On a cold, winter day, a 13 year old boy headed out for the bus stop. Since there were no school busses, he took the city bus to school. He was wearing the clothes his mama warned him would attract unwanted attention in this neighborhood. “You just asking for trouble,” she said as he walked out the door. But he wanted to impress.
His mama goes about her business like every other day. Making breakfast for the twins, washing the clothes, stepping outside for the occasional smoke.
Round about ten thirty the phone rings. It’s the guidance counselor at the boy’s school. Seems the boy never showed up for class. Maybe the bus was late. The city bus is always late. Why don’t the schools have busses like every other city? Mama wonders if the Megabus took a wrong turn and picked the boy up by mistake. He could be halfway to Chicago by now.
Mama calls the boy’s cell but gets no answer. Now the boy’s in trouble! Mama told him if he ever ignored her call she’d whoop his behind so hard he’d never sit down again. She thinks they invented caller ID just so boys could ignore their mamas.
Mama thinks about calling the bus company but she doesn’t have the phone number. But what about that lawyer lady with the big lips whose picture is on every single city bus? Mama knows her number 1-800-your-rights,. That lady must know the number of the bus company.
Just as Mama’s about to call the lawyer lady, the phone rings again. This time it’s the cops. “Do you know where your son is?” they ask mama. “Course I do,” mama says. “He’s on his way to school. The bus must be late. It’s always late.”
“We found your boy’s cell phone on some junkie,” the cop tells mama.
“Well that explains why he didn’t pick up when I called him,” says mama, ” And here I was about to whoop his ass. I bet my boy dropped it and that no-good junkie picked it up.”
“What was your son wearing?” the cop asks next.
“Don’t you have more important things to do than worry about what some 13 year old boy be wearing to school? ” Mama says. “Why you asking me that?”
“The junkie was wearing some unusual clothes when we picked him up and we wanted to make sure he didn’t steal them from someone.”
“My boy looked real nice when he left the house today. He had a black Tiger baseball cap with fur ear flaps. He was wearing a chocolate-colored Al Wissam D Zone hoodie that was a gift from his Daddy on his 13th birthday, just before he got incarcerated the last time. And his favorite shoes – bright red D Rose Adidas. Yessir, he was out to impress.”
“Ma’am,” the cop says, “I am afraid to tell you but the junkie was wearing those exact clothes.”
“How those clothes look on that blood-shot, needle-marked, snaggle-toothed, oily-haired mother fucker ? I bet he looks about as sharp as a butt-ugly, mother-fucking drug addict can look.” yells Mama. “What did he say about my son?”
“Sorry, Ma’am,” says the cop, “He’s not talking.”
“Course he ain’t,” Says Mama, ” He’s too damn embarrassed. Bet he feels like a charity case. My boy probably gave him all that stuff because he felt sorry for the son-of-a-bitch. It’s just like my boy – always out to impress.”