Posts Tagged ‘fate’


THE SUPER SUPER

 

RING RING went the black wall mounted phone.

“Stephen, please answer that,” said Paul

“Okay Paul, I said as I took the phone from its cradle and spoke into it.

Hello? Yes this is the number for Paul The Super. Who’s calling please? One moment, I‘ll get him for you.”

“Well, who is it?” Paul asked me.

“It’s the Mayor.”

“The Mayor of what?”

“The Mayor of New York City, he wants to speak with you. “

Paul DiNioa, the superintendent of my apartment building, , my godfather and my mentor, stood up from his workbench and walked toward me as I held the phone out to him. He was the strongest man I’ve ever seen. Built like a truck, with forearms and hands that could crush a stone, I was always in awe of his strength and silent steely gaze. An immigrant from Italy with a zest for life and unwavering love for his family (and me) this man was very well respected in the neighborhood as a capable and successful jack of all trades. I watched as he took the phone into his hand looked at me, and then spoke in a soft  controlled voice with his heavy Italian accent, a sound that I can still hear to this very day.

“Mr. Mayor, so nice to hear from you again sir.” Yes, sir I do remember that I told you to call me if you needed my help. Yes sir I am always willing to help. Hmm I see, yes sir, I can be there in a few minutes. Yes sir I will do my best, I know my city is counting on me. I’m on my way sir, you’re welcome, goodbye sir.”

“Stephen, get my tool bag we have to hurry.”

I gathered up the usual tools that Paul used in these situations. His trusty measuring tape, an assortment of wrenches and screwdrivers and of course Paul’s favorite tool of all, “The Goesinta”. It’s actually only a hammer but Paul used to say that if something needed a little help, hit it hard with the hammer. The hammer makes “this goes into that”. The Goesinta”

I stood there holding The Goesinta in my hand, I marveled at its sleek wooden molded handle and the brilliance of the steel head with its curved claw at one end, while the front of it was perfectly rounded and smooth like glass.

“Stephen, get your head in the game, we’ve got to go now,” said Paul.

I threw the bag over my shoulder and raced outside to the street where we kept our vehicle.  As I climbed the steps from the alleyway to the street, I remembered all the times I used to play in this alleyway with Paul’s children. We all grew up together in this apartment building and spent most of every waking moment with each other. Paul was the superintendent, my family and I lived on the 3rd floor.  Our apartment building had so many other families and we all got along, it was a great place to be a kid. As I reached the top of the stairs I could see the wheels of The Rambler.

With its majestic sleek lines and the curves of its strong and reliable body. Its gray color came into view and as I made my way around the front of the car I reached out and touched the chrome emblem on its hood. It was our good luck charm and I rubbed that emblem every time we went out on a call.

“THE RAMBLER”

Man do I remember it well. Paul used to let me steer the wheel sometimes while we drove through the city streets of our neighborhood.

I opened the door and hopped inside while I watched Paul gracefully leap up the alleyway steps and as usual he slid across the front hood, landed perfectly and jumped inside the car. He looked at me and smiled as he turned the key in the ignition we felt the old engine come to life. Paul had spent countless hours working under the hood of this car. He practically rebuilt the entire car himself. I helped of course, he always taught me how to tune the engine, replace brake pads and anything else that we could do ourselves.

His feeling was that why we would have someone else do what we were capable of doing. I believed that fully and still pass that on to my own children. I hope they’ll be as self sufficient as he taught me to be.

Paul looked at me and said,” Stephen buckle in, we have to get to an apartment building on Seaman Ave, right away. There’s a water main leak and The Mayor is afraid that if we don’t get the leak under control the entire city could flood, it’s up to us.” Paul threw The Rambler into first gear and as I listened to the screeching tires and smelt the burning rubber of the white walls. I was again reminded of how very lucky I was to have this man in my life.

I watched out the window of the Rambler at the passing cars and street signs. All the other kids in the neighborhood saw me and I know deep down they all wished it was them sitting in my seat.  All of them knew of the man called The Super. They knew of his heroic escapades. He was the talk of all the other superintendents in the city. He did it all, and when they needed help, they always called him.

“Stephen,” he started saying, “make sure that when we get to the building you take my tool bag and go directly to the basement. I’ll enter the area of the leak and assess the situation then meet you in the basement, okay?”

“Okay, Paul.” I said, happy to once again be called into action.

“There’s the building,” he said pointing to an apartment building down the block. I didn’t have to know the number of the building; it was clear that we had arrived at the right one. There were crowds of people standing around in the street while the tenants were streaming out of the building soaking wet and terrified. A policeman moved away a barricade when he saw that it was Paul in his trademark Rambler automobile.

“CLEAR THE WAY FOLKS, THE SUPER IS COMING THRU, ” the officer was yelling to the crowd.

Paul slowly drove to the front of the apartment building while we both looked out the car window at the water that was dripping from the rooftop down the side of the building into the street. As we exited the car we both stepped into the small stream of water that was now passing under our feet.

“You ready, Stephen?” He asked me

“Yes I am.”

“Okay hurry now, it looks like we don’t have much time. If we don’t fix this leak soon, you and I both will be out of a job. And, our neighborhood will be called Swimwood not Inwood.” He patted me on the back and off I went to the basement. I caught a glimpse of him as he ran into the front door of the building, he showed no fear, only determination to get the job done.

I was in the basement and in position near the boiler room when I heard a huge roar coming down the dumbwaiter shaft. “It must be the water overflowing”. I went to the alleyway and looked up towards the second floor. There was Paul pushing with all his strength against a steel door on the second floor landing. I could see him holding the door with one hand while reaching over with the other to slide a thick metal bar to keep the door closed.

HE DID IT!

He looked down and saw me. Then I saw a look in his eyes, he was looking past me, but at what?

“STEPHEN LOOK OUT,” he yelled.

I turned just in time to see a wall of water rushing towards me. The water from the dumbwaiter was my last thought as I was swept into the alleyway. Smashing me into metal garbage cans, the water was rising now and as it did I took me with it. I was getting tangled up in the clothes lines that hung there. Paul saw this and yelled for me to hang on. I was trying to but the water was stronger. One of the clotheslines was hanging loose and I kept trying to grab it as it fished like a snake in the rushing water. I almost had a few times and I felt myself getting weaker and going under.

Suddenly I heard Paul yelling; only he wasn’t yelling my name. Through my grogginess and constant gulping of air I could almost make out what he was saying.

“Grrrr lunniy.”

Up and down into the water I went. I kept hearing the yelling.

“GO LUCY.”

GO LUCY, why would Paul be yelling that? Then it came clearer to me. I pushed myself out of the waters pull one last time. I could see Paul in a window, he was pointing to something in the water. Something that was coming directly towards me.

IT WAS LUCKY, Paul was yelling GO LUCKY.

It was Lucky, the DiNioa’s black dog. Lucky was swimming towards me with the clothesline in her teeth. I reached out and took the line. Wrapping it around my hand and with Lucky safely in my other arm, Paul pulled us both to the window where he stood.

“Are you alright?” he asked me.

“I’m fine now, thanks to you and Lucky”, I replied.

“Good”, he said, “now let’s go finish this job.”

We all ran towards the basement where I had left Paul’s tool bag. There it was right where I left it, thank god. Paul grabbed the bag and we all sprinted towards the boiler room. When we got there he pointed up at a massive steering wheel looking thing.

“That’s the main for the water pressure. We need to get there and shut that down, “he said as the water was starting to puddle up around my already soaking wet Pro Keds. “When I get to the top, you need to throw me the tool bag, it’s too much for me to climb and carry the bag.”

“Okay Paul,” please be careful I whimpered along with Lucky.

“Don’t you two worry, okay I can handle this,” he said as he scooted up the side of the boiler.

While he climbed I positioned myself underneath the huge boiler and got ready to throw him the tools.

“Okay,” he yelled thru the roar of the water coming down all around him. His clothes were soaked and he was barley holding onto a small piece of steel mounted to the top of the boiler.

“Throw me the bag” “Okay,” I said as water filled my open mouth.

I took the canvas tool bag in both hands. Swinging it thru my open legs I gathered enough momentum and heaved it in the air towards Paul. The bag sailed higher and higher. Paul reached out one hand and with his very fingertips he touched the wet canvas handle of the tool bag. Just then the water exploded into the air and Paul was thrown from where he was. Lucky and I stood there unable to do anything, I was sure that he had been knocked off the top of the boiler; I listened for the sound of his body landing near us. Squinting thru tear and water soaked eyes; I painfully looked up at the spot where I last saw him.

THERE HE WAS, he was still hanging onto the massive wheel. And there in his right hand was THE GOESINTA.

With his trademark smile always warm, bright and reassuring, he winked at Lucky and I as he swang the Goesinta at the rusty steel wheel.  I could see the bulging muscles of his bicep. His arm swung at the steel like he was playing a musical instrument. Slowly at first then with increasing speed the wheel started to turn. The water was slowing down, till finally with one last might swing of the Goesinta the last drop of water fell.

Paul holstered the Goesinta into his belt and slid down the boiler to Lucky and me.

I picked up the wet tool bag as he came over and ruffled my wet hair. Lucky did a gigantic dog shake and almost knocked herself off her own feet. Paul and I both laughed as we walked out of the basement and into the bright sunshine.

“How about a Coke a Cola and a Hostess cupcake Stephen, I think you deserved it.”

I looked up at him and nodded yes. I couldn’t wait to get back to his workshop and hear the phone ring again.

 

The End…….for now

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girl with rose

 

My Tip Toe Rose

 

Shall we dance

While we’re here

Just us two

I ask you dear

 

Will it hurt

When we spin

When your thorns

Start digging in

 

How can I

Begin to dream

That I know

What you have seen

 

I can walk

Or skip away

You are where

You must stay

 

At least until

You are selected

And sadly then

No longer protected

 

I am grateful

That you chose

Me as partner

My Tip Toe Rose

 

-peace


usmc flagan excerpt from Tales of a Sinner…

I was becoming too comfortable with this lifestyle. My friends and family endured me because deep down there had to be a “good-guy” in there somewhere. I had seen and been part of more than life’s fair share of death and near death.

Karma was winning. I had to make a change. I had to save myself.  There was a place that I heard of where men like me could go to, a place that would never judge or discriminate against those who sought its embrace. I’m sure that the local authorities would endorse my application into this organization. I was at a dead-end in my life and I felt it was going nowhere fast.

So I did what all good blue blooded males do at this point in their lives. I signed up to do three years in the Marine Corp. I wanted to do something totally different, something I had never done before. This was certainly different.

After all the paperwork and legal shit was done. I had gotten into a fight and got arrested and the judge wanted to send me away. Luckily the Gunny who recruited me, bailed me out of that jail in Long Island by telling the judge I was entering the military. I was told to report to the USMC recruiting station at 181st and Broadway on the 3rd of September.

The night or two or three before the 3rd of September, I was out partying with as many good friends I could possibly find. We drank and smoked everything we could possibly smoke and drink in three days time. I was so hammered when the morning came for me to report to the recruiting station. I couldn’t walk on my own so like good buddies they were and not wanting me to miss my appointment. They literally carried me and dropped me off at the front door of the recruiter’s office. I actually awoke inside the doorstep of the recruiter’s office.

It was early morning and there were people stepping over my drunken ass in the doorway. Moms and dads hugging and kissing their sons and daughters goodbye and everyone wishing everyone good luck.

All this mushy shit please, “Give me a break”, (and a beer and a cigarette). When all the crying and good wishing was finally over, the Gunnery Sergeant who recruited all of us said, “I want everyone upstairs in my office for a quick meeting before the bus that’ll take you to the military processing center gets here.”

We go to his office and he proceeds to tell us that our group of 22 recruits from NY City is the second largest group of New Yorkers to go into boot camp at one time this year. In his infinite wisdom he decides that one of us should be the “group leader” and handle all the medical and personnel files for the 22 of us.

For some ungodly reason he hands “ME” this large briefcase type luggage looking thing with all the personnel and medical records for all us recruits. He declared that “I” should be this responsible person. He must have regretted that decision once he handed me that records. Because then I choose as my assistant record keeper, this crazy looking dude with a Mohawk haircut.

So here we go, getting onto a bus that will take us to the Fort Hamilton military processing center in Brooklyn. All 22 of us, 18 men and 4 women including me and Mohawk guy, “The Keepers of the Records.”

It takes us about an hour or so on the bus to get to Ft Hamilton and then another 10 hours of physicals, stress tests and assorted other useless examinations. From the base we take another bus shuttle to JFK airport. We check in at the ticket line. The airline proceeds to tell us that we have a good 7 or 8 hours to wait until our flight takes off.

“7 hours? What the hell do you do at JFK International airport for 7 hours?”

Dig this; because I was the “leader”, I felt it was my duty to take care of us in the best way I knew how. I rounded everyone up and said, “Now some of us have money in our pockets and some of us don’t have any money at all. And since we’re going to boot camp for three months none of us will need any money.”

I collect every dime from the whole group we actually ended up with a few hundred dollars. Then me and Mohawk Hair Dude take a yellow cab into downtown Queens and buy 25 cases of beer, ice, smokes and munchies. We then take another cab back to JFK, gather our fellow recruits and we all march across to the other side of the airport till we get to what was then known as the Flying Tigers airplane cargo hanger (now it’s the FedEx terminal).

We then spent the next 6 hours drinking, and getting to know each other. What a fucking blast. Most of these kids never had a drink in their life, it was awesome.

By the time we went back to the main terminal and the gate to board our plane we were so freaking drunk that the 4 girls with us were actually placed into wheelchairs. As for the rest of us, we were farting, burping and making all sorts of other humorous bodily noises. We finally get seated and the plane takes off, and of course, we continue to buy drinks and food.  We get thru the majority of the flight without any major problems, other than vomiting and a few fights with some of the other passengers. We safely land in South Carolina.  Of course, we have another hour or so to wait for a second and much shorter flight to a smaller local airport closer to our final destination Parris Island South Carolina. So of course we slam back a few more beers and buy some more booze. Everyone is doing their very best to smoke all their cigarettes and do any other illegal substances that they had on them before we get to the base.

Finally we boarded the last flight and everyone appeared to be mentally preparing themselves for what lies ahead. The flight takes less than 30 minutes and while we are descending into the airport, the pilot makes an announcement over the intercom. He is telling everyone that they have some special passengers on board. The pilot politely asks the other passengers if they would allow us future US Marines to exit first. We will be exiting thru a separate door in the rear of the aircraft. Even though we are all shitfaced drunk we’re thinking, “That’s right we’re Marines, make way you bunch of ordinary civilians.”

That attitude does not last long though. The plane lands and taxis to the gate. As we walk toward the rear of the plane to this little exit door that is now open. I can hear screaming and yelling, more barking than yelling. It wasn’t until I got to the exit door myself that I saw what the all the yelling and barking was all about.

Standing at the bottom of the steps, was quite possibly the biggest, meanest looking person I have ever seen in my entire life, (including in the movies). He was massive. And he was pissed off for some reason. He was screaming, “Get down here you bunch of low life @%$%, and you *)&%#$. He was yelling at the top of his lungs, which I am pretty sure were massive as well. As the “drunks”, (that’s us), made our way to the bottom of the stairs this massive dude was literally tossing people to one side of the room. I was able to run past him with the Mohawk hair guy into the bathroom to take a piss and snort the last of his cocaine.

All of the sudden the frigging bathroom door comes flying open. The door practically comes off its hinges. And here comes SGT Rock Massive still screaming and yelling as he comes right at us. He sees that we’re doing drugs and takes a swing at me about head high. I duck and he hits the metal partition between the urinals we are standing at. The freaking thing breaks off the wall. I’m laughing and pissing on myself as I run out of the tiny now “door-less” bathroom and into the madness that is the room filled with all my other drunk recruit buddies.

I get to one side of the room to join everyone else and it took a moment before I realized that there were just as many SGT Rock Massive pissed off dudes out here as there were of us drunks. There had to be a dozen of these crazy bug-eyed screaming giant drill instructors.

Everyone is scrambling to find a corner to run to or stand in, just get away from these psychos. The Smokey hat wearing screaming, barking bellowing, yelling, vein neck bulging Marines are running behind people. Screaming at them, ordering us to stand in these little yellow footprints painted on the floor.

They finally round everyone up and into the appropriate areas, it seems like things are starting to settle down a bit.  “But, as you can figure out by now, there is much more abuse to come, especially my way, because after all this is my story.”

I’m standing straight as I can like everyone else. On my left is this little room with a small window, like one of those windows they have in the police station interrogation rooms. (Not that I know of such rooms personally, or do I?) Through the small window, I can see SGT Rock Massive and this other huge guy in a hat. The two of them are waiving their hands, hats, and everything else all about like madmen.

They’re also holding this black plastic garbage bag.  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention something. Remember that briefcase luggage looking thing that the Gunny gave us with the records in it? Well while we were at the airport drinking all that beer. I used that briefcase thing as a cooler for some of the beer.  So naturally I used a garbage bag to hold the records. I was now guessing that all the records in that garbage bag got all shuffled and mixed up. The two giant mean screaming Sgt Massive come out of the little room and with one look. Everything and everyone stopped, no more screaming and yelling, just silence. I swear that second lasted an hour, but it didn’t. All of the sudden SGT Rock Massive starts screaming,

“WHO THE FUCK IS O’BRIEN, WHO THE FUCK IS O’BRIEN?”

Well, everyone looks at me and starts laughing, me included, but not for long. Before I knew it, I had one SGT Massive Mean Screaming Hat Shaking Marine standing in front of me screaming.  Another SGT Massive Mean Screaming Hat Shaking Marine at the right side of my face.  I had one other SGT Massive Mean Screaming Hat Shaking Marine at the left side of my face. And I had yet another SGT Massive Mean Screaming Hat Shaking Marine at the back of my neck, and YES there was actually one more SGT Massive Mean Screaming Hat Shaking Marine standing on top of a chair yelling at the top of my head, at the top of my head!

They are so close to me that every now and then one of them would knock his own hat off when its brim would hit me. You would think they could yell without their hats, right? Apparently not, they need the hats to yell, I’m not kidding. I don’t ever remember seeing a drill instructor yell without his hat. Well because of this still infamous act, I became the most taunted recruit throughout my entire experience at boot camp. Everyone knew about O’Brien and the medical records fiasco. Every time there was a punishment handed out, our entire platoon had to scream, “Thank you private O’Brien.”

I survived boot camp and the rest of the shit that karma delivered to me. The moments and opportunities in my life that I thought had meaning and merit didn’t have either. The things in my life that I squandered and wasted would have been gladly received by someone else in this world.  I had so much given to me and I gave it all away.

Know what?

I wouldn’t change a single minute of that or any other day in my life up till this point.


clense heart

Cleanse my Heart

 

 

Just want to

Wash away

All the moments

Before today

Start fresh

With new reason

Stop giving

Into treason

If I could

Id reach in

Remove the pieces

Of past sin

Look at it

In tilted hand

Watch it spill

Like time clock sand

Never again

Will I be

Brought to tear

Brought to knee

All it takes

To live this part

Is cleanse my soul

Cleanse my Heart

-peace


There was this dream I had last night. One of many dreams last night in fact. In some of my dreams I’m a hero, saving the less heroic. I’m sure I would be a real hero in real life if I ever called upon.

I’ve nothing left to lose so I’d have nothing to fear.

Yet this one dream last night was about “her,” or maybe it was really about “me.” Maybe me and her, oh hell, the truth is the dream was about MY HEART. MY HEART; the very interior of MY HEART.

I found myself actually inside of my own heart. What a sensation it was to know that I am inside of myself. Not in the typical way. This was different, much different

I know it’s me on the outside I can hear my own voice and now, now it’s me on the inside.  Looking around while inside MY HEART I could see the layers upon layers of milky red walls, the miles and endless miles of blood vessels that wormed their way around me, pulsing and pushing the purest blood to every part of my body.

I was inside the very thing that keeps me/us alive. Was this really a dream? I can feel the vibrating red walls; I can hear the deafening beating and drumming of MY HEART. As I look in wonder around at this majestic new prison cell I am in, I wonder if I will ever be able to leave, if I will ever awaken and once again be outside of me. Will I want to?

I reach out to touch the delicious looking milky red walls of MY HEART and as I do it shakes and retreats away from me.  I don’t understand why is MY HEART pulling away from me? I reach again and once again MY HEART withdraws from my touch. What have I done, why does MY HEART not want MY touch? Suddenly I feel the sensation of falling. I’m falling! Not just me, everything IN HERE is dropping, falling downward, and spiraling out of control. I can’t hold onto anything because MY HEART continues to elude me as I struggle to grab something. Faster and faster MY HEART sinks, deeper it and I go, but to where? Part of me wants to wake up and have this dream become nightmare over with. But NO I want to stop this falling; I want to help MY HEART.

My ears are now bombarded with the sound of the red milky walls cracking and splitting open. The sound is horrible; it’s like a wailing or crying. The sound won’t stop, and as I fall faster towards I don’t know where, the crying is all around. I notice that there is now no beating in MY HEART only the cracking and now a gurgling sound, as if MY HEART was drowning. I feel the rain as it showers down upon me, only it’s not rain, its, its TEARS. MY HEART is crying and gurgling on its/MY tears. Falling, gurgling, and spiraling. I try to scream but no sound comes out of my mouth. I reach up to touch my mouth my lips but there is nothing there. No lips, no opening. I try to look at my hands, but I cannot see.

I cannot feel me anymore.

I am but a whisper inside my head, inside MY HEART, a mere notion of something once now gone.


1977 – Top song on the radio was “Hotel California”

 

 

 

It was July 1977; I just turned 18 years old. For most kids my age it was time for proms and enjoying the last summer before going to college. For some that might be a milestone, for me it meant that I was now walking on the thinnest of ice. I was now old enough to be charged as an adult for any crimes I would commit from this day forward.

 

 

“SHIT SHIT SHIT, I’m going to be late. I hate being late when I have to meet him, “I was thinking to myself. I was walking fast, maybe sort of running actually. I had to meet Mr. J. That’s what everybody called him. I remember his real name but it doesn’t matter now so we’ll stick with Mr. J. He was this big drug dealer in our neighborhood. He always had pot, coke, smack, if you could name it Mr. J sold it. He never actually dealt drugs himself. He always had younger guys carrying and selling drugs for him. I was one of those younger guys, and right now I was late for a meeting with Mr. J, shit I hate being late. It was around 3pm and it was hot and sticky today.

 

Just a few days had passed since the great blackout of 1977 in New York City. The entire city was without power.  Every traffic light, every store, and every single city power was out for more than 24 hours. There were over 1,000 fires set by looters and rioters. It was also The Summer of Sam. Sam was this physco nutjob running around shooting and killing lovers while they were kissing in their parked cars.  Crazy, crazy shit happened that summer.

The day after the blackout me and this buddy of mine named Ray made these t-shirts that said “I Survived the 1977 NYC Blackout”. We made them in all sizes and colors, Ray and I sold a shitload of theses shirts at $5.00 a piece. My day started like this; Mr. J said I had to go handle this big pot delivery coming into the bus terminal. I figured no problem; I’ll just go to midtown Manhattan and sell some t- shirts while I wait for the bus to come in. I sold a lot of shirts that day and still had a bunch of them stuffed in these two brown paper bags when I went to meet the pot delivery. I hustled over to The Port Authority bus terminal at 42nd Street and 8th Ave to meet the courier. After the exchange I went into the terminal bathroom and put the pot in the bottom of my shopping bags and the t-shirts of top of the pot. I then took the A train from 42nd Street to Dyckman Street, where I was to meet Mr. J and his boyfriend.  I had always been a good solider for Mr. J.  But there was never a good reason to be late. Especially today, today I had a big delivery. In each paper bag I had about 5 pounds of Columbian Gold, the finest and “sweetest smoking herb you ever had.”

I got off the subway train and was walking up Broadway, I was almost at the corner now and I could see Mr. J leaning up against his big black Cadillac. Even from across the street I could see his smiling eyes. He knew that I had the good stuff and my bags were worth a whole lot of money to him.

I was about to cross the street when the following events unfolded right before my eyes.  I could actually see everything taking place out of the corner of my eye as I stepped off the sidewalk and into the street.

 

I saw the big green city bus.

I saw the small car in front of the big bus.

And I even saw the cop car that was slowly driving behind the big bus, the cop driving was actually looking right at me.

Then it all happened so fast. The small car in front of the green city bus slammed on his brakes in an attempt to pull into a parking spot. The city bus didn’t have a chance to stop and slammed into the small car. The bus “crushed” the little car into some other parked cars and right behind the bus was that cop car. The cop car screeches to a stop just barely missing the back of the bus. The impact of the bus and car, the screeching tires from the cop and the image of me almost getting hit by something halted me in my tracks. I didn’t move a muscle, I should have but I didn’t.

Less than 50 yards away and right across the street looking at me was Mr. J.

Less than 5 yards away from me was this traffic accident.

It suddenly occurred to me that I’m the only person on the street here.  I was the single, one and only fucking person on that very corner at that very moment. The cop that was driving and staring at me just moments ago gets out of his car. With his hat in one hand and his other hand scratching his head he sees me trying to indiscreetly cross the street behind his cop car with my two bags of some pot and t-shirts. He runs over and stands in front of me and starts babbling about how, “I WAS THE ONLY GODDAMN WITNESS.”

 

So there I was standing in the middle of this car accident talking with this cop with 10 freaking pounds of the “sweetest smoking herb” you ever tasted under some t-shirts in paper shopping bags. SHIT SHIT SHIT.

I could see Mr. J waving his hands and trying to get me to walk away, but the goddamn cop was saying “Hold on a second there son, we’re going to need you to write down what you saw.” I was like “Officer I got to go, I’m late, and I can’t hang around.” The other cop gets out of the car and yells “Just put him in the car, we’ll get his statement down at the station.” I had no choice but to get into the police car or I would be risking the cops getting suspicious. Worse yet, if I ran they would start chasing me and I wasn’t going to get too far with my bags. So I got into the car and off we go, as I look out the rear patrol car window I see Mr. J screaming and waving his arms.

 

There was nothing I could do, nothing.

 

Back in the 70’s pot was pretty common. The cops didn’t have drug dogs walking around all the time like they do now. Besides the stuff I as carrying was professionally wrapped and packaged. This wasn’t some amateur operation, Mr.J and his connections took their pot business very serious. I was one of 2 dozens guys that picked up for him on a weekly basis. There were a lot of people who would have trouble seeing me getting into a cop car with their merchandise.

We get to the 34th Precinct police station a place I had been so many times I couldn’t begin to count.  The cop tells me to sit on a wooden bench by the front desk and says” don’t worry kid we’ll get you back home with your groceries before you know it.”

I’m laughing to myself yeah thanks officer; “my mommy really wants these groceries.”

So there I sit on this bench in the middle of the goddamn police station AND to make matters worse it’s the middle of a goddamn shift change. There had to be dozens and dozens of cops walking around, and here I sit with 10 pounds of “the sweetest smoking herb you ever had” tucked between my legs.

I’m sitting there for 10 minutes before finally the same cop comes over, sits down next to me on the wooden bench to take my statement of the accident.

“Remember the car accident?” He asks.

“Yes officer I do remember”, I reply.

He asks me “so what exactly did you see?”

Who do you think was at fault? BLAH BLAH BLAH.

He had this clipboard with a sheet of paper with lines on it resembling the intersection. He is talking and making little cars and city buses in his drawing. His eyes were looking downward at the clipboard, it was at this moment that he looks at my shopping bags and says, and “Hey what’s that in your shopping bag? Are those t-shirts? He yanks the top one out of my bag before I could react and he holds it up to look at the writing. “These are great shirts kid; do you have a green one in extra large?”

 

I’m freaking dying here as this cop starts reaching in my bag grabbing t-shirts. Before you know it, other cops that are walking by see this happening and they’re stopping and saying, “hey nice t-shirts.” Another cop asks me, “Do you have a red one?” “I have a son and a daughter do you have any small sizes?” The cop sitting on the bench with me starts to reach into my bags to sort thru the t-shirts. I barked at him,” I got it for you, I’ll get it, here you go, you want a blue one?”

I’M FREAKING DYING OVER HERE

 

This goes on for what seemed like forever and finally everyone that wants a shirt gets a shirt (and hell yeah I charged them for the shirts, $5 bucks each).

I finally sell the last shirt to the last freaking cop in that goddamn police station. I lean back against the wooden bench, “Whew that was close.” I look down at my paper bags and I swear to god there must have been only a ½ dozen t-shirts left on each pile of pot in each bag.

One more freaking “cop t-shirt rush” and they would have seen “the sweetest smoking herb you ever had.” We finish up the accident interview and the cop says to me, “thanks for helping out kid, let me give you a ride back to your neighborhood.” I’m like “no, no I’m alright I’ll hop in a cab or take the bus really officer it’s no problem.”

He’s like, “no way, it’s the least I can do since you helped us.”

 

So once again I climb into a police car with my two bags of t-shirts and the “sweetest smoking herb you ever had.” We get back to same intersection where all this just started a few hours ago. And low and behold, still leaning against his big black caddy is Mr. J. This time he’s not smiling, he’s got this real pissed off look on his face like I was a rat or something. Not to mention here I am bringing the cops right to his feet.

Never happen, because I’m no rat and I would never ever skip out on anyone I was doing business with. I finally cross the street to him and I tell him everything that happened. I was waiting for him to pull out a gun and smack the shit out of me but instead he starts laughing, pats me on the head and says “get in the car little dude, let’s get the fuck out of here.” We drive back to his house and we get stoned right until the morning, then I lock myself in the back bedroom so I can sleep in peace. He has a big house and lots of people are always coming and going so he gave this back bedroom to me and another buddy so we could lock it from the inside while we sleep, but that is another story for another time.

 


We are inside and still the storm has its way with us- Not afraid are we having weathered storms before – Yet this one seems to be of a more personal nature – It seems as if this one has a path, a direction, a mission – it is in itself a vein to which we must accept just as we accept the now evaporating air we struggle to breath – To not be terrified and alarmed right now would be a mistake – The fact that this storm is inside and not of the exterior norm, is frightening – The very color of our blood has become  not blue or red but black – The designs of who we are or who we were have been molded and melted into something too vulgar to see or touch – This is the moment that all dread of and some dream about- When everything you knew or thought you knew to be true is now slowly and surely leaving with the storms windy current – Say goodbye to love, hope and life – say hello to disbelief, terror and pain – NOW run to escape – OR wait and overcome- your choice – I’ve made mine…

-peace