I walked out of Sasha’s building feeling unusually peaceful in my mind. I wasn’t sure if it was a natural feeling or something else had taken place. More often than not, I would leave with million and one different things on my mind, simply due to the amount of mix up situations that I was presented with every time I visited. But not this time. It didn’t matter to me, really. Just earlier this year, that couch had been my bed. So I usually welcomed any and all confusion from her with open arms. I wanted to help her, at least as much as I could. As I stepped outside, I could hear the wheel squeal from the subway. Damn. Were they that bad? I proceeded to the overhead walkway that would lead me straight into the Victoria Park Subway Station. Swiping the September Metropass through the turnstile, I found myself waiting on the eastbound platform in no time. By now, the sky was dark. I glanced at the towering Teesdale buildings that overshadowed the train tracks. It hadn’t been six months since I was up in those buildings with Kelly and Jenny, going door to door getting the youth to come out and vote for the TCH Youth Elections. How had that fallen apart? How did I lose the one job I felt I actually mattered? How did I mess that up? Working with TCH made me feel like I was actually making a difference in those kids lives. Even the BBQ in Flemo. The skateboarding races I had set up. It all just felt so right. And now it was gone. My thoughts were quickly interrupted by the wheel squeal of the arriving subway. I walked on what had to have been the dirtiest smelling train car of all time. Determined to keep my sense of smell, I cracked open the front train car door as the subway continued along the exterior track. Looking straight ahead, the short screeches of the train wheels seemed to compliment the peaceful night time view perfectly. By now, I had swung the door fully open, keeping my left foot in its pathway to prevent it from closing. I wasn’t sure if the train driver could see what I was doing but I could care less whether he knew or not. I reached into my right pocket and took out my iPhone. 9:59pm. September 24th, 2010. Then it hit me.
“Ya eh..” I said to myself, in acknowledgement of today’s date. September 24th. It had been exactly five years since I became a Scarborough resident. Five fucking years. Time certainly flew by. Looking at the “Wunder” graffiti tag on the side of one of the Leyton block houses, I wondered to myself what the next five years of my life had in store for me. Would I still be out here on the eastside or living fat in my Beverly Hills crib because I had made it rich off rap like my nigga Nas? Would I still be rolling with the same crew? Would this blue flag still hang out my left backside pocket? Would me and Sasha still be the best of friends? I knew each of these questions would be answered only with time. Once more, my thoughts were interrupted but this time by the subway VoiceOver.
“The next station is Kennedy. Kennedy Station.”
I closed the front train car door because the frowsy smell had drifted off. I sat atop a seat and watched the outside view slowly disappear as the train submerged underground. I took out my wallet and counted my financial property. Fifty six dollars and some change. I thought about cabbing it from Kennedy to home but I remembered Asia was coming over later on and I needed to buy food. Take out at least. But I was tired.
“Fuck that, I’m cabbing it,” I said quietly to myself, “that girl don’t eat anything anyway.”
At least nothing on a plate. Now that’s the kind o thing that just had to make a nigga smile.
An excerpt from ASS: A Smart Story. Chapter 30: Back to the Books