Summer 1989 • Vol. XI No. 3 FictionJuly 1, 1989 |

Inside the Fire

Where the elevated line over New Utrecht Avenue curved into the air space over 16th Avenue the three- and four-storied walk-ups on both sides were so close to the train tracks that even the arc light of this August morning couldn't reach Sergio and the others who lived on the sidewalks below. The shops there were also nearly in constant darkness with customers who came in only to look for a bargain or if shops on other streets had closed up for the day. Besides a lack of light there was also a lack of quiet on the avenue. The noise day and night of train wheels grinding by sounded like prison doors to some of the guys who now lived on the sidewalks. Some of the longtimers had become a little deaf from the train noise and those guys whenever they had something to say would shout it, even if at that moment no train passed by to shout over. In that way too, and with his hands cupped at his mouth for a megaphone besides, Sergio Rinaldo shouted this morning to his friend, Giancarlo,

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