{my new neighborhood}
        I wanted out of this parking space – out of this confrontation. I blindly threw the truck into reverse and turned my head to look into the useless side mirrors and that's when I saw him.

        This man – this black man from the projects across the street – was standing next to my open window.

          "Watch your back."

        I wanted out. Fear flashed across my face. I knew he could see it.

        "Hey," he said.

        I started to back up. I wanted out.

        "Hey hey hey!" He said. I finally turned and looked him in the eye. He wore old clothes and had old eyes but he probably wasn't that much older than me.

        "There's a car behind you," he said.

        I glanced behind him and, sure enough, a car tore around us and skidded up the street. I felt my fear dissipate, slowly being replaced with embarrassment.

        I looked at him, still unable to speak, but my eyes said thank you.

        "Are you okay?" he asked.

        I took a deep breath, smiled, and said "I'm cool, I'm cool."

        The man nodded and turned to walk back to the projects, his home. I drove down the street, found a place to park, and headed back to mine. Our homes are still separated by Buchanan Street, but now they felt a little closer together.


        Where do you live?