Best Friend

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Journal Assignment: Rowdy

Dear Journal, August 1, 2007

I’M HAVING THE WORST SUMMER OF MY LIFEEEE. My father is drinking and throwing punches at me. And the worst thing is that my mom and I are walking around with bruised and bloody faces. I call it war paint it just makes me look tougher. I don’t try to hide my wounds. I walk around the rez with black eyes and split lips. This morning, I went to Juniors house. I limped right into his house, slumped in his chair, threw my sprained knee up on the table, and smirked. I also had a bandage on my ear. He asked “what happened?” and I answered. My dad said I wasn't listening. So he got drunk and tried to make my ear a little bigger. Junior’s parents are great. They care for him and they are not abusive, everything a kid can ask for. I spend most of my time at his house. I like it there, it’s safe! Sometimes I wish I could have parents like that, maybe this is why I act so tough, I can’t show people I’m weak that’s how you get beat up on the rez! Like Junior. Junior is my best friend and usually he gets beat up because he's different. I don’t. He’s my best friend. What’s cool is that we were both pushed out into this world on November 5, 1992, at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane. Junior is two hours older. I’m his protector. If anyone tried to hurt him, they will get hurt HARDERRR! No one really gets in my way. I got a lot of anger and I fight anyone who gets in my way! I started fighting wayyy back. My first fight was in kindergarten. I took on three first graders during a snowball fight. I punched them out prettttyyyy quickly. And then the teacher came and I punched her too! I’m just saying don't come between me and a fight. Junior and I went to a powwow earlier today. I saw some alcohol near some tent and I wanted to buy it with Junior. He’s a chicken and said “no.” I’d try it. A lot of people on the reserve do, so why not? It’s a common thing people usually do because there isn't really much hope for people on this messed up reserve. There isn't many opportunities for us Natives because of the stupid white people. I HATE WHITE PEOPLE! They think they rule the world! All they are is stupid, privileged people who take so much, but give so little. The things they don’t want, they give to us; like garbage. They take all the jobs from our parents and we get stuck with parents who drink themselves to death and can’t afford anything! NO food, NO decent clothes to wear, NO good education. NOTHING! I HATE THEM! They are the reason all the Natives drink, to drink their pain away. And so, that is what I want to do. I almost shoved Junior to the ground because he laughed at me. I almost kicked him too, but I pulled back. I realized what I was about to do and I couldn't do that to him. He’s my best friend! I was just angry at EVERYTHING, so instead I grabbed a shovel and I smashed a car up. Later that night, Junior got beaten up AGAIN by the Andruss brothers. They are so dumb. They are thirty years old beating up a fourteen year old! THEY ALMOST KILLED HIM! AND I WANTED REVENGE!!!!! And so we hid near the Andruss brothers’ camp until three in the morning. I saw them staggering back and when they passed out in their tents. I snuck in, shaved off their eyebrows, and cut their braids. It's the worst thing you can do to an Indian :), but that will teach them not to mess with my best friend! I would do anything for him and he would do anything for me.

Dear Journal, September10, 2007

My best friend is leaving me to go to Reardan, an ALL WHITE SCHOOL!!!!! He told me today and I am SOOOOOOO MAD! How could he do this to me? I did so much for him. I protected him whenever some stupid guy, girl, teacher, adult tried to hurt him. I was always there to fight because he couldn’t. We tell each other everything, and he’s my best friend. What kind of best friend does this to their supposedly best friend? When he told me he was leaving the rez I couldn’t believe him. I didn’t want to. I thought he was just being a dickwad like always and joking around with me. He told told me he is leaving the rez and he wanted me to go with him. I got even more mad that he said this to me. What makes you think I want to go to school there? I said. I said that because what does make him think I want to go to a privileged all white school? I wouldn't belong there. There’s NOTHING there for me. I have no money, I’m not smart, and I am NOT WHITE. White people are privileged with perfect parents, their own cell phones, iPods, nice clothes, nice, big houses and opportunities and most importantly they have HOPE. I have none of that, so I would not belong there. I fit in with my tribe. A poor, alcoholic filled community with no future. Junior has hope I can see it. He’s one of the few who have hope on this reserve, but he is all I have left, without him there is not even a bit of hope left for me. I HATED ALL OF IT THOUGH! The fact that white people have so much. Even if I did want to go I can’t afford it and I am definitely not smart enough and I definitely wouldn't leave my tribe, we stick together! And Junior leaving, he is a traitor. A white lover! It almost seemed like he did this intentionally, like he wanted revenge for something. He always thought he was better than everyone. I started crying thinking about him leaving, I HATED IT. He put his hand on my shoulder as if he felt sorry for me. I pushed him to the ground and punched him hard in the face. He said I was still his best friend, but he is not mine ANYMORE!

Dear Journal, November 22, 2007

It’s Thanksgiving today. We Indians celebrate it for some reason. I find it funny how we celebrate Thanksgiving because years ago, these whites began shooting Indians. I’m still mad at Junior for leaving! For the last 10 years, I’d always go over to his house to have a pumpkin-pie eating contest. We had some great memories together. He used to draw me comics. I love comic books! Especially old ones like Richie Rich and Archie and Casper the Friendly Ghost. Junior and I used to read them almost everyday when he came over to my house. I like when Junior draws me comics because I like to pretend I live in the comics. A fake life inside a cartoon is a lot better than my ugly life. I am a dreamer. I wish I had a different life! Better parents, better clothes, a better education. Just better everything. Junior was the only person I’d talk to about my dreams. He is the most important person to me, even more than my family. How can I love someone conditionally if they can’t show it back? Junior came by my house earlier. My dad was drunk like always! And answered the door. I wasn’t going to, I hate him right now! I saw him give my dad something. It was a comic. I was upstairs looking out the window, when he was leaving with the comic in my hand. Part of me wanted to wave, but I couldn’t. I watched him walk away. He knew I was sad and he knew I missed him. But despite that I am still mad.

Dear Journal, November24, 2007

Junior emailed me today. He is such an idiot. This guy emailed me with “I'm in love with a white girl. What should I do?” I really don’t care about who he is “in love” with, and I don’t care what he does. I’m just sick of Indian guys who treat white women like bowling trophies! They are not. They are again just spoiled, privileged, brats who don’t give a crap about Indian people. I remember something about a white girl named Cynthia who disappeared in Mexico last summer. It was all over the papers, and everyone said it was such a sad thing. I also remember an article I read in class that said that over two hundred Mexican girls have disappeared in the last three years in the same part of the country. AND NO ONE IS PAYING ATTENTION TO THAT. THAT’S RACIST! It really sucks that the white girl has gone missing, but paying attention to only that white girl is racist! And clearly proves how white girls are privileged. No one cares about those Mexican girls that have gone missing, and they would definitely not care if an Indian has gone missing. Junior is just a racist asshole like everybody else!

Dear Journal, November 26, 2007

Today I had a basketball game. We competed against Reardan AGAIN. I thought it would be REALLLLY easy because of the last game. We ended up winning by 30 points. The whites were scared of us. How funny!:) Well this game did not go too well, we played at Reardan this time. It was so nice there. Junior really improved his skills. He blocked my dunk. NO ONE HAS EVER BLOCKED MY DUNK BEFORE!!!! I was so surprised and then he took that ball and ran down the court and took a three-pointer and swished that basketball. My face dropped! I have never seen him this good! I was always the better one. And this made me even more frustrated by the fact that he’s playing on a white team! They think they are soooooo much better than us, but they aren’t. The next game they are going to LOSE! Junior is so stupid he turns to us after the game looking at us with pity. It’s so annoying that he goes to an all white’s school and starts acting white. I don't even know who he is. He felt sorry for us. He felt sorry because he knew his team had an advantage. He had seniors on his team soon to graduate. They can afford college, they can afford their own cars, iPods, cell phones, PSP’s, nice clothes, had mothers and fathers who cared and had good jobs. They have EVERYTHING and we have NOTHING. On my team we have two or three people who didn't eat breakfast this morning. People with drunken mothers and fathers, mothers or fathers on drugs and are in prison. None of us were going to college. None of us. And do you know what happened to me? My father thinks I'm such a big disappointment and had beat the crap out of me for losing the game. I guess that’s the difference between Whites and Indians. White people just have better lives and more hope because nothing terrible has ever happened to them.

Dear Journal, November 28, 2007

It's been a few days after basketball season ended, Junior emailed me apologizing about their win and that their season went to hell after that. Well I'm glad to hear that not everything works out for white people. I replied this time and I said “we’ll kick your asses next year… and you'll cry like the little faggot you are” which is true. We will beat them. He replied back, and I responded again. I really do miss my best friend. I'm so tired of talking to losers who don't understand me like he does. We have great memories together. HAHA like that time when we were little, like 10 years old, we climbed about a 150 foot tall tree. And that one crazy hot July day, it was raining so we sat in his basement, which was nice and cool reading books, watched TV and played video games. I remember us talking about basketball. He said I’d play in the NBA. I never believed in myself, and Junior knew that. He always tried to pump me up. I was sitting in my room this morning bored as hell, and so I decided to go over to Junior's house. I hadn't seen him since our last game when I almost broke his nose. long story We ended up shooting some hoops. He told me to go to Reardan with him again and I changed the subject. It’s still not for me, but at least he asked I guess. I told him that I read a book. HAHAHAHA surprising right? We both laughed. It was about old-time Indians, about how we used to be nomadic I explained. At first I had no idea what the word meant, but I looked it up and I came to the conclusion that Junior is nomadic. For a long time I knew he was going to leave. I always knew he was going to leave us behind and travel the world. I had a dream once about him a few months ago standing on the Great Wall of China. He looked happy. And I was happy for him. I guess I was just upset about him leaving me the most because he’s my best friend and I just feel that without him I'm losing hope for myself, but honestly, I am happy for him, and I know he genuinely does care for me.We played one-on-one for hours. We played until dark and until the street lights lit up the court. We didn’t keep score. And this is when I felt like we were equal. I knew he respected me and didn't think he was better than me. We were just great best friends.