I grip the building writhing and throwing up limeade green bile. It looks like the Gatorade I drink everyday to keep up with the uncontrollable Vietnamese sweats that break out when I’m immobile and nodding. The Brooklyn summer sun feels like it’s burning a hole in my head and I’m dizzy… I don’t know what’s happened to me, all I know is that I’m so fucking sick, oh god, let’s get this over with, the sooner the better. Like when I was little and got excited and misjudged my bowels and crapped a bit in my pants at school, at 10:00am. Being stuck in a shitty situation was nothing new to me, just an old reality I couldn’t shake.
A little Puerto Rican girl came up to me before all this and demanded…
“Hey mista you got a dolla I could have? You gotta have sometin...”
The hot and cold skulls were starting in my head, a jack o’lantern of burning ice…a ghost ship set aflame on an arctic sea adrift…
“Fuck you,” I spit… “You fucking think I have something for you? You have something for me?”
I can’t believe the gall of this little shit, can’t she see how I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel? I want her to give me some money, I deserve it, I’m not a bad guy, just a little rough around the edges with a gorilla habit on my back. Cut me some slack.
The little Puerto Rican girl runs toward me and stops a safe distance away and screams, screams a declaration I had not heard until then, a declaration one could compare to when someone sneaks up behind you and screams bloody murder. Such loud lungs on such a little girl.
“You fucking junky!”
She knows me.
I wipe my sour mouth with the inside collar of my long sleeved t-shirt. Must be the flu or something I ate is the lie I tell myself.
I can’t stop the painting being painted.
Graffiti on my heart, tagged and numbered body bags lined up in a row, Hot Party from Harlem in my pocket.
ROCA, Mary-Kate and Ashley, Tango and Cash, Twin Towers, and my personal favorite Fucked For Life. All brand names of dope on the street. Excellent PR work. Hope the cops don’t catch the man who supplies my man.
I remember last summer when everything dried up. It was like the aqueduct upstate had gone dry and no one could do their dishes or take a shower. I guess it was different than that but that’s the only analogy I could think of.
I pull my vehemence back inside the fake Versace sunglasses I wear inside and out, night and day, and drag my ass back down Grand towards the L train.
God I hope Sue’s there
God I hope I don’t shit myself on the train going to Manhattan.
God I hope it weighs and isn’t stepped on…..fuck this is amazing…..
Right then I find a still smoking butt on the ground and quickly steal the last bits of smoke out of it. It lightens my mood… these streets don’t usually give up anything for free except another dose of reality.
Today will be like any other day. Twenty-four hours of running to get what I need to start running again to get what I need to start running again to get what I need…
To get what I need……
The train slides into the station.
1st and 14th…
The doors open and I gotta run.
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