That red flashed molten through the window, and as the grinding broke to silence, it seemed to ignite my slicked-back Brylcreamed hair... My beardless face looked vacant to a casual observer, but I saw everything from the 360 degree parameter of my mirrored Ran-Bans... It was a method taught to me by boys who looked, acted, and dressed just like me... It was but a few of the elements that separated us from the frats and pits, who we considered weak-natured, dependent, with a victim mentality. We were no victims, in fact we though ourselves to be the very top of the food chain. I carried a roll of silver dimes in my left pocket for a killer right hook, an ejectable slot "mace" pin in the other, just in case, and with a switch-blade in my right boot sock, it seemed the icing.
They were a kind of comfort, a validation of my true station, I suppose... but tools to survive in a jungle. None that I knew, like me, thought to carry a gun, unlike the cesspool New Orleans has become today, where life is cheap. We needed only the first punch... A Hood only needed one. When we squared off, there was always blood, but both survived to try again... most always.