The bright, malformed moon was skidding away into the southern sky, milky white clouds pushing toward the bay out of the interior, as I crossed Middle River Bridge.
A white Nissan is pulled over by a cop, a single Dindu driver within.
Another cop car thunders past him lights but no siren on, sounding like a real car engine from the 1970s. The cop who stopped the Dindu then speeds of after his comrade.
A third cop snoozes at the 7-11, thirty yards away from the traffic stop.
The moist air is ravaging my scarred, wheezing lungs as the sound of the distant train winding through its colossal ditch two miles to the southwest, echoes through the budding trees. I cross to the north side of the street.
A tall black, buck hoodrat, dressed up like Jimmy Hendrix and packing a sheath knife on his left belt, beneath the black leather jacket, poised for a cross draw, stands in my path, 20 yards off. When he spots me he begins walking towards me past the bait and tackle shop, his hand on the hilt of his blade. I surrender the sidewalk and give him a cane’s length to his left and walk by him on the asphalt of the strip mall lot as we glare at each other. We pass and I return to the sidewalk, keeping an eye on the shadows at my feet for his return, which does not transpire.
With a light sweat I make the bus stop in 15 minutes as two more cop cars zoom away from the station a block east of my stop toward the distant sirens that now sound behind me some miles off. I practice my footwork, testing the ankle I sprained at work a few hours before. It’s functional but I can’t lunge.
The police chopper out of Martins Airfield banks to the northwest, as the cop cars head that way along a long L, most of which parallels the invisible train tracks. A mile off, I can feel the CSX train clatter through the soles of my boots on the concrete.
Four cop cars, heading east on Eastern make an abrupt U-turn and speed off up the freeway ramp. As I see these pigs zooming off along the raised interstate I can hear police and ambulance sirens two miles to the northwest, where the chopper is headed, on the other side of the rails.
I board the bus and the twerp that takes the rap seat in the morning begins nervously asking questions about the strange police activity this morning.
I told him it was door-kicking time, that drug house raids kickoff between 4 and 5.
As we cross Route 40, a white Nissan is pulled over by a cop cruiser, the cop standing behind his door.
Ten minutes later, as we roll along Philadelphia to Golden Ring Road, a third white Nissan is stopped in the drive lane, a cop approaching the vehicle on foot.
As we near our stop, the twerp asks me if I pack a gun as he calls in to his coworkers to make certain they meet him at the next stop. I answer, “No, I have other means of dealing with the savages.”
The black lady across the aisle from me shifts uncomfortably in her seat and the twerp opines, “They’re out hunting all of us white people aren’t they? I have a gun at home but I don’t have a carry permit. We don’t have a chance, do we?”
As we rise and I push past him, to take the third stop before his [He always rises early so he can see if any blacks are skulking at his stop and whether or not his coworkers are huddled up there waiting. If it looks bad he gets off ahead or behind.] and mention, “The savages aren’t the only ones hunting this morning—at least you aren’t in a white Nissan.”
As I step off the bus my sprained right ankle tears again, audibly, the fourth sprain on that side this year. It is now a despised part and I punish it with hard steps across the deserted boulevard.
But, as it turns out, all is right in Harm City just as it was in Harm County—police engines zooming and sirens blaring can be heard echoing over the ridge to the South, just west of my destination, as the helicopter, perhaps the same one that was overflying the County activity, banked in from the east with clattering rotors as the milky clouds covered the falling moon like silky shifts.