Cops, cashiers and railroad men: my people sprang from the Bronx. My parents used college like a pole vault, soft-landing in the burbs.
At 23, having horrified my family by salmoning back to that borough, I hung on the roof of a tenement building with Hector and Luis. I wanted a sharper life with guys like them, who dealt Mexican weed and stripped junkers on the Mosholu Parkway service road. They were like brothers until one caught the other with his woman. Out came the knife.
Too sharp. I moved.
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