The rays rise over in the morning, burn during the day, and mist over in the night. It feels less like fun and relaxation and more like the aftermath of rain on your skin by nightfall. Summer has come. The people make due with whatever shade they can. Some people stay in doors with two or three fans on full blast while they wave cheap fans from the dollar store down on Washington. Most people don’t have jobs because they either couldn’t find anything or gave up a few weeks ago. By noon the stoops are crowded with small groups of women, children, and sometimes men, waiting for something to happen. Some of the men drink in front of their children. It’s only noon.
There is a certain laughter and the speed of the Spanish language is prevalent here. These are Dominicans but even Black people speak the tongue as well. A mail man in purple and blue crosses by my residence to drop off a package next door. He rings, and waits, but shortly leaves after a few attempts. Looking back he glances at the men gathered at the stoop. Laughing and drinking tall boys in brown paper bags. One of them gets up and starts dancing to the sound of his own voice. No one is playing music but his friends laugh at him. Across the street a small boy with his mother stops to look at the men before his mother pulls him back to her.
“Come on boy!” She said.
The mail man looks at me and smirks.
“That’s how you know it’s summer. Everyone’s acting all crazy.”
The man board his white mini-van with the package in hand and leaves.