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Logan skims through casting calls on the web, going back and forth tediously loo king for a role that would match him: 16 year old Biracial (black & white) boy, 5’8”, 135 lbs. He types in numerous search requests: Casting call biracial teen boy. Casting call teen boy. Casting call teen. Casting call. Casting. He starts to feel helpless until he comes across a role. Light skinned African A merican teen boy for feature film. Close enough. He disregards the whole race th ing and becomes excited; this would be his big break, he would be something. He reads the character breakdown: A teenage boy (15-17), Light skinned African American; a young and anxious kid t hat s all swagger and full of energy. Naive but wiser than his age expects, he m aintains a confident persona (his girlfriend is his 33 year old science teacher) but is still very much venerable in foreign territory, the character does join a gang and raps. While the skill isn t necessary, it is important to keep in min d that this character is a prolific beat-boxer. The film sounds coming of age, its indie, and this interests Logan. He reads the passage over and over again, his mind races with thoughts of fame, a worry free life. Freedom is the only thing that stands out, freedom from poverty, freedom from the scum that keeps surrounding his life. He closes his eyes and imagines t hat free life, he can t help but smile. Beautiful people dance around in his tho ughts. Logan s mom is one of those dancers, her hair is long, her cheeks blossom ing with heavy warm pinks and her lips are red. She is happy. In the midst of al l of the fantasy, reality bleeds through. What are the chances that the good lif e will come, what makes him the exception? He opens his eyes and analyzes the ro le again. African American, something he’s only half of. He looks at the words Afr ican American and in his head he sees Will Smith, Samuel L. Jackson, Denzel Wash ington. He combs his hair with his fingers, his straight, semi wavy, hair. No Af rican American has straight hair like his. He’s biracial, they are casting an Afri can American, he knows this, and he hates it, he hates himself. Logan bookmarks the site and walks down the hallway and turns into the bathroom. He leans into t he mirror and examines his too familiar face. He’s more yellow than brown. He coul d pass as an Egyptian but not an African American. He flares his nostrils and sl umps forward, someone walks down the hallway, he s startled and too scared to be criticized for performing such non-sensical rituals and so he shuts the door an d goes back to being something he’s not, well not 100%. After moments of posing, r ubbing grease in his hair and trying to see which side of his face looked darker he started to realize that its not just the way that you look that makes you st ereotypically black, and thats what they re asking for, a stereotypically black teenager, its not just looks it’s the way you walk and talk, the music you like, t he things that you do in general. He’s so far from this character, but the fame, t he rise, the way out. He needs this. As he stares into his own hazel eyes someon e starts banging on the door, “Hurry the hell up!” Logan flushes the toilet to save himself from an argument. “What the hell are you doing.” He fumbles and trips puttin g away hair grease, in one instance he decides to lift up the toilet seat to rea lly make it seem as though he was using the restroom but then seconds himself an d puts the seat back down realizing that that little action could only piss her off more. He pulls open the door and flinches but she blurs right past him, he g ets the glimpse of a syringe as she slams the door shut. He stands still for a m oment but then goes on to his room and throws himself across his bed. Logan’s moth
er is an addict and has been for five years now, nothing started the addiction b ut her weaknesses and an ex. She just decided to start the drugs after the birth of her last child because her boyfriend at the time offered it to her. Logan ha s, in a way, grown use to it, though he opposes it, there is nothing he can poss ibly do to stop her from using. She uses about twice a week if she has the money . Shes not even mom anymore. To many people her addiction would be a hard ball b ut Logan takes it as one more obstacle to build him up, to get out. Closes his e yes once more and makes a list. To get this role he would have to act the part. A genuine gangster. There are people that go to his school, he recalls, that act the part. The type that he has never hung around, the bad kids that teachers on ly like for their sense of humor. Its like studying for a test or writing a repo rt, gaining enough knowledge on a subject to explain it and summarize. He would befriend the gangsters, it really sounds funny to him though. He imagines himsel f as a gangster, a thug, sagging, smoking, drinking, and shooting. This thought leads to the thought of his Academy Award, he can see it, he comes up with a spe ech, thanks the world and walks off the stage full of the happiness that only dr eams can grant you. He wakes up the next morning for school, gets his clothes to gether, and as he’s doing this he looks for attire that would help him get into th e gang. He digs and digs through clothes, then goes to his step dad’s closet and g rabs a pair of pants, being that they are a size to big. He gets dressed grabs h is back pack and goes to the living room where his mom is asleep on the couch. F or moments he just stares at her, judging her as he would a stranger instead of as his mother. Time passes and he walks outside down a hill and to his bus stop with his sagging pants, tripping and falling, trying to keep them up but not too far up because this would defeat the purpose. When he makes it down the hill he just stands alone but remotely near the gangster clique listening in on their c onversation. They talk about sex, marijuana, and fighting. One boy starts rappin g while another beat-boxes, the others just gasp and laugh in amazement at the w ords that come out of the rappers mouth. Logan is amazed too, that this guy can rhyme about meaningful and not so meaningful topics, he improvises. While this r ap session goes on he starts to examine their outfits. Most of the boys are wear ing extra large jerseys of different basketball teams and baggy pants only some of them are sagging like him but none of them have to pull at their pants every five seconds. The bus comes and they all start heading inside of it. He follows behind them and studies the way that they walk, it like waddling but smoother. H e finds a seat close to them and lays his head against the glass, looking outsid e, eavesdropping on the group. The whole ride they laugh and joke about the same topics from before. “That nigga Teezy was all up on my brother man, beat the shit outta his little ass. Ima get him. Ima get his ugly ass.”, the others got excited . “You know I’d come beat his ass. You know me, remember what I did to that one fat ass nigga, honey bun eatin’ ass, I got him good.” one girl made a comment that light ened things up,” You got lucky, his ass didn’t want no damn French fries that day.” ev eryone laughed. Logan had never fought a day in is life. He could only imagine b eing in something so useless and barbaric. Logan never argued and barely fought, when he did fight he used his words which were by no means threatening. He cont inued to look outside, watching the power lines animate themselves until the bus came to its last stop and he had to get out. He waited until everyone else got off and then he held his pants as high as possible and proceeded off as well. “Are n’t your pants a little too big hun?” The bus driver giggled and Logan kept waddling on after the gangsters. No one really paid any attention to him and his new sty le but the few looks that were directed at him he caught and they were slowly br eaking him, making him so paranoid that the world was watching him. He just stuc k through it, imagining himself as a gangster beating the shit out of these so c alled haters. When inside the school some guys walked up to him. “Sexy pants dawg, really nice.” he didn’t say anything. The two older white boys followed him making comments, he held on to his pants tighter and tighter terrified that one of them might try and pull them down, “Don’t trip.” One boy ran in front of Logan and knelt d own, Logan stopped then the other boy shoved him forward and over the kneeling b oy to the floor. The boys laughed as did everyone else in the hallway. Logan lai d there on the floor, his hands still tightly clinching his pants. “Oh shit, he’s fr
ozen.” they laughed louder. “He’s hiding his boner dude.” the laughter became overwhelmi ng. Logan shut down, shut his eyes and just shut his whole body off. No one care d it seemed, no one would help him. Not one teacher was in site. Not one extensi on of authority. “What the hell, you dumb asses,” a girl came charging down the hall , “What the hell is this?” She pushed the crowd about until she made it to him. She knelt down, “You are one sick shit, you know that? All of you!” The crowd started to clear up. “Who did this?”, no one answered, “Nina Ramirez, I swear to Christ I will t ell your mom you missed your period if you don’t tell me who did this shit.” Nina lo oked amazed and confused. “How--- well, Terence pushed him and some other boy help ed, please don’t tell her, she’ll ship me off.” The girl put her hand on Logan’s face as she looked up at Terrence who was standing alone. “ Where’s your fuck buddy Terry?” S he stood up. “Its Terrence.” The girl laughed in amusement. “Its Terry cause I know gu ys like you, Terry. You get off on sites like these,” pointing at Logan in fetal p osition, “You’re a little pile of shit, a pile of sticks, a dick smoking fag.” He turn ed and faced the wall, “ Why don’t you fuck with someone else Tori,” his voice became quiet. “You bitch.” The girl, now Tori, leaned forward, and parted her lips revealin g clinched teeth, “I’m done talking.” she turned around and walked slowly in the oppos ite direction. As soon as Terrence let his guard down Tori came strutting angril y back at him, grabbed his shoulders and kicked him in his junk at least three t imes. He fell to the ground sweating. With her hands still on his shoulders she knelt down and said “ Isn’t that what you wanted? A sex change?” The hallways are clea red now of the excited on lookers. Terrence, Terry, holds himself and spits. A t eacher comes out of the classroom in search of disturbances and clothing short e nough to report. Instead she sees an unconscious boy laying face down, a girl co mbing his hair back with her fingers, and another boy holding his crotch with bo th hands whimpering. “What happened?” The silence brought frustration over the small old woman. “Tell me now! What is the meaning of this?” Tori stood up. “This boy has b een out cold for ten minutes now. You need to call someone.” The old woman’s face be came tight and clammy. “Okay.” she said and with no hesitation she ran into her clas sroom to phone an ambulance. Tori walked over to Terrence. “Assault charges, that’s what you have coming you dumb asshole.” He didn’t say anything, just turned his head away from her sharp stare. The teacher walked back out, “What is his name, the bo y?” Tori shook her head. “No clue.” The woman nodded, “Okay, they said not to move him, it could break his neck. Does he have a pulse.” The woman felt her own face, her s kin. She couldn’t believe how calm she was. Tori walked back to Logan and put her index and middle finger on his neck just above his collar bone. The rhythm was i nconsistent. “Its, I don’t know.”, she paused then began, “bumba bumba babum bum babum b umba…” The woman repeats it on the phone. “She said its like bumba bumba babum bum… off beat, yes.” Tori leans in to hear him breath. He does. He takes deep, full breaths . She listens closer. When all of a sudden he begins to cough. She jumps back, h er hands on her chest her legs shaking. “Holy shit!” She takes deep, full breaths. T erence and the teacher both look in shock as Logan choked on air. Tori crawled o ver to him and patted his back. The teacher, “Do you need a doctor?” Logan lifted hi s head and looked up at Tori, “Hey.” He was barely conscious, laying on his stomach, his arms his leverage and a wide burn across his forehead. On the ambulance Tor i came along as a witness. She filled out a statement while Logan laid on a stre tcher squinting to see her face. After only moments of him peeking and then quic kly shutting his eyes she began to notice and behind the papers she said, “What’s yo ur name?” He slowly opened one eye and then the other, smiling. “Logan, you saw me.” S he peered from behind the papers, “I see everything.” , Logan smiled then looked awa y, “What grade are you in?” she put the papers on her lap. “I’m 16.” She pursed her lips. “ 16.” She smiled, “I know.” Logan looked confused. “Everyone thinks I’m older, like at lea st 17, the way I act. You’re pretty.” Tori shook her head as she opened a bottle of water for a swig, “They said you hit your head pretty hard.” He rubbed the burn in p ain, “Yeah, it hurts. Why are you here?” She gestured at the papers, “I have to fill o ut a statement, two, one for the school and one for the police.” Logan attempted t o reach for his phone but nothing was there, his pants were off. “Where are my pan ts?” Tori looked over at his Thunder Cat briefs and giggled. “They were falling off when they tried to get you on the stretcher so they just took them off of you,” sh e pointed to the pants hanging on a hook, “no one took them.” He turned away from he
r. “Cute legs.” she laughed, they laughed. News Woman: At South Janim High School to day two unnamed students were involved in a fight that led to one of them being sent to the hospital. Here is Ted Eielson with the just of the story. Ted? Ted: Yes Susan, police have yet to release the names of the students but what we have word of is that a conflict between two students has led to an injury. Police be lieve that it was either a traditional bullying or in other instances a bad case of gang violence… Logan laid in the hospital room and watched the story progress into a web of idiocracy. Tori walks in the room with a tray of food. “Its free cau se we’re students so I got a lot.” Logan sat up. “My dad is on his way to get me, have you talked to your folks.” Just as she said that Logan’s mom walked in. “Oh, baby I h eard about what happened, are you okay?” Logan wasn’t feeling the whole super mom fa cade. Tori got up from Logan’s feet and waved mouthed a good bye. “The school called and told me to come down here immediately and I was watching the news so that j ust made me so upset.” She leaned forward to hug him. “The lady at the desk said tha t we should sue, people get money for that, the big bucks. Lord knows we need th at.” Logan rolled onto his side and closed his eyes while his mother started diggi ng through the food on the tray. “These are good, I haven’t eaten all day.” His blood filled with anger but ,being that he knew the outcome of his actions, he express ed nothing. “When are we going home?” His mom put the tray down. “The doctor is suppos ed to come speak with us. Dirk is outside waiting. So, can you tell me what happ ened?” He didn’t move, just closed his eyes. “Some guys were playing around and I fell on one and rolled off onto the floor.” “You need to be more careful, boys will be b oys, I guess.” She laughed lightly, Logan smiled in her direction. The doctor walk ed in. “Hello guys. So you are fine to leave, we did an x-ray and everything check ed out ok. We just need your insurance info and that’ll be it.” Logan’s mom looked dea d at him and grimaced. “How much will be deducted?” The doctor look at the woman the n at Logan and then back at the woman, “Nothing will be deducted, the school is pa ying for this. We just need the info so that they know that he has been to the h ospital, it’s a security thing.” Relieved she went on to go through her purse, two p ill bottles fell out, she picked them up made a quip and continued to dig until she found the papers,” Here you go.” The man copied some information and then left. Logan and his mom gathered their stuff and walked down to the front desk to chec k out. A police officer approached them. “Hello, are you Logan Burns?” he nodded, “Thi s is my mom.” The officer went on, “Tori Hernandez turned in a couple of reports sta ting that a Terrence Ragland pushed you over another unidentified boy.” Logan nodd ed. “Now, Mrs. Burns, because you are the guardian of the victim would you like to press charges?” The woman looked at Logan. “Yes.” She whipped reluctantly. The office r filled out a form and handed the underlying copy to the woman. “The court date w ill be set for the 20th, is that too soon?” She shook her head no. “Here’s my card, if you have any questions at all please do yourself a favor and call". After exami ning the woman he decided to give a card to Logan too, followed by a stare that said he knew Logan s life cover to cover. They checked out of the hospital and w ent out to the car where Dirk, the step dad, sat waiting. He turned on the vehic le as they approached. Logan got into the back seat and the two adults began to talk. “An officer came up to me while we were in there and said that we can press charges.” Dirk looked back at Logan for a split second. “Did you say yes.” She nodded. “He gave us a court date, its on the 20th”. Dirk looked into the rear view mirror, “O f this month?” She nodded again. “What’d they say money wise.” Dirk asked. Logan, frustr ated, joined in, “Nothing.” the conversation stopped. The car ride was silent, every one s mind was busy, racing to the point that their many thoughts cancelled out the car s consistent humming. “Now turn up here on your right.” Dirk followed her di rections. “How much is he charging?” the he asked peevishly scratching his too-thick sideburns. “He said twenty for two.” Logan knew that they were referring to drugs. The car came to a halt in front of a small beige house with gray-blue shutters a nd a garden that needed tending to. A little ugly man ravaged from years of drug abuse and the harsh stresses of bottom feeding surfaced from the door, he was w earing a green basketball jersey that swallowed his pencil thin body and he held something in his hand. Logan’s mom got out of the car with cash in her hand, she opened her mouth to speak but stopped and looked around panically. Logan closed his eyes, he was trying to hold back, a cold sweat sprayed his face and neck as
he clinched the seat cushion. “Hey baby I brought you two extra to help out, I hea rd about Mary.” The man nodded as they traded, “Yeah she was sick for a while so I k new, ya know.” While this little heartfelt conversation/deal was going on the two were looking around in a paranoid fashion. Dirk angled the rear view mirror so t hat he could see Logan, “So you got in a fight?” Logan looked into the mirror where their eyes met. “No”. “Your mom was worried.” Logan leaned forward “I’m sure.” Chapter Two
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