Updated: Oct 17
Brooklyn Zoo Especial
A symphony of traffic jams, frustration, opportunity, and indulgence lullaby and inflame. Thick, ominous clouds hang low south of Park Slope, threatening but never make a move. Crisp, arid air lightly frosts vehicle windows. Trees stripped of their glory cast eerie shadows along gray slabs. Twisted limbs branched out into gnarled knuckles reach across the 76th Precinct's entrance. A pizza delivery guy holding five pies waits patiently at the station's doorstep. He taps his foot while letting out a sigh, watching the night turn his warm breath. Bored, pizza guy plays with the buttons of his red and white windbreaker illuminated by a full moon.
Several officers congregate around boxes of donuts, jawing and laughing. Others sip coffee. A slender man exits the locker room, combing back freshly gelled hair. He fastens closed sterling silver cufflinks. "Fellas, where's the pizza?" Lowering pastries and cups of Joe from their gullets, the menagerie of blue, gray, and other dark hues turn. "Ayo Marino!" Two officers push through the station's double doors tailed by a bearded vagabond, wearing a trucker's hat. A frayed t-shirt hangs off him - jeans held up by twine. Noticing the vagrant, Marino's smile disappears; a now scowl pointed in the direction of his brother-in-arms and trailing stranger. Pressing forward, the nomad cups his hands.
"You have to listen to me. I'm not safe!"
Looking the derelict up and down as he chomps on a wad of bubblegum, the leading officer forms a large bubble, popping it in the face of the scruffy civilian.
"It's Officer Brauten."
Brauten's partner walks off with an eyeroll.
"Whatya mean, you're not safe? You look fine to me!"
"You gotta lock me up!"
Bursting through the same double doors, another two police officers appear, escorting a livewire sporting a busted lip and black eye. "I didn't do nuffin' officers! Bois wanna jump me in a Crown Fried, and I'm to blame when I respond... how ya figure?!" "Let's go Mr. Harris" both officers shout, shoving him, sending the brawler head first to the floor. Wham! Cocking back his dome from a semi seated position, Mr. Harris side-eyes the duo. Droplets of blood trickle from a nostril. He exclaims, "Really...really?!" The vagabond's nose percolates, twitching wildly. His eyes like scrambled eggs. Wiping his face on his shirt, Mr. Harris gawks around the police station. "Ya saw what they just did, right officers?" He struggles to get up, wrenching his shoulder. He winces. "Ya cops is dumb crooked!" The arresting officers laugh, lifting Mr. Harris by the arms and hauling him to the back. A surly voice cries out from a corner office. "McCloud and Kelly, cool your heels - I saw that!" McCloud and Kelly stiffen, "Yes Captain Grubbs!" "Yes, the gout in my mother-in-law's big toes! This precinct doesn't need any more negative press... do it again and I'll have you patrolling Hoyt Street on foot!" Deflated like an old circus clown past their prime, McCloud and Kelly gingerly transport Mr. Harris to the bullpen.
Attentive to the wanderer's rambling, Marino keeps focus on him, inching forward yet keeping a healthy distance. His hand near his pistol.
"Listen, listen, you have to listen to me! It's a full moon - I'm a werewolf; put me in a cell! You gotta lock me up!"
"Oh yeah? Well, I'm the silver bullet!" The entire precinct breaks into raucous laughter.
"Look here... Halloween's months away. You can be whoever or whatever you want to be but not right now, and not here! This is a police precinct for actual criminals and bad guys, not the loony bin!" Officer Brauten gestures to his partner for assistance. Another officer comes over. "Sir, we're gonna make sure you're taken care of but first you have to come with us." They seize the drifter. He resists but is manhandled by the three who roughly escort him to the exit. "No, no, no - you have to lock me up, you hear! An impatient pizza guy pushes open the double doors into the precinct. "Look, my uncle's a cop over at the 84th, and they never make me wait..." Fleeing from the night, moonlight squeezes between the closing doors, thrashed about by its swinging until settling on the brim of the stranger's hat. A clinched jaw precedes guttural growls. "Okay ya crazy, that's it!" Officer Brauten grabs the unkempt man by the collar, attempting to move him but is flung into a glass panel, shattering it. Brauten's partner and the other officer descend upon the man but are thrown around like rag dolls, crashing into a desk and chairs. Additional cops join in but are also tossed to and fro. A lone officer lunges at the newly-turned perp but is stiff-armed. Grabbing the officer's gun, he shoots into the air "Lock me up!" Marino, pistol out and pointed at the assailant, fires three shots, killing him.