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9781416917953

Touching Snow

Touching Snow
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  • ISBN-13: 9781416917953
  • ISBN: 1416917950
  • Edition: 1
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

AUTHOR

Felin, M. Sindy

SUMMARY

1. The best way to avoid being picked on by high school bullies is to killsomeone. Anyone will do. Accidental killings have the same effect as on-purpose murder. Of course, this is just my own theory. My sister Deltawould say that my sample size isn't big enough to draw such a conclusion.But I bet I'm right. Because now no one jerks my braids so my neck snaps back and I bite mytongue; no one pulls my backpack off and scatters my textbooks in onehallway, my notebooks in another, and leaves the bag in the boys' bathroomtoilet; no one spits at me from the school bus; and Gorilla Arms Manningdoesn't pretend to point with his right hand while grabbing my crotch withhis left. Not since eighth grade. Not since I killed theDaddy. He wasn't my real daddy. My sisters and I had to call him that when ourlittle brothers were born so they would know what to call him. Before thatI just called him Umm. Like "Umm...remember you said you would let uswatch TV this weekend?" Or "Umm...do you want any more rice and plantains?"That's because Ma never told us what our name for him was. A couple days after my fifth birthday Ma returned to the apartment weshared with Uncle Andre and Aunt Jacqueline and three of my cousins, andmade my sisters and me put on matching pink-and-white girly dress-updresses -- the kind with the frilly decorations that scratch your neck andthe giant bows in back that never tie to quite the same size, so you endup looking like a crippled-winged angel. Then we went to a church and therewas a wedding and we moved out of Brooklyn to a red and yellow house in aplace full of white folks called Chestnut Valley and never went back toUncle Andre's apartment. Ma called her new husband Gaston. But my sisterEnid got slapped when she tried that. The Daddy was only a shade lighter than black as dirt. According to Ma,there are two ways to be considered black as dirt. Your skin could reallybe black as dirt, or you could be any shade darker than Ma and piss heroff. Since Ma is the color of Haitian eggnog, as light all over as thepalm of my hand, and since it's almost impossible not to piss her off,most people, including all us kids, are from time to time black as dirt. But the Daddy was honest-to-goodness almost black as dirt. And so fat hespent most of his time tugging his pants up. Augustin, who worked as atailor and lived in our basement, made him a few pairs of pants. Tents,they were, really. Tents with crotches sewn into them. My little brotherGerald once suggested it would be easier if the Daddy wore a dress, likeone of those big, no-shape, huge-pockets-on-the-side dresses my aunts hadto wear after living in New York for a few months. We all were afraid themark the Daddy's fist left on Gerald's mouth would forever be black asdirt, but sure enough, it went to purple, then green, then yellow, andback to normal red pink again. Daddy-black-as-dirt-and-too-fat-for-his-pants had two things my motherliked. He had a desire to live in houses with backyards, houses withwhite people next door, houses nowhere near subways or bars on schoolwindows or around corners from thieves who stuck knives to your throatand took your money as soon as you stepped out of the bodega/pharmacy/check-cashing store. And he had no wife. Daddy-black-as-dirt didn't want most of what Ma had -- three fatherlessdaughters, plus four sisters, two brothers, twelve nieces, and sevennephews waiting patiently and hungrily just outside of Port-au-Prince fortheir chance to come to America -- "the greatcountry of New York," theycalled it -- and touch snow. But Ma did have a green card and skin thecolor ofkremas, so they married. I can tell you the whole story about how the Daddy died, if you'd like tohear it, but don't think you'll turn me in. No one would believe you. What[read more]

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