Blackhumouristpress's Blog

March 31, 2010

Eviction Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — blackhumouristpress @ 5:16 pm
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Mario Caldrone pulled the Cook County Sheriff’s late model Ford Crown Victoria to the front of a house that looked to have seen much better days.  The screen door was missing the top hinge and had no glass.  There were wrappers and cups strewn around the over grown front lawn of mostly crab grass and weeds.  In the back yard were two Pit bulls that barked their husky bark.  Mario pounded hard on the front door with the palm of his hand that caused an echo against the homes across the street.

            “Sheriff’s department, open up…  This is your…last warning, we’re coming in,” said Mario.

            Mario took his fifty pound lead pipe with two handles attached and hit the door once, splintering the door and ripping it from the frame.  Once inside with guns drawn, he and Officer Leon Jones walked through ankle deep garbage looking for occupants.  Newspapers, magazines, hangers, clothes, shoes, fast food wrappers, DVDs and shoes were strewn though out the house.  The occupants deserted and left two of their dogs in the backyard without food and water.

            “So you gone tell me watchu think, Mario?” Asked Leon.

            “Okay Jonesy…  A black man and maybe a white chick with really poor self esteem.  Bleached blonde hair with black roots, smokers, both overweight, pill takers, and pot smokers, children with other mothers and fathers, no job and in collections for everything under the sun.  They both eat a lot of fast food and have nice cars and  many pairs of sneakers and probably left here and went and shacked up at the elderly grandmother’s home somewhere not far from here.  Her house is immaculate and she has World War II pictures of her husband on top of doilies in the pristine living room.  She was watching soap operas, dozing and reading her bible when her bust-out grandson showed up with a pillowcase full of important belongings and the train wreck of a girlfriend with him,” said Mario while kicking around abandon junk.

            While Mario gave his profile based on the housekeeping and belongings, Leon found pictures of an over weight white woman and a black man with both white and black children in the picture.  Leon just shook his head.  He knew that nearly every time, Mario was absolutely dead on.  It amazed and amused Leon.  Leon hated Mario when they first started working together but grew to admire and respect the wisdom of a man who had been working for the sheriff’s department for thirty years.

            “You know what today is, Jonesy?”  Asked Mario, as they drove to their next case.

            “It’s Friday and I’m taking mah woman out foh some dinner and some dancing and then Imma make love to her like ain’t never done befoh because she was on her cycle last week and whenever that happens, I get crazy.  I wanna throw a damn party when it’s over,” said Leon, while looking out of the passenger window through dark sunglasses.

            “It’s the anniversary of the death of Jesus.  He was killed on a Friday.  I can’t figure out why it is Good Friday.  I went to church this morning and we’re having all our family over on Sunday.  It’s supposed to be warm.  I’d like to sit outside…  You like to sit outside, Jonesy?”

            “I love the summer, dude.  I cain’t wait for summer days,” said Leon.

            “Yeah…  The spring…  When anything and everything seems possible.  If you’re a Cub fan, you start out in April believing that this is the year.  Then with the fall of the leaves comes the stark realization that you may never live to see them win a World Series.  Nobody alive remembers the last time they won a World Series…  Well spring is a great time and Easter is a chance to see your family again since Christmas and sort of reconnect,” said Mario.

            A thin man with no hair up the middle of his head took heavy drags from a cigarette as he paced in front of the building.  He stopped pacing when the Sheriff’s car pulled up.

            “My attorney said you would be here between 9am and noon time.  It’s after 12:30…  You people don’t value anything but your own damn time,” said the man who couldn’t look either of the officers in the eye.

            “You know something, man?  We cain git right back in the car and take the fuck off and let the sheriff’s department know that there was no representative at the building to meet us.  It costs you $30.00 fucking dollars and then yo ass waits til we git back around here again… You dig me?”  Said Leon.

            Mario interrupted before the man could respond.  His smooth demeanor and smile put the anxious man at ease.

            “I’m sorry… It’s just these animals have trashed my place and the court just gave me possession and I just know they’ve ruined my place.  I’m gonna have to spend thousands to restore the place and I’ll send them to collections and they’ll file bankruptcy and I won’t get dick,” said the nervous man.

            Mario knocked three times.  He could hear a television playing in the background.  A commercial was on.  Ironically it was Peter Francis Geraci.

            “Worried about losing your house, automobile or problems with the IRS?  We can help you to become free of debt.  With offices through out Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan, we have operators standing by to assist you…”

            A skinny white male with dishwater colored hair in his late twenties with a moustache was lying on a mattress on the floor of a bedroom in the back when Mario and Leon walked in wearing all black with guns drawn.  The occupant had been smoking crack the night before and had let the better part of a day pass before waking up to his wake up call.  Leon posted a no trespass notice on the door and loudly ordered the white male to get what he needed and clear out.  For Leon, the man was the epitome of what he hated in white people.  He was a an uneducated, drug dealing, bigoted poor white trash that felt he was superior to blacks just because he was white.  Leon showed little mercy.

            “You have five minutes to get what you fucking need and git yo ass outta here.  You fucked this place up, dude…  Look at this shit.  You fucking livestock in this mutha fuckah, huh?  Who the fuck lives like this?  If it were up to me, I’d tie your ass up to your rusted out fucking truck with the confederate flag and drag your ass to the south side…  Watchu you got tattooed on yo arm?  Is that a swastika?  Shit it is, boy,” said Leon.

            Mario stepped in again and spoke with a smile and cool tone in his voice while pointing his side arm at the hold over tenant.

            “Sir…  You were delinquent on your rent and it went to court and the court determined that the owner should have possession of his unit.  This means that you must vacate forthwith.  Forthwith means that you have to grab what you can hold in your hands and get out fast.  Think of it as sort of a fire.  There is a fire and you need to get out really fast and if you have the chance to grab something, grab it or just get out while you can…  I think you should put on a shirt though.  It’s warm now but you know how it gets in Chicago and we’re not far from the lake.  The wind could change and then you’d wish you had a shirt on…” said Mario.

            The young man blurry eyed, found a dirty Harley Davidson shirt and put it on.  He stuffed some items into a pillow case and walked out.  The owner complained about the system that seemed to favor the tenant and not the owner.  Mario blinked heavy and nodded as if to agree with the man.  He calmly listened and then spoke.

            “I personally would turn this building condo and get the hell out of here.  Who you gonna get that’s worth a damn in this day in age?  Nobody has a job, everyone has debt, and everyone is filing for bankruptcy.  The day of the little old lady in apartment buildings is gone.  Turn it condo and go live in Florida…  Have a nice day,” said Mario as they walked down the stairs.

            Leon asked his take on the latest case to be evicted.  He always liked hearing Mario’s spin on what he thought.  As much as Leon detested most white people, Mario was his hero.  Leon hoped that one day he could do the job day in and out and just smile.  Most days Leon went home hating people and not trusting anyone, while Mario left it in his locker like his black clothes and bullet proof vest.

            “Broken family… Mom left dad and went it alone.  Dad went on with his life and tried to forget that he ever had a kid and a wife.  The boy grew up not respecting his mom due to a slew of one night stands and worthless boyfriends. He grew up breaking rules and had no boundaries.  Rather than seeing what was possible and making the best of things, he probably spent his whole life blaming his dad for taking off.  The drugs, lack of discipline and so on he attributes to his dad who probably started over with another woman and got it right the second time around…”  Said Mario.

            Leon shook his head and looked out of the window at young black males that were hanging around on street corners, no doubt look outs for drug dealers.  Mario sensed so much anger in his partner and disdain for humanity.  Mario surprised Leon.

            “I would like you and your lady to come to my place in Elmwood Park for Easter and don’t tell me no either.  We get together about three in the afternoon.  Don’t bring nothing… My wife will make more food than we could eat in a week with desserts and the whole shot…  Hang out with the I-talians for a day.  Then on Monday you can ask me what I think about my kids, my wife, my cousins, my brother, his wife and their kids.  I can tell you what I think about everything and then I think it’s your turn to tell me what you think about many things in life…  Before you explode.”

July 30, 2009

Midlife Chrysler

Filed under: Auto Industry,Chrysler Deathwatch,Short Story — blackhumouristpress @ 2:27 am
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Midlife Chrysler
Joe pulled into the lot of the beach front night club in Malibu, California at such a fast speed that the carhops jumped out of the way. Joe slammed on the breaks of his jet black Dodge Viper as the car screeched to a stop.

“You fucking kids… What you think, you fucking kids? I’m gonna hurt you? Eh? Take care my prize… I love that fucking car more than life.”
Joe’s name was actually Shlomo and Joe was Jewish not Italian. Joe never told anyone that he was Italian but it was implied. He walked in the club with a cigar in his mouth, wearing a burnt orange suit and shiny black shoes with his hair greased back. Joe was bird’s nest bald in the back but hid it well by combing his hair straight back. The bangs rarely get cut. Joe hugged the owner of the club an Italian man from New York who went by the name of Willy. Willy escorted Joe arm in arm to a table near the dance floor that had a VIP card on it and a velvet rope had a reserved sign in front of it. Joe pretended to talk on his cell20phone to a business associate as he panned around the room. A pretty raven haired girl with pouting hips, sat at the bar with a few other girls that were just days over the age of twenty one. Joe sent over a bottle of champaign to the girls as a few regulars stopped by his table to chat with him. Joe sent over another bottle to the girls and told the waiter to have them join him at his booth. The young women giggled at first but mustered up the bravery since there were four of them in all. Joe kissed all of their hands as they individually extended their hands. They got a good look at Joe’s expensive Cartier watch, gold bracelet and pinky ring. The girls all thought Joe was a gangster and he played it up to the hilt.
“So where you girls from?”
“We are all students from Spain,” said the stunningly beautiful raven haired young woman, in a heavy accent.
“Spain… I love Spain. Seville, Barcelona, Madrid… Love it there,” said Joe.
The other girls had difficulty speaking English the way the raven haired Marina could. Marina worked in a hotel in Spain where mostly British tourists would come for holiday. Joe was totally smitten with the angel faced young woman with a perfect body. Her silver dress contoured her body li ke a glove. It was nearly impossible for Joe to pull his eyes off of Marina. Joe sipped his scotch slowly as marina drank down the champaign at nearly a glass every fifteen minutes. Marina got bold and sent her friends home without her. Joe had no way of knowing since Marina commanded her friends in Spanish. Joe was hers and there was no disputing this. After four generous glasses of champaign, Marina sat close to Joe and listened to his every word intently.
“Tell me all about you, Joey… I want to know everything about such a handsome specimen of man,” said Marina, into Joe’s ear while brushing her lips gently against his earlobe.
“Well I was married once and now I’m happy… That was a little joke there,”
“So what do you do, Joey? You must be an important man.”
“I don’t like to discuss what I do so much, babe. I do what I do and I do it well and it makes me rich and that’s all you gotta know.”
Marina kissed Joe on the lips. Her soft lips and thin neck smelled of a light flowery perfume. Joe kissed Marina on the neck and posed a question he had posed nearly every time he found himself in a similar situation with a young impressionable woman.

“Do you believe in fate?”

“Fate? What is fate?”
“Do you believe that gawd meant for us to meet tonight? I tell you why… I was going to go home and go to bed. I stepped out on the balcony of my place and watched the moon shine on the waves and said to myself, there’s got to be something special waiting for me on such a beautiful night. I found myself coming here for a reason I did not know… I know now though. After seeing you, talking to you, I now know that gawd had a purpose for me tonight. It was to meet someone really special… This is like winning the lottery…”
“Tell me one thing Joey; Do you have good insurance?”
Marina was visiting on student visa and was attending Pepperdine University. Her goal was to find an American man who really wanted to be married. She then would get her citizenship and vanish to some other area of the country like possibly Miami.
Marina woke up to the sound of seagulls screaming over head and waves crashing on the beach. A note on the table from Joe. This is what it said:
Swee t Marina,
A lot was said last night and I meant all of what came out of my mouth. I look forward to getting to know you and sharing my life with you. I believe in fate and feel that you do too. You have my cell number now. Call me later. We can meet for dinner.
Love Joey
During the day, Joe was Shlomo and his job was to manage a shopping center in the San Fernando Valley that was owned by his wife who was a trust fund baby. Yerhuda inherited money and property from her father who bought land all over the country. Yerhuda’s job was to collect checks from companies that managed her properties in various cities. Shlomo’s job once a year was to visit all the holdings and give his wife a report. The rest of the time, Shlomo worked out with a personal trainer, played golf and tennis and ran around in his various sports cars.
Yerhuda was known as a Jewish ten; a five with money. Lots of money. Shlomo was able to convince Yerhuda that what he felt was true love. Yerhuda bought it and they went on to have five children over the course of eighteen years. All the children were stout, chubby and spoiled rotten. Shlomo hated to come home most days when the children were home. They yelled, cried, fought with one another and whined for things that they didn’t need but received anyway.
When Shlomo was not at the country club, he could be found sleeping in office inside the mall which was owned by his wife. Shlomo had a Murphy Bed installed in his office. A Murphy Bed is one that comes out of the wall and is disguised as a book shelf. Shlomo would usually be hung over from running around all night. Yerhuda took sleeping pills to sleep and rarely knew that Shlomo was out carousing.
“Honey, the agency sent over the new au pair,” said Yerhuda, while eating a bowl of blueberries in her jogging suit in their spotless kitchen.
“Well she seems nice enough… A student and all just like the others… Okay, Captain Bill will bring the yacht to the marina at three, don’t be late… Huh… I just had a thought. Sort of coincidence… Well whatever. Hurry home. Love you.”
Shlomo joe parked his Dodge Viper in the large circular driveway. His eldest son was playing basketball in their tennis court with a neighbor and never acknowledged his father’s presence. Joe opened the front door and set his keys down on the antique table just inside the foyer. Yerhuda was in the sunroom giving instructions to the au pair.
“Ariel cannot drink milk. He is lactose intolerant. Rebecca will not eat pasta with sauce. It has to be butter. Ziv can stay up until ten and then he must go to sleep. We’re just going to our place in Cabo for a few days but you can reach us on my husband’s cell phone anytime… Oh here he is now. Marina, this is my husband Shlomo.”
Shlomo was as stiff as a soldier and pushed his wife to get her things and leave forthwith. Yerhuda asked Shlomo what was wrong and why it was that he looked so pale. Shlomo blamed it on the lox from the deli in Santa Monica. Shlomo kept waiting for the young girl to do what young girls do; get angry and drop the dime. It never happened. Shlomo was intrigued as to what was going through Marina’s mind. After a half day passed, Shlomo sent Marina a text message.
“I don’t know what to say other than I’m sorry.”
Marina responded ten minutes later.
“Call it fate… Don’t worry, Joey. We’re going to work out the terms… It’s like a gift from god. Just like winning the lottery. Kiss her for me 🙂 ____ Marina”

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