Snapshots of Modern Love
Copyright 2009 Jose Rodriguez
The Early Eighties
Like a wanted man, I'm leaving Youngstown, Ohio. The Greyhound station reeks of hot rubber and oily fumes and pulses with strange life: a skinny old Nigger in white cowboy boots and a red Stetson nervously moves around the other awaiting scum who hides into the anonymity of their winter coats with collars drawn high. Mud and grease splatter under my feet and dad's as we walk to the platform. The droning of an idling diesel engine shields our conversation from prying ears but we don't have much to say to each other.
Fred and Tony got busted, and I should have been busted too, but my quick thinking saved my ass, bolting out of Fred's car on my fours and hiding behind a pile of farm machinery. The cops got them both; I heard the cuffs snapping around their wrists. At least they kept their mouths shut and didn't say something like "Hey, where's Ken?" Believe me, that wouldn't be beyond their stupidity.
Anyway, I was the stupid one by agreeing with them to go into the District looking for Christmas trees to sell. We dragged those sorry looking pines for miles of knee deep snow, heaved them over a chain link fence and hog tied them on top of Fred's car - which is still sitting at the police lot. Just as we finish strapping the loot, we see a flashlight beam moving up the railroad tracks, sniffing the snow. "Cops!" screams Fred and the light beam connects with us. Thanks Fred.