Where I'm From

I am from a part of Richmond where leaves are never collected in the fall and pot holes are never filled. There is constant construction, but nothing ever seems to be completed. Roads are always closed, orange signs lay on the ground, and traffic cones are run over. 

Several days before any Summer Holiday the question is always asked if the sound everyone hears is gunshots or fireworks. 

My room leads onto our front porch. I can always hear trains in the distance, loud voices, or the music emanating from the neighbor's car stereo.

When I walk around my neighborhood I am often stopped by guys who stare or ask how old I am. They tend to be disappointed to know that I am not yet eighteen. 

When my friends come over for the first time they are often surprised. Many people have assumed on many occasions that I live in a big house in the north side of Richmond. Where I actually live is not what they expect. 

Sometimes, I am jealous of my friends and their nicely paved neighborhoods. I wish I lived closer to everyone else. But I don't always mind. Surprising people isn't always bad.