A 'Brooklyn Zoo' Sketch Story
Welcome to The Zoo
A group of teenage girls pour out of the Utica A train station, faces greased with Vaseline, hair tied up. One girl lags behind, nearly tripping as she struggles to take out her earrings.
"Yo, yo... wait up!"
Another girl replies, "Hurry up Shaquana, I see 'em!"
The pack makes their way through Fulton Park, stepping onto Lewis Avenue. Head on a swivel, Shaquana looks around then up Lewis Avenue, spotting large group of teenagers. She bends down, tightin' up her Timbs - her homegirls quickly surround her. Letting out a war cry, the large group rushes toward Shaquana and her crew. They attack. Fists and weaves fly as the rival cliques scrap along Lewis Avenue. Onlookers pull out their phones to record the brawl while others make comments. "Dem girls need to stop all that fightin'." Shrieks and screams swell the audience, drawing more attention. Flashes of laced up Timbs flail, kick and stomp. A resident calls 911. A group of men posted up nearby sprint over to the fight. One man pulls away from the rest, "Aye, aye, aye... nah, stop all that! Take that sh*%t elsewhere!" A brolic teenager emerges from the brawl, cracking the man above the eyebrow with a wave brush. The two square up in the middle of the street. Friends of the teenager join the fight, jumping the man. Worming his way out from under the melee, the man gets his bearings. Winding his body like a cobra, he springs forward, landing a devastating right hook, knocking out one of his assailants. The crowd reacts. Reinforcements of teenagers circle the man, readied to pounce. Before the attack is launched, the man's homies arrive, standing between their boy and the adolescents. "That's a grown-man ya fightin' - fall back now!" Sirens and screeches of rubber torn up by asphalt paralyze the fighters like a deer in headlights. They stampede in all directions.
Thirsty after three games of handball, Jayson sprints to a corner bodega. Whizzing through the isles of the packed store of people playing lotto and buying beer, Jayson stops at a refrigerated encasement of sports drinks where Bodega Cat boldly approaches him, nestling up to one leg. "What's up mah G... how you livin'?" Jayson whispers as he grabs a Cool Blue Gatorade. Walking to the front with Bodega Cat tailing him, Jayson snatches up a bag of 'Spicy Nacho' Doritos before approaching the counter. A woman in slides, a tank-top and sweats cuts in front of him to buy two loosies. "Sorry baby, my man outside waitin' for me - you young, you could wait." Another woman jumps the line, holding a cup of ice. "Gimme two packs of Backwoods." Frustrated but his turn, Jayson pays for his Gatorade, Doritos and dips.
Golden hour ushers in a time of beauty and solace, beckoning the mind to recalibrate. Warm light bathes any and all things, like a child after a long day of play. Shift workers shuffle sore feet along unforgiven concrete to their respective homes, happy to be "off-the-clock".
Vibrant hues of sunset cling to the skin and clothing of girls jumping Double-Dutch on the sidewalk. Next door neighbors grill inside their front yard, listening to Maze and Frankie Beverly. Stoop conversations satisfy the soul and foster relationship. Old timer, Winston greets them all. A rolled-up newspaper beneath his armpit, and a concealed beer in hand tell his age. Alternating between a shuffle and a stroll, Winston makes his way to local watering-hole, 'Betty's Lounge'.
Sackcloth and Something Else
A brilliant sunset bids its routine farewell behind the man-made horizon of rising skyscrapers. Shadows creep and crawl, emerging from every nook and crevasse, taking ghastly forms across the ground. Twilight quickly steps in the place of daylight before yielding to dusk. The last of day dusts the limbs and apparel of people eager to get home after being stuck on public transportation. A large woman in an over-sized sackcloth tunic, wearing white nursing shoes exits a botanica carrying two black shopping bags. Stone-faced, she drags along like molasses, passing people in full stride. Light from a new moon casts eerie silhouettes upon her face, exposing dead eyes. Dogs out for their evening walk whimper and scurry behind their owners at the sight of the rotund pedestrian. Oblivious, the owners rebuke their dogs before apologizing. She offers a gnarled grin before dragging along. Turning a corner, the woman arrives at a dilapidated brownstone; respiting on a rickety chair stationed out front. Situated, she wipes the sweat from her brow with a heavily soiled handkerchief then reaches into a large pocket for a piece of candy. Fiddling with the confectionary's wrapper, the woman looks over the rim of her glasses to fraternal twins waiting at a nearby bus shelter. Simultaneously, the door to her residence creeks open, revealing an abyss. "Come in my loves... I have morsels for you... if you don't, I'll git ya and suck the marrow from your bones."