“The louder the people, the lower the intelligence.” Frank said it flatly. “If you look around the ghetto, what do you hear?”
We stopped and took in the scene around us. Sirens howling in the distance, rap music blaring out of car windows, children screaming in the park across the street. The sound of the Mister Softee jingle was playing somewhere a few blocks away. There were several young men standing outside the bodega on the corner. There were all talking loudly at once.
“You see what I mean?” Frank nodded in the direction of the bodega.
“They can’t even hear each other and yet their spouting off their inane opinions on absolutely everything and nothing at the same time.”
I shifted uncomfortably.
“Frank, you can’t just make a blanket generalization like that.”
“Why not? Especially when it’s true? I am not saying that everyone in the ghetto is unintelligent. What I’m saying is that the ones who are jabbering away all the time, that’s like a marker.”
“Whatever.” I said biting my tongue.
“C’mon. Let’s take a ride.”
We got into the cruiser. The radio squawked about some robbery uptown, but it was too far from us. We pulled out, Frank at the wheel. He loved to pontificate and drive and I resigned myself to another of my senior partner’s unofficial sermons.
“Listen Wayne. I know you’re one of those feel-good liberals who think that everyone is innocent until proven guilty and that the world is a safe place and that everyone is basically good. Am I right?”
He turned to look at me. I kept staring straight ahead and said nothing.
“Well let me tell you, you better wake up and wake up fast. I’ve been on these streets 19 years and it ain’t what you think it is. The world is evil, or rather, there is evil in the world. And everyone is not innocent until proven guilty. We, my partner, are the eyes and ears of the good people and we KNOW who they are, where they are, what they are doing and usually how they’re doing it. The why varies. But it all boils down to this. They’re weak. You here me Wayne? Weak. They’re weak and afraid and out of that fear, they avoid facing the big questions in their lives.”
excerpt from a short story by Andrew Ingkavet
©2014 Andrew Ingkavet.