November, 17th, 1987

He sat on his front stoop waiting at 24th and 8th Avenue. Yellow lights on taxi cabs glowed in the rain. Working girls walked the streets of Chelsea. He sat there with his jacket pulled up to his cheeks. His unshaved chin made a noise on the zipper each time he moved his head. Looking up and down 24th at the people, cars, brick buildings, men throwing up in garbage cans, listening to music pouring out of the Mexican restaurant.

Midnight in New York and the city was in full swing. Dealers dealt. Junkies scored. Old queens got their kicks at the Y. The young man sensed all the energy pushing down on a city that had given up. He lit a cigarette and blew out smoke that mixed with rain. A kind of blue. The kid knew she’d be coming along soon like she did every night. That beauty about her. Brown skin with curves tucked into a tight mini-dress. Her frosted blonde hair smelled of the Coco Chanel she stole at Macy’s. And the way she talked; a New York sing song poetic pause. She chose her words carefully.

That night would be the night he’d finally ask her, Can I walk you home? He wanted to assure her that chivalry was alive and well in this boy’s soul.

But, she didn’t come that night. The 17th of November was filled with gloom. Heart broke. He watched the sunrise over the city. Lit another cigarette and called it a day.

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