Lisa lives in Englewood and goes to school in Bronzeville, where she is learning about architecture and thinking about going into construction. Sometimes. Maybe cosmetology and maybe nursing, though, too.
My father wasn’t around. My father left when I was two, so I didn’t even know my father ‘til I was 14. We went to see him. I was just looking, like, Who are you? I just didn’t want to be around him. I didn’t feel comfortable, I didn’t want to see his face. I didn’t want to be bothered. My mama was with her sisters—I mean it’s crazy, I didn’t know my mama had sisters ‘til I was 14, that’s amazing, right?—but we went to Mississippi and my mama left me with him. I didn’t know who he was. She was like, It’s your daddy, and I’m like, Ah. I was scared out of my mind. I didn’t know him, I didn’t want to be there, didn’t want to get to know him either. ‘Cause: You haven’t been here all this time, I definitely don’t want to be here with you.
He moved up here, yeah, but when he came he killed my—[laughs]. He killed my cat, so I really don’t want to talk to him now. He ran over Thomas. He’s never been in my life and when he come in my life he kill my cat. My brother, he was my father basically. When I was around eight years old he was probably around 16, so he has always been there. He’s going to school to become an auto mechanic, to fix cars.
I want to go to school for cosmetology and I also want to go to school for nursing. The reason why I want to do that is because if you actually take a stroll around the hospital, you will see everybody looking like they dying. Everybody looks sick. Who wants to look like they’re sick when they are sick? So I want to go to school for cosmetology. If I can go to hospitals—I want to be a nurse, so on my off days I can roll around the hospital and just go to a person’s room and give them a makeover. That’d be fun. Especially pregnant women. Have you ever seen a woman after she had a baby? They look horrible. I think I could make a lot of people feel better.
I want to go to Truman. I love Pivet Point*, but I don’t have anybody to help me pay for my education, and they don’t accept, what it is called, financial aid. So you’re payin’ out of your pocket. But I would love to go to Pivet Point because I wanna learn how to do all kinds of textures. I want to start right away in the summer, ‘cause then after I’m done with that, I can start going to school for nursing.
I’ll work at a day care, or … I was a nanny before. Or I could do a homemaking job helping old people, like cleaning houses, stuff like that. I guess that kind of runs in my family. I have two sisters that are CNAs, My mother is a homemaker, and my sister is an RA, she’s a nurse. Something runs in our family, just love helping people. My mom works different places. She basically helps people move stuff around their house, cooking for them, stuff like that. She’s like a housekeeper.
Cosmetology, that’s my thing. I do everybody’s hair. I love doing hair. When I look nice—I just don’t like people to stare at me ‘cause I feel like they’re pointing out bad things about me and my flaws. People find something wrong with you.
To me, my mom’s mean. I don’t know what her problem is. She just gets irritated really fast. She just whoop and holler a lot. I don’t think she’s happy ‘cause she’s not what she wants to be. She says stuff like she wants to get married again, but in order to be married you have to look presentable, right? You have to look like you wanna be with somebody. But if I did her hair it would be destroyed in minutes. She just does too much. We’re trying to take care of her, and she just won’t accept it. She’s just so independent that she just doesn’t want to accept help, and she can’t keep herself together ‘cause she’s always working or doing something.
I learned a lot from her. I learned not to depend on nobody, ‘cause if you depend on somebody, every time you will be disappointed. No I’m not gonna say, every time, but most times you are going to be disappointed. I have my two friends. They’re around my age, and they’re quiet and stay to themselves. We live too far from each other to hang out all the time. The train, public transportation—they don’t really help.
*Pivet Point International Academy is a private cosmetology school.