Back on Wednesday I was walking north on Ashland Avenue around noontime, if memory serves. As I was passing the laundromat by 48th Joey and a buddy of his came strolling my way from the opposite direction. "They should be in school," was my first thought. The buddy of his, who is already in high school, is someone the neighbors gossip about. They've seen him coming out of the window from the house across the street from his--sneaking out in the early morning before his girlfriend's mom finds out he was sleeping with her. He seems like he has potential but I didn't meet him early enough in my time here to make friends before he got too old to listen to somebody like me. I wish Joey didn't hang out with him, although I'll take him over the creepy way-older teenager up on the next block.
As they got within talking distance, I said, "Hi, you guys." I'm pretty sure I didn't quite keep "you're busted" out of my voice, though I was halfway trying not to do that. Joey's buddy looked sheepish; Joey didn't even seem to register it. That really worried me.
That night when I got home, I was unlocking the front door when Joey called out my name from his porch. He had heard from Picasso about the possible art project at Su Casa and wanted to know more. "Like, what do they want us to draw?"
"I don't know. Something that connects to the neighborhood and is positive. You could do graffiti style or something with cartoon characters, maybe." He nodded.
"Weren't you supposed to be in school today?" I asked.
"Yeah, but my friend was in trouble, so I was helping him."
I wasn't listening enough, so I didn't get more of the story. Honestly, it was cold and I was tired and I just wanted to go inside. "Are you going tomorrow?"
"Yeah," he said with more enthusiasm than I expected. "I have to do a rap on Friday so I have to get ready tomorrow."
"Oh, good," I said, and went in.
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