Term Paper: Wearin' of the Green

Pages: 10 (3997 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Urban Studies  ·  Buy This Paper

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

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The two girls smiled back at each other. It was a little joke they had. Margaret-Mary was really proud of her double-fisted first name. Ma said she was named after a saint who lived in France a long time ago. She was real holy and did a lot of good things. "An Irish Catholic girl should be just like a saint ... now ain't that the way the Good Lord planned it!"

Jacobs' was just coming into view as suddenly, a tall black man smacked into Margaret-Mary's side. Her schoolbooks went flying, and Margaret-Mary skidded headlong into the sidewalk. With no time to even realize what was happening, the tears came pouring down her cheeks, at the same time a she noticed the thin streams of blood running down her shins. Over her was Janice, her face all twisted around and confused. It looked like she was screaming. A pair of sneakers whizzed by, the soles thudding heavily on the concrete.

"They done killed Dr. King! The Man done killed Dr. King!"

That throaty yell cut to the heart of Margaret-Mary's tiny, private world. Her legs throbbed, but all she could hear, all she could feel, was the anger ... And the anguish in those hoarse screams. Janice's face appeared lost in a bubble of tears and disoriented shouts. More dark-complexioned men came out of nowhere. Seemed to jump and gesture and cry -- everywhere. A brick crashed through the window of the candy store. More Black men squeezed out through the open doorway. Squeezed through, because they were shoving past old Mr. Jacobs, old Mr. Jacobs who seemed stuck -- paralyzed -- on the threshold of his own store. A line of red led from the tip of his nose to the corner of his mouth. Ugly pink and black blotches were starting to come out on his cheeks. His hands fumbled with a twisted bit of wire. Bits of glass fell through his fingertips and onto the sidewalk. It was his glasses

As if in slow motion, he sunk down, his apron flapping up into the air, the whole, big, heavy frame of the old man sliding thickly along the door jamb, like a piece of meat sliding down a butcher's tray, yet refusing, at the last instant, to come completely free.

A fair-skinned, chestnut-haired man hove suddenly into Margaret-Mary's field of view. He knelt down beside the fast-paling figure of the old man. Mr. Jacobs was a very old man. The chestnut-haired man knelt at his side. And as he tried desperately to support the old man against himself, he called out first to one boy, and then another:

"Patrick! Go find a phone ....ya hear what I said? Go find a phone!" His face was flushed. His eyes narrowed into slits. "This man needs a doctor.... Kevin! Go pick up your sister and take her home. Now!!!"

The younger boy ran in one direction -- up the avenue -- while the older boy did an about face and came straight toward Margaret-Mary. He snatched her up in her arms, so fast that her legs swung round and ... yes she hit something. Janice cried and Margaret Mary looked up into the face of her oldest brother, Kevin.

"Come on. We're getting' you away from these Niggers."

"Why? Why! What happened!" She could feel him running at full speed beneath her. "Somebody went and killed that crazy Colored reverend, that Martin Luther King." Everything was spinning, the buildings beginning to rush by. Margaret-Mary looked back. Down the block was Janice. She was crying. Her hair was all frayed and she was crying and pulling out the pretty pink ribbons. All those pretty pink ribbons falling onto the sidewalk. She moving around. Twitching. Looking this way and that. It was like she was doing some kind of crazy dance. On that whole sidewalk, on that whole block, there was no one else left -- Janice was all alone.

Margaret-Mary just wished she could close her eyes.

Margaret-Mary slowly exhaled, then sunk down deeper into the cushions. It was like she was floating on a cloud somewhere up in heaven, except that, instead of angels playing on harps, the whole atmosphere was filled with the strains of an unearthly electric guitar -- Led Zeppelin.

A familiar voice broke through the moist, heavy twilight -- "Margaret-Mary, want some cotton candy?"

"Sure!" she smirked as she struggled up onto one elbow. She felt the big, soft, fluffy mass in her hands. Her mouth watered as it brushed against her lips ... And was jerked away.

"Hey! Whadda ya doing! That's not cotton candy. That's cotton ... plain cotton. You know ... As in cotton balls."

Mike chimed in from somewhere off to the side, "Yeah, Margaret-Mary. Whatsa matter? You sto-o-o-ned?"

Mike's hands fluttered ridiculously inches from Margaret-Mary's face, and she turned her face down toward the pillow. "You guys ... !"

The "guys" laughed. Jim -- the only one who hadn't "freaked out" Margaret-Mary, began to speak in measured tones, as he was very consumed with the work he was performing on the small table. His long legs flopped relaxedly below, as his hands worked dexterously above.

"Now you gotta pay attention Margaret-Mary." His hands continued to move feverishly. "If you gonna smoke bones, you gotta know how to roll 'em."

Margaret-Mary smirked. Stared up at the ceiling and, "Man, if Sister Mary Katherine could see me now. Her star pupil ... In college ... studying what?

"You mean with who?"

"Heh?"

"With ... who, or should I say "whom? You've got nothing to be embarrassed about, good Catholic school girl like you. Just now, instead of Sister Mary Katherine, you're taking classes with ... uh ... Sister Mary Juana."

Margaret-Mary at last sat upright with both feet on the floor. She threw back her long blonde hair, watched in the mirror as it fell softly back into place. The guys really were right. Or at least they must be, the way they fell all over her now. And that feathered back look -- it really did go just right with her face -- made her eyes stand out. But enough self-worship,

"You guys are gonna get me killed, you know that? It's not that old bat, Sister Mary Katherine I'm worried about, it's my parents, if they knew I smoked weed ...."

"Sh-t!" exclaimed Kevin as he launched himself onto the bed, and jerked the blinds way up on the window behind. "Margaret-Mary, isn't that that Black girl you used to be friends with when we were kids?"

"Who? You mean Janice? I haven't hung around with her in years. I don't even know what she looks like anymore."

"Well if that's her, she's lookin' pretty hot." He flashed a smile back at the guys, "Look at that ass ... Boy! Would I like to squeeze right in there, if there were any room, that is? Those pants are tight!"

Margaret-Mary grew suddenly pensive. "Her brother was killed in Vietnam. That is, if she's the real Janice."

"Nam," said Kevin dismissively, "Nam, Nixon, 'n Watergate ... that's all in the past now. This is the Seventies. The Late Seventies. As long as we're not hostages someplace, we don't have anything to worry about."

Jim carefully brushed the stray marijuana off of the table and into a plastic bag. "Kevin, I gotta hand it to you. You really are free. My parents would flip if I talked about Black girls the way you do."

With considerable flourish, Kevin jumped back off of the bed, and made a sweeping bow in the direction of his friend with the marijuana.

"But then," he continued in a mock English accent, "My name is not James Emerson Winchester the Third."

Jim shot a pillow at Kevin's stomach.

"That's that guy in MASH. The stuck-up doctor. And it's Charles Emerson Winchester III, not James ... Margaret-Mary, your Kevin this bad?"

"Who? My brother Kevin? No, not that bad. Almost, but not quite. What made you think of him anyway? You never met him."

"Oh ... I don't know, "he said absentmindedly, as his worked carefully on sealing up the baggy. "Just wondering if all of you Irish, from the BrAWnx, act like that."

"Hey."

"She's right," interrupted Mike. "You shouldn't talk that." And so, as always, Mike began to soothe things over. He was a Jewish, and pre-med (what else?), and it seemed like he knew everything. He was the philosopher of the group, despite the occasional childish prank. Jim's family was loaded, the crazy kind of loaded that people were when their grandparents came from nowhere and went out to Hollywood in its early days. They made their money just by being weird -- at least that was Mike's theory, and Margaret-Mary pretty much agreed. They'd never really have fit in with the real old money in New York or Boston, Mike explained. Even… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Wearin' of the Green.  (2003, December 1).  Retrieved July 18, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/wearin-green/9589269

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"Wearin' of the Green."  1 December 2003.  Web.  18 July 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/wearin-green/9589269>.

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"Wearin' of the Green."  Essaytown.com.  December 1, 2003.  Accessed July 18, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/wearin-green/9589269.