I am a skateboarder. It’s my passion to become the greatest someday, the next Tony Hawk. I work at the comic shop, and go to school in the city.
Picture this. I put on my hoodie, have a breakfast and head out into the world. On my way to school I pass by a crack addict looking for their next fix, drug dealers, gang members threatening other gang members by knife point, fathers pressed against whores in alleyways and the sound of sirens.
Welcome to Hathian. A city of assholes. A city of crime. A city of corruption. A city where you are either the attacker or the victim – my home.
I am a 16 year old teen who goes to school, works at the local comic shop, and plays in and around these streets. Yeah, I’m an impressionable youth, as I’m told by my elders, and I need to follow the rules and do as I’m told.
I came to Hathian seven months ago, my father, wanted to remove me from the streets of Japan in hopes that he’d put me in a safer environment, America.
The first adult I came to trust was a woman who handed me $500 dollars after she found out about the cops running me over. This same woman, when I broke the law, broke into my home because I stole a chocolate bar, and terrified me in a place I thought was safe. When asked why she broke into my home, I was given advice on what to steal and when, to make the really good scores.
I’m afraid of what I will become in this city – and so should you. I am the next generation. So don’t hate me when I skate by you and taunt you, or stand up for my right to exist against another adult that wants to hurt me. Don’t be surprised when I pull a knife and threaten to steal your wallet, or key your car. Or when I don’t graduate from high school cause I dropped out to sell weed on the street corner to help support a knocked up girl.
Cause that’s what you’re teaching me, Hathian. Epic Fail.
Youth Reporter, Michiaki Yamaguchi