Bronxology (Excerpt)

By Domenick Pilla, student, Hartsdale Unit

November 26, 2013

Narration:  Bronxology 102: Death doesn’t stop life. Guns give no moments of silence in reverence to the dead. Killers got business to attend to. The machine don’t stop.

Narration:  Living on Crotona had its issues. I stood on my building’s stoop. Good morning neighborhood infested by gangs!  Let’s see…can’t go toward the right because the Black Spades or the Reapers will kill me. I’m cool with the Ching-a-ling Nomads around the corner because I’m one of the only badass kids in the neighborhood that hadn’t joined a gang. Well, they either respected or pitied me, so I can cross their territory if I can get around the corner. Directly across the street are the Henchmen. To the left we have the Royal Javelins who’d beaten several of my friends with baseball bats. I’d been chased by all of these gangs except the Henchmen who’d tried recruiting me on several occasions. The leader of the gang was Peter, street name, Pimp. He approached me one night.

Pimp:  Listen man. You need protection.
Me:  Protection from what? 
Pimp:  What the fuck you mean, protection from what?  Protection from gangs like us! 

Narration:  He handed me a denim jacket with the sleeves cut off. In the back was a painting. On top in large letters was the word “Henchmen.” Underneath was a grim reaper with eyes glowing from a dark hooded robe. For all I know it’s a hand-me-down jacket from a dead henchman. I push the jacket back to Pimp, and stare into his eyes. I’m sixteen and have to act badass to survive. 

Me:  I don’t need protection from anyone
Narration:  I turned and walked away.
Pimp:  You’d better watch your back, man!  

Me:  [I froze…turned around and pointed at him.] Only a punk would come at me from my back!

Narration:  Yeah. That’s me, the shaking Italian badass.


Other News

Record Attendance at Ninth Annual Student Academic Conference: Marian Conway, Ph.D., '01, '04, Keynote Speaker, By Sandra Barkevich ‘13, student, School for Graduate Studies; editor, The Student Connection

The NYS AFL-CIO and the Workforce Development Institute Present Sandy Stories, By Jim McMahon, coordinator of student services, Harry VanArsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies; Susan Hains, director of health & human services, Workforce Development Institute

Did You Know...

Empire State College will be minimally staffed Wednesday, Nov. 27. Please check with local centers to find out if services for students will be available on that day.

The college is closed for Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 28, and will not be open to serve the public on Friday, Nov. 29.

The technology helpdesk and the library are open Sunday, Dec. 1, from 1-9 p.m. EST as usual.

Student/Alumni Profile
Meet Mark Oldroyd, By Helen Edelman, manager, Exchange
Creative Work Contributors

Anita DeCianni Brown

Domenick Pilla

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