Farlo, Tina, and Joey are walking down 3rd Avenue. It’s 3:30 a.m. Joey’s still dressed in his hospital gown. Joey glances at Farlo, “Where’s your cane? Where’s your limp? This whole thing is fake, isn’t it?”
Farlo kept walking. Tina kept walking next to Farlo. Joey stood still. “Hey, I’m talking to you, Farlo or whatever your name is. I’m not going anywhere until you answer my questions.” Joey folded his arms and stood in the middle of the sidewalk. His mind set. His eyes staring at the back of the receding Farlo.
Farlo kept walking. Tina kept walking next to Farlo. Joey kept staring. A gust of wind rising from the river caught Joey’s hospital gown and billowed out. At that moment, the El Huevos drove by and pulled alongside Joey. The passenger side window rolled down, “Hey man, you belong over on 8th ave.”
“The rear, passenger side window rolled down, “Nah, you don’t belong on 8th ave. You escape from the nut house? I bet there’s a reward for you.”
The passenger in the front seat said, “No reward, let’s turn him over to Sanchez, he’ll turn him into a mule and we get a cut of the drugs he brings across the border.” Laughter from inside the car.
Joey’s heart rate now at 120 and rising. Joey looked at the two gang members on the passenger side, and said, “I don’t speak Spanish.”
A voice from inside the car, “We’re not serious, man. We don’t speak Spanish either. We just use Spanish names because of the innate bias fools like you have against people of color.”
“You’re, you’re not the El Huevos? Stammered Joey.
“El Huevos? What fool gang would use a name means the eggs? What would make you think that? Another bias. No wonder Farlo abandoned you. We told him he’s wasting his time with you,” the voice from inside the car.
“You, you have a sign on the side of your car, it says, El Huevo’s Rule. You, you know Farlo?”
Another voice from inside the car, “Farlo’s the man.”
A bellowing command, sounding like the voice of thunder filled 3rd Ave. Get your sorry butt down here, double time or I’m going to hit you so hard on the top of your head you’ll be licking your toenails.” A loud bark followed the command.
From the passenger side window. “You are in big trouble, man. We got to split. We have midterms at the university today. By the way, what you’re wearing is not a good look.”
Joey took off down 3rd Ave at a full sprint. His hospital gown flowing making him look like a giant stingray on land. When he reached the corner of 3rd and Fagen, he saw Farlo halfway down Fagen, standing in front of a coffee and bagel food truck near the subway entrance, Tina sitting beside him. Farlo was eating a bagel he held in his right hand, in his left hand, he held a steaming cup of coffee. Tina was drinking from a bowl of milk. She already scoffed five pieces of bacon.
Joey reached Farlo. Joey was out of breath, panting, sweat rolling down his face, “I’ll give you a pass this time on my questions. Where’s my bagel and coffee?”
“You missed breakfast, kid.” He turned to the cute twenty-five-year-old, red headed woman in the bagel and coffee food truck, “Can’t make it tonight, Nicole. I’m babysitting if you know what I mean?” Farlo nodding toward Joey.
“Know what you mean, Farlo. Maybe Saturday?” Nicole winked. Tina barked.
“You know her?” asked Joey incredulously.
“We’re off and on. Filo introduced us. I got somebody else now.”
“Huh? Who’s Filo? Who is the somebody else?”
Where’s Harry J? Who’s Filo?