"But if I got bad breath, forever, then I might not ever be able to kiss the ladies. So, I guess I gotta go with licking the ground, man."
Just saying it made me
small shop selling groceries, especially in a Hispanic area
bodegas on both ends, which is cool, and a whole bunch of what my mom calls "interesting" folks who live in the middle.
unpleasantly harsh or grating in sound
His voice was kind of
brusque and surly and forbidding
"Ali, can you bring my bread inside!"—I totally forgot!—"And come on and eat before this food gets cold," she said in her usual
gruff tone, but then turned toward Noodles, and said all nice and kind, "and you're welcome to come eat too, sweetheart."
It was one of the scenes where Bruce was upset and was turning green and becoming the Hulk. Noodles had
literally redrawn the whole thing perfectly, every muscle, every hair.
gather something into small wrinkles or folds
She said Noodles looked so scared, and that his lips were poking out and
puckered so tight that it looked like he was slurping spaghetti.
a pattern of symptoms indicative of some disease
She said the proper term for it is Tourette
She said that what happens is he
blurts out all kinds of words whenever his brain tells him to.
suffering from delusions of persecution or grandeur
Despite the head swipes, Noodles was super-protective over his brother, and
paranoid that people were laughing at him.
a disorderly outburst or tumult
It was a Sunday, and my mother was by the window and heard a bunch of
commotion coming from outside.
a smile expressing smugness or scorn instead of pleasure
You know when you have to smile but you don't want nobody to see you smile, but it almost hurts to hold it in, so it comes out like a weird
smirk? Needles did that weird
a clear, often sudden understanding of a complex situation
I threw out a few suggestions, like the hardware store, or the grocery store, but none of them were really making any sense. Then Noodles had a
a substance that produces a fragrant odor when burned
They even got a spot that sells TVs, Jamaican flags, leather jackets, and
incense all in the same place.
talk at length in a noisy, excited, or angry manner
And even though he is always
ranting about politics, he's still a cool dude, and everybody respects him because he has the cheapest cuts in town.
break into a conversation
"Oh, Knit Wit, it's right over there. In the middle of the block," the older woman said. She pointed and smiled, and I just smiled back, a little embarrassed.
"Not for us," Noodles
chimed in. "For my brother."
look at critically, searchingly, or in minute detail
I watched as Noodles
sized up the yarns to see which black was the best black for Needles.
a social club for female undergraduates
I wondered if they were just a group of random women or if they were some sort of crew, like a
sorority or something.
not as expected
He wasn't doing a great job at not being
speak (about unimportant matters) rapidly and incessantly
It's like he felt tougher whenever he started
blabbing about it, gassing his own head up, turning the story into a much bigger deal than it really was.
a difficult or unusual or dangerous feat
Noodles tells a group of little kids playing in the hydrant about some
stunt he pulled.
with a certain degree of unwillingness
"Yes," I replied
reluctantly, feeling like I was snitching on my dude, but my mom had a way of getting the truth out of me.
secure the release of (someone) by providing security
She told me she'd be kidding herself to think otherwise, and that she understood what it was like to be a loyal friend, and that she had
bailed my father out time and time again the same way, until she just couldn't do it anymore.
after an unspecified period of time or a long delay
Of course, the money ran out
eventually, which meant rent couldn't get paid.
engage somebody to enter the army
drafted. He said back in those days wasn't no black kids just signing up to fight.
a system of rules of conduct or method of practice
When I asked him what he learned from the army, he said he learned
discipline, brotherhood, and most importantly, how to box.
having a hardened outer part as a covering
The liquor on his breath was always there, just like the tears caked and
crusty in the corners of his eyes.
deserving or inciting pity
He followed up with, "Now look at them. It's okay. That way the
pathetic legless elephant can disappear, and we can get the hell on with it."
It's just a big open space for
sparring, and over on the side he's got a few dumbbells, a weight bench, a speed bag, and two punching bags, one hanging from the ceiling and one on a stand.
a quick short straight punch
Malloy barked as I threw my right
jab at this kid, Jamaal Crowder.
draw someone's attention away from something
I guess the stupid yarn situation was still bugging me—