He wasn’t fooling me. I saw him quickly look up from his old fashioned reading devise, and then look back down again. Everyone knows that we Africans—and those few remaining African Americans who are still blessed to have this unique gene—can see out of the sides of our heads.
I knew he was following me everywhere, watching my every move. This was no pot-induced paranoid. This was real.
I looked around to see who I could possible turn to for help as by now I was growing tired of the constant surveillance. But then, just who was watching me? Could it be the FBI? The Anti-New World Order? The New World Order? New World People? Plutocrats? My “colleagues” at transglobal.com? Count Eric? Lovely, sexual Gladys? Wise woman, Liz Gant?
Or, all of the above?
I quickly spotted two National Guardsmen coming toward me. One was carrying an automatic assault rifle, the other, the taller one, was holding on loosely to a big, sleepy looking German Police dog, who looked glad that they were walking slowly, and seemed to be thinking that perhaps they might stop soon so it could take a nap.
I acted quickly, on unthinking impulse. I ran up to them in sheer panic.
“Please help me,” I started pleading to the two soldiers.
The one with the assault rifle, a female, white, middle-aged Staff Sergeant, motioned for me to step back. I could see why. The Police dog had suddenly come to full life, and was barking loudly at me, bearing ugly, dangerous looking big, sharp teeth.
When I first spotted them, the police dog seemed bored out of it head. But no longer.
The handsome, well-built young Hispanic PFC, despite his obvious grandeur as a human specimen, could barely hold it back.
The Staff Sergeant had clearly become unnerved, and was also clearly pissed off.
“What’s your problem, sir? Don’t you know you should never approach a police dog like that? That was some bone-ass, crazy ass bullshit you just did. She could have bitten your fool ass balls off.”
“That man over there is following me,” I said to the Staff Sergeant, not fully understanding solder speak, or anything else she had just said. I could feel the panic, and hear the fear in my voice
“What man? What are you talking about, sir?”
I turned and started to point, but as I looked at the spot where the man with the reading devise once was, there was no one there.
“He was right there, I tell you!”
The two soldiers looked at each other, and the Staff Sergeant made a circular motion around her head to the young PFC, the vicious looking dog, finally coming under some control
I understood immediately that universal signal: I was a madman, not to be trusted, or believed.
“We have serious work to do, sir, why don’t you go seek some help.”
With that they walked away. I watched as they walked to the end of the train platform and up the stairs, the lazy police dog reverting back to her usual pleasant self.
For this time of day the platform was strangely empty, except for a handful of people. I guess because of all the bombings everyone was afraid to take the subway anymore. The most interesting observation I had seen lately because of all of this, was the sheer number of bicycles now in use. Tens of Thousands of them. They were everywhere.
But there was no way I could bike across the river to my well-paying job. I could take a river ferry, but even one of those was blown out of the water just months ago, killing many, and wounding countless others.
Not to mention the cost of a round trip ticket!
I had to go underground, whether I liked it or not. That is the main reason I was spending so much time at Gladys’ pad. She lived on the right side of The River.
Wait a minute? There’s that guy again, pretending to be reading when in fact, he is watching me.
This time I decided to take direct action. I ran as fast as I could over to him and snatched the devise from his hands.
“Hey, what the fuck do you think you are you doing, man? Give me back my devise.”
He was an African American, no less, with the same kind of snotty voice I expected from one.
“Why are you following me? I demand an answer, now! Why are you following me?”
I felt my normal, controlled, sometimes magical bass, which Gladys, and Liz Gant loves so much, rising and rising to an almost uncontrollable, shill, fever pitch.
“You crazy ass man, I hate taking this train. I keep meeting so many of you down here these days. I wish you folks would just go back to where you came from. This is The City. No one’s following you. Give me back my goddamn devise, before I throw your crazy black ass in front of the next train.”
He reached over and tried to take the devise from my hands, as I keep yelling, “Why are you following me! Why are you following me!”
Out of the corner of my eye I saw the two guardsmen running toward us. I gave the devise a big jerk and the man let go of it.
The momentum of my efforts caused me to lose my balance, and I started falling backward, completely out of control of my very functions.
I heard someone yell, alarmed: “He’s going to fall on the tracks!”
I also heard the approaching train, but there was nothing I could do to stop myself.
The African American man who had been following me gave me a wry little farewell smile.
I must have died and gone to heaven because I soon heard Gladys’ gentle voice embracing me; and felt her shaking me, causing me to awake.
“You were kicking me and the cats all around the bed. Whatever it was you were dreaming about, it clearly scared you to death. Maybe we should have had sex instead of watching a horror movie,” she said, as I was grateful to wake up from such a vivid nightmare.