Episode 29 – Night Run

When I get to the street, I’m hit by a wall of heat and humidity….lightning’s flickering on the skyline. I push off hard…eager to burn off my energy and tension. It’s awesome to feel the textured pavement under my bare feet. Because of the heat, everybody’s out, so I’m dodging bodies every second. Not sure what streets lead where. Decide to take Grace’s advice and stay out of the park. Head West on 125th…reach Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard and head south. Start hearing cracks of thunder, and the lightning’s brighter by the second. Fuck! Know I’m gonna get drenched! Blobs of rain are already bombarding my head and chest.

Realize unconsciously I’m heading home…desperate to find out what’s happening. Consider turning myself in??? Probably’ll get thrown me in jail for causing such a humongous uproar…but, decide to wait. Figure my father could give two shits anyway…probably glad to get a break for a while! Mostly, I worry about Ava….love her so much…and Mom.

The rain gets more intense. I’m so wet, my clothes are plastered to my body…my dick feels like an eel slithering in my shorts. Figure things can’t get much worse when, suddenly, there’s an unbelievable gust of of wind and rain…like giant hands pushing me back. I lower my head and press on, but it’s a bitch. Figure maybe I should bag it and go back to the Darnell’s…storm’s not letting up anytime soon. Suddenly, take a major header, slip on dog shit or something. Scrape my shoulder pretty bad, but jump up and charge ahead…no way I’m wimping out.

Around me, people are fleeing in all directions. Within minutes, I’m the only person on the sidewalk. People are huddled in stores and under restaurant awnings, drinks in hand, watching the spectacular storm. Stunned to see a lone crazy running by…guess I look pretty ridiculous, soaked to the skin, ignoring the monsoon conditions.

Can’t believe I’m getting so fucking cold…feel like ducking in one of the restaurants to warm up, maybe get some tea or coffee. Figure when they see how wet I am, they won’t refuse, right? But nobody’s gonna offer freebies…left my wallet at the Darnell’s. Stupid move, but have no desire to attract negative attention…waste time listening to people feel sorry for me.

Before I know it, I’m in my old neighborhood. Amazing! It pulled me like a magnet. See a lot more police cars around. Reach my street and it’s barricaded. Fuck! Look toward my building and see a crowd of media types clustered around the door. Slow for a better look and a policeman sees me snooping. “Hey, you! Kid!” He yells, and I make a fast getaway. What a waste! Ran all the way for nothing!

Amazing as it seems, the storm’s worse than ever, and I’m facing like sixty blocks…feels like the temperature’s dropped twenty degrees. Hear a police siren and turn to see a patrol car pulling alongside. A loudspeaker roars: “Stop immediately! We want to question you!” Fuck! No matter what, got to detour through the park. Take a quick right, leap up on a bench and hurtle the wall…almost break my fucking neck. Lie dazed a second, then stagger to my feet and sprint away. I’m hurting, but keep going…run in the park a half mile or so, then cut back to the street. Thankfully, the coast is clear, but it’s way past midnight and the whole dark, wet scene gives me the creeps.

I reach the end of the park and turn East on 110th. In minutes, I’m back on Adam Clayton Powell retracing my steps. Cruise up to 130th and heave a sigh of relief to see the Darnell’s brownstone come in sight. Thank fucking god! Glance up to the second floor. There’s only one light on. Looks like Jasmine’s. I buzz and the door clicks open.

To be continued…Read next episode