It’s a door and then a door.  To the left is the downstairs apartment. In the foyer a boom box on top of a beer cooler and some lawn chairs.  Rap music—Slick Rick—sound is good echoing because of lack of carpeting.  No one is in the foyer and the door leading up the stairs is unlocked.  Marcus follows behind the girl.  He’s two steps behind.  On eye level with her ass.  At the top of the stairs is another door.  This one locked with a peep hole.  The girl does the knocking.

The door opens and you see three brothers.  Two sitting on an old love seat stained and upholstered sixties style in a faded orange, and the man who answers.  His hair in dreds his smile revealing a grill in gold, baggy pants and a basketball jersey two sizes too big with a white t-shirt underneath.  He turns and lets them in, pulling up his pants just enough to cover his plaid boxers below the hanging jersey.  There’s a big screen TV in front of the love seat—a coffee table with take-out pizza boxes opened, a few pieces left the color of the cheese telling how old it is.  The two sitting are playing Xbox.  NFL John Madden.  There’s no one at the window now.  The Swisher Sweets cigar box inside the window sill.


What you want girl?  Why you bringin’ this homeboy up in here?


There wasn’t nothin’ in the box.  I want my money or my weed…


Girl why you frontin’?  You owe from last time.


What you know I owe?  I don’t owe you nothin’ from last time…  That was a lid you fronted for me before—I hooked you up—remember?  I want my 28 grams…

The dred walks over to a guitar resting against the love seat.  He picks it up and twirls it and you see a bag of weed taped to the back.


This what you want?  This here killa bud?  Yeah that’s right—I know what you want.  Thing is… what you gonna do for me?

He walks up to Marcus and smashes the guitar against head.  Marcus goes down and the dred punches him twice as he tries to get up and then kicks him in the face with his unlaced Reeboks.


Man why you got’s to go and mess up my guitar?


Boy you don’t play that!  You’re always chillin’ on your Nintendo at your momma’s house.  Go drink some kool-aid!  I gotta mess with this chicken head here.  What you say, girl?  You bring this gay bird up in here—stay down, boy!  Yeah…  Come on, girl.  Want to do some business?  Hold this gay bird down for me.  Hold this motherfucker down!  What you say, gay bird?  Want to watch?  Bet you do—yeah!  Stay down!

The dred lands a few more blows and the two brothers wrestle Marcus down on the carpet.  They kneel on him and hold his head down.  Marcus strains with his neck to look up, spitting blood from his nose and mouth.  The dred has the girl over on the love seat.  Marcus watches as she goes down on him.


You know I think she likes it!  You like it too, homeboy?  You like to watch?


No! No…!

One brother smashes his head down.  The other gets up from where he was kneeling on him and goes up behind the girl.  He pulls down her jeans and panties and starts taking her from behind.


Yeah…  you like this, gay bird?  We gonna do a train on your girl…  Killa bud!  Damn!  I think this girl’s gonna earn every gram!


Sometimes you don’t want it to be your story, but sometimes it is.  And sometimes you can’t say it was just a dream—a bad dream.  You notice everything.  Every sound.  Every sight.  Every smell.  You pay attention to everything even if you don’t want to.  And your little small world becomes big.  Immense.  You are immersed deeper.  Deeper than you ever wanted to go.  Nothing goes by that you do not sense.  Without faith, hope, or love—no charity in this world.  Only a cold sense of knowing a truth that has long been denied you.  A truth everyone else knew.  They knew long before you, but they let you live in the denial until the moment is right.  Until you cannot bargain with it and your grief is no acceptance.  This is the dream you awaken to.  You awaken in the darkness.  And you make love to it—your one and only cruel lover.  You make love to the night…