Living on The Edge
I just recently learned what the term YOLO means "You Only Live Once". The timing was perfect because I was reminded by a mutual friend of the passing of Sam Torres, AKA Shorty, A.K.A "Little Sam". What can I say, we hit it off the minute we met. We created a lifetime of memories in two years; we did more in those two years than people do their entire lives. Sammy was so many things, adventurous, courageous, tough, complex, brave, sensitive, street smart etc..
I must admit that there were times I did not like hanging with Shorty, especially when we were around girls. Woman from both sides of the track city or the suburbs always were smitten over him and showed him all the attention. I personally seen two girls battling for his attention while I was on the sideline like, Hey what about me? I'm his friend does that not mean anything. Simply said, ladies adored him!
We had so many crazy stories I don't know where to start other than to tell people he had to do everything better. But before I go there, Shorty was a true friend! We bled together on the streets, we struggled together, and we cried together. We were in many dangerous situations and Shorty had my back even if it meant his life was in danger. I can you tell this; there are only a handful of people who would risk their own well-being to protect yours. Sammy was that guy and I will always love him for that! Yes, Sam had to be the best at everything he had to have the hottest gear (best clothes, best looking women etc.. I remember we would take our bikes out and go ramping in construction zones. Shorty had to go higher and further than anyone. He would easily jump 10 feet higher and further than anyone, because 10 feet meant seriously hurting yourself and we would not risk splitting our heads open. He didn't care, to him being second was more painful then a broken leg. He would do back flips of the cliffs of the quarry; if you did one flip he would have do a double back flip. He always let us know don't mess with me because he would push the limits. I saw him hurt himself many times pushing the envelope. That is how Sammy lived; he was always living on the edge. Sammy and I would hitch hike to the mall; we would empty my mom's change jug to scrounge up money to go to the local pool; we would take his uncle car underage until we got caught. I was going out with a girl on the other side of the tracks and we needed a ride so we took his uncle car without them knowing but there was one problem, the tags were expired on the car. So a cop started following us when we reached a wealthy housing development, Shorty was driving, he was always quick on hit feet; he pulled into a strangers drive way. We ended up pulling into a professional baseball player drive way. The cop pulled us over and arrested all of us. While sitting in the back of the police car, the professional baseball player came out and threaten to kick all of our asses if we ever came on his property again. We were always finding ways to get ourselves in tough situations. I realize, especially in the inner-city, sometimes when you live on the edge you fall of the cliff and their is no coming back.
Shorty got into the drug game and he eventually lost his life in his early 20's. I remember getting that call about Shorty while away serving in the army. My heart fell to the floor. He was more than just a friend to me he was an inspiration, he showed me courage. He did not play when it came to people discriminating against him because of his race, size, or his speech. I saw him knock a football player twice his size in school, the gentleman had a problem with Puerto Ricans going to his school. Shorty straighten his thinking out. He was one the original members O.S.P. (Oak Hollow Street Posse) we had the hats and shirts. We felt part of something bigger than ourselves. Little Sam was my brother of struggle, poverty, broken home, and violence. You can't mention the Rock (the projects we lived in) without mentioning Shorty. A pleasant memory came to my mind, we use walk to the press box and his favorite candy bar was snickers but he used to pronounce it sneakers. We use to laugh or asses off and tell "Shorty no it is snickers not sneakers".
Shorty ultimately paid with his life for living on the edge, but he showed me and our world how to truly live. I take risks everyday as entrepreneur to be the best to push the envelope to go 10 feet higher than anyone else. Shorty, I know you are in heaven waiting with a bike ready to challenge me to jump as far as you.
I love and miss you Shorty cant wait to see you in heaven.
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