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The Dime
The lights in Uptown were out, as the heat began to sink back into the sidewalks, and the hum was the comings of the first mosquitoes of the summer. I helped an old woman cross the street. She told me she remembered when there was nothing here, when the power browned from Uptown would have been a candle snuffed, not a beacon exstiguished. We parted ways, and I crossed another street. A boy with a bike and cornrows told me he like the green in my hair. (Faded blue over bleach yellow) I smiled. He asked if I smoked weed. I told him no. He said it was good stuff as he biked off to the next crowded corner. I wasn't sure if he meant marijuana o mi pelo.

The restaurants seemed crowded to me, but that was for so many reasons. I'm not yet used to 9 pm sunlight, nor suburbanites invading my neighborhood on a mere Monday. The shadow in every storefront, waiting in each booth, sitting at each table, it made them all huddle outdoors, sucking in the last of the heat they could and slapping away the mosquitoes.

As the lights came back, I met a sphere-player, so intent on having me learn his game. I'm too polite to dance away, too shy to just say no. But also too shy to try. I try to humor him in the only way I know; intent listening, engagin in conversation, commiting to nothing. I feel false and vaguely upset with myself. He plays with the sphere extremely well, and if it were anything else but what it was, I might have committed to more than I tell myself is good. I have to peel away from him without hurting. The lights are back on in Uptown, but the fire engines are still prowling alongside the mosquitoes. I am not graceful in this weather. Joe the sphere player likes my shirt (The Stage Remembers). I slap away another mosquito and call my boyfriend to let him know the lights are back on.