Dear DJ,

When I was a kid, I had a mullet and would scream bloody murder.

I would stand in the middle of the basketball court with my hands balled up into fists.

I would scream, "BLOODY MURDER."

The other six-year-olds would run around me as I did this and pull on my mullet — blonde and curly back then. It was a game, like Duck-Duck-Goose, but less complicated, and I was always the loser.

None of that is true.

I would never scream bloody murder. Back then, I wouldn't even whisper it. I was a very quiet kid.

The girls would beat me up — that's true.

They would chase me down, catchin' me when I ran into the monkey bars or tripped on the woodchips, and they would beat the crap outta me.

Rosalita, who had black, wavy hair, would clarify between stomps: "We aren't beating you up because we like you. We're beating you up because we hate you. We don't even like to beat you up, we just know it has to be done."

I would look into Rosa's eyes, a worm-birthing-mud color, and know she was telling the truth.

"It's not like when we beat DJ up," Kathleen would explain as she got her licks in. "We actually like him."

I'd look over at you as you leaned against the wall, the blood leaking from your nose the same color as the brick you stood against. You'd be smiling.

Then you'd wave.

- MJ


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