Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The last of the scaffolding, the long black veil that has draped the Shitty High School façade since I have been there, came down over Spring Break. There is still an excess of cyclone fencing, random piles of dirt and rubble, and big swaths of muddy ground, but the building now breathes free. Faded tags spray-painted on the paint peeling walls squint and blink under the first sunlight they’ve seen in years. The ginkgos flower and stink. The dogwoods (There are dogwoods! Who knew?) are exquisite. We are done with mourning though death is yet two years away. Now that the death sentence is official, things have calmed down. The alarms no longer bleat incessantly. The police are fewer and spend much more time outside smoking cigarettes, munching on Subway, and flirting with the female security guards than they do harassing hat-wearing hooligans or rattling and stomping after pink-clad gangsters through the labyrinthine basement corridors. Fights flared up the week after the machete murder, but no-one else got stabbed, no-one got arrested. We’ve left the ICU. This is hospice care.

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