(read parts I Backstory and II The Crime by clicking on the links)
I ran back towards my building, narrowly avoiding the glass and garbage again, trying to formulate a plan. I felt sick, violated, lost, and underneath all that, rage began to bloom red. First of all, I needed clothes, a silly idiot in his underwear running up and down the streets of West Philadelphia, while not an unheard of occurrence in the City of Brotherly Love, was still sure to draw the wrong kinds of attention. I rummaged on the floor of my room and, to quote Johnny Cash, found my cleanest dirty shirt, not bothering with socks or a belt, such was my haste. I stumbled down the well worn steps and out onto the sidewalk, half expecting to see my motorcycle right where I left it, thus ending the nightmare before it had a chance to really gain steam. No such luck.
In a semi-crazed state my search for The Skunk began. I found the broken padlock that once immobilized the brake rotor, then remembering the steering lock, felt a glimmer of hope, the machine could not have been ridden or pushed very far because it could not be steered. Five blocks to the north, nothing. Five blocks to the south, nothing. Checking alleyways and empty lots, in between the parked cars, some abandoned, burnt out, stripped rusty hulks. Block by block my hope dwindled, and a new fear arose from the cracks in the pavement.
Two unsavory characters had born witness to my frantic scramblings throughout the neighborhood, my pants sagging due to lack of a belt and they decided to confront me with all the ghetto bluster they could manage.
"White boys can't be up in here sellin' dat shit, ain't your hood boy. You gonna has a problem."
I must have stood there too long staring, trying to comprehend what the fuck he was saying, because he repeated himself, "You deaf, white boy? I says you can't be sellin' yo shit, you don't belong. You gonna get fucked up. My friend gone cut you". The friend stood there grinning at me with the whitest teeth and emptiest eyes. I silently prepared myself for death, wondering where it had all gone wrong....
The first one continued, "Shit man, this motherfucker ain't sellin', look at him he's just some crazy white boy got lost. His shoes all tore up, not worth takin'. You find your way home now white boy, go on back to your college for you get hurt."
I hiked my pants up, hung my head and walked away without saying a word, back towards the apartment. It was going to be a long day.
(part IV tomorrow)
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