042203copsSo, com­ing home, it’s 12 some­thing in the AM of a per­fectly fucked Wednes­day morn­ing (por la madru­gada), and there are cops out there, talk­ing loud, say­ing noth­ing, swag­ger­ing between baton and bar­rel … and I have the pic­ture to prove it. Actu­ally, I have more than one, but this will suf­fice for now. Our street is blocked off by a well-tuned blink­ing patrol car, a lit­tle on the loud side when con­sid­er­ing Larry fuck­ing David is on … some­thing amuck, obvi­ously .… Cops on this street always make me think about the guy down the street who locked his girl­friend (a loose term, for sure … a mis­nomer, cer­tainly) in his cel­lar for 3 or 4 days … came home from the DQ only to find her gone, the rope once wrapped around her wrists and ankles coiled askew on the soap­stone floor like sev­ered snakes … I have duct tape, a Swiss army knife, and most of my wits … now what?

The first police car I was ever in … my mother took me to see Moon­raker some­where in down­town Brook­lyn … I remem­ber the shut­tle motif, and Jaws’ nasty sil­ver grin … and after­wards, I wan­dered behind as my mother strut­ted down the side­walk … I think I got dis­tracted by a TV in a win­dow, really … hon­estly … and before you knew it — noth­ing but legs pac­ing by, cold and imper­sonal, and I was lost … started cry­ing before you know it (hey, I was 7), look­ing to the left and right, search­ing for my mom’s slacks … peo­ple stoop­ing to con­sole and inquire ”You lost, lit­tle boy?” … cops show up soon enough, ques­tions and tis­sues, then in the back of the car for the short ride back to Bay Ridge, 59th St (between 8th and 9th) … the worst part was my friends on the block scop­ing me out as we cruised up the street, check­ing me out with wary, sus­pi­cious eyes … I was guilty before I even hit the sidewalk.

The next day, in the car lot a few build­ings down, John Fox and Anthony DeSte­fano beat me down behind a rot­ting brown Charger. I remem­ber the car because it looked just like my father’s, and even at the time, the whole thing seemed sig­nif­i­cant … it was like being in a Ray­mond Carver or Richard Ford story, say­ing to myself, over and over, You will never for­get this moment.…