Experience First Pages



New Shoes

It was shortly after our father died that my mother

assigned me and my sister our first errand alone. Of course, our mother had to work, even before our father died. We were supposed to meet her downtown because we both needed new shoes. This was the only convenient time, and there was nobody to take us. If we met our mother downtown, then…


Black Beauty

After our dad had passed away, we were living in

the same basement apartment. My sisters and I were eating breakfast our mom had prepared when there was a knock on the door. My mom went to the door and let one of her friends in, Black Beauty (which was her nickname). Black Beauty was a tall, slender, dark-skinned woman. She was tipsy – meaning…


Mama’s Missing Money

I was in the 4th grade and it was recess time at

school. We all were on the playground when I saw my mom walking up to us. I thought to myself, why is mama here? Well, it didn’t take long to figure that out. My mom came right up to my sister, Della, and asked her to come closer to her. My mom…

Get Free Chapter 1


The Accident

I think the most traumatic episode during my childhood

was the afternoon my arm got cut accidentally. What a trip! I was about 10 years old when the incident happened. We were living on the second floor of a house where the owners lived on the first floor. It was in the afternoon. My mother was going somewhere outside and went out of the…


First Period

Can you imagine what it’s like to be nine years old

and be over-developed? Being as strict as my mother was, I had to wear undershirts until I stopped wearing one once I reached the age of 14. Back to the point, my menstrual cycle first began at the age of nine. I’m just so lucky! Anyway, during the summer after my 9th birthday…


Jimmy Incident

At different points during my childhood, my mama

had a few male friends. “I’ll never get married again. What for? To have a strange man around my daughters, never.” I remember the words that mama always used to say. Now that I’m grown, I realize that everyone needs companionship at one time or another. That’s just the way human beings are. Anyways, I remember…



Ever since I can remember, my family has belonged

to Springfield Baptist Church. But, most of all, my grandma chose Springfield as her church home. She was very influential in our religious upbringing.  What can I tell you? My grandma had faith for as long as I can remember. Even after she had her first stroke – remembering how she lay in that hospital bed…


First Job

ETHS (Evanston Township High School) offers a

diversified education program that includes job placement, which entitles students to leave before school is over each day to go to work. The students are given academic credit for successfully completing the employer’s on-the-job requirements. So at the age of 16, I went to work part-time at Mand McRally Map and Sphere Company for four hours daily…


Family Affairs

As I have said, after our dad’s death, our mom worked

to help make ends meet along with our dad’s social security. She worked hard and even had two jobs for a while. If she had to go to the store and leave us alone, no one was allowed in our apartment if she was not home. When she would have to leave us…


The Lost Hymen

I was 19 years old when I lost my virginity to a ‘church boy’

who was visiting his family for the summer. I really didn’t have any sexual experience. Now don’t get me wrong. I knew what sex was, but I had no experience. All during high school, the boys had been after me but I always avoided them, fought them, cussed them, and…


Daniel Davidson

When I was working at the phone company, I had a

room in a couple’s home on Lake Street. The room was fairly large, and I enjoyed it. I had cooking privileges, but I didn’t use them because I didn’t want to get too involved with my landlord and his wife. I stayed to myself as much as possible. Anyway, I used to catch…


The Baby Is Home

I named our baby after his father, Daniel Davidson.

I called him Donnie-Son. I also gave him my term of endearment: Boopie. We brought him home. This was during the time before baby car seats were required, so I held Donald on my lap as I sat on the passenger side in the front seat. We had to stop at Daniel’s friend’s shop to…


More Issues

I know now I needed to find a job and then move.

I had no money. So, I scheduled an interview for a job I found in the local newspaper. I took Donnie-Son to my mom’s and got on the EL. This was the first time in a long time that I had been out of the house for any length of time. I…


The Cause

Sometimes we place ourselves in difficult, complicated
<p>situations without thinking about what we’re doing. I found myself in such a situation in about March 1987. From time to time, I have associated with people who sell drugs. I became friendly with a woman, Fay, who sold drugs. She had a relative in jail. All of us, including Fay, along with five others who were…</p>


The Effect

I was relieved to be out of the hospital after twenty-three

days. I rested for a few days, but I was anxious to get back to work. I found out that I had used what little sick time I had. My short-term disability pay was also exhausted. I was a relatively new employee and had not signed up for long-term disability. Of course, I…


The Result

I took the advice that Darlene gave me about chanting

the ‘NAM MYOHO RENGE KYO’ for five to ten minutes or whenever I thought about it. I did just that. I would go across the street to the beach and sit there looking at Lake Michigan. I would chant those words over and over if no one was around. If someone else was present…


Employment at Evanston Hospital

I started working at Evanston Hospital in June 1980.

I had been out of permanent work for about two months, and I was laid off from my previous job, which was at a Community Hospital on Brown Avenue in Evanston, IL. While employed at the Community Hospital, I worked in the Medical Records Department as a medical transcriber. This was my second term of…



I chose the names ‘the Cause’, ‘the Effect’, and

‘the Result’ previously to expound on a Buddhist phrase I have heard over and over – ‘cause and effect is absolute.’ My understanding of this phrase is that the kind of causes made determines the effect that will be received for that causative action. This is known as karmic retribution. It took me a while to…


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