The Gang on the Corner
I love to take walks after dinner. It is my time to unwind, think things through, and just enjoy my little town. A few weeks ago, I had the most unusual experience. One that ruffled my feathers so to speak.
As I was walking down a popular street in town, I noticed a group of peculiarly dressed members of a gang. Their black outfits reminded me of the “Sharks” in the musical, West Side Story. I didn’t know if I should cross the street or not. I just knew I had to check them out.
As I got closer, I noticed that they were dispensing with a few hanging behind. They watched me carefully as I passed by them. I could feel their eyes watching even though I walked a little faster. Although I was a little frightened, I kept my cool. Wow! I almost sound like a member of the “Jets” You know the other gang that rumbled with the “Sharks.” For some reason as I continued my walk, tunes from West Side story filled my head. Strange!
Even though I was shaken, I was also intrigued by their presence and decided to sneak back to see what those hoodlums were up to. As I got close to the same street that I was in such a hurry to get away from, thoughts of their haunting eyes, changed my mind and I headed home.
The next night, I was curious if the gang would be hanging out on the same corner, but before I started my nightly walk, I decided to create a station on my phone. I selected broadway show tunes hoping that maybe songs from West Side Story would play. I laughed at myself thinking what a coincidence it would be if the song, In America, would play as I walked by them.
As I walked slowly down the same street, I noticed that they were there again. Except, this time some were by the library, and some were near the trees across the street. It’s funny though, they almost blended into the trees, like they belonged.
They stared at me with beady eyes as I looked from one side of the street to the other. I was feeling uneasy when I looked down at my feet and said, ” Feet don’t fail me now!” I picked up the speed and made record time walking down Center Street, around Nazareth High School, up Mitchell, right on Chestnut with the steep hill, and took a breather at New Street. I should have headed home but curiosity got the best of me and decided to check to see if the gang was still there.
I crossed New Street and stood for a moment taking in the beauty of the Victorian Bed and Breakfast; my favorite B&B. As I turned to continue my walk, I heard a noise that was getting closer. There right above me, ( at this point I should tell you that I am not very tall) hovered one of the gang. I swallowed hard then took a deep breath and kept on walking. I was determined to make sure that everything.
Within a few minutes I was standing in front of the library, but the gang was gone. I looked up one side of the street and down the other. They were nowhere in sight. It was liked they all disappeared. Where had they all gone? Then, suddenly something caught my attention. It was one of them again! I backed up in fear as the huge gang member got closer. I covered my eyes. I felt the breeze hit me as he passed by. As I slowly opened my eyes, he too was gone.
Then I heard an unusual sound and looked up; there they were. All fifteen to twenty of them looking very comfortable sitting or should I say perching in the tallest evergreen tree I have ever seen. There they were high in the tree with their beady eyes staring down at me. However, I wasn’t as frightened as I was the first time I saw them. Deep down, I found the strength to stand tall. I even looked up and silently said, ” Good night” to the shadows weaving in the evening light.
I smiled and walked away knowing that all was well with the gang for at least that night. Our beautiful historical town was safe from those rabble-rousers. As for me, I will watch for the gang members every time I walk. You never know where they will show up. However, I know where they will be each night, perched high in their tree, waiting for the first light of day.
I feel that I know the members of the gang pretty well since my first encountered with them a few weeks ago. I kind of made peace with my fear and now look at the gang with an open heart or as much as I can for a gang of Black Head Vultures with beady eyes and sharp beaks.