Any dialogue or behavior ascribed to the characters in this story—those who are real people as well as the characters who are imagined—is entirely fictitious. This is a work of fiction.
Copyright © 2011 by R.M. Usatinsky
The moral right of the author has been asserted
No part of this story may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the author except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews
“Don’t forget about da judge in da john…he black, but he sooo white dat no one neva notis.” — A.J. Wilson
I neva dun much finkin bout nuffin befo. Well, wat I means t’say is dat I ain d’kine a guy who tawk a lot. U cud even say dat I is d’sof spokum type. I likes t’keep t’masef an t’ma famly. Famlys d’mos importin fing a mans got in dis life. Wifout famly, y’ain neva bin, ain neva was, an ain neva cud be nuffin. Not in dis life any dam way. Now, I was startin t’say dat I neva dun much finkin befo bout nuffin. Well, nuffin spesha anyway. Not ‘til I meets A.J…
Fings was coo in 80-fo. Me an Chavez Davis we be flippin nickels in da sembly hall in hi skoo when alongs come A.J. Wilson. Flip. Nickel to me. Flip. Dime. Flip—dubba-a-nuffin….Flip. We even. Shit Rich.
Niggas was u-tight back den wen fings was coo an Jesse was nufin mo den a foo wif a big ass head an a big dam mouf, an brova Luis was bahine da seens yet ta has sprung his howns an poiny tail. Likes I said, fings was coo in 80-fo.
I remumba da tenf a Augus. It was hot. Reel hot. An not jus dat sweaty, sticky hot like any o tenf a Augus, but a boila room kinda hot dat make ya skin feel like it be boinin issef up like a rack a rib on da baba-Q.
We spend da day wif Sissy and A.J. eatin nachos and drinkin Budwisah up by Nof Avenu beach. Dey hate seein us Niggas up nof and git aw u’tight an shit when we cum by an dey hide dey wallets and dey fancy Rolecks under dey towls. But we aint neva mess wif dem sass fif avenu type. We like goin t’Rogis Park to tip up ol Jewis ladies, give em a hot attack an shit. Dey always be keepin a load a cash and jewry in dey pannies draw. E-Z pickin. Or when we boad, we mozy up inna Evanston and mess wif dem pump Niggas wif dey baggy ass pants and gowd. They be hangin on da borda tween da poress a da po Niggas and da richess of richess white nof sho boogly boos. Driven dey Masedy-Ben and sqwa-ass Vovo downtown dubba parkin wif da blinkas blinkin runnin in ta git dey dry cleanin o pickin up dey kids at dey violin lesson. Shit. Ain’t no life any dam way always runnin an pickin shit up.
Anaway, it was dis paticala summa atanoon what me an A.J. met up wif trubba. We ain neva got us inna no trubba befo, but today it seem dat trubba was lookin f’us. We walk inna cona bar on Devon avana n’Fairfeel, nufin but a bunch a fat ol retire firemuns an bee-belly drunks talkin bout da Cubs o dey ol lady o dey taxes o sum booshit about how da Indiuns done took ova Devon avana and how dey be smellin up da neybahood an shit and how dey be dubba parkin an shit.
So me an A.J. sit ow sefs down at da bar and awda us a cupa co bees. A coas da ho place be lookin us ova, me and A.J., like we was some lunch counta Niggas a somfin. O maybe dey fink we was undacova cops or seekit agens or men fron da moon. Whateva dey be finkin dey was starin pretty ugly. An dey was starin wif a bad intenshun. Jus den one a da boogly boos, a fat belly boogly boo wif a ball head an one a doze goadee beers wif da mustash and beer dat only go down on da chin, he say t’da bartenda, Iss gittin kinna dark in here, maybe we orda turn up the lightin. Batenda look at me an A.J. wif dat haf stoopid look dat say he embarass an bustin up laffin all at da sane time. Batendas dey neva wan no trubba, but dey gotsta pleez dey custamas, speshly if dey regalas. So I says t’A.J., A.J., less make fo da do for we gessus in any trubba. A.J. look at me wif a look dat I new meaned trubba. One a dem hard looks you only see in the big house. A look ya only see on da L by pump Niggas in dey Brook Bruva soots who make eyes wif da nappy hair wes side Niggas; dat look dat say hey nappy hair wes side Nigga, ya gots to shine a lots a shoes o eats a lots a white lady pussy to wear a Brook Bruva soot.
A.J. was breakin a swet and I ain’ nevah see A.J. break no swet. I put ma glass down on da bar and put ma han on A.J.’s showda. He was trumblin. I say, E-Z bro, dey aint done nuffin dat dey aint been doin f’years. We be takin dis shit f’evah bro, Kuna Kintey, Martin, Macom, Clance Tomis. Now lets jis pay da man and tip da fuck outa here. But A.J. had dis look in he eye an he cuden shake it. Da boogly boo wif da mouf was jis waitin f’us to say or do any dam fing jis so he could start up sum shit and look da big man in frona he drinkin buddies. Da Viet Nam vetrin who kill for his cuntry standin up to two grizly Niggas from the Robit Tayla projec who done cum t’da nof side to rob his home, rape his daughta, drink his Budwisah, and sit his big ol black ass in his Lazy Boy. Shit. I knew in dat momin dat we be starin trubba drekly in da face.
A.J. stood hissef up an look da ball heady boogly boo right in da eye. Da boogly boo look it A.J. an say, You got a problem, boy? I knows when da boogly boo say da majik boy woid dat A.J. was gonna buss. An jis is soon as A.J. took a step in da drection a da boogly boo, aw da udda boogly boos dey pick dey fat boogly boo butts off dey stools and toin an face A.J. an me. Look genulmuns, I say. We ain cum here lookin f’no trubba. Aw we’s done was cums here fo a co bee. My friend A.J. here’s jis a little u’tight, y’see he jis git out a spendin a ruff cupa days down at 26 an Cal. He ain drink hisself a co bee in fo days…and he ain kill nobudy in five!
Jiss den da bartenda brake into a goofy laff. Hear dat, boys? He said his friend ain drink a co bee in fo days and ain kill nobudy in five. Now das a real cents a huma. Da boys aw kinda in dat momin smile an laff unda dey bref. Da fat man be gigglin an shakin he head up in down. Goadee beard baldy head turn to A.J. an say, I spen a night dey once fa punchin ma ol lady in da face. Da gods beet da shit out me wif dey sticks till I puke ma guts all ova tellin me dat it wasn nice ta punch y’ol lady in da face. A.J. turn t’baldy boy and say, why you be punchin y’ol lady in da face any dam way? Ball top, wif a dumma den dum espreshun on he dumma den dum face say, Da bitch dun put a ding in ma bran new Cullis Supreen. A.J. puff up he bottom lip an shake is head an say, You a good man, prolly a demicrat. Hell, I’d a woop huh ass good she put a ding in ma new Cullis Supreen. Da bitch!
A.J. drunk up da lass swalla a bee an put a dolla bill on da ba. G’aftanoon genulmun, he say as he walk out da do makin da dingly bells ring. D’was quiet fa a momin an aw eyes was on me. I give em a little smile an put ma dolla bill on da ba. Yo fren really jiss get outta jail, aks baldy boo, o was yous jiss puttin us on f’da affec? Well, I said. I was jiss pullin y’all leg. A.J.’s a Havad lawya, edicated, refine, he drive a Vovo, marry to one a da Kennedys, smoke c-gahs, drink Jack Daniel an play clayinet wif Woody Allen in N’Oleans. And if dat don impres yo boogly boo white bred asses, he a sekin great granson of d-famis Negro sientis George Washington Carver—you no, the Nigga who invetid peanut butta. He a genulmun, aint never hoit no one in is ho life. He aint caypabo a hoitin a junk yah dog. Ain godda a mean bone in he body. Da boogly boohs be laffin and grinnin as dey blud pressa be dropin back t’norma, shakin dey heads, drinkin dey bee, wipin dey moufs on dey sleev wen jiss den in dat momin da soun u’da dingly bells ring and da do open wide.
Twas A.J. standin dey in da dusty brite lite of a Rogis Park atanoon in da cona ba. He be standin dey in da do-way wif a dum ass grin on he face an he dick hangin out da zippa. An jiss befo I c’say, Hey Nigga, what you got yo dick hangin out ya zippa fo? he take is dick in is han an he sta’peein awl ova d’dam place. He be peein on the ba stoos, up on da cas rejista, peein on da Ruffas, da cashews, da cheezy baws, shit, he even pee on da dam hod boil eggs sittin on da ba. Well, da boogly boos was jiss sittin deh wif a look on dey faces dat I neva eva gonna soon f’get. Like dey jiss see Jesis hissef a somfin. Well, da batenda he come roun t’da uda side a da ba an he say, Godammit, what da hells da matta w’chew? An A.J., wit pee still comin out is dick look’m in da eye an say, Nigga, I jiss hadda use it, culdn hol it in no mo and ya no it agans d’law t’pee in da street.
Well I be bussin up laffin an ol A.J. he be peein away, on da bee nuts, on the poke rines, on da Jucy Frut. An den da bartena run up t’A.J. wif a broom stick in one hand an a can a Lysow in da uda an A.J. say, Whatchu finnin d’do wit dat shit? Batenda put on a mean kinna look an say, You stop peein allova ma place o I caw da po-lice. A.J., jiss down t’trikalin ba now shake his dick aroun an put da shit back in is jeens. Bawdy boo, who be sittin calm an coo durin d’tempess start walkin t’da back do. Where y’goin Missa Clean? Go back an sit y’fat ass down, I aint dun witchu. Look—say Bawdy boo,—look shit, mothafucka, reply A.J. Dats it, say da batenda, I’m callin da cops.
A.J. run upta da batenda, grab d’broom and da Lysaw from is hand an start sprayin da po batenda allova da face wit dat shit. Well da po batenda he fall t’is knees an start jibbrin like a goofy hyena jiss been bit on da ass by raddasnake. An inna a instan da quiet man wif da shakes he pick up is ba stoo, raise it up ova he head an jiss like in a goddam John Wayne Gacy pitcha he cras dat ol ba stoo ova A.J. head an A.J. faw t’da flo like a ton a bricks. Caw da po-lice, say Bawdy boo. Fuck dat shit, said I. Da batenda git up an poin d’can a Lysaw at ma face. You guys is goin t’jail, he say, pissin my place up whichyo stinky Nigga piss. Den I get up in he face and say, My Nigga piss don’t smell any diffren den yo white ass piss, Nigga!
Jiss den I notice A.J. startin t’move ova on d’flo an an udda boogly boo, who tills now been sawda quite, da one wif da fancy close, dubba chin an a bad case a zitty scas gits up off he ba stoo an yel, Dats enuff! An he reach in is pocket an pull outta lidda gun. Look like a lidda toy pop gun t’me, da kine we useta hol up d’sevinlevin wif. Whachu gonna do wit dat gun, missa? I sed. He look roun at da batenda who still be holdin dat dam Lysaw can i’ma face. Go head, he say, lookin at da batenda, Caw da po-lice. Den he look ova at A.J. You, he sed, get up off d’flo. A.J. pick hissef up off d’flo an leen hissef up agins da ba. Da batenda wenova an pick up da phone an started dalin. Jiss den A.J. grab da batenda, rip da phone from out is hand an rap da coil roun is neck pullin tite. Da zitty face man poin is gun rite at A.J. an da batenda. Letum go! screem zitty face man, o I blow yo black ass bak to Mozambeek. In dat momin da familya soun a da dingly bells ring an da do open wide an in wawk one a Chicaga’s finess hansonly dress in he summa showt sleeves wif’is bleech white t-shoit showin in da open colla an he big ol bee belly stickin out ready t’pop da buttons, pants pracally fallin down t’da flo, wearin is gun down t’is knee like an B-movee cowboa ina showdown at da o.k. k’ral. Whada site, I says t’mysef.
Seein da seen befo is eyes, which he culdn quite figga out despite is twuny sevun years a soivin an priteckin da pulick, jiss seein two Niggas in a nofside ba was enuff ta gitt’em fumblin fo is gun which I was sho he ain’ neva so much as touch in awl he twuny sevun years. Well, A.J. he sprung out an push da batenda in t’zitty face cawsin em bouf t’fall on toppa eachuva. Zitty face gun fall away too. Cudin see whea it fall but it fall unda a ba stoo a somfin. A.J. grab da broomstick n’swipe da coppa unda he jaw cawsin him to jugga he gun which fly inta da aya and lan conveenyenly in ma graps. And befo I cud do nuffin A.J. grab da gun fr’my hand an poin it at da po-lice man. Shit, I finks t’mysef, we in sum reel trubba now.
Da ho place wen froze up like a ice scupcha a sumfim. Like time be standin still an aw eyes was on A.J., cep fa ol zitty face man who be keepin one eye on A.J. wise da udda be lookin roun f’is lidda pop gun. Zity face jiss be dyin d’be d’hero makin d’fron page a tamaras SunTime, be innaview by Fayhee Flim o Floy Kabba o d’lidda Jewboy, wassisname, Jakeissin. Inna mean time da po-lice man, who be lookin like he bout ta had a stroke o a hard attack o sumfin, was mumblin an bumblin som unrecanizaba shit about how he a po-lice man and how you cant be takin no gun fr’no po-lice man an how if A.J. gibbem back d’gun how evathin gonna woik issef out jiss fine an evabody jiss go on dey way like nuffin happin aw rosey and shit.
But A.J. he be fully invessid in d’momin and he no he ain jiss walkin out aw rosey n’shit. Meenwhy, the po-lice mans walky talky be cracklin and be startin t’track a lot a’tenshin. Shut dat gizmo off, A.J. said poinin d’gun at the walky talky. If I toin it off, said the po-lice man, s’gunna send a signa t’da headquarta sayin dey be a police-man in disdress. Now why would y’go n’tell em dat? aks da batenda. If ya wudda let em cut off da radia d’place wud be swommin wif cops aready. Den da po-lice man say, Les jiss woik dis out tween us mens, like genulmuns. Nobody giss hoit an evabudy jiss go on dey way.
A.J. sits is seff down inna ba stoo n’put is head in is hands. Nobody done nuffin, not even move a mussa, an A.J. keep is head in is hands fo maybeh fo o fi minnis an even I’s didn say o do nuffin, I jiss be lookin roun at d’boogly boos why dey be lookin roun at eachuva aw kinna seriess an confuz. Why don dey makes a move on A.J.? I thoughts t’maseff. Tween em awl deys could eez’ly ovapowa ol A.J., takes is gun, wop em on da head, shoots m’dead o sumfim claimin seff d’fence.
Finely, A.J. pick is head up an say, Who gonna be da fois t’dah? Gonna be you zitty face man? O ha bowtchu bawdy? O wa’bowtchu missa po-lice man? Evah take a bullit in d’line a doody f’da great citeh a Chicaga? He paws f’a momin a consentreyshin. Iss gonna be you, he said poinin d’gun at a taw fin man who be sittin in da cawna undaneef d’windah. Til nah t’aint sed nuffin, be sittin deh aw nice n’quiet wiff is Budwisah an Lucky Stripe. Me, aks da taw man. Whats you got gens me?
A.J. walk ovah t’da taw man an puss d’gun in is face. Ya’ll evah hoid a d’Beatles, aks A.J. A coss, ansa d’taw man, who ain hoid a d’Beatles? Names ‘um, says A.J. What? reply d’taw man. Name um, repeat A.J. Name d’fababliss fuckin fo o I shoot y’ass ri’hee, ri’now. Well, say d’taw man. You means d’Beatles wif Ringo? Befo Ringo? Wif Stewa Sucliff, wiffout Stewa Sucliff? O what? Maybeh if you jiss d’fine d’crytiria jiss a bit I mights jiss b’ayba t’ansah y’queshin c’reckly. A.J. look at d’taw man wiff a lidda grin. So, you n’expoit? say A.J. He look at d’taw man an aks, Ringo Starr real name. Richard Stakey, say d’taw man wiffout evun battin a boo. You gonna aks me some diffacut queshins, he added lookin ol A.J. straid inna eye, o is we jiss playin fa fun? Awright mothafuckah, say A.J., John Lemmins foist wife. Cynfia, replied o taw an fin. McCartey’s foist wife, mothafuckah, continue A.J. Jane Asha, replied taw man effitlissly.
A.J. be gettin aw hot unda d’colla, he startin t’make me a lidda noivis. A.J., I says t’A.J. S’up Nigga? A.J. he toin round an he lookit me awl funny n’shit an he say, Stay outta ma bidness o I shoot yo boogly ass too, aw da sane t’me.
Well, if dat ain jiss be da toinin poin a d’ho louseh aftanoon. He we is, A.J. n’me, in some real big ass trubba an deys o’A.J. playin trivia pasoot wif d’fin man whiles he be poinin a po-lice mans gun right innis face. Now if dat jiss aint da mos stoopid damn fing ya’ll eva hoid in y’ho life, I cant magine nuffin mo stoopid den dat.
Well, about fiteen o twuny minnis go ba and A.J. still be doin d’Beatles fing wif d’taw man. An dey be goin addit reel good, sweatin and makin awl kine a finkin faces an shit, look like A.J. be havin sun kine a epalepic attack. An he be keep comin up wit da most radicilis queshins: Paul McCartey dis, Ringo dat, George Harris dis, John Lemmin dat—almos make me wanna shoot A.J. massef! An dey keep attit. Fa ten, twuny, fotify mo minnis: D’White Abum, Abbey Ro, Magic n’Misery Toe, Yoka Ona, Letabee, Appa Reckids, Brian Somebody ol Jewiss faggit who killhiseff cause he a Jewiss faggit who was in luv wit John Lemmin—Damn!
And den it happin. Da po-lice man got up off da flo an wid his big ol bee belly jigglin like a bo a blue jella rush ova an takal ol A.J. Down ta da flo like a mothafuckin Dick Bukiss and jus den a shot rung out and I new dat A.J. done shot dat ol fat po-lice man who started rigglin and jigglin lookin mo and mo like a bo a jella even mo den befo. And the po-lice man get up holdin his han ova he chest screamin, I bin shot, o god I bin shot! But I ain seen no blood sqwoitin out from no dam place and I sho ain seen no bulit ho in da po-lice mans shoit. An den A.J. pick hissef up off da flo an he be screamin an wavin his hans all about like a chickin who jus dun got is head cut off. Den I saw da pudda a blud on da flo an I be finkin shit, ol A.J. dun gone an got is black ass shot an now f’sho we bof be goin ta big house an sho as day we gonna be spendin a lot a time bahan bas.
But den I see dat wasin no blood on da flo, it was da po-lice man done shit hissef an da place begun to stink up somfin awful. I was wondrin wher de can a Lysaw was now cause da stank a dat shitty mess was startin to conflick wit ma gag reflecks an wen dey a conflick wit ma gag reflecks dey aint nothin to stop ma ass from heavin like dey ain no tamara, an dat shit stink even wois den da shit!
A.J. was still screamin and makin all kinda fuss an in his daze and confyooz state a mine he done flop hissef strate outda back do a da ba an startid runin down Fairfeel avana like I ain neva seen nobudy runnin befo. Dat Nigga wudda put Jesse Owen ta shame.
So while da police-man was still looking for he gunshot woon an da uda mens in da ba be scramblin about moanin and groanin an lookin roun fo da gun, I jiss mosey ma black ass out da side do, tip off up da alley an jump my ass ona soutboun numba 93 CTA bus sit maseff down an try ta get ma gag reflecks back ta nomal.
Da bus pull ova to pick up sum pasajers waitin at Granveal an hoo d’ya finks get on dat soutbound 93 bus? Ol A.J. get onbord huffin an puffin like he jiss run a marafon an he be lookin franickly for he buspass o sum coins o sumfin an I can see he ain got needa of um so I gets up an walks ta da fron a da bus an fill da money box wit all da coins I had lef in ma pocket an cause da driva—a goodlookin brova—didn make no fuss, Im guessin dat I had enuff change not to cause any mo trubba.
Me an A.J. stay on dat bus til we get ta da Kimbo avenu L stashin an we taked our tranfas an get on da train getin off at State an Van Buren an we makes a way ta da 11th street theata wher my unca Chals woiked as da janita an elevata operata who was kine enuf ta let A.J. and me down ina bolia room so’s we cud cool a heads off an talk about what we’s was gonna do bout da hole nofside ba episode.
Unca Chals cum down about fiteen minits layda wif a cuppa a col cans a Hamms which coudin a cum ata betta momen cause we was drya den Def Valley. An whiles we was sittin in dat hot boila room drinkin ow col cans a Hamms, I was finkin bout how good it was bein alive an jiss at dat momem I remumba my grandaddy singin da woids ta da Hamms jingo when I was a kid an in dat momem I was happy ta be who I was and tankful fo all da good Lord done give me in dis life…
Fron da Lan of Sky Blu Wata,
Fron da lan of pine lofty balsam,
Cum da bee refreshin,
Hamm da bee refreshin.