The following blog entry is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

On a warm night in June we are hanging out in the boys schoolyard at Holy Name. There’s about twenty of us.


There she goes again.

Talking to another jerk.

Twenty-first street boys think they’re so cool. They’re nothing but clowns with their wife beater t-shirts, ba-ba shoes, slicked back hair and tight, Bo Derek Ten jeans.

Look at them trying to play ball in OUR schoolyard; they don’t even know how to dribble the fuckin’ ball.

But why is she over there on the side talking to Mario? She is, Lori, my girlfriend.

He’s got muscles on his muscles. What a muscle head!

I bet Lori’s mad at me from last night?

I was yelling at her on her stoop and her mom came out and told me to go home.

“WHY DON’T YOU GO HOME!” she shouted as I slammed the gate and walked up Windsor Place cursing out loud.

We fight and argue all the time. I’m so mean to her. I don’t know why I say the things I do, deep down I love her and she tells me she loves me.

We break up every couple of months.

I get jealous when I see her talking to other boys.

A few weeks ago I saw this kid chasing her around while we played coco-leavio and when he caught her he gave her a huge bear-hug from behind. I was so pissed that I ran home, grabbed my Louisville slugger and chased him around the avenue.

Back to Mario and Lori who are standing on the sidelines closest to Prospect Avenue while we are playing five-on-five on the middle court. It’s dark in the yard but the street light on Howard Place gives us enough light to see the hoops.

I’m dribbling up and down the court with one eye on my defender and one eye on Lori and Mario. Why is she so interested in him? Wonder if he knows that she’s taken. That if he tries any funny stuff I’m going off on him.  I can’t stop looking at them; matter of fact one of my teammates throws me a pass and it zips right past me and over towards my girlfriend and Mario.

I jog over to retrieve the loose ball.

As it bounces towards them I reach down and Mario kicks it back to the court before I can get my hands on it. Think Lucy and Charlie Brown when he’s about to kick the football.

“ASSHOLE!” I shout.

Mario looks at me.

“Who you callin’ asshole?” he answers.

“You, jerk-off.” I reply.

Lori looks at me, she knows how jealous I get when other boys talk to her.

“Steven, stop it.” she pleads.

“No, fuck that, I ain’t stoppin’ shit!”

Mario takes a step forward.

“You wanna do something tough guy?” he asks.

I look at him, then at Lori.

“Fuck you!” I scream.

“You wanna go?” Mario screams as he pushes me in my pigeon chest. His strength pushes me back a step or two.

Lori jumps in front of Mario and holds him back.

The players on the court and my friends watching on the side come running over.

A couple of Mario’s friends from twenty-first street start yelling.

“YO, COOL OUT!” I hear a tall, fat kid say. He’s dressed just like Mario. Kind of looks like his twin but could play offensive line for the New York Jets.

My friend Jimmy grabs me and pulls me over towards the church wall.

“Yo Red, take it easy man.”

“Fuck that!” I scream.

I look over and watch Mario and his friends walking towards the entrance of the yard on Howard Place.

“YEAH, GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE AND GO BACK TO TWENTY-FIRST STREET!’ I shout as they walk up Howard and hang a right on Prospect Avenue.  Through the fence they scream back at me.

“WE’LL BE BACK,” a kid shouts as they walk up towards ninth avenue.