Without My Mama

I wouldn’t be here now, without my mama. I would never have learned to type, without her. I would never have gone to University, without her. I would have been homeless, without her. I would never have had my first computer to make beats with, without her. I would never have had a sound-card to put into my first computer to make beats with, without her. I would never have received my first hip hop tape on my tenth birthday, without her. I would never have received a bass guitar for my sixteenth birthday, or a high quality sound-card on my twenty-first birthday, or the SM58 she gave me for Christmas later that same year, without her. I would never have taught myself how to draw, how to act, how to write, how to listen to music, without her. I would never have had an old, beaten-up acoustic guitar to play with, or for there to always be an old keyboard in the house to get sounds out of, without her. I would never have sat uninterrupted for hours as a little boy, exploring pictures, images and maps; with my pens and the paper she made sure I had, always. I would never have been corrected on that one Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy lyric I misheard, without her. I would never have learned about global warming and vegetarianism in the late ’80s without her. I would never have rocked a De La Soul t-shirt, aged ten, without her. I would never have had a BMX, or a second-hand Millennium Falcon for Christmas when I was almost too small to carry it around the cosiest family room, my wonderful grandparents, her parents, watching on and encouraging me; without her. I would never have had Chuck D and KRS-ONE as my first real teachers, without her. I would never have learned of the importance of Leonard Cohen, before almost anything else about music, without her. I would never have been able to have access to encyclopedias, to huge, heavy books about art, music, science, philosophy and technology, without her. I would never have been able to plant a Hawthorn tree in the garden which stands so tall, to this day; without her. I would never have been taught at such a young age about the magic of cats, without her. I would never have been able to interact with Ring-tail, Black & White Ruffed and Black Lemurs without her. I would never have camped above the Devonshire coast, or sailed in Poole Harbour, or know the difference between a Yawl and a Wayfarer without her, or know the difference between my tiller and my painter, without her. I would never have been driven to A&E with food poisoning and a head full of LSD25, without her. I would never have made snow sculptures, or sand castles, without her. I would never have made endless mixtapes, and burned CD’s and demos and compilations for her, without her. I would never have listened to Sufjan Stevens’ Seven Swans in the car on the way home from Bodiam Castle that one summers’ afternoon, without her. I would never have been taught how to use a 35mm camera, or how to use a dial-up modem, or a 5.25″ floppy disc, or a food blender; or how to make a nice cup of tea, without her. I would never have won horticultural prizes for my Sunflowers as a little green-fingered gardener, without her. I would never have had permission to go to Reading festival, just turned sixteen, to see Gravediggaz, Ice Cube, Cypress Hill, Gang Starr and Jeru, without her. I would never have spent endless months in my bedroom, getting baked, making beats and perfecting my raps, without her. I would never have been able to recover all of my possessions after i fled Deutschland, without her. I would never have found so much strength, from somewhere, in such dark hours; without her. I would never have known love, unconditional love, without her… and, no matter how long this rubble-strewn road carries on into the far distance, I know in my heart, that I will never truly be without her. I love you, mama. I will always love you, with all my heart.

James Reindeer

17th April 2018

Croydon, UK

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