The stories pile up faster than they can be told in this neighborhood.
Javier is trying to bring the guys up to speed at Juan Carlos’s coffee cart this morning. He starts by spinning the tale of yesterday’s snowball fight over on Gerard Avenue.
“It was a good one,” Javier says. “I was coming out of a bodega up the block and I saw the first shots. Some cars might have gotten banged up, but that’s the way it goes during snowball season.”
Everyone knows that snow on parked cars is the best for making snowballs because there’s little chance that a dog or a drunk has made use of it. The fact that those same cars provide good cover during a fight is a bonus.
“Some things never change,” Javier says. “Kids play the same games and that makes me feel good.”
He quickly shifts to another feel-good story.
“Joba,” Javier says with a big smile. “I’m always hearing something new about that kid. He’s a wisecracking, video-game playing, fastball throwing barrel of fun. I was just like that as a kid.”
“You were a kid once?” someone shoots.
“Yeah,” Javier fires back. “I’m still a damn good kid.”
Javier grabs a handful of snow off a car.
“You want to see my fastball or my slider?”
Nervous laughter comes from the group.
“Just tell us another story,” they all say.
“That’s easy,” Javier says. “I’ve got a million of them.”