Episode 7: Number 3 on the Block


Number Three On The Block

Remember the old men on the corner?  How they'd chide us back then, silly walk this, sloppy clothes that.  Pick up your feet when you walk, boy.   Gimme a quarter, I give you some wisdom.  Those were our days, brother.  When the children could play free and the old men were respected.  Homelessness wasn't much more than a concept, then.  The neighborhood took care of its own.  We were strong and we took it for granted.  Because that's what strength is - being in control and not realizing the boundaries of that control.  We flexed muscle every time we posted bail, paid an aunt's bill or dropped coins in a can.  We did it without thinking about it.


But these new dogs, man.  All they do is bite.  Where'd these monsters come from?  You remember scrambling back then, hitting spots, getting lit, and jumping afresh on a brand new morning?  Rolling with the tide?  It didn't matter which holiday it was or who was back in town; bones got thrown, beers got popped, tunes got spun.  Living was for the survivors, son.  And we all thrived.


Now the kids get chomped and the old men get pinched.  Three players got folded last week, smoked like it was nothing.  Yeah, I hear some folks say they had it coming, but damn.  What happened to the conversation?  What happened to communication?  Some say this, but others say that.  Remember when we all knew exactly what the game was?  Now there's confusion.  When they took this boy - and I say boy because he was never a man, never had the chance - folks got ill and took to the streets.  Which is alright, I guess.  But the response feels foul to me.  Because these dogs been setting up shop for years.  It's odd, for sure, because I remember the days before them, when the landscape was popping with people and colors and the skyline was wide with sunlight and movement.  But I can't recall the feeling of comfort.  I'm displaced from that ease, man.  I know we jumped from spot to spot, hopped from joint to joint without strain or stress, but I forget what that confidence of freedom felt like.  It's an old man's failure of memory, huh?  But I ain't that old.


These dogs, though.  You seen the new ones?  Strapped with padded armor and faceless masks.  One day, they were few.  Awkward, sure.  Full of spastic indecision.  But recognizable as men.  Then, sometime in the night while we slept, dropped in the new visitors.  These monsters are from another planet, right?  I imagine that the atmosphere on their world is harsh, like, more methane than oxygen.  The gravity's probably heavier, too.  There's got to be something going on with their food, as it seems to me that they're all carnivores, man.  Meat-eating maneaters born, like tribal cannibals who got dropped here on our world because back home they were forced to eat one another.  Yeah.  That's the the only thing that makes sense to me.  These dogs are displaced cannibal men from another world, out of time.