I bang on the door.
“Yeah, wait,” comes the voice.
I step back.
No windows, more a shed than an apartment.
I’ve read too many pistol-shot stories, but I’m still too close.
Two minutes pass in the hazy sun, wilted trees and lawn.
He finally looks around the door, white T-shirt over his belly, grey stubble on a lined face.
“No, the ‘white girl’, right?”
“No, not here.”
He slams the door.
I leave, and walk two blocks.
C is on a corner.
She’s on her cellphone.
“What happened at your place?”
“Oh, the guy kept wanting me to buy him beer. I left, have a new place.”
“Working the corners again?”
“Yeah, need to see the kids for the holidays. Two weeks in advance for a ticket gets it cheaper.”
“No problem going to the North at the checkpoint?”
“No, none. I’m a white girl. I go right on through.”
Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky, late November 2012