Civil War - A Letter From the Front No. 1

by Gap Tooth Brotha


For years I watched this Civil War we call relationships from the safety of the home front. I met my wife at sixteen and after six years of going steady we got married. We were together for twelve years until her untimely death from complications from Lupus in December '97. I had always observed this conflict, or should I say mess, between brothas and sistahs from a safe distance. Of course, a bombshell would occasionally stray across the home front at a neighbor's house, family reunions or holiday gatherings. But, I was always a safe distance from the front where the fiercest fighting took place. Many times when I observed the fighting I would smile and say to my wife, "I'm glad I'm not dating!" Little did I know that I would be drafted into this war with her passing.

As I go through boot camp to prepare for this war, I am constantly reminded by brothas that "I'm too nice" to sistahs. When I asked the question, "Why can't I just treat every sistah with the respect they deserve?" (After all, that is how I want to be treated.) I was sentenced to hard labor in the brig with a loud speaker blaring out over and over again "Sistahs like being treated wrong! Don't be nice, they'll walk all over you!" As this indoctrination that sistahs wanted to be treated wrong continued, I stayed strong. I just couldn't phantom this to be true. I have four sisters and three daughters and I can not accept that sistahs would willing want to be treated wrong. Not giving in to this foolish philosophy, I got another stint in the brig. The drill sergeant saying, "Soldier, you will stay in the brig until you get your mind right!" Enduring another stint of hard labor and indoctrination 24/7, I didn't break. Seeing my resolve, I was able to claim conscientious objector status. I wasn't released, but trained to be a medic instead.

I finished my training as a medic and was sent to the front. It is my job to assist the wounded. I can even assist the perceived enemy (sistahs). I see my mission as a humanitarian one. But, while on the battlefield I still have to duck and dodge bullets like everyone else.

So, here I am now on the front where the battle is hot and heavy, in a war I want no part of. While walking in the battlefield, I step lightly. I constantly watch for mines that others have laid. I often talk about peace and reconciliation between the brothas and the sistahs, but I'm met with sneers and jeers from the brothas and unbelief from the sistahs.

There are times during breaks in the action, when a brotha and I are away from the crowd, he confines in me how much he loves and adores sistahs. Puzzled by his remark I ask, "Then why do you treat them so bad?"

Medical Specialist I

Civil War - A Letter From the Front No. 1 by Gap Tooth Brotha

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