Thursday I went to Carona, Queens to deliver a singing heart to a girl from her boyfriend. For those of you that don’t know New York City, Carona is one of the rougher neighborhoods. Mostly Latino, it’s one of those hoods that used to be real bad. These days it’s gotten better, but it’s still not somewhere you want to end up if you are white.
When I got off the train I began walking to my destination. Most of the folks were seemingly family people in stark contrast with the drug dealers and gangsters I heard about. I had dated a guy who grew up in Carona for a hot minute years ago. He had been a rebound from a love that I thought was going to last. Unfortunately, when someone thinks telling the truth is optional that is usually a deal breaker in any relationship. But the guy from Carona was cool. It’s just that he had a kid and well, I wasn’t ready for that.
Walking up the street I got to my allotted destination. I buzzed the buzzer. Nada, zippo. Going around the corner I dawned my heart costume. Just then I heard a young voice, “Hey Miss, are you putting on a show or something?” I turned around and three young kids were standing there. On the short side, they seemed to be about the block. While they looked harmless this was still Carona. I told myself to proceed with caution. They looked harmless. On the otherhand, when one lets their guard down at times like this in a rough part of town that’s when one gets robbed and killed.
“Yes.” I said studying the three young boys.
“Oh, for who?” The one with the red striped shirt asked.
“Stephany. Do you know her?” I asked.
“Oh yeah, they live on the second floor.” The boy in the blue striped shirt said.
“Yeah. Are they home?” I asked.
“They are home.” The third young man replied. Unlike his two counterparts who were dark haired and more pale he was slightly darker skinned and had hair that looked like a little fuzz ball on his head.
“Who’s it from?” The boy in the red striped shirt demanded.
“Her boyfriend Danny. Do you know him?” I asked.
“Oh yeah, he’s good. We saw them kissing the other day.” The boy with the fuzzy hair replied.
“And they denied it.” The boy in the blue striped shirt added.
“How old are you guys?” I asked.
“Oh, we’re thirteen and he’s twelve.” The boy in the red stripes answered. I studied the three. They were very small looking, almost miniature. Then I remembered boys don’t really grow until they are fourteen or fifteen.
“Do you have a man?” The one in the blue stripes replied.
“No.” I said laughing. “And you are not twelve and thirteen. Try ten and eleven.” I said.
“No miss, we are that old.” The boy with the fuzzy hair told me.
“How do you guys know each other anyway?” I asked them.
“Oh, we’re brothers and he’s our friend.” The boy with the blue stripes said. It was as if each player in this drama had a turn to speak.
“Wait, you two are twins?” I asked astounded, looking at the three amigos standing in a straight line.
The boys with the red and blue stripes shook their heads. I asked if they were looking forward to school and the boy with the fuzzy hair said, “Of course. Cause when I go to school I get girls.”
My mouth dropped open. “You date?” I asked. The three shook their heads again. These kids had better love lives than I did. Lately my boast has been a guy in trouble with the law who from what I understand is getting sober followed by a washed up, would be comic/actor and reality tv star. Wow. These kids were something else.
“Why don’t you have a man? You seem nice enough.” The boy in the blue stripes informed me.
“You deserve someone nice to take you out, spend some money on you.” The one with the red stripes told me. I asked them if they knew anyone and they shook their heads no. I bit my lip trying hard not to laugh. I told them they could holler at me in about ten years. They chuckled. Then the three proceeded to dish the dirt on Danny and Stefany and apparently they had been caught kissing behind one of the cars, sort of making out, but they denied it. But overall, they gave Danny their stamp of approval.
Now it was time for business. The twins tried the buzzer but no one. The boy with the fuzzy hair tried the buzzer, no one. I called Danny who asked if I was at the right house. Assuring him that I had the correct address, the boy with the red stripes informed me, “Tell him you are with the twins.”
Danny, upon hearing this, chuckled. He told me he was calling Steffany and she would be down momentarily. The twins, ready for action, hid me around a corner while the boy with the fuzzy hair served as a look out. Just then Steffany ran down the stairs. The twins both told her that they had a surprise visitor with her. The boy who was serving as the look out then led me over. Steffany was more than amazed to see me.
I began to sing to her. Squealing like a young girl in love, Steffany was every inch smitten with her new man and understandably so. With my selection of love songs, her affection began to grow. However, her father, walked by with a look of contempt and suspicion. I think that is Dad nonverbal comminicae for, “You two are sixteen. This is moving too fast. If I am a grandfather in a year I will kill you both.” Then I handed her the message. Steffany’s eyes lit up again.
Why can’t I get a guy to do that for me I wonder?
Afterwards I began to talk to the twins and the boy with the fuzzy hair who asked me again why I didn’t have a man. The twin in the red striped shirt said, “It’s because guys are jerks and she probably has dated a few jerks.” Man these kids were good. They had been reading my blog methinks.
“We take good care of our girls.” The boy with the blue striped informed me.
“And we get a lot of girls. But we treat them well.” The fuzzy haired boy informed me.
I found myself dying with laughter. They had a point. Then as a group they informed me that they were always on the block. They also told me to get someone who treated me nice. It was an order and I was off. On my way back to the train I realized it had been some time since I had a date. There was the ex-fiance that beat me. The ex cons who stole things for me. The lawyer who lied to me. The almost boyfriend who got obsessive. The fugitive who stole my heart. And the washed up comedian and actor who tried to use me to revive his basically dead career. So my record isn’t so good. How did these kids know?
I guess I don’t believe deep down I deserve someone nice sometimes. But I do. I do deserve someone nice. Why couldn’t these kids be older? I told them in ten years to holler at me. Still, whatever girl gets them as a boyfriend should be so lucky, and if they are smart they will hold on to them.
Chivalry is not dead. It’s in a coma. My three little angels in Carona proved that.