Dirty Hellbeast from RSP

Posted: April 2, 2015 in Lit Gems
Tags: , , , , , ,

Thought Notebook   On the corner of my twin bed I sat. The one bought from the furniture store on Pacific Ave. It was a slow, lonely night. The darkness was my only friend but the streetlights invaded through the metal blinds. I had been lost in my own thoughts and needed tranquil solace. I looked over my shoulder into Eleventh Street, which seemed inches from my bedroom. It was the same vile street, weaving through the city bowels that housed the insanity on Harbor Ave, where the medicated Zombies lurched around dimly lit alleys. Thoughts of exciting activity lingered in my hazy mind. The powerful Bud I smoked thirty minutes ago was still taking it’s swipes. Yesterday, Dubs and I went half on an Eighth tested on my new plastic pipe purchased a couple days ago. Everything seemed to go frame-by-frame and the life scenarios in my mind were heavy. My head, speech, arms, and brain weighed a ton. I did a quick inventory of people I could hang with for the remainder of the evening. Dubs went on a date. Dees was hanging with his family: up on First and Western. The Bully shot into my mind like a quick jab. Bully, his real name Eddie, was a professional punch thrower from Queens, twenty-two, thin with a chiseled, dark body. He possessed the head of a Southeast Asian boy put on the body of an athletic, black man. He had a slow island draw and the mind of a typical, street savvy New Yorker, yet non-abrasive. He had a gentle spirit, until he entered the square circle, and then the brutal left and right flew without mercy, automatically into the closest part of an opponent’s exterior. He had an East Coast fashion style: always wearing a fitted Yankees cap pointing backwards and baggy over sized pants. I intended to hang with this man-boy of pain, on the night that moved slowed as frozen molasses. I called and asked him what he was doing. ‘He replied nothing, but watching an old Mickey Ward/ Auturo Gotti fight recorded earlier.’ I told him I would be there in a bit. I reloaded my pipe with a fresh piece of Sticky and gave it a few aggressive pulls. Smoke filled my throat and lungs, while my ears rung hot. My head felt stuffed with hard air, but that was how I knew it was taking affect. He lived on Santa Cruz Avenue: about three miles from my own abode. It was an easy route, if I cut directly through the RPS projects. My mind and I agreed this was the most effective route; we waited a few minutes on the body’s decision. I exited my small, green shack and locked the front door. I checked. Double-checked. Checked one more time. I walked toward Sixth Street: the anything but ritzy downtown of the harbor city. Dubs said at one point in history it was the most dangerous street in the world. Not any more. It was a cluster of small bars, smaller eateries, and a variety of odd stores. The kind nobody visited but still seemed to stay open. The famous Warner Grand and Williams’s bookstore were on the opposite end toward Pacific Ave. I wore black jogging pants and my gray hooded sweatshirt, with Pre Fontaine’s face hidden among the other designs. I was a living Rorschach test, briskly walking down the street. My hand hung to the side and controlled my body like a rudder. The weed loosened every joint; I felt noodle like, marching down the side streets on my mission to hang with the Bully. We would watch fights, drink Guinness, and be a company of two instead of a lonely one. Through the back streets I ambled, passing the bar on the corner where the old female, haggish bartender (the one who looked like her brain was beat out by Crystal Meth) refused to serve me. There was some sort of DJ night taking place inside. This was rare for the harbor city because that was a Long Beach thing. Twenty year olds marked with a multitude of tattoos and piercing, stood outside and waited for the husky doormen to allow them entry. I cut down sixth street, passed the SP Brewhouse and other little bars, which had a ratio of one woman to every six men and most of the gals were on the size ten or higher scale. I decided to test myself that night. I always gave myself a test, to escape the borders of conformity and keep me sharp, for what life tossed out in my direction. The exam that night: saunter through the Rancho Palos Verdes housing projects. During the daytime as a teacher, I was on the edge of the Rancho often, supervising the route, for the one-mile mandatory run. I patrolled the course to ensure no chubby, stragglers played hooky, or were lured into a Pedi’s car. Yet that was the daylight. The dark covered the things that couldn’t openly slither the streets, during the afternoon hours. The kinds of things that showed no mercy. I heard the horn from the port, while cutting through the alley from Sixth to Fifth Street. Fifth Street was the same street as my old job: an auto storage place for antique automobiles. Before I knew it, I was on Third directly in the eye of the projects. The breeze from the harbor swept down and the blue lights from the Vincent Thomas Bridge caught my eyes. Nothing on all sides of the silence, but two level dwellings that sported windows and doors clad in iron bars. The streetlights were overly bright, almost as bright as a high school sports field during evening games. The weed had me dipping in and out of reality. First, I glided through a fantasy and imagined living the words to a song. Next, I was back on the streets, feeling the nipping harbor air against my face. I raised the hood of the sweatshirt to stop the exodus of body heat. The projects were better than I’d imagined. Dubs said they were battlefields, for the Crips and various Mexican gangs less than a decade ago. He stated blood was shed in the spaces between those buildings. He’d seen many friends claimed by the Reaper. His father died from a heroine overdosed on a cold, lonely title floor in those very projects. On that night the units seemed peaceful and stoically quiet as though asleep and also enjoying the gentle, soothing music from the horn and the easy hum of bridge traffic going too and from Long Beach. I focused my eyes straight ahead. Coming towards me less than five yards away were a pair of unleashed pit bulls, prancing down the same sidewalk, escorted by their owners a couple feet behind. I didn’t get a decent peek at the handlers. My pupils fixated on the beasts as I beat myself up mentally. How did I not see them? How was I not ready! They are going the jump on me! Now I am on the same side of the street as two free Pit bulls in the Rancho Projects My mind raced into action. I must lift my hands from the dog’s path because my wrists were eye level with them. The animals moved rapidly, before I could react they were beside me. My thoughts were slow motion because of the Mary Jane. Slight panic filled me like a burp of awkward laughter. I moved my hands to my hips. The canines sensed panic. My palms must’ve seemed like mobile, sweet meat to them. The next second my digits were pocket level and the closest dog lunged. It had a magnificent, muscular body coverer with light, gray hair and Jet black stripes. The head was more than it’s half the body, including a giant mouth housing two rows of sharp teeth, which expanded wider the closer it came. In a flash, the demon leapt toward my neck out of primal instinct. It flew past my throat by millimeters. I felt the breath on my Adam’s apple: streaming hot and moist from the slobbering, air borne death hole. It’s chompers clamped on the shoulder of my sweatshirt, ripping a small hole, while shaking it’s head side to side. My mind instantly sent me a message. You are not going to leave this situation. You’re probably not making it out of this; at the very least you are going to lose a finger or worst. There are two Pit bulls and one high dummy- dummy! It was survival mode or death. I turned my brain off and put the instincts on autopilot. I never lost when following my instincts. They told me the other hound was going to jump. It did. The second Pit was larger but slower than it’s clone. I met the flying beast as it hovered toward my vital regions. I grabbed it by the mid-section and with inertia’s help guided it directly into the other. My instincts explained: you’re going to fight these mutts like human beings. Hit them! Swing! I balled my fist and laid into the dogs with lefts and rights. I had boxed for six years and knew how to deliver pain. I punched them with hard shots: to their head, to their bodies, and to their noses. I felt my knuckles sink into solid, furry bellies. My inner voice advised me (my instincts never yelled or spoke quickly. They were calm and clear in their delivery) do not run, find something and put your back against it. Be prepared to swing and kick at will. I sprinted to a yellow car (I didn’t know the model); it was yellow and there. I placed my rear against the passenger side door and held my hands in front of my face. I wasn’t fearful but in an zone of apathy. I just wanted to live and prevent my fingers from being ripped off. I felt someone at my shoulder: a slick haired, thin Mexican fellow with a full-toothed mouth, smiling at me but not taking his eyes off of my sweaty brow. He leaned against another car watching as if it was a funny novella, taking place before his beady pupils. His blood-thirsty face radiated a huge gaping grin, while his eyeballs expanded into huge dinner plates. It seemed this was his World Cup and Mexico was up one to nil. He offer no help. I wished death upon him and turned back to the canines. My instincts said: look the dogs in the eyes and yell as loud as you can. I faced the beasts and opened my mouth. The words were solid bullets. I inhaled from the pit of my stomach like a dragon and exhaled a firestorm of profanity. “Get the fuck out of here!” The voice bellowed. It wasn’t my own but borrowed from a demon or dark angel and shook me to the core. From out of the darkness a huge, bald Mexican man, over six feet tall ran up from the rear, slapped, and beat his murderous puppies down. “Get the fuck back!”, He hollered. A thickly built, meek Latina dressed in a tight jogging suit hung close by his side, while he manhandled his dogs. The other guy leaning against the car turned out to be his friend. I put my hands in my pockets and quickly dip down a side path. I didn’t want confrontation. I had enough. I was in RPS territory unprepared to face any potential gang members. Besides, what could I have said? What could we have talked about? This was not my home. It was his. I knew the rules. I took the test. I rolled the dice and faced the fire. I rushed to Bully’s, racing through every dark and dirty throughway. My hands firmly tucked into my sweatpants. I was sobered up by the cold. By luck or instinct, I found his apartment. It was a rundown, second level two-bedroom attached to a duplex. It had a great view of the bridge that watched the harbor city like a sentinel wearing aqua lights. I climbed the stares worn from my ordeal. I knocked on the door and Bully answered. He was glad to see me. The boxer had on his trademark hat turned sideways and an over-sized New York sweatshirt. I walked inside and fell onto the old, black sofa. He handed me a cold bottle of Guinness; I had waiting in the refrigerator. I popped the top and drank slowly, unwinding from the ordeal. We never spoke about the dogs, but just watched old Mickey Ward. Between sips of the black, Irish beer, I thought: that Mickey Ward was a tough one. They don’t make then like that anymore http://www.thoughtnotebook.org/journal-issues.html


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