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Twisting all the bad things into good

Dec 24, 2011

The Nitty Gritty 29: Vigorish


Beautiful isn't it? It took me half a lifetime to invent it. I'm sure you've discovered my deep and abiding interest in pain. Presently I'm writing the definitive work on the subject, so I want you to be totally honest with me on how the machine makes you feel. This being our first try, I'll use the lowest setting.
The Princess Pride


            For the 3rd time in 6 months, I was handcuffed in the back of a cop car. Handcuffs always hurt, but the indentations they leave in your wrists go away after a while. This time was different.
          
            I'm rocking back and forth in the back seat. I'm tempted to start kicking the cage dividing us.
            "FUCK!" I shout. "GODDAMN IT!"
            The cop tells me it's okay.
            "It's not okay" I assure him.
            I can hear what's happening over the police radio. A police helicopter is following Jeff and his wife, Kimmy, who are being followed by DJB's thugs. The helicopter is in communication with the closest patrol car. 3 unidentified men in a black SUV are following a couple in a black Mustang. The patrol car is in pursuit.
           Since my hands are cuffed behind me, I am leaning forward in the backseat. I hang on every word. I'm like some deranged parrot on adderall perched on the cop's shoulder. It seems whoever taught this paranoid parrot to talk has a filthy mouth because the only phrase that it repeatedly squawks is "This is so fucked up. This is so fucked up".
            The officer drives in silence. I assume it is because he is also caught up in the play by play on the radio. This must be what it's like to listen to the closing minutes of the Super Bowl on the radio...if you let the lives of your best friend's family ride on the outcome. No parlay. No teaser. No spread. Straight moneyline.
            Jeff and I were flip sides of the same coin. In the game of life, for every one of my bad bets, Jeff had put in the right play. It was as if he kept my action. If I only I could keep his family from having to cover my losses. It's one thing to ruin your own life, but this would be unforgivable. I should have just killed myself.
            This was about more than long shots and sure things.
            This goes beyond wins and losses.
            This is life and death.
            Sane and insane.
            I'm so confused. I thought Jeff fucked me over, but it seems like the opposite is true. I guess it was inevitable. I've always fucked over the people who loved me most. It seemed I had topped myself this time.
            I'm sorry, Jeff. I'm sorry, Kimmy. I'm sorry, little Ella. I'm so sorry.

            I know I could not live very long with the torment of knowing I was responsible for the death of my best friend and his wife, and leaving his daughter without parents. If and when I get out of wherever it is I'm being taken, I will exact the most brutal vengeance conceivable. One by one, I will show these bullies what it feels like to be helpless. Everyone of these mother fuckers will die in pain and fear. And then maybe I'll be able to die in peace. No, there will be no peace. I'll just die.
            I finally hear the cop on the radio say he is behind the SUV in question and is going to pull it over. A few moments later, I hear that the vehicle is loaded with weapons and the thugs are being taken into custody. "Thank God" I say.

            I sit back and I calm down... for about 7 seconds.   
            "This is so fucked up", I tell the cop. Even though he doesn't ask, I decide to try to explain myself in the loudest and most rapid fashion possible. "On Sunday, I find out that my dad died. I was planning on going to his funeral tomorrow in Philly, and then he just called me like 10 minutes ago".
            I can't sit still and I can't stop talking. This is mania. I am a maniac.
            "I mean. how would you feel if you thought your dad died and then he calls you?"
            "I'd be pretty upset too" he admits.
            This cop is one of the good guys. I've been treated like an asshole by cops before when I did not deserve it. I deserved it now, but he never loses his cool. I know that this situation sucks, but I recognize that I am lucky that he is the one taking me to wherever it is he is taking me. I would have pulled over and beat myself with the butt of my service revolver.
            "Thank you. Thanks for at least admitting that. I appreciate that. That's why I'm freaking out".
            He tells me I'm safe now.
            "Safe?" I say as I start to get belligerent. "The only time I did not feel safe this week was when I was with cops".
            This is a total lie. Madness only multiplies flaws of character.
            I ramble on. "You have no idea what kind of corruption goes on with Philly cops. I was up there with my cousin and I swear the shit was just like something from The Shield. You watch The Shield?"
            "When it was on I did" he says.
            "Awesome show, huh?" I ask.
            He agrees. Not as passionately, but he agrees."Yeah, it was good".
            "Right? I watched all 7 seasons last week, straight through" I say proudly. I'm not connecting dots at this point. "That's exactly what it was like up there. They got their hands in drugs, the dealers, the pimps, the prostitutes. It's so fucking corrupt". I realize that I better shut up before he has me questioned by Internal Affairs about my cousin and what I know about corruption in the Philadelphia Police Department.

            I just look out the window. I'm not going to incriminate myself or anyone else. That lasts about 4 seconds. I am out of control. I know I am a madman, but I know I have the right to act this way. "Look, my dad had some legal problems years ago, so I think he faked his own death to get away from all of that. Either that or he did it to see if my mom was cheating on him. But either way, why involve me? Why put me through this and make me think he's dead, ya know what I'm saying?"
             He never argues with me during the whole ride. I never shut up the whole ride. I just spout one conspiracy theory after another during the 20 minute ride.            
            The cop in the passenger seat is a black woman with a jheri curl. I never see her face, only the back of her head, which she never turns. She never acknowledges me. At least the guy is responding to me and attempting to keep me calm. She never says a word. Even though I can see her, she isn't there.
            I didn't know that it was only me and the cop driving in this car. The only thing I did know was that he was not taking me to the Boca Raton Police Department. I don't know what this means. I don't know if this is a good or bad thing.
    

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