The night ended with Zeke and I taking the train back to his house in Canarsie. We were on the elevated platform at Broadway Junction. The symptoms of the alcohol poisoning I had subjected myself to were still gripping my guts like a clenched fist around a chicken’s neck. As we waited for the L train I began to vomit. An elderly black woman came up to me; probably to see if I was dying. “Honey, you okay?” the church lady asked. I began to feel ashamed as if I was drunk in front of my own grandmother. It was 1993, I was 13 years old and I tried my best to be a man. I looked at her and with all my will power, attempted to pull myself together . Our eyes met and and with a crooked smile I gave my answer.
We all had a good laugh on that train platform.
My stomach was feeling better by the time we walked down East 98th street and onto Zeke’s parents’ front porch. I slept into the early afternoon of the next day. Zeke’s mother cooked us steak and eggs. Her mysterious accent sounded like it could be a mixture of French, Norweigian and Moldavian. I never did find out what country she was from; maybe all of them? She was kind and made me a strong cup of European-style coffee for my bus journey back to Marine Park. I decide to go on foot for a while instead of getting right on the bus. It was a warm, dry and sunny April day. I enjoyed looking at the front porches as I began the walk to Ralph Avenue.