My Eyes Don’t See the Truth by Matthew A. Hamilton

I reach the subway platform at 1:00am. I study the gang graffiti on the wall across from me, something I don’t see when the sun is up, when the platform is filled with clicking feet and impatient coffee drinkers.

Out of the corner of my eye I see a shadow slip behind a concrete pillar. I snap my head, watch, investigate. Nothing. I turn back to the graffiti and I as I do, the shadow appears again, this time in human form, dark complexion, wearing an Oakland Raider’s jacket.

He walks slowly in my direction. I look at the clock. The train will arrive in 5 minutes. I can already feel its vibrations. But he will reach me before then, so I pull out my baton and wait. My sweat turns to ice. I’ve never been robbed before.

The time clicks to one minute and by now I can clearly see the guys face, wrinkled and sick, red eyes dripping with alcohol. A knife sticking in his leg explains why he is walking like a turtle.

He loses his balance and falls towards me. I catch him, put him on the ground, call 911. As I’m talking with the operator, the train stops for a minute. I breathe in the stale wind it produces as it speeds away.

I feel so guilty that I ride with him to the hospital. I kick myself with shame, because if the guy had been white, my baton would have never left my pocket.

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3 Comments

Filed under Matthew A. Hamilton

3 responses to “My Eyes Don’t See the Truth by Matthew A. Hamilton

  1. Pingback: 7 – Broken Camera « 52|250 A Year of Flash

  2. I love the internal conflict in this work.

  3. Nice piece of writing. When you mentioned ‘in human form’ I thought maybe it was a supernatural being, but then it changed quite suddenly. I can’t say that I understand why he/she wouldn’t have been nervous if they were white though. Subways are creepy and often dangerous, but the thought process was interesting. Before the ‘if the guy had been white’ part, I thought that he/she felt guilty because the victim was homeless.

    Thanks for sharing. :)

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