††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† behind the stage at the rally, dosed him with their psychedelic drugs, and thatís why he ran here, and thatís how heís been poisoned with peace and thatís why he canít stop . . . laughing!
White couple walking, approaching, near. They speed up to pass, and they do not look at Henry, deliberately, who is turned away, deliberately, as if to commune with this tree right hereówhich shakes loose another seismic wave of laughter that he canít stop and he canít hide and the loud bird is impressed but pissed off nevertheless, matching him cackle for cackle.
Henry is getting scared now.
A black man with no place to go who canít stop laughing . . . a black man could get himself into a lot of trouble really quickly, get hauled off and arrested and for no other reason than . . . cackling!
The ridiculous irony of being arrested for excessive, uncontrollable public laughteróbecause the elements of the ridiculous and the irony make him unable to stop cacklingócould so easily define a self-fulfilling prophecy to the black man who ran here.
Bwa-ha-ha-ha-hee-hee . . . wheeze. Another wave sweeps through.
At the far east end of the park, at Madison Avenue, Henry sees a Ford police cruiser parking, and he recognizes the next step of the prophecy. Both doors open and policemen emerge from each side of the car. Bookends, a pair of police, Johnny Law. Henry tries to quiet his cackling but the irony, the prophecy, the serious business of this life as a young black man in Harlem in 1969 in these
Black Man Running, 1969 ó 5