Monday, February 27, 2006

Homeland N Security

I currently work in Jersey City New Jersey for a financial company. To get to New Jersey I have to take the PATH train which is the main conduit connecting Manhattan to the cities of Hoboken, Newark and Journal Square. PATH, which is a subsidiary of the Port Authority of NY/NJ, recently announced that security spending will reach a record 616 million dollars in 2006. These funds will be used for new security initiatives as well as for enhancements for all of the Port Authority facilities including closed -circuit television monitoring systems, random baggage checks and enhanced surveillance systems. Recently PATH announced a new initiative in cooperation with the U.S Department of Homeland Security specifically for the Exchange Place Station to take place from February 6 though March 1st.

My station is Exchange Place. Exchange Place is the first station you encounter upon entering NJ if you are taking the World Trade Center PATH line. I was on one of the last trains to exit the World Trade Center on 9/11, and today upon entering NYC from the PATH one literally circles the epicenter of ground-zero before pulling into the station. Over the past few weeks I've noticed a lot of activity at Exchange Place when coming into and leaving work. Certain sections of the station have been cordoned off forcing commuters to use designated entrances when coming or going. There have been throngs of law enforcement individuals, PATH representatives, serious looking people with Department of Homeland Security blazers and clipboards as well as the news media. They set up conveyer belts right by the turnstiles, as well as other various security apparatuses for people to walk through. Mini-offices have sprung up in the back complete with cubicles for privacy. More recently, signs have been posted throughout the station notifying the commuters of the various activities taking place.

DHS will conduct a pilot test to evaluate the effectiveness of certain explosives detection systems designed specifically for the protection of rail rapid-transit passengers. Accordingly, Exchange Place passengers and their carry on baggage may be subject to this security inspection. Passengers who do not agree to such inspection will not be allowed to enter the PATH system at Exchange Place and must exit this station.

Exchange Place always had police officers with a K9 team stationed inside to perform random baggage checks on the commuters entering the PATH. While I always considered this to be intrusive and not-necessary I never had any real issues with the idea of increased security. On Friday as I walked through the turnstile it appeared as if the newest initiative was in full effect. Commuters were being directed to place their belonging on the conveyer belt for scanning. Several officials from the Department of Homeland Security blocked the immediate entrance to the station below, directing us to walk through the scanning devices. Police officers and other official looking people stood ominously in the back inspecting the scene. I walked through the turnstile and attempted to circumvent the scanning devices everyone else was walking through. My path was blocked by a Hispanic gentleman who firmly suggested that I walk through the device.

"Please step around this way sir" He said with a Mexican accent.

Excuse me? I replied. I really didn’t understand him.

"Again...Please step around this way sir" This time in an even firmer tone. He pointed to the section where other DHS employees were busy violating other commuter’s civil rights.

"No" I replied. "I don’t want to"

"Then you must leave the station"

"Fine" I said "But I want a refund"

He motioned over towards the back and called over a Police Officer. The Officer escorted me towards a PATH employee who took down my information and told me I would be receiving my refund in the mail within a few weeks. With that, the officer told me that I couldn’t use the station for the rest of the day.

Now Exchange Place is a station with several different entrances and exits dispersed in close proximity to one another. After leaving the main entrance I simply walked across the street to the adjoining entrance which is operational but rarely used. The station was void of Homeland security and law enforcement officials so feeling pretty smart I high stepped it through the turnstile. As soon as I was about to enter the elevator to take me to the platform below I heard a loud authoritative voice from behind me.

"Stop right there...DO NOT GET ON THAT ELEVATOR!!!"

Turning around I saw the officer that originally had escorted me out the station. Motioning me over to him, I exited the station for the second time to the curious looks of the commuters heading home.

"Didn’t we tell you that you couldn’t use the Exchange Place station" He asked

"I didn’t realize that this was the same station" I responded barely able to contain the guilt in my voice.

"I think you're playing games...come with me"

He took me back into the station through a doorway, down some stairs into a corridor past the platform in a section of the train-station I had no idea existed. On the way, he spoke briefly into his radio communication device informing someone of something I assumed was related to me. We walked into a non-descript room with a desk, two chairs and a light bulb. Motioning me over to one side of the desk he instructed me to sit down. Shortly after the original Mexican who blocked my path entered the room and closed the door. I swallowed the ball of saliva in my throat and noticed its decent into the pit of my stomach was the only sound I heard.

The officer asked where I was from. After telling him Brooklyn, he asked for my ID. Handing it over to him I realized that my license said Long Island. The Homeland Security guy never took his eyes off of me.

I was grilled for the next 10-15 minutes. As far as I know I didn’t receive any sedatives, truth telling serum nor was I tortured to my knowledge, unless you count being subjected to the questioning of this incompetent government agency.

"Why did you lie about where you lived?"

I just moved.

"What are you doing in New Jersey?"

I work here

"How long have you worked here?"

8 years

"Where do you work?"


"Didn’t you know the two stations were connected?"

I didn’t know I couldn’t use both of them

"Have you ever been arrested before?"

Ummm no...I mean yes

"For what"

Ummmm I tried to pick up a Hooker. You can read all about it in my blog

"Your what??"


"How come you didn’t want to go through the security section?"

The police officer had been asking all of the questions up until that last one. The Department of Homeland Security official looked up from his clip-board to ask me the final one. Taking a second to gather my thoughts I told them that I thought the whole thing was a waste of time and money and wasn’t going to help make any of us safer. Feeling satisfied with my answer they returned my license, walked me back upstairs and escorted me out of the station. I was warned that if I tried to enter the station again later that day I would be arrested for trespassing. I ended up having to walk 8 blocks to Grove Street in order for me to get on the PATH and go home.

I don’t regret busting their balls and if they try to check me I'll do the same thing again. The PATH spent 616 million dollars on a system that can be completely circumvented just by walking 8 blocks to another station. Our country has decided to waste millions of dollars while forcing its citizens to endure all types of inconveniences which really do very little towards preventing the next terrorist attack. I'm sorry but I'd be more inclined to open up a dialogue with those who have grievances and wish to attack our country, than to try ridiculous preventive measures like the one described above that could be outsmarted by the average 8 year old. Really, what retarded terrorist decides that he's going to try to walk through a station teeming with electronic surveillance and security personal, with 80 tons of explosives and electronic timers strapped to his body? Even upon acting suspiciously, I was simply led to an interrogation room and asked a serious of stupid questions without once being tackled; strip searched and mildly interrogated for information about possible Al Queda connections. Anyone who decides not to enter an area after seeing the security devices in place should be anally probed on the spot and tortured for information about terrorist affiliates. And how can anyone have any faith in the Department of Homeland security when clearly some random Mexican still working on getting his work visa is at the helm. If a Government department can't even vet out the illegals working for them, how can they hope to prevent a future terrorist attack? Walking away I was frustrated, angry but more than anything else relieved they didn’t find the weed I had socked away in my jacket.

Friday, February 24, 2006

four hours till quitting time

When Al Green had a scalding pot of hot grits plastered all over his back he underwent a remarkable transformation. Hot grits have been known to do that. Speaking about the incident later he commented "I felt my soul and my heart converging from the champagne and the wine and the women" May have been the hot grits talking, and while this statement makes less sense than an African immigrant with a stutter I do understand his perspective.

My life changed dramatically when I first saw Miami Vice. When it debuted on Friday night the show became a defining moment for me. Many of my friends wanted to be Crocket or Tubbs...while I just wanted to be one of the bad guys. I didn’t want to be one of those bad guys that killed people, rather one of the bad guys who drank all night, partied with women and spent their days relaxing on luxury boats. I was attracted to the night life. After Miami Vice went off, I would lie and bed and fantasize about what was happening in Times Square at the time. I thought about the parties, the drug deals and the hookers and pimps that roamed the streets late at night when everyone else had headed off to bed. Years later, I'm still attracted to the night life. I love hanging out, drinking up and talking to woman. At least I used to.

My plate of hot grits has been the birth of my son. I spent yesterday in bed with him just staring at his remarkable face without the desire in me to go hang out. Instead of downing shots of Jaeger I'm cradling him in my arms feeding him a bottle. Instead of smoking a blunt outside I'm changing a diaper. They say kids change you, and finally I understand how. I've been resisting the urge to mature for so long it’s quite stunning when you’re forced to take an accounting of your actions because someone else is actually dependent on you. His life has crystallized many things for me and at once caused a conflict to stir deep inside my consciousness. Comedy or kid?

I don’t know if I can do comedy anymore. I don’t know if I want to. Comedy has been my first love since before I started doing it. I relayed on comedy to get me through awkward situations and tough times. Its help me sleep with women. It’s made deep friendships for me. It’s saved me from putting a bullet in my brain. When I started doing comedy, while it was a new experience to get onstage, it felt as if I had actualized a dream I had been training for my entire life. Up until Feb 13, it’s been comedy or death for me. But introducing my son to the world has changed a lot for me. My happiness is not tied into egocentric illusions of making strangers laugh, rather seeing him smile. Comedy has kept me alive for the past 2 and 1/2 years, and now I feel like it may be killing me. The drinking, the staying out late the unending scouring of my brain for the next bit. I do things that make me happy. And for such a long time connecting with the audience made me happy. Writing an original bit made me happy. But with the over saturation of comedy taking place in society now, I feel as if I'm part of the problem and not the solution. I'm just one in a sea of heads looking for some faint sign that we're unique and worthy of 10 minutes of individualized attention from a group of people. I don’t need this shit any more. My son makes me happy. I'll see how I feel next week...I'm getting season one of Miami Vice on DVD.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

In the news..

What’s the going rate for a dead cop on the open market? Apparently its fifty million dollars. That’s how much Officer Hernandez’s mother is asking from the city in her wrongful death suit. Officer Hernandez is the NYC officer who after a night of drinking was beaten in a Bronx White Castle and then later shot and killed by another officer in a case of mistaken identity. Moments before his death, Officer Hernandez held his police issued 9mm weapon against the temple of an innocent bystander in a drunken daze, mistaking this person for one of the assailants that had so brazenly kicked his ass with the aroma of grilled onions and burgers wafting in the air.
While I sympathize deeply for this woman’s loss as his death was one of the more tragic events to take place in the New York City area over the past 10 years, I just can not understand the rationale behind this lawsuit. I can think of 100 things the city could do with 50 million of the tax payer’s money, and no where on this list is an entry for paying off Eric Hernandez’s grieving mother. Here we have a 48 year old woman who still has not grasped the concept of personal accountability blaming the shooting officer and ultimately the city for the death of her son. It sometimes feels as if everyone in this country is waiting to hit the lawsuit lottery where they are merely litigation away from becoming a multimillionaire. Will fifty million dollars really provide a sense of closure and adequately comfort her for this incredible loss, or does she have her eye on the new Hummer and some beachfront property? I’m sure if she hired the right people she could instead parlay this tragedy into a book and movie deal while drying her tears with 200 dollar linen handkerchiefs on Oprah’s couch, and save the taxpayers of NY a heckuva lot of money.
Police officers have been using deadly force for years; shooting kids, applying stun grenades to the homes of senior citizens; choking those who commit civil disobediences. At no time did this mother take up a position advocating the rights of citizens or disapproving departmental procedures when it comes to applying deadly force in various circumstances. I’m sure if the situation were reversed and it was her son staring at a drunken, belligerent suspect holding a gun she would have admonished him for not emptying his clip and asking questions later.

If she’s looking for someone to blame in this unfortunate tragedy, look no further as I have done all the finger pointing for her.

Officer Hernandez-No drunken 24 year old needs to be running around New York City with a loaded weapon. Most 24 year olds still can not hold their liquor, let alone remember to follow departmental procedures after downing shots of tequila. Any question as to his sense of judgment at the time was made clear by his decision to go to a Bronx White Castle at 4o’clock in the morning. I’m not saying you asked for it but damn…who does that?

The Four Thugs-It takes four toughs from the Bronx to take down one guy and then once the beating is over, he still has the capacity to stumble outside and draw his weapon? What kind of beat down is that? Had they applied a proper Bronx beating on this guy, he never would have made it out the White Castle without the assistance of EMT.

White Castle-Probably the party most responsible for everything. Those burgers are so good people are willing to forgo their personal safety just to satisfy their irrational cravings. Not only that, people are willing to commit assault should they feel their place in line threatened by anyone else. What’s sad is the beat-down the officer received was probably less damaging than what four of those grease burgers collectively did to his internal organs.

His fathers balls-Clearly at blame for this whole mess. Had he not produced the sperm that ultimately fertilized his mothers egg, he would not have been born, become a cop, gotten drunk, gotten the munchies, gotten his ass kicked and then gotten shot. I say screw everything and haul his nuts into court.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Here's a tip

I was reading some of the awful posts below that I had been trying to pass off as writing. I think I was half-way done before I mentally threw-up. I don’t know what made me, or anyone for that matter think that people actually give a flying fart about our random musings on the world around us. I certainly could care less about the crap I write let alone whatever drivel some random stranger takes the time to jot down.

But that’s our job as humans...inflate our own egos to the point of delusion. Its amazing how many people have placed an incredibly unrealistic high value on their own self worth when in all actuality, I wouldn’t even spend 5 bucks on a hit man to end their miserable existence. Whatever...we all suck.

Still reading?? Pathetic.

So the baby comes home today and I already had a fight with Mom. I want to have a say in important issues in the baby's life like let’s say CIRCUMCISION, and I feel like I'm already being left out. While I was home she and the doctor decided to prune my son’s penis without my input which probably left me only slightly less pissed off than him after said procedure. Sorry ladies, I just do not feel that as a woman you have the right and/or jurisdiction to embark on a decision of that nature. I'm just not buying the whole 'easily infected' argument she was trying to force feed me like the vapid, group-think human being that she is. Lots of little boys go un-cut and as nasty as little boys are, if this argument held any water there would be an adolescent circumcision epidemic in this country. Every 11 year old male has dug in his nose, scratched his ass, played in the mud and then touched his penis at one time or another. Amazingly we've all lived to be nasty another day which just goes to show you how resilient our genetalia is. Pre-historic un-circumcised man roamed the earth for millions of years in all of his un-cut greatness with the penis never evolving to address the so-called bacteria problem. It wasn’t until pre-historic woman evolved and started forming social groups with other women where they would discuss the penis, that it was determined that maybe the whole turtleneck look is unattractive and maybe we should butcher the most sensitive part on a mans body for the sake of cosmetics.

Basically my son was mutilated because a bunch of superficial women decided that it looks better that way. This was one of the arguments I was hearing from these shallow bitches who were trying to convince me to sexually torture my son.

"Oh I would never suck an uncircumcised dick...That's nasty. "

Here let me do you favor and stick my circumcised one in your mouth. And save the Biblical arguments for someone else because if I'm praying to a God that controls the universe but somehow cares about what happens to my foreskin, then please show me the path to atheism. People believe whatever crap is spoon fed to them by someone who they think is in a position of authority. These same shallow bitches probably sit on the board of Amnesty international and petition the United States to open its doors to African girls in danger of getting their clit snipped. Meanwhile the fate of my boy’s manhood has largely been determined by one of these period having estrogen-Nazis. I would say God help us, but apparently he’s a little busy keeping track of what going on with the tips of our penises.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Open letter to my newborn son

Seeing you come into the world was the most amazing experience I have ever lived through. That one instance encapsulated so many dreams and hopes that I have for you and for the future.

I hope that big head of yours rounds out. Right now you are looking like Stewey from Family Guy, and that's not a good look to start off life with.

I hope your mother’s vagina snaps back into place. Really, at one point it was like a game in the delivery room of "guess what we WON'T put up her coochie?" Hooks, tubes, fists, suction devices...a list of things that make me feel even more inadequate in the bed. Then your big head gets wrenched from out of there followed by a massive trail of cellular shit. Welcome to the world kid...BUT LOOK WHAT YOU DID TO MY VAGINA!!

Speaking of which, I'm hoping YOU like vaginas. Now if you like penises I'll love you just the same. It’s just always been my dream to go to a strip club in the Bronx with my son on his 21st Birthday and get lap dances side by side...together. Keep that dream alive son.

I hope child support never becomes an issue. I'm just not good with court dates.

I hope you don’t grow up and try some Menendez brothers crap with me. Yes, I know you're black...shit like that usually doesnt happen with us. Except in the case of Marvin Gaye...and the FATHER lived. Remember that.

Most importantly I hope I become a father you are proud of. I'm not going to get it right all the time and I know you won't either. Just work with me kid...I know I can find a "dummies' book somewhere for this shit.

Monday, February 06, 2006

When I was 17 Part I

I worked at McDonalds when I was in High School. A fast food job was the last place you wanted to work at back then as it was less embarrassing to be unemployed and broke than flipping burgers for minimum wage. While working there I made some great friends including my best friend at the time Jonathan. Jonathan was a gangly awkward kid with an offbeat sense of humor who looked high all the time, even though he never smoked weed a day in his life. His nickname in the hood was ‘spliff’. I remember spending so much time in the kitchen scoping out the cute girls in the dining room, stealing Chicken Mcnuggets or throwing food at one another when we should have been making BigMacs and Quarter-Pounders. We were alike in so many ways. We had a similar sense of humor and outlook on life. We spent hours walking home together just talking although we both lived not longer than 10 minutes from the store. After a few months there, a young big breasted Puerto Rican named Arlene joined the staff and sent my hormone raging body into a flutter. We ate together on lunch breaks, flirted over the condiment stand and made out in the changing room downstairs. For Valentines Day, I decided to do the most romantic thing I could think of for the women that captured my heart. I would have a local DJ create a slow-jam mix tape for her.

Johnny Wishbone was the hottest DJ in the neighborhood at that time. Because Jonathan was good friends with Johnny, I had him ask him to make me a romantic mix tape that would melt the heart of my Puerto Rican love goddess. After hearing the tape I wanted her to get buck naked, cook me a plate of Arroz con Pollo and feed me while I played video games. Late one afternoon Jonathan came back to McDonalds with the finished product. Excited, I ran downstairs to the break room to listen to the compilation of love songs which I was sure would contribute to me loosing my virginity. But instead of being wowed, I heard what I thought was a product I could have made myself taping late night 'quiet storm' sessions off the radio. Disgusted I ran back upstairs and tossed the tape at Jonathan.

“If Johnny thinks I’m going to pay him for this crap he’s CRAZY”

Now Johnny was not exactly someone from the neighborhood that you really wanted to challenge. Besides knowing all the unsavory characters in the neighborhood, he was 6-5, 250 lbs with numerous knuckle scars. Realizing the potentially life threatening error of my ways, I called Jonathan minutes after I got home and told him that I would indeed pay for the tape next week after I got paid.

That Friday was payday. Another friend of mine named Joseph was working that day as well as Arlene. Joseph and I planned on cashing our checks and going to the local club to hang out. At 9:00 o’clock I punched out and ran downstairs to change out of my greasy burger smelling uniform and into my jeans and sneakers which were suitable for a teenaged night on the town. When we got back upstairs another co-worker, Lavanno was by the counter getting his check with a friend I didn't know named Craig. Craig looking dirty and unkempt stayed to himself while Lavanno, Joseph and I cracked jokes as our manager cashed our checks. Just then, Jonathan and Johnny Wishbone walked in.

I felt my blood run cold as Johnny Wishbone strode over to where I was standing with a not so pleasant look plastered to his face. Jonathan awkwardly trailed behind him still looking high as ever.

“Yo Larry” Johnny Wishbone starts. “I hear you said my tape was garbage and that you aint paying me”

I immediately look over at Jonathan who won’t meet my gaze.

“That aint true man” I reply. I’m a little scared at this point. Johnny Wishbone is with someone else from the hood, Joe Willoby known for his short temper and quick fists. From out the corner of my eye, Craig shuffles over to the group watching us intently.

“I was planning on paying you next week. Aint that what I told you Jonathan?” I ask

Jonathan is barely acknowledging me at this point. I don’t know why he came back or why he told Johnny what I said. I do know I just want to walk away from this with my dignity and/or teeth intact.

‘Is that what he said?’ Johnny asks Jonathan with a hint of aggravation.

‘Yeah’ Jonathan responds.

Arlene is watching the scene unfold. In the back Lavanno and Joe Willoby are engaged in a conversation that doesn’t seem altogether pleasant. Johnny Wishbone gives me a pound, and Jonathan a half playful half serious smack across the back of his head for wasting his time. He motions to leave with Willoby who by this time has clearly established that he does not like Lavanno. The three of them, Jonothan, Joe Willoby and Johnny Wishbone walk out of the door with Lavonno and Craig behind them. Me and Joe follow.

We get outside and the trio of Jonathan, Joe Willoby and Johnny Wishbone jump into a mustard colored sedan, blast the stereo and start to pull out of the driveway. Joe Willoby is driving and in a half playful, half serious gesture makes a slight motion over to where Lavonno and Craig are standing as if he was about to hit them with the car. As they continue down the driveway and wait to pull out into the oncoming traffic on the Avenue, I see Craig pull out a gun.
I had turned and went back into McDonalds when I heard the gunshot.

Joseph came back in after me with a look of bewilderment on his face. At this point we were both in a state of panic and shock as we really didn’t have a good grasp on what was going on. All I knew was I saw a gun, heard a shot and as far as I was concerned Johnny Wishbone could be waiting for us outside to exact his revenge on being shot at by who he may have perceived as being a friend of mine.

Joe and I stood by the counter for a few minutes to collect our thoughts. We decided to just go to the club as was our original plan and just figure everything out later. From our collective point of view, whatever beef was taking place did not involve us in the least. As we made a move to step through the doors of McDonalds, we found ourselves face to face with three 9M semi-automatic revolvers.


"But we didn’t do any...."


Me and Joe both dropped to the ground in McDonalds, in front of our all co-workers, front of Arlene, in front of a packed Friday night lobby. Face down on the tiles that I had swept and mopped hours before, I was searched, handcuffed and forced to lean on the same counter I had leaned on minutes prior when flirting with Arlene. Cops swarmed the place. There were detectives and uniformed officers all over taking statements, searching for evidence and rolling out yellow caution tape. Leaning against the counter I turned to ask the officer who had so politely introduced me to his gun what was going on.

"Shut up before I stick you head in that fry vat" was his response.

While all of this was prior Rodney King we still knew about people that were interrogated by the cops who left in a lot more pain than when they went in. With the last bit of teenaged bravado I could muster, I meekly mouthed the following words to my manager at the time.

'Call my mother'

We were led outside and into separate squad cars. As the officer forced my head down in order for me to enter, I caught a glimpse of Johnny Wishbone in another car parked next to the one I was getting into. He simply shook his head as our eyes met.

I was taken to the 113 Precinct in Queens and led upstairs to an interrogation room. I was introduced to a blond burly Detective in his mid 30's who would take my statement. Following the code of the street, I said nothing. I told them that Joe and I were going to pick up our checks and go to the club. A bunch of guys came in who I didn’t know and started beefing outside. From there I didn’t know what happened. Hours went by with me under the illusion that I could still make it to the club. I remember staring at the large clock on the wall as the minutes ticked by thinking that I still had a slight chance of making it out in time to dance with a hottie.

Every time the detective came back he had more information. He would ask me about the tape. He would ask me about Johnny Wishbone. He knew I knew more. I didn’t know who was talking but I really didn’t care. All I knew I was too smart for them and I was going to beat this. At one point he slammed his hand on the desk and asked me if I knew what "Acting in Concert" was. I didn’t. He was only too happy to tell me that I could be convicted of a crime just by me being there. "What crime?" I asked figuring he was playing some good cop, bad cop game and was unprepared to deal with a wily 17 year old who was wise to the world.

"Homicide" he replied

"Homicide??" What are you crazy?

The officer briefly left me alone to think about what just transpired. He came back and showed me a picture of Jonathon.

"Do you know him" He asked me.

'Yea that’s Jonathon' I replied feeling a little less sure about myself.

'He just died from a gunshot wound to the head. If we don’t get some answers from you, you're going to be booked for second degree murder'

My head was reeling as I stared at Jonathans HS graduation picture. He couldn’t be dead; he was barely 19 years old. He was a good kid. He was harmless. He was my friend. Just then the door opened and my mother walked in. Seeing her concerned but visibly angry face caused all composure to wash away from me as I broke down and started to cry with the detective still holding Jonathans picture inches from my streaming tears. Not known to me at the time, the police should not have interviewed a minor without the presence of a lawyer or a parent in the same room. But that was irrelevant at the time as I told them everything I knew up until the point that I heard the shot that took the life of my friend.

I ended up having to testify for the grand jury against Craig, who pulled the fatal trigger. Craig was a 15 year old drug dealer at the time who by now has been released from the youthful detention center he was sentenced to. Lavanno was forced to testify at the trial and later had to move to Florida because of the threats he was receiving from Craig’s crew for testifying. He is now an ordained minister.

I got fired from McDonalds, dumped by Arlene and never did get that tape that caused so much trouble. I never went to Jonathan’s funeral because I didn’t want to face his parents or the likes of Johnny Wishbone and Joe Willoby. He was my friend and his life was cut short in part due to ignorance, due to immuturity..due to myself. It’s been a long time but I never have gotten over Jonathan or gotten over the fact that my actions led to the death of someone so young and on the cusp of life. As the world takes me on her travels I think back on all the things that Jonathan never got a chance to experience; love, heartbreak, hangovers, hookers, extacy, great loss. As corny as it sounds I sometimes feel as if I have to live for two people and experience life for someone who missed his chance at doing so. So on the days when I'm doing double shots of Tequila at the bar, instead of looking at me like the lush that I am, remember one of those is for Jonathan.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Tales of a messed up existance Part II

My uncle hit the lottery when I was 10 years old. Walking away with a few million he and my two cousins moved out of the projects in Brooklyn and into a huge house in West Bubble-fudge. Once he moved out there he got a crack-head. While spending time in jail for drunk-driving, his crack-head wife introduced one of my cousins to the drug and got my other cousin pistol whipped before kicking him out the house. From that point on she was queen of her own crack-castle, probably the nicest crack-house in America and the only one I know of to have its own landscapers. My Uncle later got out of jail, divorced this woman and presumably got an exterminator to rid the house of all its crack-head pests. With that he turned the house over to my family.

Moving out to suburbia was not an easy transition for me. I was used to trains, hanging out in the park and random acts of violence being available right outside my door. I was not prepared for crickets, starlit skies and strip-malls. One weekend shortly after moving to Bubble-fudge, me and cousin `pistol whipped' were on our way to catch the bus. Bopping our heads to the music blasting out of my cousin`s radio we unknowingly cut through a police precinct parking lot..while sipping on our 40oz malt liquor bottles. Seemingly out of nowhere an officer blocks our path and asks for ID. Figuring that he just wanted to make sure that we were of drinking age, I proudly showed him my recently christened ID that displayed my 21 year old birthday, and took a swig of my beer. He immediately confiscated our beer and ushered us into the police station. I was pretty ignorant to the idea that drinking in public was prohibited. In my old neighborhood we drank on the corner, at the park and on the trains. It didn`t seem like it was illegal, it felt practically encouraged. I had no idea that things worked very differently in West Bubble-fudge.

We say on a holding bench in the precinct while the arresting officer did the paperwork all the while my 21 year old intoxicated mind was working itself up into a fury over the indignity of having my drink taken and us being issued a summons.

`This is uncles a haven`t heard the last of this`

The officer continued with his paperwork barely acknowledging me with a grunt.
You think you can do this and get away with this..this aint right` I continued.

I look over to my right and see my cousin and a handcuffed perp both shaking there heads. Looked like encouragement at the time.

`You know what..this is why people..` And I was going to say shoot cops. But something..a slight sliver of common sense, a thin iota of maturity took control of my mouth and changed the words that were about to fall out.

`..dont like you`

`THAT`S IT!!!! NOW I`ve HAD IT` The guy who was being held on I`m sure a more serious charge than drinking shook his head saying `You done did it now`
Slamming his hand on the desk the officer jumped up and handcuffed both me and my cousin to the wall.

`If I hear another word from you, you`ll be locked up for a month!` he growled.

It was all sirs and thank yous from that point on out of me.

A month later Im walking around the rough side of West Bubble-fudge trying to score some weed. When I turn the corner I see a lovely young lady in skin tight daisy duke shorts and a half shirt casually strolling down the street. Already an expert in the hooker walk, I couldn`t just continue my weed pursuit without at least trying to get a back alley blow-job while the stench of urine wafts about us.

`Hey..whats up` I say

`Whats up with you baby? Time is money` She replies

`Ummm ok..can we do something?`

`Well what do you want?`

`Umm…a blowjob?` I stammer.

`Well how much you paying me?` She responds.

`40 dollars?` I asked.

`Fine..make a left at the corner and go up the street. I`ll meet you there`

I walk around the corner while she trails behind me. As soon as I get on the block I`m approached by two uniformed officers who arrest me on the spot for solicitation of prostitution. Ten minutes later Im back in the same precinct being interviewed by the same cop albeit this time for a different charge. After dispensing with the pleasantries he told me that bail was set at 100 dollars and if I had that I could be released on my own recognizes. Lucky for me I had 99 dollars and a buck in change which saved me the humilation of having to call my mother to bail her son out of jail on a hooker charge.

I managed to make it to my first court date with regards to the public consumption of alcohol. After paying a small fine I was able to put that case behind me and worry about the upcoming court date for my most recent and proudest charge. My cousin had his original court date postponed which coincidentally fell on my subsequent court date. When the time actually came, I had a very important job interview in the city and decided to skip court and just deal with the consequences later. My cousin had surgery on that day and had my alcoholic, crack-head marrying Uncle come to court to inform the judge. I later found out that when my cousin`s case was called, my Uncle approached the bench and without a hint of reservation as is so often found in an alcoholic, pleaded his son`s case and mine as well since he knew we were both caught together. The judge agreed to drop the charges for both of us. My Uncle stumbled back to his seat to await his own docket number being called stemming from a different drunk driving charge he was facing. After a lunch break the judge resumed calling case numbers and came upon mine for the solicitation charge. After calling my name and with no one answering he was about to issue a warrant for my arrest when my Uncle drunkenly stormed the bench and unleashed a tirade saying that the judge promised to drop the charges for both my cousin and myself.

Alternately looking at my drunken Uncle and the prostitution change the judge slowly asked `I agreed to drop this??`

`Yesssssir urrrr honor` my uncle affirmed.

`So be dismissed` And with just that bit of indifference, my arrest was expunged and my record wiped clean.