With a title like that, do I really need to say anything about the story? I could review it, as I usually do, but it's posted, in it's entirety, on Michael's blog. Give his introduction a read, and if you are not sold enough to click on the link, then you need some help.
Anybody who lived through New York City's crack-era in the mid-1980s, knows it was a bizarre time; like living in some kind of alternative universe where seemingly overnight friends, family and familiar strangers were stricken by a plague.
In my Washington Heights neighborhood, I remember some drug hawker standing in front of the subway station on 145th and St. Nick trying to sell me something called "crack" in 1985 and six months later my lower-middle class neighborhood suddenly became a haven for spaced-out zombies, random robberies, middle of the day shoot-outs, countless prostitutes and other illicit activity.
Later, it would be revealed that the local police precinct, which would later be known in the press as, "the dirty 30," was taking bribes and wasn't really trying to protect the law-abiding citizens in the first place.This disturbing short story "boogie down inferno" was inspired by my vivid memories of those wild years when uptown was a combination Sodom and Gomorrah meets the wild wild west.
While editing this piece, I listened to Tricky's disturbing Pre-Millennium Tension, whose, "hallucinatory soundscape, where the rhythms, samples, and guitars intertwine into a crawling procession of menacing sounds and disembodied lyrical threats," seemed to be the perfect soundtrack for a tale about my beloved metropolis during those very dark days.
For the rest of this story, go to:
Brooklyn-based Michael A. Gonzales writes for Wax Poetics, New York magazine, Stop Smiling and the Village Voice. His fiction has appeared in Brown Sugar 2 edited by Carol Taylor, The Darker Mask edited by Gary Phillips & Christopher Chambers and Bronx Biannual edited by Miles Marshall Lewis. His essay on Chester Himes appears in Best African-American Essays 2010 edited by Gerald Early.