Someone yells "he's there" and you start the chase. On dark wet pavement through the thickest July-night air you run down the block, through the alley, climb the rusty, shaky fire escape, there he is, just above, maybe two floors. Of course he's in sweats and Nikes and you're wearing a fifteen pound gunbelt and a bulletproof vest that's choking your chest, and the black Adidas you're wearing are good, sure, but no match really. You're gasping for breath and shouting into the radio asking for help even though you're not even sure what the address is and he gets to the roof and when you get to the roof he's gone. He might be running down the stairs inside but you don't see him or he may have jumped to that roof and be on those stairs but your partner hasn't even caught up with you yet so you can't search two stairwells. Most likely he's vanished into any of the apartments in the five floors below and he's hiding under a bed or he went out and down a different fire escape or the same one even or he's catching his own breath on a couch watching Channel 11 with a quart of Miller High Life.
"We're on the block," you hear the radio say, "Where are you? What are you looking for?" "Male, Black," you answer, sweat pouring down inside the vest, your breathing coming in deep gulps, "Maybe six-one, maybe two hundred, black sweats, black hoodie, white Nikes, Jordans I think." "What'd he do?" the radio asks. And you realize you have no fucking idea.
copyright 2004-2006 by Ira Socol