We eyed each other for weeks before he made a move. Come over to my street he said. I'd been there before, against my parent's wishes, crossing the tracks and inhaling the differences to my stale, quiet neighbourhood. His rang with music and piquant smells that poured out of wide open doors. Kids were all over the place. Woman, parked on large covered front porches, laughed and yelled to each other across the street, and groups of two or three dark, wiry men sat on the curb, drinking something from mugs. The sensation of riding my bike through the buzz of his neighbourhood was always a thrill, but this time would be different: I was invited and would be part of them.
We had a connection, some unspoken thing that bound us in some invisible way. We knew it, and knew that no one else knew. I was excited about this new feeling, warm and mysterious. He was in the middle of the street when I arrived, biking back and forth, back and forth and refusing to look at me. Hi I said, intoxicated at being on this street with him. A bigger kid shot over, skidding his bike to a stop beside us. Who's this? I dunno said Frank, still not looking. We said nothing after that, me watching him run over what was left of a frog, that had picked the wrong moment to cross the street, until there was nothing but a wet spot on the pavement.