Wonderful Day in the Neighborhood
    Elizabeth Glixman
The tall clear thin bedroom window, the tall thin clear not bullet-proof window will not protect you from what will appear. There is a man as big as a ten-foot building dressed in blue with a badge standing near the Dogwood tree in the backyard. In his hand he holds a gun. Already drowning in dreams of brick rubbery buildings filled with cocaine and kissing mommas watching their children die, I hear this tall man’s thunderous voice rising from his earth podium next to the bed where I sleep. His hollow voice snaps me awake. Awake at 3 a.m. Through the not bulletproof window, the moon is round and orange and cuts the sky with paper tears.

The tall man bellows “ ON THE GROUND, NOW” in 2 million point letters with his head growing as big as George Washington’s on Mt. Rushmore. His veins are shimmying in his thick neck. I see it all, watching through the window in my thin wispy nightgown shivering in ninety-degree heat.

Directives fall from his mountain mouth roaring and steady. They are all that is moving shoving their way in the black still moments where the sky bleeds from pain. I hold my breath. I band-aid it. Satan is here in the form of a cop. The stars twinkle in my bedroom popping off little fire alarms telling everyone all around the building to move away. Where there is smoke, you know there is more.

GO to the bathroom, my mind speaks. Go, hide in the tub. NOW. I beg you do it now. Any moment something will come flying through the window. Now. Go now. I cannot move. Then I see man-child.

Man-child laughs in a stupor. He does not give a shit. “Fuck you,” he says. He smiles “fuck you” in 33 million point letters. I crawl into the wallpaper of flowers and sunlight on the bedroom walls. The cat purrs.

ASSHOLE I AM NOT GETTING DOWN on no ground. No way Mr. WHITE ASS HOLE. Man-child puffs a joint, blows it towards the gun. Mr. Policeman's gun is pointed at man-child one finger wavering on the trigger back and forth ready to rip his flesh into shredded unrecognizable pieces.

Standing up, prancing about like he is a reindeer at Christmas, man-child says, “Look at my black ass.” Mr. Police Man does not blink. Reaching for his radio he calls back up. Then wetting his lips he follows the hip hop dancer moving in a perfect arc from left to right wiggling his black ass.

“Come get me, come get me lily white man,” man-child sings, drumming the cement steps.

The cop’s eyes point straight. His cheek twitches. From the wallpaper where I sit I hear man-child laughing, My cat pounces on a scurrying mouse.

I feel a hole in my head as large as the ocean, blood dripping in streams down my chin. In the bathroom there are no windows. I go to there looking at the tub wondering if bullets can whiz through white tiles.

Outside a woman cries, "OH MY GOD. Is that you Davis? Don’t kill my baby," she shouts from somewhere above. Is it heaven?

Sinking into the linoleum of happy squares, I shut the bathroom door tighter, seal it with tape.

Silence. Man-child is melting in drugged hallucinations. “Kill me. Go ahead. Kill me. I beg you. Bet you don’t have the courage.” The immovable cop’s cheeks do the rumba. Man-child squirms on the ground wounded from years of emotions. I see this all in my mind as I sit on the cool tiles.

“Kill me. GO ahead. Kill me KILL ME COP you motherfucker,” he whispers now crying, “ I don’t want to live no more not like this. Kill me.” He says this prayerfully.

“Davis, you get up off your ass, stop moaning get up,” momma hollers.

I know the bullet will pierce his soft skin.

”Kill me. Kill me,” man-child wails in unison to his momma upstairs screaming, “Get off your ass Davis.”

Davis gets up, stands tall, moves closer to Mr. Policeman. A finger moves on the trigger. I see it all in my mind from my white cool tiles. Davis has a knife. He blows a smoke ring. A smile flies into the air. Then silence. Then the back up men arrive to see blood on the stairs.

Elizabeth Glixman has a BFA and MEd and worked with children in arts and education programs for many years. Presently she writes short stories, essays, poetry, and articles on health from her home in Massachusetts. Her recent work can be seen in the upcoming print issues of Snow Monkey, Skyline Magazine, and online at Blue Collar Press.


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