Yesterday, I was looking at the alumni pages for my lovely high school, Washington International School. Of course a lot of memories came flooding back, and I realized that most of those people, I don't really care to see anymore. True, a lot of them are doing really well, and I'm so proud that I went to school with these people who turned out so good. But that doesn't mean I want to talk to them again. I don't hate them, although I did have a very strong distaste for some of them back then. We just never had anything in common, and besides, we were all so damned fickle and all of us felt above each other at one time or another. Pretty twisted times, but I had some very good ones as well.
I went to the page for the class two years behind me, of '96, to see what this one kid was up to, but when I got to his name, there was the word "deceased" written below it. At first, I thought it was a typo, a very cruel one. Then I believed it and hoped that his death was not a violent one and that it was due to some illness he had, which is still tragic, but for me, less tragic than something violent. I very loudly said "No way!" right in the office, and one of my colleagues heard me and asked me what was up. I told him what happened, and he said "I'm very sorry to hear that", and silly me couldn't even be gracious and say thank you for the condolences, as I was still in shock with my mouth gaping open and eyes wide. I called my friend Khi to leave word to call me back to tell me what she knew about this, as she was in this kid's class, and she told me that Eliuth, my friend although we were never close, had fallen in with a bad crowd and had gotten stabbed in Silver Spring going on two years ago.
Eliuth was your typical punk. At least that's how he looked. Totally street, and not in that good of a way, like one of those kids sitting on a milk crate in front of the bodega eating bear claws and drinking 40's all day. And I guess eventually he did become a punk who got himself invovled with the American/Salvadorean gang, La Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13. But he was nicer and way more human than a lot of people gave him credit for, and more so than a lot of other people WERE back then. He was a hip hop head, in the truest sense of the word, and sometimes at lunch, we could be seen nodding our heads to the new joints of the day. He introduced me to Grand Puba, as well as many others, and that was what started our friendship, which ended up being too short, as he left WIS after 9th grade, my 11th grade. Khi told me that Eliuth was a WIS "lifer", just like her, and that they had grown up together, and coincidentally enough, she had just been looking at pictures of her class when they were little. Now Khi had a hard time in school. She wasn't the most beautiful motherfucker (although she sure as hell is now) and was pretty awkward for a while, and of course the other kids didn't help. She told me that once, when she was carrying a pile of books and kept dropping them and all the other kids were laughing at her, Eliuth came out and helped her, even though he was part of another, cooler crowd, and y'all know how the division lines go. That was in 4th grade, and it showed the character and the class that he eventually took with him to the grave. Anyway, I forgot exactly how I met him, but I do remember he was really a beautiful person, and one of the only people from school I actually wanted to see again.
Eliuth, I bet the sounds up there are great, my friend, please tape some of it, will you? I'll see you when I get up there. Until then, rest in peace!