2 thoughts on “the other side of paradise-staceyann chin

  1. “As I lather my legs I wonder why Grandma always tells me to wash my coco-bread good. I know what I should do when I bathe. I am annoyed that she wouldn’t just tell me the word. She saw that I was having trouble sounding it out by myself. Her refusal to help seemed spiteful. Then I remember the helpless look she had on her face and suddenly realize that she can’t read a lick. I feel like everything bad is happening to me. First my mother runs off and leaves me. And now my grandmother is a big dunce. By the time I am done bathing I am very angry. I don’t want Grandma to be my grandmother. I wish I belonged to Miss Sis. Then I would have someone to help me with my stupid homework.” (19)

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    “I pull at his hands and shout in his ear, “Look at the people in the whole Bible, Delano, nobody in there look like me or you or Grandma. Everything looks like a storybook. And there is no Black people, or Chinaman, and there is not even one verse about Jamaica-nothing that we have is in the Bible. If the Bible did have everything about everywhere, show me the verse about Jamaica.”
    He punches me in the face and walks away. I wipe my stinging nose and scream at his retreating back, “And why nobody having fun in the Bible? Why everything have to wait till we get to heaven? I don’t believe there is milk and honey in heaven. If there was milk and honey in the sky, why is rain just plain water?” (43)

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    “The taxi stops at a place called Kentucky Fried Chicken for dinner. There is a picture of a white man called The Colonel who cooks it. I order a wing and Delano orders a breast. Grandma says she will take whatever Auntie Ella orders. I am amazed that you can order whatever part you want to eat. I wonder what they do with the parts that nobody eats. I imagine a graveyard of chicken backs and feet and bottoms, forever searching for their missing, matching parts.” (62)

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    “I don’t care if Delano is not happy about passing. Even if Shane failed, I am glad my brother’s name appeared in the national newspaper. That way everybody will know that even if your mother runs away and leaves you, you can do well, even better than somebody whose teacher-mother is here with him every single day.” (76)

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    “At first it is easy to smile and say good morning and listen politely about Jesus and all he has done for me. But after a while I just want to be left alone. I am tired of hearing about the Lord and his blessings. Having been the recipient of an equal number of curses and blessings, I feel I owe the Lord very little gratitude.” (223)

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