This morning was warm enough to remind the neighborhood of spring and the promise of better days. But the guys around Juan Carlos’s coffee cart couldn’t get past Roger Clemens.
“It hurt to watch that press conference yesterday,” said Javier from Walton Avenue. “Roger is frustrated because he doesn’t think people are giving him the benefit of the doubt. But that’s just because he’s listening to the wrong people.”
“I hear nothing but support,” offered Jon from Highbridge. “At least, until I pick up a newspaper or turn on the television or radio.”
The view is different from this neighborhood.
“We know something about what he’s going through,” said Javier. “We’re close to the bottom and get stepped on all the time. They sell our parks and there’s no money for schools or libraries and the power goes out and the trains don’t run and the cops hassle us because they don’t like the way we look.”
Unfairness is a way of life around here and plenty of other places, too.
“If Roger wants to see his support he needs to come to the poor neighborhoods,” said Jon. “His last few weeks are what we live with every day.”
Clemens is closer to the South Bronx than he ever was on the mound at Yankee Stadium.
“He’s really one of us now.”