Daniel (and Marcus, in absentia)

New York, New York


  • Runs on Coca-Cola
  • Knows how to use a condom
  • Does dishes

I met Daniel and Marcus when I moved into their East Village neighborhood—the “Loisaida”—six years ago, and Marcus stole my BMX bike. I retrieved about 90 percent of the bicycle (minus rear-wheel pegs and pedals), and subsequently struck up a wary, “Hey, what’s up?” type of friendship with the brothers over their ensuing teenage years. They are beautiful boys—overtly dangerous and intimidating to be sure—but both have these even-more-lethal clear eyes and sweet smiles that have captivated me over the last half decade. Marcus, now sixteen, is in jail for crimes that far surpass bicycle pinching, and Daniel, newly eighteen, is trying to finish high school, help pay for his two-year-old son’s Pampers, and not get stabbed.

Note: All names in this story have been changed.

We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

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—T Cooper

T Cooper is author of the novel Some of the Parts (Akashic, 2002). T is at work on a second novel, currently entitled Lipshitz Six, or, Famous Blondes in History—the story of three generations of a Russian Jewish immigrant family that escapes the 1903 pogroms in Kishinev and ends up in the panhandle of Texas.

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