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The School of Hard Knocks Was My Backup School, I Got Into Brown

Dear fam, hustlers and wizened street-toughs,

I would like, first and foremost, to thank you all from the bottom of my naive heart for your various offers of tutelage through physical abuse and humiliation. When I think of all that I’ve learned from my brief tenure as a rube being taken advantage of by you fine thugs and criminals, I am humbled to say the least. I know I have only begun to scratch the surface of all that you have to teach me about “The Game.” Unfortunately, I have received an offer I am unable to refuse, and it is with a heavy heart that I must inform you our path together has reached a deviation.

I must confess, the school of hard knocks was my backup school, and I will be unable to attend any longer due to the fact that I have been accepted to my academy of choice, Brown University. It is an exciting yet obviously bitter-sweet time for me as I will no longer be able to pursue a career as part of a crew.

We sure had some great times together. Remember when we knocked off that convenience store, and when the cops chased us one of you tripped me so that I would get busted and the rest of you made off with all those cigarettes? That was an absolute blast. Remember how you beat the living hell out of me until you were thoroughly convinced that I didn’t give your names to the cops? It seems like only yesterday.

I want you to know that it was my internship with your organization and wide variety of crimes it made me an accessory to that gave me the confidence and self-reliance to apply to Brown, a university where students are given the freedom to choose their own academic journey. Rest assured that I will think of you anytime I am suddenly startled or catch sight of the scars I got from that bike chain fight in the mirror.

I understand that this transition comes at an inconvenient time. I did consider postponing my departure until fulfilling my prior obligation as look-out during Saturday’s planned tire store heist. Ultimately I decided that it would be unfair for me to accept such a role, as I would be potentially blocking a spot on the crew for another hungry young punk looking to step up.

I especially want you to know that my status as a non-snitch is important to me, and remains part of my worldview. Stitch-level injuries will not be needed to remind me of the importance of this basic code.

As a sign of good faith I have decided to give you some of the things I will no longer be needing, as I’m sure some young up and comer within your ranks can use them. In this box you will find a pocket knife, a studded denim vest, a vape pen battery and a t-shirt advertising something called Hatebreed.

I understand that this news comes as a shock, but before any of you react emotionally, please consider the fact that I could help you guys down the road! Maybe I’ll major in law and help you guys out of a jam. Maybe I’ll get into politics and hook you guys up with some no-show union gigs. Maybe I’ll become a writer and tell your story to the world, with some embellishments ala The Fast and The Furious.

Look, please don’t kick my ass.