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A little after midnight I have a hard time falling asleep.

It’s been like this lately. Tossing and turning in my bed, spending much time looking up at the ceiling, thinking. Worrying. Stressing. Anxious.

In other words, “buggin’ out.”

I get up and poke my head out the window watching the cars go by out on ninth avenue.

Out in the living room Mom is on the phone; I have no clue who she’s talking to.  She’s always staying up late.

I don’t know how she wakes up so early for work. She works as a waitress in a restaurant over in Manhattan. And she keeps the fucking volume up really high on the television.

My sister is asleep and my brother is still out with his friends.

About a week ago I stayed up all night, it was weird. I didn’t go to sleep. Stayed up for close to two straight days. We call it “breakin’ night.”

Fuck it, I decide to sneak out. I walk to the boys schoolyard around the corner on Howard Place.  It’s dark in here. A kid can easily get jumped. I’ll be quiet so the priest don’t throw me out. After ten, you can’t be in here.

But this is where I feel safe. Even without my basketball.

The streetlights on Howard Place and Prospect Avenue light up part of the yard up but it was still hard to see.

I walk over towards the church and sit down against the wall. The ground is cold, but I don’t care. I have long john’s on under my jeans. I put two pairs of socks on.

I look out towards the court and think about all the times I have played on this court.  I wish my girlfriend was here. I miss her. We were together earlier tonight. I love being with her.

School starts in a few hours.  I am a freshman at Power Memorial. I usually get up at six in the morning to catch two trains over to the city. I know, that’s early.

School sucks.

I don’t wanna go anymore.