I’ve always been envious of the sharp dressed stud at the lunch table that was able to keep the conversation going by telling life story after life story.
I’ve only ever had one real good one: my “gay experience” as a child.
My family and I moved to the United States in March of 2001 and landed in a quiet neighborhood along Coral Way, renting a 1980s one-bedroom apartment in a complex whose spiral staircase had seen better days. Most of the inhabitants were nearly retired Hispanics but a couple of them had a kid that attended my same elementary and was a grade ahead of me. My given newcomer status caused me to gravitate towards this 3rd grade youth named Kevin, a chubby, sedentary, finger-licking type not nearly as concerned with the enterprise of learning as I was.
All I cared for that was that he was the only kid my age in the building and that he owned a PlayStation 2 while I owned the original.
Most of the time we spent hanging out, we would do regular boyish things like play video games and munch on chips and talk about cars and chase each other around.
More often than not though, neither his nor my parents were around; they were off working.
Such a backdrop wouldn’t have posed a problem if Kevin was a normal boy. Problem is, he wasn’t.
I vaguely recall one of the first times it happened. Kevin and I were sitting on the living room couch playing video games as his parents came close to let him know they were going to work.
I thought nothing of it until after the door was closed and a half hour had passed. I was on Kevin’s bed, laying down, face up, fully clothed; watching this grotesquely unkempt boy stand over me and say, “Let’s make love” before throwing himself on me and performing the obvious.
To avoid being more graphic, there was no penetration.
The main factor that compelled me to keep this secret for as long as I did was an irrational preoccupation with what normal was. I asked myself, what would be the normal thing for me to do here? Should I even tell my parents? Am I supposed to fend for myself?
Even Kevin could tell was something wasn’t right; every time we were “done”, he would urge me not to tell my parents nor his. Every time I would ask him why he was doing it, he’d get kind of nervous and provide a unfulfilling answer.
It was a power game, I suppose, in which I had the power of uncovering Kevin’s heretofore secret folly. Mine and Kevin’s parents were the outsiders, and given the nature of what was going on and their perceived responsibility to raise us right, it was in their best interest to become insiders. It was a rape situation without the rape.
I’m glad I told my parents eventually, and I’m also glad that no physical damage occurred, but I wish I could know how Kevin is now. That’s the only part left unresolved. Is he OK?
More on my college experience later, but for the moment, check out the pilot my friends and I made for our Intro to TV class: Generations vs. Generations!
The draft of the Florida Department of Transportation District Six work program for fiscal years 2013/2014 through 2017/2018 lists several “bike path/trail” projects slated for execution within the next five years.
These projects include a greenway in Overtown between NW 3rd Avenue and NW 7th Avenue (slated for construction in 2014 at a cost of $1,085,000), another greenway connecting the Miami Circle Greenway to South Miami Avenue (to be built in 2014 at a cost of $865,000) and Segment C of the Biscayne Trail (running along the the L-31E Canal from SW 328 ST to the Black Point Marina; this is set for construction in 2014 at a cost of $1,085,000).
With regards to pedestrian safety improvements, FDOT’s work program lists several “Safe Routes to School” programs as well, slated for execution in 2014 and 2015 and targeting various schools throughout Miami-Dade County including Palmetto Elementary School in Pinecrest, Oak Grove Elementary in North Miami, and North Hialeah Elementary in Hialeah.
The document cover indicates that “Project Information is Subject to Change”, meaning that anything from the cost of a given project, its planned time of execution and even nature of the project itself described isn’t set in stone.