A little while ago, I visited Archbishop Tenison’s School in South London and, while I was there, I judged a writing competition. The winner was a student called Kendrick, whose story (particularly the opening) was the best piece of writing that I have ever seen by any student in all the schools I have ever visited.
I asked Kendrick’s permission to publish it on my website, which he kindly granted.
So, here it is. Enjoy…and Kendrick, please keep writing, you really have something.
Diary of a Crippled Dreamer
Tuesday 24th September 2013
2 years, 1 month, 3 weeks and 2 days.781 days.18744 hours. It’s funny how time slows us down, some people spend their whole lives chasing something. Something we can’t even see but can only dream of. Fantasies. Fairy tales.
Stories with the beguiling power to turn the improbable into the imaginable and, if fortune favours, the imaginable becomes inevitable.
In haste, to enter this process of progression we forget what is going on around us- the chaser becomes so transfixed on the happiness that comes with the dream, he does not see the signs that point to the right path to get to the dream. They end up taking the wrong path, which they think will get them to their destination quicker: the quickest way is not always the best way.
For a long time now, I’ve been on the wrong path, the fast lane. Until yesterday. I was way ahead in life, I was beating time by 2 years, 1 month, 3 weeks and 2 days…………but time caught up. My 781 days lead was gone in the blink of an eye, in fact it was more like a shot of a gun.
I know what you’re thinking, you’re probably wondering: “What does he mean beating time and being ahead in life?” “How did time catch up with him?” well wonder no more, all would be made clear, just sit back and watch the chain of events (that is my life) unfold before your eyes.
The reason why I wrote this diary was because of a movie I saw; about a kid who wrote a diary so that in case he became famous it would save him time writing an autobiography. Great idea not so great a movie. I thought I should also write a diary so when I’m the world’s greatest rapper people will understand and know of my struggle to get to where I’ll be.
Documenting the life and near death of the greatest rapper (to be), Lamar “Straight Struggling” Johnson; this is the diary of a crippled dreamer.
Thursday 4th March 2002
It had been a month since Mum died. One month I’d spent crying myself to sleep, I couldn’t understand why God would do such a thing to her after all her prayers. He took her breath away………she couldn’t reach her pump, it wasn’t where it was supposed to be. She lay prostrated on the floor gasping for breath, banging the floor; I could have saved her but I was asleep. I was dreaming.
I lived with Renée and her boyfriend Dennis during that month while the social worker found me a care home. I begged to stay with her, she was my only family -although when mum was alive we never talked much and she never acted like a sister; but she was my only family. Miss Benson, my social worker said that her apartment would first have to be assessed and her finances examined to see if they can provide a healthy environment to live in, this normally took about 6 months but when I looked at Renée’s face after reading the criteria I knew it would take much longer.
It had been raining during the car journey, we’d been driving for 20 minutes but it felt like forever. Miss Benson’s car was comfortable. It had cream leathered seats and mini TV’s in the back, it smelled of anti-bacterial hand gel which summed up her personality.
A clean freak with an interest in technology and very good taste in style but I still didn’t want to talk to her. “So are you looking forward to seeing your new home?” she asked, trying to make conversation and break the silence that had impregnated the car.
I looked at her as she watched the traffic light, shrugged my shoulders and stared out of the rain splattered window, I sensed her frustration as she sighed. I didn’t turn to face her, I was transfixed at a bench outside the window where a boy sat laughing with his mum.
Mum and I used to do the same, we would sit on the park bench just talking and laughing…….but now she’s dead, there was no one to laugh with and no one worth talking to.
That’s the reason I found myself staring at a metal plaque that read Clovers Hill Care Home; it was quite small for a care home but had a big playing field adjacent to it. The whole area was barricaded with high brick walls decorated with barbed wire at the top, in so many ways it resembled a prison.
Dean or Big D, was the site manager or head social worker. He shook my hand vigorously as I entered, his big sweaty palms sandwiched mine. “Come in. Come in, I’m Dean Mitchell but you can call me Big D. They all do. Welcome to Clover Hill House…… Lamar, right?”
I nodded to prevent tears from swelling up in my eyes if I’d spoken. He called it a house, instead of a care home; he was trying to make me feel comfortable, trying to make me ease up. I wasn’t going to ease up. I wanted to bottle up my pain, my hurt and be angry at the world.