Hate's In Season, and It's a Bumper Crop
The summer of 1989 was a season of hate in New York like I had never seen before. In August of that year, Yusef Hawkins, a 16-year-old black kid was walking with two friends, also black, through Bensonhurst, a white, predominantly Italian neighborhood, when they where attacked by a band of white males, not much older than themselves, and Yusef Hawkins was shot dead.
The image that sticks with me, in a city that averages eight murders a day, is the mortally wounded Hawkins, bleeding on a Brooklyn street and clutching a candy bar.
Originally printed in Pulphouse Magazine, June 1992.
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Skydiving is not just a sport, it's a lifestyle (not to be confused with bungee jumping which is just a sport).
I call it Spermboy Falls to Earth. It is the ten-minute videotape of my Arizona skydive. The "falls to earth" part should be obvious. "Spermboy," because we wore pointy leather helmets with padded ribs that made us look like a cartoonist's version of animated sperm. Think of Woody Allen's Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid To Ask).
I was with my family for Thanksgiving. My nephews live in Scottsdale, a Phoenix suburb, and we convened there for the holiday week. After six days of family togetherness, jumping out of a plane seemed like a good idea. If everything went wrong I might plummet, screaming, to my death. Worse things have happened. To me.
Originally published February 8, 1999.
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