I was walking down Sydney Street in Dorchester, Mass. It is the street that runs between the JFK/UMASS station and the Savin Hill station on the Red Line. The street runs parallell to the subway tracks. While I was on the sidewalk I saw a white rat in the middle of the street.
I saw a white rat, but I didn't see it. It wasn't an albino rat. It was transluscent, like the see-through ghost fish that are housed in pet store aquariums that sell for three bucks an inch-long fish. I stared at the rat and I could see through it. It ran in front of a car and I could see the tire needed rotating. It ran in front of a discarded soda bottle and I could read the bottle held twelve ounces. The rat paused in front of someone's shoe and I saw thier laces needed tying.
Old Man Herlihy sat on his front stoop. He coughed up a lungful of phlegm. "Auuugh, huawwwk, kaff, kaff," he coughed. I asked him if he had seen the white rat. He said, "That's the ghost rat. It's been here since before I was a boy. You'll get used to him. Some nights, the ghost rat shows up and someone on the street dies. Some nights, the ghost rat shows up and someone wins a sratch ticket. Some nights, nothing happens at all. Those are most nights."