By Kim Morales
Eric’s was the only block with a tall tree for at least ten blocks. The tree on 103, right outside of Eric’s second floor window, was a sign to anyone on foot that they were soon leaving el barrio. The tree seemed to be the only sign of growing life on the block. The residents, especially lately considering the weather, were of the overworked, uninsured variety of urban life. People left their homes before the sun showed up to beat them down and they came back whenever the 6 decided to stop malfunctioning.
I was out of food. And wine added up. I had to pare down from Manhattan’s prices, even though those prices seemed to include only coffee and junk food unless Chase supplied a real hot meal. I decided on a fresh start, maybe even detox. Between Asha and me, I was the only one who had enough credit, or an intact driver’s license, to reserve a Zipcar for a cheaper stock-up in Jersey. One Sunday I got a Mini Cooper, not the most practical for bulk shopping, but well . . . compulsions.
One moment, they were staring into their date’s twinkling eyes and admiring her beautiful laugh, sipping on one of the two straws stuck in a strawberry Surfer Smoothie placed halfway between the two of them in a tacky, red vinyl booth at Gunther Toody’s; the next moment, everything stopped.