually nothing but we always ended up with lollipops from grownups who were friends with our nana.  One day we heard a familiar voice humming at us.  He was dressed in a blue kind of handy man uniform but it was fading and looked like he had it on for days.  His balding head was barely covered with two patches of gray on each side and he had a toothpick out of the side of his mouth surrounded by beady salt and pepper stubble.  And on his face was a wide smile because he was happy to see his grand kids.  He grabbed our tiny hands real tight like he always did to show us who had the strength but there was a weakness in his grip.  Things didn’t seem right because in his other hand was a brown paper bag of liquor.  His eyes looked empty and full of defeat.  He didn’t want us to see it but struggle finally infected our granddaddy as life had worn him down but we represented what he did right in life and we were worth his struggle, we were his survival.

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