At the Bronx West housing project, a.k.a. the Orange Houses, twenty-five days before the hanging, Mik hurries out of the rain.
hikes up ten flights of stairs to get home, only to find NaNa passed out on the
couch with Tostitos crumbs all over her. Mmm… Tostitos.
fills us in on who NaNa is. You might think with a name like NaNa, that she'd
be Mik's grandma, but actually that's just a nickname; NaNa got it because she's
always willing to watch the kids for the neighborhood, as long as a free meal
and a beer are involved.
started watching Mik years ago, and has basically never stopped, even though
Mik is fifteen and doesn't need a babysitter anymore. Mik's mom just doesn't
have the heart to tell NaNa to split.
turns on her hearing aids but hears a bunch of stuff she doesn't want to: NaNa's
snoring, the television talking about reward money for reporting on illegal
immigrants… you name it.
turns her hearing aids back off. She'd rather the silky silence.
starts to draw, she can hear her mom in her head telling her it's a waste of
time. She's always saying drawing is a waste of time and Mik should be studying
so she can get in to a good college. College?
Ha. If Mik has anything to say about it, she's done after high school.
keeps sketching to take her mind off everything.