Nothins Gonna Stop The Flow
Nothin’s Gonna Stop the Flow
“Yo, do you like these?” I asked Damian. He was sitting on my bed, disinterestedly watching me model half my wardrobe in front of the mirror.
He shrugged, tendrils of smoke creeping from the corners of his mouth.
“I guess.” As he spoke, a huge plume of smoke leapt from his lips, filling the room with a sweet smell.
“Lemme get a hit of that,” I gestured towards the glass pipe. He handed it to me, and I quickly lost interest in finding the right pair of pants.
“You like this?” I asked him, nodding towards the stereo speakers. Jungle beats were pounding from them.
“Yeah. Did you mix this?”
“Nah. Chris made it for me.” I returned the colorful bowl to him. My hands, now empty, began to flow in sync with the music. Soon they were dancing in circles around me as my feet led the way. I watched myself in the mirror, satisfied with my body’s response to the music.
Damien watched approvingly, moving his head in response. “You gonna go to Burst tonight?”
“I’m waiting for Chris. He’s supposed to spin later, but if he doesn’t call me, I think I might just chill on the corner over by Nick’s.”
“Well, I’m gonna go pick up a 40 and head down to the park up on 218th in a little bit if you want to come along.”
“Nah. I’m gonna hang around for Chris for a while, but I might stop by later.”
“Alright, cool.” Damien stood up to leave. “Later,” he said offering me his hand.
“Later.” I joined hands with him and patted his on the back as he made his way to the door. I returned to the mirror almost immediately.
I continued to dance in front of it, completely stoned, for what seemed like only a few minutes. By the time the phone’s ring interrupted my movement, I was already starting to sweat.
“What’s up?” It was Chris.
“I’ll meet you on the avenue in twenty minutes, and we’ll jump on the bus.”
“And then take the 7?” I asked.
“Yeah. That’ll leave us right by Palladium.”
Chris and I hung up. I picked a brightly striped shirt off of the heap of clothes on the side of my room and flung it over my sticky shoulders. I pounded down the stairs, ran into the bathroom, and squirted a gob of gel into my hair. Blond spikes poked up in all directions. Perfect. I grabbed my wallet off of the television in the living room and sauntered into the kitchen while tucking it slyly into my back pocket.
“Dad?” He was sitting at the kitchen table, going over some papers from work.
“What?” He reacted sharply, as always.
“Can I borrow, like, twenty bucks?”
“Twenty dollars?” He questioned me as though I had asked for a thousand.
“Where are you going?”
“And when will you be home?”
“I don’t know. Whenever.”
“Hmm, I see.” He paused. “And why do you need twenty dollars to go to Chris’ house?”
“I owe him money.”
“For what?” The questions were killing me.
“Dad! Can I have the money or not?!” I threw my arms out at my sides. He got me so frustrated, I couldn’t help shouting.
“My wallet’s on the television.”
“Alright,” I sighed, relieved that our conversation was over. I walked back into the living room and located his wallet above the stereo.
Unfolding the worn leather, I counted the bills inside. Forty-six dollars. I plucked a twenty and two tens out of the creased material and tucked them into my pocket. He’d never notice. “Goodnight, ma!” I shouted upstairs. She was probably asleep anyway. She had a lot on her mind these days.
I walked outside and was greeted by the sounds of my neighborhood. Police sirens wailed nearby, I could hear the baby next door screaming, and the barking of dogs could be heard coming from every tiny, chain-linked yard on the block. I walked quickly down the street and ducked into the bodega on the corner. I picked up a 40 and walked up to