Damn, It is so cold I hope I don’t get stood up again, I thought. I paid the cab driver twenty dollars wishing him a safe and good night. I stood right on the corner and gave him a call. He didn’t pick up. It had to be sixteen degrees outside and Lord knows I don’t want to be out here for long. I saw the street sign counting down from 20 seconds and ran across the Grand Concourse to the other side. Maybe if I wait half way into the subway I won’t be too cold. I was making my way down the steps when someone called me. It was a middle-aged black man with his lips swollen.
“Hey sir, I’m sorry I know it’s cold I came from the shelter that’s around the block behind Taft High School, I need help with getting my ID in Brooklyn. It’s kind of hard asking people out here, you know man, this one guy thought he was too good to help me.”
I looked at him and shook my head. “Yeah, okay do you need help getting on the train I can swipe you on–”
“No,” He interrupted,” I can get on the train with no problem, I just need help with money for getting my ID, you see this?” He pointed to his fist. I saw one huge, dry, ashy, cold knuckle. “My main man, was telling me not to act a fool and rob people.”
” Yeah, don’t do that sir, it’s no need for all of that it is way too cold!” I said. He continued asking if I can help him with anything and I stood there thinking what I should do. Should I lie and say no? or break my twenty and give him ten?
“Well, lets look for a store and I will help you out with something.” I said. He sighed in great relief. We found a store several feet away where I broke the twenty and gave him two fives.
“Yo, man thank you so much, I am so grateful. I seen you cross the street and wanted to compliment your jacket also.” He said. I get compliments on my jacket quite often.
“Thank You and sure no problem.” I said. ” So what is your name?” He asked.
“My name is Donovan.” We walked back up the hill to the concourse and bid farewells when my phone started to ring.
It was Tyree. I seen him across the street standing tall with his Tim’s that match his beige jacket and hat. He was looking all other ways instead of in front of him when I approached him. He still looked the same from last week. Which made me a little at ease. “Yo, your here,” He said smiling. “I’m sorry that I had you waiting the other two times. I told you about my cousin in-law getting locked up and shit. I know we were suppose to go to the movies too–”
“Yeah, I know, but it is okay, now I am here. It’s cold as fuck now too.” I said. We walked down the hill. He was telling me how they all drinking getting ready for the night. He convinced me to get some liquor. I didn’t feel like drinking, merely because I didn’t want to be drunk in an unfamiliar place with strange people. “Okay, but I am getting the smallest thing of vodka,” I said. “Alright cool, and I’ll cover your drink,” he said. I got me a little Barton’s Vodka. I never had that brand. I am not even a drinker. Liquor stores are as foreign to me as Spongebob is to being late for work.