Jabril Faraj
Milwaukee Stories

“I want that; I just don’t know how to get that”

Davontae Thompson knows his future awaits him. He's just not sure what it is.

By , Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service - Oct 18th, 2014 01:32 pm
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Davontae Thompson stands near the corner of 30th & Brown in Milwaukee’s Midtown neighborhood.

Davontae Thompson stands near the corner of 30th & Brown in Milwaukee.

Davontae Thompson leans against the trunk of his electric blue Chevy Impala, posing for pictures with a friend.

Thompson, who grew up in the neighborhood and has lived in the area for more than years, says his childhood was a mixed bag: “Everybody wasn’t getting shot and killed every day, but lot of fights, lot of robbery, a lot going on. Car accidents, cars stolen, radios stolen, windows busted, a lot of kids being bad for no reason.”

“But it was alright. The good part was gettin’ to know everybody.”

But it can be  different for outsiders, he says. “They’ll probably…steal a lot from you,  jump you, too.”

Yet Thompson somehow survived it all. “I don’t know, stuff just be fun to me cause I don’t never end up on the bad side – I’m never the one getting beat up and all that.”

Now 20, Thompson has three siblings. “My dad, I don’t know. My momma, she’s good; she made things work.”

His father left the family when Davonte was about was like 13. “He was outta there,” says Thompson. “He was in and out… he would be there and then, like, three months later he’d come back again. But then he just stopped showing up.”

“He just left. It was sad…cause everybody else got their dad and money and stuff like that and…get help from their dad and I didn’t. So, it just made me just have to do stuff on my own more often.”

After graduating from Pulaski High School, Thompson spent some time at MATC but eventually decided to drop out. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do and I was like, ‘I’m wasting money just being here.’ I was just doing it cause people say it’s good to do. I was like, ‘Maybe I should leave and figure out what I want first.’”

He hasn’t figured out what that is, yet, though. “Today I was thinking about a mechanic. Tomorrow it’ll be a whole ‘nother story; tomorrow I’ll probably think about something else. I’m always thinking about what I want to be but it’s always different things.”

“When I was a little kid, I wanted to be like a rapper or basketball player or something – that’s probably what messed my focus up. I should have picked something else. While I was trying to play ball and do all that stuff, I could have been doing other stuff – I could’ve been getting a lot of money instead of playin’ basketball at the park…That wasted my time.”

But Thompson hasn’t lost hope; he still has plans for the future and, eventually, wants to have a family of his own. “I’m gonna go back to school, though, when I figure out what I want to be and what’s gonna keep me financially stable,” he says.

“Then I gotta get this (car) fixed some more,” says Thompson, lamenting the constant repairs that always seem to pop up. “Every time you think it’s okay, you go in again, they’re, ‘Well, here’s the problem.’ Then you get the, ‘Aww, man,’ get the sweatin’. ‘How much, man? Please don’t say five hundred; as long as it ain’t five hundred.’ Once they hit that four hundred, three hundred, you get the stomach achin’.”

“Every week, back-to-back, rippin’ the pockets off.”

For more profiles of real Milwaukeeans by Jabril Faraj check out milwaukeestories.org. If you’d like to help support these stories, please consider becoming a member of Milwaukee Stories.

Categories: Milwaukee Stories

One thought on “Milwaukee Stories: “I want that; I just don’t know how to get that””

  1. judith ann moriarty says:

    you are a powerful writer Jabril. I get a real sense of the person featured. it seems that you step back (most writers don’t) and listen…

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