BY JEFF DEENEY TODAY I SAW two young black girls walking on 52nd by Kershaw Street, just south of Master. One girl had her hair cropped so close it was nearly shaven, and she had no bra on under her skintight turquoise top. The other girl had braids and was a little thick; her shape pushed out from under the edges of her similarly form-fitting chocolate colored outfit. They crossed 52nd Street in the middle of the block, and as they walked out into traffic they entwined hands, not caring who knew that they were lovers.
The short-haired girl was talking about the latest neighborhood drama.
“Her people came around and fucked him up. I didn’t know they was gonna do that, but that’s how it went down.”
She continued, talking fast, lost in her story telling as they moved out of earshot. They walked past an old head who was walking north on the other side of 52nd Street. He was covered in white plaster dust and had an aged brown leather belt laden with tools slung over his shoulder. He rounded once to sneak a quick glimpse at the lovers, and then did a full turn and took two steps walking backwards while watching them recede into the distance.
Further down the block the girls locked arms at the elbow, pushing up against each other and laughing at whatever conclusion the short-haired girl’s story had reached. Every set of eyes on 52nd Street followed them. In the rear view mirror I saw them bound through traffic again, crossing back to the side 52nd Street they originally walked on, and duck into Smilee’s Pizza down by Thompson Street.