Archive for the 'commentary' Category

a few blocks away

It’s been months since I saw anyone on Dealer’s corner. Today some of his boys are leaning on the bodega dumpster, aimless and slack.

So, I try something new. I talk to them. “Haven’t seen your boss in a while, he ok?”

The fattest one steps forward and squints at me. “What boss?”

“That guy who’s usually around. Older than you. Always says hello.”

He shakes his head. It’s like a teacher does, you’ll get it someday honey, I know you will. “Lady, I know you ain’t police,” he says, and points his finger at his chest. “But to me, you might as well be.”


in the snow

There’s a man scraping his shovel along the sidewalk in front of his house. His son is there too, by the look of him he longs for the playground down the street, it’s filled with the shrieks of a snowball fight. But he’s stuck. The man stops and leans on his shovel. “When people pass by you gotta make nice,” he insists. He mimes a little as he demonstrates, “Hel-lo, how ya doin, this and that.”

The kid kicks a block of ice into the snowbank. He is not convinced.

on the corner

One of the bodegas is gone. I’m standing in front of the drawn metal shutters trying to remember when I last saw it open. A few days, a week, maybe. A big man with a little dog trailing passes by shaking his head. “Ain’t right,” he says. “Hurt’s comin’ down.”