The Trip to the “Da Bronx”
Today this trekking notary was heading to the “Da Bronx. I would handle a structured settlement deal that paid a whopping $60. Leaving my home, I re-checked the directions. I realized the 20-minute subway ride also included a 20-minute walk from the subway. As a result, I was nervous, all to my dismay and shock. Wow, I screwed up this time!
My traveling began again as I boarded the Lex #6 local subway. I was the only male, not of color, wearing a Yankee baseball cap. Blending in as I was trekking to the “Da Bronx.”
Keeping to Myself
The brim of my hat was kept low, so no one could see my eyes as I was scoping out the entire train. Moms were feeding kids, the aroma of McDonald’s French greasy fries filling the rickety subway car. At the time, I was munching on a granola health bar with music blasting. Cultures crisscrossed on the #6 train in more ways than one. My phone kept me busy with my widening eyes taking everything in.
I knew the drill, keeping to myself and never making eye contact to stay safe and sound — all for $60, a long way from corporate America and fancy dinners. Once I got to my stop, I re-checked my directions; it was a straight walk. The streets were dark as the cold rain was bouncing around by the wind.
I kept my head down in my brisk walking while keeping my eyes shooting in every direction. With the few people on the street, all I heard was “la marijuana, “la cocaina,” and much I could not understand? All of a sudden, a young male jumped in my path yelling out, “el Vendedor”-seller/” comprador/buyer! I kept my head looking ahead, walking as fast as possible, which was more like a trot. Treeless streets passed with one tenement after another; I was in a ghetto that looked like a bombed-out area. The 20-minute walk passed quickly, yet it seemed it would never end.
Police Welcome-What Are You Doing Here
When I arrived at the address, two police officers opened two large metal-locked doors. I felt as if I was walking into a prison. With the doors opening, the men in blue began immediately asking, in heaven’s name, who am I and what I am doing here. One cop was White, and one was African American.