Cormac switched gears on us this week. Apparently we have to use the four words below at some point in our story.
Because of my rediscovered admiration for the broad genre known as Pulp, I figured this story oughta go in that direction. And blatantly so.
Shackled like that to that table in the interview room, I was not feeling particularly cooperative. I don't think the two cops really cared what I felt. But since they said I was involved, I figured the best thing to do was lie through my teeth. In my world, the truth did not always set you free.
"I don't know nuthin about nuthin. And if I did, why should I tell you guys?"
"Well Fat Boy, uh you don't mind if we call you that do you? So Fat Boy, you were fingered by the Paki who runs that Bodega on 3rd and Falmouth. Says you were the guy who stuck a handgun in his face and took off with......." The cop flipped through his 3x4 notebook and found the page, "Uh he says you got away with $43 and some Jujubes."
"I was cross town bangin my girlfriend. That Paki is lying. I hate Jujubes. They get all up between my teeth and shit. Besides I don't do guns. Guns get ya in trouble."
"Fat Boy, Fat Boy, Fat Boy." The cop walked around the table and leaned in close. Too close. I could smell the liquor on his breath and stale sweat from a shirt on a two day, maybe three day turnaround. "Well how was it then you were picked up not ten minutes after the robbery in Caesars Park a few blocks away? Come on guy, it really doesn't matter if you did it or not. We have the ID and anything else we need can be "Found". Get my drift?......... Besides, you really think we believe any woman who wasn't inflatable would even think of slappin hips with a scuzzy loser like you?"
I looked up at Liquor Breath Cop and glared. His eyes were sparkling. Was that the beginnings of a grin I saw sneaking up on that ugly cop face of his? These bastards didn't care if I did it or not.
"You find any money on me?......No! You find a gun?......No! This is a frame and you assholes know it."
The big cop standing silent near the door spoke up. "Doesn't matter Fat Boy. Someone has to go down for this. Might as well be you. What you need to do is give us a good reason to not bag and tag your fat ass."
"I want a law....." Before I could finish, Liquor Breath yanked my chair out from under me. I crashed to the floor with my wrists still hooked in hard to the table top. It hurt like Hell. "Jeezus, what did you do that for?"
"You said the magic word Fat Boy. The one word that will mean jail for your sorry butt. Mention lawyer one more time, and there is nothing we can do. We'll wrap you up so tight, not even the best lawyer you can't afford will get you off." Liquor Breath Cop stood me up and made a show of brushing me off. "Now sit down. We have some questions and then maybe a proposal for you. And no lies. My silent partner over there is just itching to see you fitted for an orange jumpsuit."
"Okay, okay. What do you need?" They had me by the short hairs that was for sure. If I was processed, that meant fingerprints, DNA sample and that ugly situation I was involved in over to Back Bay might pop up. That is if they had managed to find anything. I had to be careful.
"You know Gerry, right? Don't even pretend you don't." I nodded. "We need you to make a buy. That's all, just a simple purchase. Give us the dope and we'll let you go. No need to even show up for court. We don't even want him. We want his supplier. Come on Fat Boy, you have to know how this works. You help us. We help you. Call it a compromise. Neither one of us are happy about it, but both of us get something. You get to walk. And we get a worse scumbag than you off the street. Win/win all around."
Three hours later I hit the street. I had $500 of marked money in my pocket and a wire I was supposed to wear when I hooked up with Gerry. I had a few hours before the buy so I grabbed the uptown bus and headed home. Just to make sure no one was tailin me, I transferred twice and then caught the subway at Ninth Ave. Sitting on the subway, I thought about running. Quickly that thought lost out. I couldn't quit this town yet. I had business to button up before I could leave.
My crib wasn't much. Just a room and a half bath on the second floor over the Holy Redemption Soup Kitchen near the Strip. I could afford better, but I needed a place like this. It fit in with my current operation. What I couldn't afford was having that operation compromised. Livin here kept me below certain radar frequencies.
I liked Gerry. Yeah he was a drug dealin low life, but he had his charms. He dealt straight and gave the customers a good count. It was going to be a shame I had to turn him over to the cops.
I stripped and cleaned up the best I could. There was no hot water as usual, but I managed to wash off most of the cop stink. I needed to set up the buy so I found my cell phone and paged Gerry. He called me back in less than a minute. Damn this guy was a good business man.
"Waz Up dude?" Gerry was all business. I knew not to waste his time with small talk.
"Gonna be around for awhile? Got some business I need to take care of."
"Sure dude, usual spot, see ya soon." Click.
I dialed the cell of Liquor Breath Cop and told him of the upcoming meet with Gerry. He said cool, they'd be around the corner waiting for me. "And don't forget the dope asshole."
"Don't forget our deal jerk off." Liquour Breath hung up chuckling.
I changed into some fresh duds and was just leaving when the other cell phone rung me up. "Hey momma what's shaking?"
Shit. Gerry never called this number unless he wanted some more product. Why now? Goddammit, nothing ever goes smoothly. Story of my life.
"Well hey there darlin", hows my best man doin tonight?" I almost didn't disguise my voice. Gerry had caught me off guard.
"Need some more product sweet thing. Fresh out. Business is booming doncha know."
My plan to give Gerry up just hit a major glitch. If he had nothing to sell me, I wouldn't have anything to give the cops. I would have to pull off a Doubtfire. Meet him first as Marsha, change my disguise, meet him again as Fat Boy, buy back my product with cop money and then rendezvous with Liquor Breath Cop and Silent Sam his partner. All in the space of the next couple of hours. This was getting way too complicated.
"Marsha, hey sweet thing. You still there? Damn phones......"
"Yes Gerry, I hear you. I'll be by in an hour. Usual place I'm guessin?"
"Sure thing sweet cheeks. See Ya."
When I had gotten out of prison 3 years ago, I vowed I would never go back. I was not going to be caught stupid again. Drug dealing was all I had ever done. I was not a nine to five kinda guy. I came up with the plan I was using after hours in stir watching my favorite movie. That Robin Williams just cracked me up. Why couldn't I do the same thing? So I created Marsha. She would only be used when doing deals. The time left I would be Fat Boy keepin an eye on things and making sure everything worked smoothly. Not livin large, but gettin by. All the while that account offshore would grow until one day I could leave this sleazy town behind. It seemed the perfect set up.
I smiled and thought back to how this all began. It took awhile before I got a handle on it. Swapping back and forth between Marsha and Fat Boy sometimes four or five times a day created some sketchy situations. That nasty business with the Mexicans in Back Bay came to mind. I lucked out when they hesitated to shoot me because I might just be a broad. And even though I blew them away with that saw offed shotgun the one dropped when I kicked him, I never had any pangs of guilt or remorse. It was business.
Since then I had been very cautious to not create any circumstance that would require Fat Boy and Marsha to be in the same area on the same day. It had all gone great until today. Today was trouble and I knew it.
I left my crib and instead of heading right back downtown, I walked the few blocks to the garage I rented near the old Senator Theater. Once inside, I quickly bagged up a quarter pound of Brown Heroin and changed into Marsha. The heroin and my Fat Boy clothes, I stuffed into that huge purse Marsha always carried with her.
I didn't use the subway or catch a bus, I hailed a cab. Time was tight and besides dealing with droolin perverts on public transportation always made my skin crawl. A few blocks shy of the bar where I was to hook up with Gerry I told the Cabbie to pull over. I'd walk from there. Once again I marveled at how the chicks could wear all this crap and function at all, nevermind walk with any comfort. Heels, panties riding up, nylons dropping down and bra straps chaffing parts I couldn't reach. I buried the discomfort. Finding the trash bin behind the bar, I dropped the quarter pound of Brown in. I walked around front and sashayed into the basement bar where Gerry was busy talkin with the bar keep.
The usual greetings and a couple of shots of J&B later, I excused myself to the ladies room. Taped up under the sink was a nice fat envelope. It was quickly jammed inside my garter. I left the can and exited the bar by the back door. Gerry was just collecting his goods. He looked at me and smiled. I waved and walked down to the other end of the alley.
I had to find a place to lose Marsha and change back into Fat Boy. Quick stepping it as fast as those size 12 pumps would let me, I headed for the subway entrance at Fifth and Driscoll. At this time of night, the restrooms ought to be empty I thought. They were. Slipping into the grungy stall I stripped off Marsha and struggled to put on Fat Boy and the wire. Several minutes and some serious cussing later, I finally walked out as Fat Boy. What to do now with the envelope and all the Marsha stuff? I definitely could not keep them with me. I could not throw it away. Based on what he owed me, there had to be five grand in that envelope.
"Screw it", I thought. Losing five grand might just have to be the price of making it out of this cluster fuck.
I stuffed the money, the wig and Marsha's size 16 dress into the huge purse. I jammed the whole mess into the trash can in the men's room and hurried to Caesars Park to meet with Gerry. I rounded the corner near the park and saw what had to be the two super cops parked in the shadows waiting for me to do their dirty work. As if on cue, they flashed their lights. "Yeah right you assholes, I'm here. Calm down." I walked into the park.
"So Fat Boy how much of what do you want?"
I looked at Gerry. "Dude, I need a Deck of Brown. Half G's worth."
"Whoeee. Sounds like Fat Boy's gonna par - tay. Just stocked up. You're in luck."
Gerry walked away. A minute or so passed and he brushed by me handing off the heroin with one hand as I passed him the marked bills by stuffing them in his coat pocket. We had done this more than once.
"See Ya round Gerry. Thanks." I left the park.
As I walked down Driscoll towards the subway station, a car pulled over to the curb in front of me. Silent Sam, Liquor Breath's partner hung his head out of the passenger window. "So Fat Boy how'd it go?"
"It's cool. I got the Smack and I guess the wire worked." I walked over to the car.
"Oh it worked alright Fat Boy. Or should I say Marsha. Or.......help me out here. Just who are you? Marsha or Fat Boy? Oh Never mind, the Bubbas upstate will figure it out for you."
I could feel a wave of nausea coming over me. I couldn't speak.
Silent Sam continued, "Yeah Fat Boy, we have been after you for a long time. If it makes you feel any better, we aren't going to worry you with that double homicide over Back Bay way. They deserved it. You did us a favor. And besides why take a chance. We have your ass six ways to Sunday with this dealing beef."
"But, I don't understand. How could you.........."
By this time Liquor Breath had stepped out and was coming around the front of the car. "Well you see Fat Boy, Gerry has been in our pocket for some time now. If you are as stupid as I think you are, you stashed the marked bills we gave him to give you. I bet the tracking device is still inside." Liquor Breath held up Marsha's purse. "And besides......" Liquor Breath snickered and let his eyes drop to my shoes. "Those big pumps you are wearing don't exactly go with your outfit."
And so goes my recent effort for Flash Fiction # 9. The picture I used at the top is of someone famous for a time. Not famous in a mainstream kind of way, but some of you might recognize this edge pusher from back in the day when it was still possible to shock America. Who is he?
A couple of hints - He is dead now. He was a cinema star.
Back to reality........................
(2362 / 8480)