The Oxfords went for exhibition and fullness, the whole way, and took it straight to those break-dancing older slickhead clowns from Woodlawn. Yeah, they was popping and breaking, helicopter and all that, but that shit is for tourists. I copped our step from this old head who rocked coach’s shorts and a touring cap, and who gave up the flow downtown every summer.
Ten years ago I was living in the Old Dominion. I’d grown up in Baltimore and worked in Washington and was pivoting back down South, where my family had made its start long ago. In Richmond the experience of living off of a street with monuments that attempted to revive the Confederacy stirred a passion, a sense of history in me.
The funeral came off without a hitch, in spite of the snow. It was as dignified as we could have hoped for and no one from the altar mentioned what had happened. I parked my rental car on Argyle Avenue, feeling a bit more alert than usual. In Atlanta, just after Thanksgiving, two gunmen robbed me of my station wagon and wallet; two days before Christmas I didn’t want to invite fate’s wrath a second time. I was back home in Baltimore.