Warp

It is night.  It is June.  It is late.  It is a Friday night, after 9 p.m. but before 10.  The world is wet.  The moon is uncertain.  It is neither warm, nor cold, no breeze, and not my favorite feeling of when the temperature is the same as your skin.  The weather, reposing in its usual state this month, hesitates before deciding if it wants to get torrential again.  The street feels empty for being a Brooklyn street, mid-June.  Even the children play quietly — those, like mine, from cultures or families to whom it doesn’t matter if they’re out late playing on the street.  There are a couple girls, a boy, a ball.  They’re maybe Bengali.  A mother who stays quiet, standing guard between the children and the street, right at the edge, is near to the tree.  She wears a sari, its bright colors muted by the night.  I take my dog by leash, and walk into the street, wanting to pass by them uninterrupting.  A sole car comes carelessly careening down this one way, lights bright for a quiet Friday night.  There is an opening between me and the boy, who now stands just a little past the perimeter established by the woman of authority and the sole tree.  He turns to me, wedging his way between the back of a car and a lifeless leaning motorcycle.  Facing me full on, he says in a voice taken straight from the throat of Squiggy on Laverne & Shirley, “H-e-l-l-l-o-w.”  I smile, grateful this starless night is interrupted.