Bag of Schwag: Talkin bout the Ghetto (plasmarepararations, return of the "native")

Discussion in 'Classic Racquet Talk' started by plasma, May 6, 2009.

  1. plasma

    plasma Banned

    Oct 2, 2008
    I've been a coach since first year of college, no not college last year, the one I graduated ten years back....I had something like OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) as a kid. It manifested itself through tennis. I played up to 8 hours a day and would read the backs of newspapers at 6 am (before anyone woke up!!!) to get tennis score results, I memorized every bolleteri book, spent hours at the library with Tom Okkers hardbound masterwork, and begged my mother and father (both authors and scholars) for as many tennis books as they could find...Coaching tennis has been the most rewarding job ever, teaching little rich kids is easier than riding a bike, not cause it's easy, even for a good player, but because Plasma learned how to do it well.
    ...endless happy summers of camps and privates...constant harsh but constructive criticism on my technique and teaching methodology, student placement, feeding height, timed drink brakes appropriate to age, meds, drills, tips, games, cpr, billing, client crap, first aid, safety, et al. until I could manage a camp of 40-60 kids and 4 employees with my eyes closed. I did it so well that people wrote me cards, loved me for my gift...paradise... until I started teaching my harry hopman crap at ms 13 ghetto gang sites where people were routinely shot and murdered. Amongst kids who got their food from the food line...every day. No new shoes...ever. Thrift store for every pair of shoes they will ever own.
    I was the tall white kid with a goofy smile and save the world attitude trying to give hope to kids who viewed me as rich for my $120 sneakers. But you couldn't tell me, you see, to me, they were my children!
    I taught them exercise, but more than that, respect, personal hygene, advice on careers, school, jobs, I was their father for a year, until one day, my racquets were gone (eventually recovered for $5 each with the assistance of armed gangbangers). my shirt was pissed on and hanging from a fence; and the ususally gleeful children had sad scowls for faces, as if they had had just died. Almost ten minutes of silence before I questioned them about it:
    "What's up guys???"
    "You're white" they said,..." and we're mexican".
    In one day we had gone from a master class in life success and proper Australian Tennis Method footwork, permanently back in to the free-food line.
    Plasma said, "hey guys I wasn't born in this country, I know what it's like to be an outsider more than you do, we are all a family, we are related!!!"
    silence....permanent fhuking silence...not another word; ever....whatever I said from that cursed moment didnt matter, from that point on I was dead and a needless permanent curse of shame was given to them. Some of them had good top 20 state junior rankings and chances at jobs ( i even hired the poorest of them to assist me!) but then and there they all gave up. They were too hurt to see through their parents lies and fear. The parents had done something, said something; not sure what it was, but the guy they loved, the man who gave his heart and soul and tennis genius to them and had treated them like his own children, the man who would bring his own food for them everyday when I came from my other job, the one who came to save them, their angel was now to be deeply hated; and there was no arguing this; at all; racist hatred was the only option. For no reason, their angel was now officially the devil.
    .... it was only a question of time before I was shot, shanked or punched on the "yard". I was ready to take a punch and walk away (what a real man does, an educated champion). 2 weeks later, Julio, punched me hard enough to hospitalize me (he didn't hurt me a bit, but only because I am a boxer with 15 years of actual tough pro training and sparring), his huge dad came up at the end of my day storming, enraged, violent and spat out in a knowing lie: "m-my son said you attacked him!"
    I said "Sir, that's absurd, blah blah, nice guy, let's talk it out."and my personal favorite when it's not safe to turn and run "you're a nice guy"..."you don't wanna do that, do you????" (perfect as no-one is shamed or pressured to show action, and the bully is given a generous option to maintain face, as he is being grovelled to somewhat; and maintains his position of psychological intimidation and dominance in the pride)))...
    But this proud absurdly violent and racist gordo-man decided to attack Plasma who could literally cry about having to Bruce Lee his ass in front of his son and 15 gangbangers from the Mara Salvatrucha gang; (who recieved an informal lesson in quantum physics that afternoon, never knowing before that day, that such a large man was capable of exploding through a chain link fence with the appropriate amount of inertia_) (this emotionally painful incident hurt my soul so badly that I repressed it for 3 years, UNTIL TODAY!) proof of my hatred for violence, even if I am dishing it out to protect myself (while simultaneously breaking the laws of physics, lol)!!!!) Today, a few years later but still trying to save the world (both my own and the real one), I returned.
    A heavy red bag of schwag racquets in hand.
    I shook hands with the dad and shook hands with he kid, the handshake turning into a mutual appologetic hug. Julio was once a top ranked regional junior, pro prospect, and like a son to me. I don't have any children, but because it was needed, I became like a father to these boys.
    I knew they'd be there, I knew they'd be sorry, we were all sorry....and in a weird way, we missed each other badly, and remembered the love we had for each other and the connection and hope that once lived deeply in our hearts, I understand though, I've been offered heaven on earth a few times and not been ready for it, hopefully next time the offer comes to me, or them, we will be more humble and not foolishly turn it away(true story)
    identical to the kids I worked with; exposed to 3+ fights daily due to a life of ghetto gang poverty, drugs, guns, ilness and hopelessness
    the story I tell is so incomplete, five kids in the house, no food to eat,
    -life is .....2short
  2. yuth

    yuth Rookie

    Jan 28, 2009
    nice !!! Plas
  3. Caloi

    Caloi Semi-Pro

    Mar 18, 2008
    I don't know how you did it. I grew up the minority in a ****town full of migrant illegal workers. Being one of the few white kids at my school I was in fights at least weekly. I grew to hate, a lot of hate, toward those people.

    Now that I'm older and have kids of my own, I do my best to NOT let my kids know I was pained as a child. I wish and hope they can grow up understanding like you, not hateful like me.
  4. meowmix

    meowmix Hall of Fame

    Jul 5, 2007
    Hanover, NH
    Wow, I respect you a whole lot more after that... Stories like yours give us faith in humanity again... Kudos to you.
  5. Capt. Willie

    Capt. Willie Hall of Fame

    Apr 16, 2004
    Mara Salvatrucha Gang?...what a bunch of wusses. Try taking on the Van Buren Boys.

    Alright, so there I am at the public courts on Lorenzo Street...practicing my slice off the backhand and what-not. And I see this guy over on the next court giving me the stink-eye. So I give him the crook-eye back. Then I notice that he's not alone!. I'm taking on four Van Buren Boys! All of them use KPro Staff you know right off not to **** with them. You see Martin Van Buren was the 8th President so the 88 is also symbolic for them. Oh yeah, and they're just as mean as he was! So, I make a move to the gate, they block it! Then they back me up against the back fence, and all of a sudden, they just stop. Because I'm still holding a ball. Yeah, with the thumb and forefinger. I'm only showing eight fingers. That's their secret sign! They thought I was a former Van B. Boy!

    True tale...I bought it off a vagabond.

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