“My Life as a Shade of Grey, Part I” I am the youngest of seven. They say there is something lucky about the number seven, but just my luck being number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or lucky 7 has proved to be anything but. I think I knew that I was different as from as far back as my memory will take me. I was the "black" grandchild. I was the reason for the 20 year silence. To my white family, I was just a reminder of my mothers' disobedience. To my black family, the one that thinks “she's cute” with the good hair; truly, just a shade of grey in the world. I have spent the majority of my life watching other people. All people, just trying to make sense out of things, and determine my place in all of it. I have been the victim of mass ignorance from both black and white, and simply put, just not black enough for one, and just too black for the other. People say there is no difference. What the hell? There's a big difference! What I am and who I am has forced me to know this. Everyone says I'm lucky. I can just choose a side. Yeah, that's how it works. When I get pulled over I just say officer, “I'm really white.. false alarm”. And, my people, they act like I can't hear them discussing quietly weather my hair is a weave or not. We are not all the same. We will never be the same. I'm not looking for equality. I'm just demanding respect, and trying to respect the differences in other people. One white woman even let me know, “boy you negroes get lighter and lighter everyday.” She even let me know how my parents' reproductive organs should be cut off for having me. She escaped an *** whooping, because I've learned just how funny white people really are from my white relations. There is nothing better in this world then being black. I trip off of other people, who remain on the pity pot hating who they are, or spending a lifetime trying to fit in with “them”. I have part them running through my veins, so I have got a peek into how they live, and I don't want to live like they do. If you black then you have a Nana. I love my Nana. Nana never gave a **** what I was. I was just hers, and she was mine. Nana had rules. Nana had church. Nana had a yard stick. Nana didn't play. Where you “show'd out that's where you got worked out”. I usually got worked out everyday except Saturday, because there wasn't no school and there wasn't no church. I often got into fights at school because, as I stated earlier, “I thought I was cute”. I use to love to whip ***, especially the big chicks that thought I was scared of them. I never got jumped tho, because I always had a gang of “thugs” that told everybody.. “ya, touch her if you want to.” Church, and this is a black thang, is an all year event. We had a song we use to sing.... This may be the last time. It went: this may be the last time this may be the last time this may be the last time.. it may be the last time but I don't know. Well, after going to Bible Study, Choir Rehersal, Prayer Service, Testimony Service, Revival, Morning Service, Evening Service and every other **** Service my Nana could sign up for I decided to change the end of the song and sing REAL LOUD.. “This may be the last time.. it may be the last time, AND I HOPE SO. It sure was the last time. It was the last time I ever decided to change the words to the song. Nana was “Mother Joyce”, and “Mother Joyce” ain't playing about God. I got my butt whipped like I was the one who had crucified her Jesus to the cross. Dinner at Nana's house was great. The food well, ya'll already know! The one thing that use to make me mad was another one of Nana's rules. You couldn't drink your Kool Aid until you ate all of your food. Man, my food be all piled up in my throat. I use to wanna smack Nana for that one. I use to sit there and say, “this don't make no sense. I gotta eat these dry *** biscuits and can't have no drank!” All Nana had to do was shoot that “look” and you knew it would only be a second before something was gon fly cross the room and knock you upside your head. It ain't abuse I learned. Yeah, I was gonna call the people on her, but then I met my white family. The first time I met “white people” it was a culture shock. White people let they children do whatever they wanna do. One holiday they dressed me all up, and took me to meet white people. I had a cousin, and she had a son. There was a kid table and an adult table. The four year old was pestering his momma, my cousin, because he didn't want to sit at the kid table. I went to the bathroom, and when I got back this chick was sitting her big *** at the kid table, and her son was sitting with the adults. I think I just sat at the kid table and looked at this woman, sitting with us, with a look of bewilderment. Nah, I didn't understand that one. Soon as I started talking about what I wanted and didn't want my Nana would have ended that right where it started. I learned about “time out” that day, and oh how I wished “time out” was one of our rules. TIME OUT man it was comedy. Time out in a black house is when you get hit in the head with an ashtray or something and you literally get knocked out for a while. The second thing that was of great significance was the fact that at white peoples' house you can drink as much as you want and you don't have to eat food that you don't like. You could throw food away. Well I learned that I don't like white people food, so I threw it all away, and I think I drank as much cold drank as Forrest Gump drank Root Beer in the movie. I could break Nana's rules in they house. I got an inch, so I took a mile. The difference between me and the lil boy.. was when I got home I knew I was getting it. At the end of the day, I never wanted to go back there. My reasons for going back plain and simple, I could drink as much as I wanted. I didn't have to go to church all day, and I had the enjoyment of going to Time Out. White peoples' house was a breeze. White people is different, so I wake up everyday, with my “choice”, and guess what I love being black. There is nothing in the world like it. And the beauty in that is that I can see how they live, and experience it, but if you ain't black you won't never understand. White people don't understand me, and they never will. My white family included, but guess what, I don't understand them either, and really don't want to. I'll just play the wall like I've always done, and laugh when they act like they better then everyone else. Oh yeah, my lil white cousin came over one day. He never came back, because he learned that Nana don't play Time Out.