Recounts from the Life of Hector

by Jiayang Jin, age 12
Recounts from the Life of Hector Jiayang Jin was born in 2005 in Shanghai, China. He moved to New York City in 2010. He attends Hunter College High School. Jiayang has been playing piano for seven years and loves reading, soccer, video games, drawing and writing.

“Oh, kids these days. Unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable. Always on their God-forsaken phones and what-not. They’ve got no respect whatsoever. When I was a young chap growing up, we didn’t have phones.”

Oh, kids these days. Unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable. Always on their God-forsaken phones and what-not. They’ve got no respect whatsoever. When I was a young chap growing up, we didn’t have phones. We would go out, play in the park, get all muddy. Now all these do-nothing, nasty children stay inside all day and post ridiculous pictures of themselves. (Are they called selfies?) These names. Sigh. These teenagers aren’t even cool. They are complete attention-seekers, drama queens… the list goes on and on. And what’s with these hoverboards? A pile of flammable crap if you ask me. Serves ‘em right to catch on fire. And don’t even get me started on the respect issues. They see me hobbling along, cane in hand, and it’s like they don’t notice me! They shove me like I’m nothing and knock the wind out of me! I respond the classic “Get lost!”, and they look back at me like I’m from Mars! Y’all know, I’m so lonely here in New York. Ah! Look what it says here in the New York Times! “Trumpet to Pull out of Paris Agreement”! How does that even make any sense? Oh, wait. Agh, these damn eyes of mine! Even with special reading spectacles! I was wondering, trumpets! Hahaha… *breaks into coughing fit* Bugger that! Nowadays I can’t even laugh without coughing out my lungs! Back to the headlines. What is wrong with that total idiot? Something’s not right up there in that orange head! Fifty years ago, global warming wasn’t even a thing. Now? Global warming this, global warming that, all this money being put into it! Us, the generation that was born in the World War II era, we’ve done a lot! Take me, I served in the army in the Vietnam War! Let’s not get too deep into that, it’s depressing. In that period of time, everything we did we meant. Now? Look at North Korea. What are they doing? Ballistic missile testing? Why. Why?! There’s absolutely no point whatsoever. Anyway, as I was saying before I got interrupted, my nearest relatives are my kids, and they’re bloody overseas in London doing who-knows-what with their lives. And they call me once a month! Talk about ignorance. Times were so good when Bertha was still around. We would take a crack at them kids on the street and scare the mickey outta them! Those were the good ol’ days.

I’m getting hungry. The kitchen is so far away. Crikey! Oh, blimey! Ah, my back! Sorry, I just tripped over this damned carpet. It gets me every time! I’m getting clumsy in my old age. Crap! It just has to be today. I’ve got nothing in the pantry! Well, s’pose I’ve got to go out to the grocery at the corner of the block. And it just happens to be raining. Sometimes New York seems to hate my guts! Where did I put my umbrella? Ah, yes, the closet. Why is this door so hard to open? *grunts* Finally! Let’s get this over with. My keys! Er… there they are! Aight, my wallet’s in my back pocket… I’m ready! Oh, wait, and my cane. This memory! Why! The elevator never works, and I’m all the way on the second floor! I’ve called the superintendent, people these days are so damn slow with their work! They take bloody ages to get a simple elevator fixed! Disgrace. Utter disgrace! Good morning to you too, Arthur! These are the people I like. They know the simple concept of respect! Unlike the majority of the population. Hey! You! Yes, you! Girl! Aren’t you gonna say sorry? That’s right! Stop giggling, you moron! Show some respect to your elders! I’m gonna kick your butt if I ever see you again! And by the way, what are you wearing? More like what aren’t you wearing, you’re showing half your bare skin! Kids have the weirdest styles. See what I mean? Kids, always on their phones, texting all their friends, having online wars, what has society become? In the fifties, we had no electronics. When we had arguments, boy did it get physical! I miss those days. Here we are! What do I need? Uh, let’s see. Oh, hey, employee! Could you get me… a few microwave enchiladas, six microwave mac n’ cheeses, five microwave chicken penne al frescos, seven microwave quesadillas, four microwave lasagnas, four six-pack bottles of Poland Spring, six boxes of Kellogg’s cereal, two jars of tomato sauce, six nonfat Greek yogurts, extra-virgin olive oil, honey, five dozen eggs, three bunches of bananas, and twelve bars of chocolate, please? Why’re you looking at me like that? What? You don’t do that kind of service? I don’t want to get into an argy-bargy about this, young man! You don’t wanna mess with me, I guarantee you. That’s right! Now go get me what I asked for, boy! Service is so bad in stores. They see I’m old with a rapidly balding head, wrinkly skin, wearing a beret and clothes from the 90’s, and they immediately assume I’m gonna be a grumpy, old fart! Could you possibly imagine that? Ha! On a side note, I am completely fine, I just can’t do much, exactly like the Kardashians! My phone’s ringing! It must be my son. Oi, you! Kid! How do I accept this call? Thank you! There’s this teeny tiny percent of the population, they know respect! Hello, William! Wait, what? Social security?! Ugh, what do they want this time? This month alone they’ve bothered me six times! Unbelievable. What? I need to move out of my apartment? I need to move to a retirement home? What’s the logic behind that? I’ve been living in my place for more than six years, I’m not ready for a retirement home! They sound so nasty! Okay, to sum this up, you’re kicking me out of my own home? I’m telling you, you belong in a damn mental asylum! I ain’t listening to you bunch of rowdy gits! No, I will not calm down! Do not tell me to calm down, I do what I want to do! You and the whole crowd of young people, y’all lead sad lives! Sad, sad lives! You have nothing good to do with your lives, so you work for dumb agencies like social security and take out your depression on old people! This isn’t fair! Oh, you did not just tell me to shut up. I know you didn’t. You shut your own trap, dig yourself a nice, little hole and, here’s an idea, why don’t you jump into it too? Don’t you dare hang up on me! I still had some words to say to that imbecile! I’m not going anywhere against my will. Nowhere! I’d better head home and enjoy life before they send a whole blasted police squadron to manhandle me to a retirement home! I almost forgot my groceries! Where’s that young lad? Finally! You took your sweetass time! How much? $127.85? Wow, this place is getting greedy!

Hello, Arthur! Can you believe this? Social security called me again! They want me to move to a damn retirement home! How have you escaped them? Jammy old chap. Why are they calling me again? I suppose they just want to inform me that I’ve been arrested for “bad attitude,” doesn’t sound too far off what they would do! Boy, what do you want? I don’t want to hear your ugl-wait, what? You’ve made a mistake? There’s another Hector Wright living in New York? Thank god for tha-I mean, uh, that’s right, punk! Of course you made a mistake! Stupid agencies, don’t know what they’re doing these days. Stupid agencies! Good-for-nothing, we can handle ourselves. Bloody Hell!

 

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