As we begin reading the story “On the Sidewalk Bleeding,” we first discover that a sixteen-year-old boy lies “bleeding in the rain. He is wearing a purple jacket with the words “The Royals” across the back. Then we get the quotation in question: “The boy's name was Andy, and the name was delicately scripted in black thread on the front of the jacket, just over the heart.”
This quotation provides us with several important insights. First, this boy is not just some random individual. He is not just a member of the Royals. He has a personal name, an identity beyond his group. Yet that identity seems to be meshed with that of the group since his name appears on the Royals jacket.
Notice, too, that the name is “delicately scripted.” This suggests that the jacket is rather fancy, probably of high quality, and therefore perhaps expensive. This boy is not a bum or a child of the streets if he can afford such a jacket. Yet here he lies on the sidewalk, dying.
The boy's name is inscribed “just over the heart,” which foreshadows a realization that the boy makes as the story progresses. He has proudly become a member of the gang the Royals, and this identification is what gets him stabbed and leads to his death. Before he dies, however, the boy realizes that he would rather simply be himself. He would rather be Andy than a Royal. He own identity has finally taken first place in his heart, but the decision comes too late.