Neither Half Full nor Half Empty “Get off of me! Get off of me! ” he yelled as he was being backed into the corner of the kitchen. Johnny was getting the sit kicked out of him but what was he supposed to do? Hit his own mother? After enough blood dripped down his face he had to do what he had to do. Johnny never thought of hitting his mother before but with a quick move he picked up in wrestling practice a few seasons ago he quickly ducked under his moms swinging arms and around her back to get her in a bear hug. “Let go of me you piece of sit! ” she yelled repeatedly. “I’ll let go of you if you leave me alone! E frantically stated. “Just leave me alone and I’ll let you go! ” After another minute or so of struggle, Johnny decided to let her go, hoping she would get the point and leave him alone.
Muff find your own way to work! ” she screamed loudly as Johnny barreled out of the house. As Johnny slammed the door he began walking down the street towards his after school Job at a fast food Joint. He had nowhere to go and was the most prideful person you would have ever met. Johnny wouldn’t take handouts from anyone no matter what the circumstance. Some people say that was his downfall and others say it’s what made him stronger in the end.After work, Johnny pulled up to his mother’s double wide trailer and packed as many things in his compact car that he could.
It took all of about ten minutes to get the necessities that he needed. As he began to load the car with black hefty bags full of clothes he could hear his mother yelling, “Get the hell out of here and never come back! ” That wasn’t going to be a problem for Johnny as this wasn’t the first confrontation he had with his mother. The problem was – Where to go? What to do? What’s next? So many questions ran through Johnny’s mind as he packed the car that night. He knew this was coming but it’s not like he could plan it.All I know is Johnny wasn’t going back to that trailer he used to call home. That first night was a night Johnny would never forget. He parked his car in an empty lot he found when losing his virginity a few years before.
He described it as the most humid and hot night in the middle of summer. With the AC being broken in his car, Johnny must have only gotten twenty minutes of sleep every two or three hours. When the sun finally rose Johnny was already awake and fully alert. It was time for another great day at school.
Over the course of the next week or two, Johnny began accustomed to living as a omelets Junior in high school.He learned a few tricks along the way to keep up appearances though. He was even able to sneak into the health club to take showers most days. However, Johnny’s life was in shambles. Some days were better than others but unfortunately all of his nights were the same – sweating bullets, the sound of still, and nervousness to close his eyes. Three weeks after the incident Johnny finally had his wake up call. Around 2 AM when Johnny had Just fallen asleep he banging a pistol on the car. Johnny, perplexed, quickly started his car and sped out of there as fast as he could.
He found a peaceful spot to lay near an apartment complex to finish out the night. Johnny began contemplating what his next move was going to be. Still startled, Johnny knew he couldn’t keep doing this. Something had to change.
Unfortunately the next day at school would be his last. He showed up at school twenty minutes late and went to the front office. As the front office attendant began to lecture Johnny on the importance of being to school on time, Johnny began to lecture her on keeping her nose out of his business. Still shaken up from the events prior, Johnny dropped out of school.Everyone was surprised about Johnny leaving school. He was in sports and an honor student. You never hear about those types of kids dropping out of school.
Johnny found a better Job waiting tables in Baton Rouge a week later. He Joked with me before he left saying he was moving to the city. That was Johnny – always positive. He began sleeping in the parking lot of his work while working doubles every day. His focus quickly changed to finding an apartment which wasn’t the easiest thing to do for an emancipated seventeen year old kid. He worked almost eighty hours a week for two months.He was the last one to finish and the first one to start. I’d never seen somebody working so long and hard but he was a man determined.
He knew what he had to do and never complained about it once. I admired that about Johnny. Eventually, Johnny did it. He had raised enough money to get his own apartment and found a place willing to take him. Johnny always said, “It’s not about where you’re from, it’s about where you’re at. ” I never forgot him telling me that. To people that knew Johnny, he was an inspiration. You always hear about things like this but it affects you differently when you see it in real life happening lay by play.
After getting off of the streets, you could tell something had changed about Johnny. I don’t know what it was but something changed him. He was still the same old Johnny I knew but there was one major difference. When he finally had a place to call home, he didn’t party like he used to. He stayed grounded with his head looking forward to make his ultimate dream come true.
He wanted to leave. In Louisiana, there are two types of people. There are people who talk about leaving and leave; and there are people who talk about leaving and get stuck. The window of time for Johnny seemed small.
He had to leave everything he had ever known and find out what else the world had to offer. A while later, while waiting tables, Johnny networked with the president of a marketing company that was in town for a few weeks on business. The president of this company became close with Johnny over the course of the next two weeks and proceeded to offer him a Job. Unbelievably, Johnny had done it! With no experience, no degree, no family, and more importantly to Johnny, no help; He had done it. He finally got his opportunity to leave Louisiana for good and never look back. It was October and Johnny still had a few months before he turned eighteen.He was playing the waiting game.
Obviously, being underage meant he couldn’t leave the state he was desperately trying to flee from. From there on out Johnny was happy. Not having a good time at a party happy but actually happy. He just had a different demeanor about him when I saw him. He was broke, all of his friends back home were still in school and he was still working eighty hours a week but nothing could make him upset. He knew the direction he was going in life and he refer back to the age old question “Is the glass half full or half empty? ” Johnny’s glass was half full always.
No matter what happened to him, good or bad, he always persevered. It was a tough time for him, but no matter what happened to him his glass was always half full. On that last day Johnny was surprisingly calm. I’m not sure if it was the uncertainty that came along with him leaving or the fear of knowing if he failed he would be right back in Louisiana, homeless again. Whatever it was that evening, there was a confidence about him that seemed different. We had a conversation that night that I’ll never forget. Mimi know how when we were in middle school and the teacher would ask ‘Is the glass half full or half empty? I asked.Johnny nodded.
“Vive always admired you Johnny. Your glass has always been half full. ” Johnny smiled and told me “It’s not about where you’re from, it’s about where you’re at,” Then he proceeded with a smirk on his face to tell me something I’ll never forget.
Mire’s wrong about my glass though. My glass isn’t half full or half empty. It’s completely empty.
” I remembered thinking that was a strange thing for him to say but as the night drew closer to an end we Just agreed on what he said and kept reminiscing by the fire. I never forgot him saying that and for the longest time I wondered what he meant by “It’s completely empty. Maybe it was because I didn’t have the life experience of Johnny or because I was too young but eventually I figured it out – the reason I always looked up to Johnny.
You see, Johnny was always optimistic, implying his glass be half full and that’s the way I interpreted it all those years. But not only was Johnny optimistic, Johnny was an opportunist. When he saw something for the taking he went for it. He knew what he wanted and he did what he had to do to get it. Johnny’s glass was always half full but when the opportunity came for Johnny to fulfill his dream and leave Louisiana he drank it.