Someone came and knocked on the door. I jumped to my feet quickly and moved towards the window, for a swift escape. I heard a voice say, “It’s Shy Shy. Top Dog told me you were here. What’s going on? Open the door!”
Shy Shy was a lady I’d been seeing. I met her at a popular soul food restaurant near the University where she worked. Shy Shy was very naïve, and we all knew her by her nickname that she deservingly earned with her bashfulness. Unknown to me or her at the time, her brother was my drug connection. I had him known for years. He came to sell me some drugs one day and Shy Shy drove him out to meet me. I stood in the parking lot and said, “Damn, is that Shy Shy?”
As he walked up to me he said, “How do you know her? That’s my sister.”
“No shit. I’m dating her.” We were both very surprised to learn this. Shy Shy was even more surprised because she didn’t even know her brother sold drugs. She knew I lived on the streets, and she knew about my drug use. She asked me many times to move in with her but I refused. I didn’t want to drag her down into certain parts of my life. I felt like I was no good to myself, and certainly no good to others. I asked her not to get too close to me because of my lifestyle, but she was always there for me, and I tried to be there for her.
I opened the door and let her in. I told her about my jail time and my escape.
“You can’t stay here,” she told me. “Come stay with me.”
“I can’t. I must go underground.” I knew some people who would protect me, as long as I worked for their criminal business. This would mean anything from moving hot cars or merchandise, drugs or even prostitutes across state lines. “I’ll call Mr. Speaker tomorrow.”
Mr. Speaker was my high stakes crime connection. He would give me jobs moving cars and drugs back and forth from Jersey to Carolina. The money would be good, and I would be moving at all times. This would make it difficult for the police to ever catch up with me. I had nothing to lose.
“You’re driving hot cars without a license,” she told me. “And Speaker always has coke in the car, or some bitch with coke on her in the car, and you know this! So how in the hell can you sit here saying that you’ll be safe?”
“Fuck that, Shy. If I’m going to prison, I’m damn sure not going there broke this time. I barely made it in county jail. You need money in there just like anywhere else.”
“You hard headed son of a bitch, Ricky. Can’t no one tell you shit? You’re going to do whatever the fuck you want, regardless of who you hurt.”
“Listen here. I didn’t want to hurt you, Shy. But this is the hand I’ve been dealt and I’m going to play it out. I know you care, and I care for you. But this is not a fairy tale with a house and a picket fence. I’m in a fucking rooming house, running from the law! That’s the reality of it.”
“I understand what you are going through,” she told me. “I will always be there for you. But you don’t have to try to protect me; I’m a grown ass woman.”
“Okay, this is how it’s going down,” I told her. “I need money to get to Jersey, and to set up shop with Mr. Speaker once I get there. It’s going to take about a week to get this. I’m going to need your help, Dog’s help, and not to mention Jewel’s cause I’m going to have to stay here to make this cash.”
Top Dog knocked on the door. “Hey, it’s me. Let me in.” Shy Shy opened the door and Top Dog walked in with beer, a set of bolt cutters, and a fifth of Bacardi Gold. “I know you like tequila, but I thought Bacardi would go better with this bag of powder.” He threw about 2 ½ ounces of powder cocaine on the table. “We need to cut this down. Jewel, go in the kitchen and bring a jar so Rick can cook up some rock. Here Dog, let me cut those cuffs so you can drink and smoke with me as a free man. Hell, you might pass out, Dog. You’re fresh out of jail.”
“Hell, no he won’t,” said Shy Shy. “If he passes out, it’ll be with me. We need to spend some time together.”
“I know that’s right, girlfriend,” said Jewel. “His black ass interrupted us with that escape bullshit today. You owe me one nigger.”
“Fuck that. Let’s play a game of Jack rock, Chicago style,” I said.
“I’m not feeling up to that tonight, Rick,” Shy Shy told me. “You need to lay your ass down and get some rest.”
“Okay, shit. Me and Eddie will play,” I said. “You down, Dog?”
“Hell yeah. Jewel, are you in?”
“You know I’m in for a game of Jack rock,” said Jewel. “So let the game begin. Don’t talk about it, be about it.”
We cut up a twenty of rock cocaine for each of us. One of us would take a big hit, or a mega blast as we said, followed quickly by a straight shot of Bacardi Gold. Before taking the shot of Bacardi, you would pass the crack pipe, stem, or bazooka, to the person to your left and they would immediately take a hit. Hit it, pass it, drink it. Hit it, pass it, drink it. The game was really intended to be played with at least four people. With only three, the bazooka made it around the circle quickly. The game continues until someone passes out. On this night, I of course lost. Fresh out of jail, we all knew this would happen. I was fucked up! I hardly remember playing in the first place.
The next morning I woke up and my mouth felt as dry as the Sahara Dessert. It felt like some son of a bitch was banging in my head with a jack hammer. I was the last one to wake up. Jewel was standing in the narrow hallway waiting for Shy Shy to come out of the bathroom. She said, “I think Shy is throwing up from smoking so much hydro.”
“Hell, that ain’t nothing new,” I said. “Didn’t you see her smoking like a Navaho chief last night? She smoked over half your bag of weed.”
“Hey man,” yelled Top Dog. “If you gotta piss, you better bring your ass out on the back porch with me.” I stumbled out to the back porch to piss. “Good morning, jail bird. How are you feeling?”
“Like shit,” I said.
“Are you really going to work underground for Speaker? Or were you just poppin shit out the side of your neck?”
“Hell no,” I said. “I don’t have any other choice. Now can I piss in peace without having to listen to this shit?”
“Have a drink of this Ol’ E, Dog,” he said as he tried to hand me a forty.
“Fuck you very much,” I said. “I don’t need that shit. What are you trying to do, kill me?”
Top Dog smiled and said, “Have I ever told you this joke?
One night this man came home drunk. His wife had fed the dog, but had left the dog food on the table. The drunk man ate the dog food. The next morning at the breakfast table, he told his wife that he wanted the same thing again for supper.
“Oh no dear, that was dog food,” she told him.
He said, “I don’t care, I want the same thing.”
This went on for weeks. So the wife went to the family doctor. She told the doctor that her husband was eating dog food. The doctor said that the dog food wouldn’t harm him at all. But just to be on the safe side he agreed to stop by her house and check in on her husband. The next week, the doctor drove up to the house. To his surprise, there was a wreath of flowers hung on the front door. He quickly knocked on the front door. The wife answered the door, crying, and said, “my dear husband.”
Surprised, the doctor asked, “What happened? A heart attack? A stroke?”
“No. One morning he went out to get the newspaper. He returned to the front porch. He raised one leg to piss, but slipped and fell and broke his neck.
I smiled. “What’s the moral of this story?”
Top Dog quickly turned and while I was still pissing, pushed me clear off of the porch. “Just be careful and don’t break your neck.”