We had planned to meet under the bridge at midnight, but… I left before she arrived, as I decided that this was a bad neighborhood. Why would she pick this spot, as there was random garbage littered all around, sneakers hanging on the telephone wires, everything was covered with graffiti, and these gangs of juvenile delinquents were loitering in the shadows? Red flags lit up immediately, clearly signaled by the abandoned buildings and dilapidated ramshackle homes in this part of town. I figured that there must be a lot of break ins around here, as all the houses had bars on their doors and windows and they installed really high fences and the entrance gates were padlocked. I had never been in the ghetto before and I was surprised at how many cars I saw with broken windshields. I passed more than a few homeless people that asked me for money and this was scary especially when I saw these people shooting up drugs and I was propositioned by these prostitutes.
Rottweilers and Pitbulls were barking at each other and I was happy that they were behind fences. I made it past the tenement housing in the projects and all of these people were out on the street and I wondered if any of them actually had jobs, because most of them looked to be unemployable. It made me wonder how people could live in these skid row slums and I figured that not all of them are bad people, as good people fall on hard times also. I knew that there was no chance of me blending in and I just hoped that nobody would say, “Get Whitey”. As I approached the bridge, the street lights were all out and that made it extra dark.
We met online and she told me that she walks this way on her way home from her waitressing job, but she didn’t trust me enough yet, to tell me where she works. I knew her name was Maria and my heart jumped when I thought about her and I couldn’t get that song from West Side Story out of my head. I waited around for an hour, thinking that she may have had to work a bit late, but I was scarred of getting mugged and I hit the road. I will try and contact her on the internet, if I am able to make it back home in one piece.
Written for Fandango’s Story Starter #20.