Pimp. By Robert Beck aka Iceberg Slim. Adnotated without permission. Chapter 2 -- First steps into the jungle.
The slide was greased. I was starting my long plunge to the very bottom of the grim pit. I guess my trip downward really was cinched when I met a petty hustler who was very likeable and we became pals.
My hustler pal was called Party Time. By the time he was twenty-three he had done four bits in the joint. On each fall he had been jacked up for either strong-arm robbery or till tapping.
He got his moniker hung on him because as soon as he scored for scratch he would make fast tracks to the nearest underworld bar.
When he got inside the door he would shout, "All right you poor ass bastards, it's party time and Joe Evans is in port with enough scratch to burn up a wet elephant. All you studs stop playing stink finger with these long-cock whores and everybody belly up to the log and get twisted on me."
His flat African features were pasted to a skull that could have belonged to a cave man. He was short, powerful, and shiny black.
He was ugly enough to "break daylight with his fist," but for some curious reason he was irresistible to many of the thrill-seeking white women who sneaked into the black side of town panting as they chased after that hoary myth, "nigger men do it so good it thrills you to your toe nails."
There was a Fast sheeti joint with the trick rooms in the rear, right on the alley. I was peeping one night into one through a frayed shade when I saw Party Time for the first time.
My eyes were bugging when I saw the tall viking type white man, his tiny, but voluptuous female white companion and Party Time taking their clothes off. Finally they stood there naked. I could see their lips moving so I pressed my ear and eye sideways against the window that was open a couple of inches at the top to get the sound.
The white joker was tenderly hefting Party Time's weapon in his hand like maybe it was Ming Dynasty Pottery. He said excitedly to the broad, "Oh! Honey, can you believe the size, the beauty of it!"
Party Time stood at the side of the bed looking down at her. He was an ebony executioner. His horizontal axe cast a cruel shadow across the snowy peaks, rose tipped.iv
My trouser front was tented as I pressed even tighter against the window. I had never seen anything like this back in Rockford. Then to my amazed ears, the white man said a strange thing as he pulled a chair to the end of the bed and sat on the very edge of it.
He was breathing hard when he said, "All right now boy, stab it into her, hurt her, punish her, crucify her, good boy! Good boy!"
The broad looked so fragile and helpless to my naive eyes that I felt a pang of pity pulse inside me as she moaned and whimpered in painful pleasure beneath the black demon savagely pile driving between the jerking white legs jack-knifed, imprisoned behind the sweating, hunching black shoulders.
Like he was trying to make a home Party Time was asking in a hoarse voice over and over, "Beautiful bitch, is it good? Beautiful bitch, is it good?"
The white man was an odd, funny sight as he raced around the arena like a demented Caesar, cheering on his merciless black gladiator.
Finally when the show was over and they started to dress, I went to the front and sat on a stoop next door to the joint. I wanted to get a close up of the freaks.
When they got to the sidewalk, in their street clothes, they were disappointingly normal. Just a clean-cut white couple having a parting chat with a grinning, black Negro.v
The mixed-up couple went down the sidewalk away from me. Party Time came toward me. He didn't notice me sitting on the stoop. I was itching with curiosity, so I hit on him when he came abreast. It startled him. His face got stiff.
I said, "Hey Jack, how you doing? That sure is a fine silk girl, huh? You got a square to spare?"
He fished a cigarette from his red shirt pocket, handed it to me and said, "Yeh Kid, she's fine as a Valentine. Two sights I ain't never seen and that is a pretty bulldog, and an ugly white woman."vi
He was spouting cliches, but to a small town boy he came off witty as Hell. I was in that brain-picking mood so I put the snow machine into high gear to hold him. My eyes bucked in mock awe as I lit the square.
I said, "Thanks man, for the square. Christ! That's a sporty vine you got on. I wish I could dress like you. You sure are clean aplenty."
He took the bait like a rapist in a nudist colony for the blind.vii He flopped down on the stoop beside me. He poked his chest out, his eyes flashing like a pin-ball machine gone haywire, as he got ready to open up. He hiked the pants legs of his green checked suit to his calves to show his blood red socks.viii
The huge zircon on his right pinky glittered under the street lamp as he cracked his knuckles and said, "Kid, my name is Party Time. I am the best flat-footed hustler in town. Money loves me and can't stay away from me. You see that fine silk broad, I got a double sawix to lay her. Course that ain't nothing, it happens all the time. I could be one of the greatest pimps in the country if I was lazy and didn't have so much good hustler in me."x
I sat there listening to his bullshit until two A.M. He was likable and I was hungry for a pal. He was an orphan and he had just done a two-year bit straight up, his fourth, two months before. He had a head full of wild risky hustles he wanted to try. He needed a partner. He tried all of them on me for size.
I got home at two-twenty. About one minute later I heard Mama's key in the door. She had served a banquet for her white folks. I just made it into bed with all my clothes on, when she came to look in on me. I was snoring like a drunk with a sick sinus when she kissed me goodnight.
I lay thinking in the darkness until daybreak, putting myself into, and trying to size myself into one of those quick buck schemes that Party had plotted. When the sun came up fat and bright I knew I would give Party's version of the Murphy a whirl. I didn't know his version was crude and dangerous, and only a weak imitation of the real Murphy.
Years later I discovered that the Murphy, when played by experts, was a smooth short con game with a slight risk. In any section where Negro whores operate white men will flock to trick with them.
I met Party several times after school at a pool room. He ran my role down to me and the next Friday night we got down with our hustle. Mama was serving a party so I could stay in the streets until at least one A.M.
Around ten that night in an alley in the heart of the vice section, Seventh and Vliet Streets, we unwrapped the package that Party had brought. I rolled up my pants legs beyond my bony knees. I slipped into the twenty-five cent red-cotton dress from the Salvation Army.
I put on the frayed red satin high-heel shoes. I pinned a scraggly piece of hair just inside the front inner band of the faded blue straw bonnet. When I tilted it on my head at a sexy angle, the ringlets of uneven hair hung down over my eyes like bangs.
I stood wide legged, flexed my thigh and hip muscles against the tight red dress, aping the whore's stance.xi
Party looked me over head to toe. I was wondering how I came off as a broad. He shook his head, hunched his shoulders and walked toward the mouth of the alley to catch a sucker.
I got the answer when be reached the sidewalk. He twisted his head toward me and said, "Listen man, stay outta the light, okay?"xii
Within five minutes he gave me the office that some action was coming down the street. I watched Party giving the pitch to a short elderly white man.xiii I wondered if I had enough voltage as a broad to come through with my end of the deal.
He officed my flash cue an instant before the white man peeked up the alley at me. I jerked my skinny ass in a series of bumps and grinds and hopefully waved him toward me.
That skinny black bitch he saw must have lit a fire in him all right. He fumbled his hidexiv from his hip pocket and handed a bill to Party.
The chump started up the alley at a helluva pace for an old bastard. He had paid his money and he was red hot to take his chance to stick that hot nigger bitch waiting for him in the shadows.
He had no chance, but in a way he was lucky. Lucky that his hide had not been fat with green backs. If he had been loaded, when I evaporated through that gang way, Party instead of fading away would have come into the dark alley behind the sucker and robbed him with brute force.xv
My heart was pounding in excitement as I galloped through the alleys toward our next prearranged duck blind. I took a new station several blocks away. Party Time came moments later, looked up the alley and hooked the tips of his thumb and index fingers into an "all is well" O.xvi
We beat several other suckers. None had the fare for the strong arm. We worked until twelve-thirty, then unlike Cinderella, I stashed my mildewed costume, got my half of the seventy-dollar take and raced home. Mama came in a half hour after I did.
As in all other things there are many Murphy's. Real Murphy players use great finesse to separate a mark from his scratch. The most adept of them prefer that a trick hit on them. It puts the Murphy player in a position to force the sucker to "qualify" himself and to trim the mark not only for all of his scratch, but his jewelry as well.
When approached and quizzed by a mark as to where a girl can be found, the Murphy Man will say, "Look buddy, I know a fabulous house not more than two blocks away. Brother, you ain't never seen more beautiful, freakier broads than are in that house. One of them, the prettiest one, can do more with a swipexvii than a monkey can with a banana. She's like a rubber dollxviii, she can take a hundred positions."
At this point the sucker is wild to get to this house of pure joy. He entreats the con player to take him there, not just direct him to it.
The Murphy player will pratxix him to enhance his desire. He will say, "Man, don't be offended, but Aunt Kate, that runs the house don't have nothing but high-class white men coming to her place. No Niggers or poor white trash. You know, doctors, lawyers, bigshot politicians. You look like a clean-cut white man, but you ain't in that league, are you?"
At this pricking of his ego the mark is ready for the hook. He will protest his worth as a person and his right to go where any other son-of-a-bitch can go.xx Hell for a high class lay a double saw wouldn't faze him. Few can resist the charm of exclusivity in its myriad forms.
The con player still hedging, shoring up firmly the convincer will then say, "Man, I believe you and everything you say is true as gospel. In fact, I like you, pal. But try to see my side of it. First to show you I trust you, I'll tell you a secret. I been working for Aunt Kate's house for many years now as her outside man, you know, making sure only nice dates went up there. Aunt Kate and I got an air tight system. Friend, I know you will help me keep Aunt Kate's roles, so let's go. I am taking you to the thrill of your life."
While keeping up an inflaming description of the whores and sexual delights to be found only at Aunt Kate's, the Murphy player had steered the sucker to a pre-chosen neat, attractive apartment building. In the foyer, in a subtle but compelling manner, the con player nudged the mark into a fast meeting of minds, the question agreed on. As hot as he was, he couldn't go up before he checked in all valuables. It was Aunt Kate's unshakeable rule.
Aunt Kate was rock right never to tempt or trust a whore. Only fools trusted whores, right? The mark wasn't a fool, right? Right!
The con player produced a sturdy brown envelope. The sucker counted all the scratch in his pocket into the hand of Aunt Kate's "outside" business manager. The efficient affable manager shoved it into the envelope, licked it, sealed it, and stuck it in his pocket for safe keeping from the possible larceny in the hearts of the gorgeous dolls upstairs, third floor, first apartment to the left, number nine to be specific.
The sucker was in a bubbly mood as he took the stairs three at a time. He liked that nigger down there who was protecting his money. What had he told him, when he gave him the shiny gold colored metal check? "Harry, pal, this one is on me, just go up and hand it to Aunt Kate. Everything is going to be all right. If you want you can buy me a drink when you come down."
The two strikes that had whiffed across the white man's mental plate and had set him up for the kill, the third strike was first his desperate need to relieve himself into a black body, the second was his complete inability to conceive that the "black boy" before him was intelligent enough to fool him, to fashion the Murphy dialogue.
Party and his rawboned lure, after three weekends of fair success with the Murphy, ran head on into a round brick balloon. It was only five feet tall, but it weighed close to three-hundred pounds.
It was a Saturday night around ten. The vice section was overrun with Johns. It seemed that every white man in town was out there, scratch in one hand and rod in the other, ripping and running after the black whores with the widest, blackest asses.
Party and I set up a blind on the fringe of the section, because with all that mad action in the center it would be a hectic cat-and-mouse game with the cruising, rousting vice squad. I would have gotten something less than pure kicks to get busted making like a broad.
Party hadn't strong armed since his last bit. The only reason he hadn't was simply that none of the Johns we had fleeced was carrying a wad.
We were fishing in a sand pile. All the hungry suckers were swimming in center stream.
From my Murphy station in the alley, I watched Party eagerly for the office for action. Around eleven-thirty, I was standing on one leg and then the other like a bored crane with a twenty-five cent dress on.
About five minutes later the office came through. Was it a man? A machine? No, it was a walking, living, round balloon with a fat poke and a flaming itch for black tush. It stood there fascinated by my furious bumps and grinds.
I felt prickly feet of excitement stomping along my spine when the balloon took his hide out. Party jerked rigid at the sight of its contents. Even as the balloon bounced toward me, I inched toward my point of evaporation. I knew the strong-arm lust had exploded inside Party and sure as Hell he was going to come up that alley and smash the air out of the balloon.
I quit the scene and poked my head into the alley farther up. I could hear guttural grunting. The kind of sound a heart case makes when he's riding hard to convince a nympho that he's a raging tiger. It was the balloon that was grunting as he held Party in a crushing strangle hold. My heart-beat back fired and melted the starch in my props. I collapsed onto a garbage can. The balloon was also a weight lifter. Poor Party was hanging high over the head of the monster and then flung to the alley floor with a shattering "whoomp" where he lay like a rag doll. The balloon hollered as he leaped into the air and then fell like a ton of concrete on moaning Party. I was almost puking in pity for Party. But I just couldn't find the strength to get off that garbage can and join the fray. Anyway it wouldn't have been lady like.
The derrick scooped Party from the alley and flung him across his back. I watched Party's rubber neck bumping against the balloon's rear end as he was carried to the sidewalk.
I jetted out of there and went to the roof of my building. I watched for the rollers I was sure were coming to bust me, but they never came. Old Party had had the funky luck to try the strong arm on a professional wrestler called the Blimp.
Party went back to the joint for a yard after he got out of City Hospital. One thing about Party he wasn't copper hearted. He never tipped my name to the heat.
When he got older, and lost his nerve to hustle, he got a crazy desirexxi to pimp. He wasn't the type, but he kept trying until he ran the Gorilla game on a dope dealer's broad and was set up for a hot shot.xxii Party tried his fists and muscle until the pimp game croaked him. The pimp game is like the watchmaker's art, it's tough. Party went through his life struggling to make a watch while wearing boxing gloves. Party's bad break sobered me, and I started hearing what was going on in day classes at school.
At fifteen, amazingly, I graduated from high school with a ninetyeight point four average. There was a sizeable alumni of Tuskegee, a Southern Negro college, who insisted upon Mama letting them underwrite all expenses for my education at their Alma Mater. Mama leaped at the chance.
The alumni went into debt and sent me down to their hallowed school with a sparkling wardrobe. They didn't know I had started to rot inside from street poisoning.
It was like the poor chumps had entered a poisoned horse in the Kentucky Derby and were certain they had a cinch winner. They couldn't know they had bet their hearts and blood money on a born loser.
A rich bonanza was at stake. The success of my very life itself. The rescue of Mama from her awesome guilt. The trust and confidence of those big-hearted alumni.
My mental eyes had been stabbed blind by the street. I was like a freakish joker who had gotten clap in his eyes from a mangy street whore.xxiii
On campus, I was like a fox in a chicken coop. Within ninety days after I got down there I had slit the maidenhead on a halfdozen curvy coeds.
Somehow I managed to get through the Freshman year, but my notoriety was getting awful. The campus finks were envious, and it was too dangerous to continue to impale coeds on my stake.
In my Sophomore year, I started going into the hills near the campus to juke joints. With my slick Northern dress and manner, I was prince charming in spades to the pungent, hot-ass maidens in the hills.
A round butt, bare foot, beauty -- fifteen years old -- fell hard for me. One night I failed to meet her in our favorite clump of bushes. I had stuckxxiv her up to keep a date in another clump of bushes with a bigger, hotter, rounder ass than hers.
Through the hill grape vine she got the wire of my double cross. It was high noon on campus the next day when I saw her. I had just walked out of the cafeteria onto the main dragxxv. The street was lousyxxvi with students and teachers.
She stood out like a Pope in a cat housexxvii. Her potato-sack dress was grimy and dirty as Hell from the long trip from the hills. Her bare feet and legs were rusty and dusty. She saw me a wild heart-beat after I saw her.
She battle-cried like an Apache Warrior, and before I could get the wax out of my props, she had raced close enough toward me so that I could see the insane fury in her eyes.xxviii
Beads of sweat clung to the kinky hair in the pit of her arm that was upraised, gripping like a dagger a broken Coca Cola bottle, the jagged edges were glinting in the sun.
The screaming teachers and students fled like terrified sheep in the wake of a panther. I don't remember what athlete was reputed to be the fastest human in the world that year, but for those few seconds after I got the wax out of my legs, I was.
When I finally looked back through the cloud of dust, I saw the crazy broad as a speck in the distance behind me.
Mine had been a carpetxxix offense and I was on it in the office of the school President.
I stood before him, seated behind his gleaming mahogany deskxxx. He cleared his pipes and gave me a look like I had jacked off before the student body. He held his head high. His nose reaching for the ceiling like I was crap on his top lip.
In a sneaky Southern drawl he said, "Boy, yu ah a disgrace to oauh fine institushun. Ah'm shocked thet sech has occurred. Yo mothah has bin infaumed of yo bad conduck. Oauh bord is considurin yo dismissul. En thu meantime, keep yo nos clean, boy. Yo ah not to leave campus for eny resun."
I could have saved my worry over dismissal. That alumni had powerful pull all right. I got a break and got the chance to stay until mid-term of the Sophomore year when I went for the "okey doke." I took a bootlegging rap for a pal. "What goes around comes around" old hustlers had said. Party had taken our beef without spilling.
Anything with a buzz in it was in great demand on campus. A pint of rot gut whiskey brought from seven and a half to ten dollars depending on supply. My roommate had scratch and a Faginxxxi disposition. He was a sharpy from a number-racket family in New York.
We made a deal. He would bank roll our venture if I copped the merchandise and sold it. He got my promise that I would keep his part in it a secret. He was a fox for sure.
He gave me the scratch and I slipped up into the hills to contact a moonshiner who would supply me. Perhaps I don't have to say that I carefully avoided any contact with that broad who pushed me to that track record.xxxii
I scored for a connection and the markup on campus was four hundred percent.
Everything was beautiful. The merchandise was moving like crazy. I was sure that when I got back home for the summer I would have enough scratch to turn everybody green with envy.
I recruited a coed I had layed to distribute for me in her dorm. It was the beginning of the end.
There were two jasperxxxiii coeds in her dorm who were fierce rivals for the love of a coffee-colored, curvaceous doll from a country town in Oklahoma. The doll was really dumb. She bad no idea of the lesbian kick, so naturally she couldn't know she was a target.
Eventually, the craftier of the two jaspers wore the doll down and turned her out. They had to keep the secret of their romance from the other jasper because she was tough and built like a football player. She was doing money favors for the doll hoping to get into her pants. The doll and her jockey were in cahoots playing the sucker jasper hard for the scratch.
One night the doll and her jockey were tied into a pretzel doing the sixty-nine and drunk as Hell on my merchandisexxxiv, when their passionate outcries reached the ears of the muscular jasper.
The bloody fight and spicy details were topics for state-wide gossip.
In the heat of the investigation my agent fell apart. She put the finger on me and within a week I was on the train going back to the streets for good. I didn't turn over on my roommate. I obeyed the code.
Mama changed jobs a week after I got back, to nurse and cook for a wealthy, white recluse. Now I really stuck my nose in the devil's ass.
Mama had to stay on the place. I saw her once a week, on Sunday, when she would come in for a day. That was the only time I stayed at the hotel.
I had found a fascinating second home, a gambling joint run by a broken down ex-pimp and murderer called Diamond Tooth Jimmy. The two-carat stone, wedged between the upper front rotting teeth, was the last vulgar memento of his infamy as the top ass-kicker of the nineteen-twenties.
He boasted endlessly that he was the only nigger pimp on Earth who had ever pimped in Paris on French girlsxxxv. I was to discover later, when I would meet and be trained by the Master, that Jimmy was a mere buffoon, an amateur not fit to hold the Master's coat.
After the suckers were trimmed and all the shills had been paid, Jimmy would lock the door and then like a ritual, light up a thin brown reefer. As he talked, he would pass it to me, cursing me affably for not inhaling deeply and holding the smoke, as he put it, "deep in my belly."
When dawn broke he would go out through the joint door home to the nineteen-year-old jasper on whom he lavished furs and jewels. He was a real sucker.
I would go to bed in the tiny cubicle in the rear of the joint and dream fantastic dreams. Always beautiful whores would get down on their knees and tearfully beg me to take their money.xxxvi
For several months I had been screwingxxxvii the luscious daughter of a popular band leader. She was fifteen. Her name was June and she had a wild yen for me. She had a habitxxxviii of waiting down the street from the gambling joint until Jimmy left, then she would come up and get on the army cot with me.xxxix She would stay until seven o'clock at night. She knew I had to clean the joint for action around nine.
One day, around noon, I asked her, "Do you love me enough to do anything for me?"
She said, "Yes."
So, I said, "Even turn a trick?"
She said, "Anything."xl
I put my clothes on and went to the street and saw an old gambler whom I knew was a trick and told him what was upstairs. Sure enough he gave me a five-dollar bill, the asking price, and I took him upstairs and let him in on her. She turned him in less than five minutes.
My seventeen-year-old brain reeled.xli This was still the depression. I could get rich with this girl and drive a big white Packard.
My next prospect was all wrong. He was an acquaintance of the band leader, June's father. He went up the stairs, saw her and called the father in Pittsburgh.
The father called the local police department and my pimping career died aborning. When the detective came, I was still out there looking for tricks for the down payment on that big white Packard.
Diamond Tooth's bullshit had screwed me for certain.xlii My mother, of course, was shocked. She was sure it was a frame up. That June, that evil girl, had led her sweet little Bobby astray.
At the County Jail two days before my trial, I left my cell on an Attorney Consultation pass. A short, gopher-faced Negro sat in the cage at an old oak desk grinning at me.
My blood ran cold, my palms got slippery wet as I took a seat across from him. The gleaming yellow gold teeth filling his mouth had been a flash of doom. Christ! I thought, a deep South nigger lip.xliii Didn't Mama know that most of them turned to jelly when defending a criminal case?
The rodent wiped his blue-black brow with a soggy handkerchief and said, "Well Bobby, it seems that you are in a little trouble, huh? I am attorney Williams, an old friend of your family. I knew your mother as a girl."
My eyes sent special delivery murder across the table to that ugly bastard.
I said, "It isn't a little trouble. Under the Max I could get a fin.xliv"
He fingered his dollar necktie and hoisted his starved shoulders inside the jacket of his cheap vine and said, "Oh! Now let's not be fatalistic. You are a first offender and I am positive it will mitigate the charge. Rest assured I will press the court for leniency. Now tell me the whole truth about your trouble."
Anger, everything drained out of me. I was lost, stricken. The phony would lead me to the slaughter. I knew I was already tried and convicted and sentenced to the joint. The only loose end was for how long? Without hearing it myself, I ran down the details to him and stumbled blindly back to my cell.
On my trial day in the courtroom, the shaky bastard was so nervous before the bench when he pleaded me guilty, that the same cheap vine that he had worn at our first meeting was soaked by his sweat.
He was so shook up by the stern face and voice of the white hawk-faced judge that he forgot to ask for leniency. That awful fear the white folks had put into him down South was still painfully alive in him. He just stood there paralyzed, waiting for the judge to sentence me.
So, I looked up into the frosty blue eyes and said, "Your Honor, I am sorry for what I did. I have never been in trouble before. If Your Honor will just give me a break this time, I swear before the Lord I won't ever come back down here. Please, Your Honor, don't send me to the pen."
The frost deepened in his eyes as he looked down at me and intoned, "You are a vicious young man. Your crime against that innocent young girl, against the laws of this state, is inexcusable. The very nature of your crime precludes the possibility of probation. For your own good and for that of society's I sentence you to the State Reformatory to a term for not less than one year, and for not more than eighteen months. I hope it teaches you a lesson."
I shrugged off the wet hand of the lip from my shoulder, avoided the tear-reddened eyes of Mama sobbing quietly in the rear of the courtroom, and stuck my hands out to the bailiff for the icy-cold handcuffs.
June's old man was a big wheel with lots of muscle in the courts.xlv He had gone behind the scenes and pulled strings and put the cinch on the joint for me.xlvi My sentence was for carnal knowledge and abuse, reduced from pandering, because you can't pander from anything except a whore, and June's old man wasn't about to go for that.
Yes, I was sure working at that first patch of gray in my mother's hair. Steve would have been proud of me, don't you think?
My sentence to the Wisconsin Green Bay reformatory almost cracked Mama up.
There were several repeaters from the reformatory on my tier at County Jail, who tried to bug the first offenders with terrible stories about the hard time up at the reformatory, while we were waiting for the van to take [us] upstate to the reformatory. I was too dumb to feel anything, a fool I was to think the dummy was a fairy tale!
In the two weeks that I waited, Mama wrote me a letter every day and visited twice. Mama's guilt and heartbreak were weighing heavily on her.
Back in Rockford she had been a dutiful church goer, leading a christian life until Steve came on the scene. But now when I read her long rambling letters crammed with threats of fire and brimstone for me if I didn't get Jesus in my heart and respect the Holy Ghost and the fire, I realized that poor Mama was becoming a religious fanatic to save her sanity. The pressures of Henry's death and now my plight must have been awful.
The van came to get us on a stormy, thunderous morning. As we stepped into the van handcuffed together I saw Mama standing in the icy, driving rain waving good-bye. I could feel a hot throbbing lump at the base of my throat to see her standing there looking so sad and lonesome, cowering beneath the battering rain. I could feel the tears aching to flow, but I couldn't cry.
Mama never told me how she found out the time the van would come. I still wonder how she found out and what her thoughts were out there in the storm as she watched me start my journey.xlvii
The state called it a reformatory, but believe me it was a prison for real.
My belly fluttered when the van pulled into the prison road leading to the joint. The van had been vibrating with horse play and profane ribbing among the twenty-odd prisoners. Only one of them had sat tensely and silently during the entire trip. The fat fellow next to me.
But when those high slate grey walls loomed grimly before us it was as if a giant fist had slugged the breath from us all. Even the repeaters who had served time behind those walls were silent, tight faced. I started to believe those stories they had told back in County Jail.
The van went through three gates manned by rock-faced backs carrying scoped, high-powered rifles. Three casket-gray cell houses stood like mute mourners beneath the bleak sunless sky. For the first time in my life I felt raw, grinding fear.
The fat Negro sitting next to me was a former schoolmate of mine in high school. He had been a dedicated member of the Holiness Church then.
I had never gotten friendly with him because his only interest at that time seemed to be his church and Bible. He didn't smoke, swear, chase broads or gamble. He had been a rock-ribbed square.
His name was Oscar. Apparently he was still square because now his eyes were closed and I could hear bits of prayer as he whispered softly.
Oscar's prayer was abruptly cut off by the screech of the van's brakes as it stopped in front of the prison check-in station and bath house. We clambered out and stood in line to have our handcuffs removed. Two screws started at each end of the line unlocking the cuffs.
As they moved toward the middle of the line they stifled the thin whispers of the men. They said to each man, "Button it up! Silence! No talking!"
Oscar was shaking and trembling in front of me as we filed into a brightly-lit high-ceilinged room. A rough pine counter stretched for twenty yards down a green-and-gray flagstone floor that looked clean enough to eat from. This was part of the shiny, clean skin of the apple. The inside was rotting and foul.
Cons with starch-white faces stood behind the long counter guessing our sizes as we passed them and passing out faded pieces of our uniform from caps to brogans.
We passed with our bundles into a large room. A tall silent screw, dazzling with brass buttons and gold braid on his navy-blue uniform, slashed his lead-loaded cane through the air like a vocal sword directing us to put our bundles on a long bench and to undress for short arm inspection, and a brief exam by the prison croakerxlviii seated at a battered steel desk in the back of the room.
Finally we all had been checked by the croaker and showered. The gold-spangled screw raised his talkative cane. It told us to go out the door and turn left, then straight ahead. Two screws marched alongside as we made it toward a squat sandstone building two-hundred yards away. Was that talking cane the dummys?
I heard it before I saw it. A loud scraping, thunder laced with a hollow roar. Never before had I heard anything like it. Then mysteriously, in the dimness, countless young grim faces seemed to be bobbing in a sea of gray. A hundred feet ahead I saw the mystery. Hundreds of gray-clad cons were lock stepping from the mess halls into the three cell houses. They were an eerie sight in the twilight, marching mutely in cadence like tragic robot soldiers. The roaring thunder was the scrape and thump of their heavy prison brogans.
We reached the squat building. We were to stay in its quarantine cells for the next ten days. All fish, new cons, were housed here to be given a thorough medical check out and classification before being assigned to work details out in population.
I got a putrid taste of the inside of that apple when cons in white uniforms and peaked caps gave us our supper through a slot in our cell doors. It was barley soup with a hunk of brown bread. It would have made great shrapnel in a grenade.
I was new and learning, so instead of just gulping it down, I took a long close look at the odd little things black-dotted at one end. I puked until my belly cramped. The barley in the soup was lousy with worms.
The lights went out at nine. Every hour or so a screw came by the row of cells. He would poke the bright eye of his flashlight into a cell and then squint his eyes as he looked into each cell. I wondered if it were a capital crime in this joint to get caught having an affair with "lady five fingers."
I flapped my ears when I heard one of the white repeaters running down the joint in a whisper to a fish. Oscar was listening too because he had stopped praying in his cell next to mine.
The white fish was saying, "Look Rocky, what the Hell gives with that hack in the bath house? Why don't the jack-off never rap?xlix What's with that cane bit?"
The repeater said, "The son-of-a-bitch is stir crazy. His voice-box screwed up on him a dime ago. He's been the brass nuts here for a double dime, and guess how the bastard lost his rapper?"
That screw and his light was making the rounds again, so the repeater got on the dummy.
When the screw had passed he continued, "The creep was called Fog Horn by the cons before his trouble made him a dummy. They say the bastard's bellows could be heard from one side of the joint to the other. He's the meanest captain of screws this joint ever had. In the last double dime he has croaked two white cons and four spadesl with his cane. He hates Niggers."
Oscar was praying like mad now. He had heard what the repeater said about those four Negroes. The fish wanted a loose end tied for him.
He said, "Yeh Rocky, just to glim him and you know he's rough, but what in the Hell cut his box off?"
The repeater said, "Oh! The vine has it he treated his wife and crumb crusherli worse than he did the cons. She got her fill of his screwing and drilled herself and the kid through the head. The little broad was only two years old. The note his broad left said, ‘I can't stand your hollering any longer. Good-bye.' A head-shrinker here at the time said when the broad croaked herself it shut off Brass Nuts box."
I lay there thinking about what the con had said. I thought about Oscar and wondered if he could pull his bit or if he would go back to his parents in a pine box, or worse, to the crazy farm.lii
Oscar had been sentenced to a year by the same-judge that had socked it into me. Oscar, poor chump, had started going with a crippled Irish girl of seventeen.
In the dark balcony of a downtown theatre they were seen smooching by the son of a close friend of the girl's family. He reported post haste to his parents who wired up the girl's parents. They were Irish, with temper and prejudice.
They third-degreed the girl and she confessed that old black Oscar had indeed trespassed the forbidden valley. The charge of statutory rape naturally stood up and here was old Oscar next door to me.
I slapped the itching sting on my thigh. I pulled the sheet back. Lord, have mercy! How I hated them. It was a bed bug I had smashed, but he was only a scout. When that flashlight jarred me awake an hour later, a division of them was parading the walls.
I lay wide-eyed until morning. The inside of that shiny apple was really something else.
After all our tests we fish were taken out of the quarantine tank on the tenth day to the Warden's office. My turn came to go in. I got up from the long bench in the hall outside his office and walked in. My knees were having a boxing match as I stood before him.
He was a silver-maned, profane, huge, white bull with two tiny chunks of black fire rammed deep into his eye sockets.
He said, "Well Sambo, you sure got your black-nigger ass in a sling, didn't you? Well understand me, we didn't send for you, but you came. We are here to punish you smart-aleck bastards, so if you fuck around, two things can happen to you, both of them horrible. We got a hole here that we bury tough punks in. It's a stripped cell without light, twenty feet below ground. Down there, two slices of bread and a pint of water twice a day. You can go out that North gate in a box for your second choice. So take this rulebook and study it. Now get your rusty black ass out of my face."
The only thing I said before I eased out of there was, "Yes Sir, Boss Man," and I was grinning like a Mississippi rape suspect turned loose by the mob.
It was a wise thing I had uncled on him. One of those arrogant repeaters went to the hole for having a sassy look in his eyes. The charge was "visual insubordination."
Oscar and I were assigned to work and live in cell block "B." It was all black. Of the three, it was the only one without toilets. We had buckets in cells that we took out each morning and dumped into running water in a trough behind the cell block.
The only stench in my life I have ever smelled that was worse than that cell block on a warm night was a sick hype.liii
It was rough all right and a terrible battle of wits. The battle mainly centered around staying out of sight and trouble with the dummy. He walked on the balls of his feet and he could read a con's mind. It was terrifying to have maybe a slice of contraband bread in your bosom, and then from nowhere have the dummy pop up.
He didn't pass out an instruction leaflet running down the lingo of that cane. If you misunderstood what it said, the dummy would crack the leaded shaft of it against your skull.
After I had put in six months on my bit, a young Negro con came in on transfer from the big joint and brought me a wire from Party.
He sent word that we were still tight and I was his horse if I never won a race.
It felt good to know he had forgiven me for turning chicken back there in the alley with the balloon.
The dummy hated everybody. He felt something much more frightful for Oscar.
I don't know whether it was that the dummy had a hate for God too, and he knew how religious Oscar was, and had focused all his hate on a living target.
Oscar and I shared a double bunk cell. I had the bottom bunk. It was a chilling sight at night when the dummy should have been at home to look up from a book and see him out there on the tier motionless, staring up at Oscar in his bunk reading the Bible.
When I was sure that the cold, luminous, green eyes had slipped away for the night, I would crack, "Oscar, my man, I like you. Will you take some good advice from a friend? I am telling you pal, it's driving the dummy off his rocker to see you reading that Bible. Pal, why in the Hell don't you stop reading it for your own good?"
That square jerk would go on reading, he hadn't even noticed the dummy's visit.
He would say, "I know you are my friend and I appreciate your advice, but I can't take it. Don't worry about me. Jesus will protect me."
Mama was writing at least once a week. Every month she visited me. On her last visit, without worrying her too much, I suggested it would be a good idea to put in a long-distance call to the Warden once a week just so he would know somebody out there loved me and wanted me to stay healthy.
She was looking fine and had saved her money. She had opened a beauty shop. She told me when I came up for parole she was sure a friend of hers would give me a job. At night after her visits I would lie sleepless all night mentally recapping our sad lives. I could still remember too, every mole and crease in Henry's face.
One night after one of her visits, the radio loud speaker on the cell house wall blared out "Spring Time in the Rockies." I tried to keep my crying a secret from Oscar, but he heard me. He marked off a chapter in the Bible for me to read, but with the dummy around, I wasn't about to do something stupid like that.
The dummy put one over on Jesus and busted Oscar. We had almost finished mopping the flag when the cell house runner brought me two wieners from the kitchen. A pal had sent them.
I gave Oscar one. He stuck it inside his shirt I stood my mop against the wall and ducked into an empty cell and wolfed mine down.
We had finished mopping and were at the supply closet putting our mops and buckets away. Oscar was nibbling slowly on his wiener like he was safe and sound at the "Last Supper."
I saw the giant shadow glue itself against the wall next to the closet door. I looked through the trap door in the corner of my eye. The universeliv reeled.
It was the dummy. He saw the piece of wiener in Oscar's hand. The dummy's green eyes were oscillating.
That deadly cane razored through the air and cut a slice of hair and bloody flesh from the side of Oscar's head.
The scarlet glob was hanging by a slimy thread of flesh dangling like an awful earring near the tip of his ear lobe. Oscar's eyes walled toward the back of his head as he moaned and slipped to the flag. From the grey, whitish core of the wound spouts of blood pulsed out.
The dummy just stood there looking down at the carnage. His green eyes were twinkling in excitement. I had seen him every day for eight months. I had never seen him smile. He was smiling now like he was watching two cute kittens frolicking. I stooped to help Oscar. I felt feathery puffs of air against my cheek. The cane was screaming. The dummy was furiously waggling it beside my head. It was screaming, "Get out!"
I got. I lay in my cell wondering if the dummy had second thoughts and would try for two. I heard the voices of the hospital orderlies on the flag taking Oscar away.
I remembered the murderous force of the blow the dummy had struck. I remembered that pleased look on his face. I knew from con grape-vine that he was from Alabama. I knew now it hadn't been Oscar's Bible that had put the dummy's balls in the fire. The dummy knew about that crippled Irish girl.
Oscar went from the hospital into the hole for fifteen days. The charges, "possession of contraband food" and "physical aggression against an officer." I was there and the only aggression on Oscar's part was the natural resistance of his flesh and bone to that steel cane.lv
The parole board met in the joint every month to consider applications. Every con, when he had served to within several months of his minimum, started dreaming of the street and that upcoming parole consideration.
Oscar was in the hole and I missed his company. He was a square, but a nice one with lots of wry wit. Several cons slightly older than I came in on transfer from the big joint. They claimed to be "mack" men.lvi
In bad weather, when there was no yard recreation, I would join them at a table on the flag. I didn't talk much. I usually listened. I was fascinated by the yarns they spun about their pimping ability. They had a lot of bullshit, and I was stealing as much as I could from them to use when I got out.
I would go back to my cell excited. I would pretend I had a whore before me. I would stand there in the cell and pimp up a storm. I didn't know that the crap I was rehearsing wouldn't get a quarter in the street.lvii
Oscar came out of the hole and was put into an isolation cell on the top tier of the cell house. I didn't see him come in so I wasn't prepared when I got a chance to go up there.
When I got to the cell with his number in the slot, a skinny joker was peeing in his bucket with his back to me. He was in a laughing fit. I checked the number in the slot again. It was Oscar's number all right.
I pulled the key to the supply closet across the bars of the cell door. The skeleton jumped and spun around facing me. His eyes were wild and vacant. It was Oscar. Only that livid bald scar on the side of his head made me sure.
He didn't seem to remember me so I said, "How are you, pal? I knew they couldn't stop a stepper."
He just stood there, his dingus flopping from his open fly.
I said, "Jack, you are going to give your bright future the flu if you don't get it out of the draft."
He ignored my words, and then from the very bottom of his throat I could hear a kind of eerie high pitched humming or keening, like maybe the mating call of a werewolf.lviii I was beginning to worry about him. I was standing there trying to figure something to say to get through to him. He hadn't been out of the hole for more than two hours. Maybe some loose circuit would jar him back to contact.
I knew he had been destroyed when he gave me a sly look and went to the back of his cell. He picked up his bucket and thrust his hand into it.
He brought out a fist full of crap. He scraped the crap from his right palm into the rigid upturned left palm.
Using his left palm as a kind of palette, he dipped into the crap with his right index finger and started to finger paint on the cell wall.lix
I just stood there in shock. Finally, he stopped, snapped to attention, saluted me and stuck his chest out proudly and pointed a crappy finger at his art on the wall.
There was an idiot's look of triumph on his face like he had finished the Sistine Chapel ceiling.lx
I gave up on him. I went downstairs and told the cell house screw.
The next day they shipped Oscar to the funny farm where perhaps he is today, thirty years later.lxi
My time went fast after the eighth month. I had gone before the parole board and I was waiting for my pink sliplxii. A white one meant denial and a new date for consideration.
I saw the mail clerk when he shoved it through the bars of my cell. I leaped up and grabbed the small brown envelope. My hands shook so badly, it took seconds to rip it open. It was pink! I banged my fists against the steel wall of my cell. I was so happy I couldn't feel pain.lxiii
They dressed me out in a cheap glen-plaid suit. I would have been thrilled to have left that den of pressure in tar and feathers. On the way out I had to face the bull.
When I walked into his office he said, "Well Snowball, you must have had your rabbit's foot. So long, see you in a couple of weeks."
I wasn't out yet so I gave him the same uncle smile going out that I gave him coming in.
When I walked out of the joint the fresh air was like a blast of oxygen.lxiv It made me woozy.lxv I turned and looked back at the joint. The dummylxvi was standing at the chapel window staring at me, but for once that steel cane wasn't talking to me.
- No fucking idea what a "sheet joint" would be ; but fast probably means something in the vein of not-square. You know, like "hot" as oppose to store-bought. [↩]
- Meaning... gay ? [↩]
- Bad idea, that Chekov implement's already loaded. [↩]
- O for fuck's sake. [↩]
- This sort of idiotically improbable, "piously" fraudulent if transparently contrived nonsense is how the idiot lobby got the Mann act passed, resulting in eg. Chuck Berry spending a few years in the joint for fucking some waitress, and then coming out so weird and thoroughly fucked up he can't even look at Lennon, in spite of the Brit's gushing announcement. I hope this fuckwad's Mama is satisfied in how "productive" he turned out. [↩]
- That's okay, I also have no fucking idea what the author means when he's talking about "ugly" black males. Ugly as compared to the fuck what, I've yet to see a pretty one. [↩]
- ...what ?!
This might be the worst simile in English history. I challenge you to either find or construct its worse. [↩]
- One of the strangest... pre-hygiene, let's say, habits of the herd was this sitting on random walkways. I have no fucking idea what they made fine suits from back then, but it must've been some kind of meanwhile forgotten Kevlar oiled in magnetic bottle wall. [↩]
- The five was called a saw for reasons to do with carpentry, so he's saying he's been paid ten dollars for his exertions. [↩]
- Possibly the most characteristic habit of the African-American, this "spinning the chicken into a whale" tall-telling upon having had a drumstick. It's... not even meaningful, really, it's mere socializing, a habit and manner of courteous behaviour. [↩]
- Wouldn't the pant rolls show ? [↩]
- The fuck sense does this make at all, wasn't this dork supposed to have it easy with dem wimminz ?! Why not just talk one of them into it ? [↩]
- Honestly, this'd be the most interesting character so far encountered in this otherwise dreary thread of tedium and aridity. Don't you wonder, what'd be the story of a short elderly white man walking the red light district in the depths of the depression ? Suppose he had a short white elderly wife who died recently ? Maybe they were both from, say, Bohemia, arrived earlier ("maybe not on the Mayflower, but nevertheless, as soon as they could"), practicing their Inglish on the big boat, "What watch ?" "Six watch." "Such much!"... Maybe his kid was a successful lawyer that made it all, had it all, in the land of opportunity, and then lost it all, in the crash of opportunity, and hadn't been heard from in a fortnight ? Maybe he was a German spy, walking the necessary path that'll inavoidably lead to Humphrey Bogart playing an incomprehensible, nonsensical "promoter" blow the lid of the whole German conspiracy to take over in some idiotic agitprop piece a few years later ? Do you suppose he was a baker by trade, that made cheesecake ? Did he maybe have an old horse whose name was Horace and who knew the place where he lived, and the places where he went, do you think the elderly white man liked his pipe, or drank beer... Was he spinning in his mind the words that'll later become the "house of strangers" speech, was his name Moneta, and nobody tells him how to live, not you and not you and not you either, Mr. Judge... Do you suppose he had a pet goose ? Or a pet goat ?
This story's a terrible waste, perhaps because black people can't write. [↩]
- Wallet. [↩]
- And then the next day, were I running things, these two muppets'd have been so well fucking flattened the pavement itself couldn't distinguish them from itself. Talk about a coupla goofball yahoos cocking up a good business. [↩]
- I still use it, but as far as I know and I've seen, I'm pretty much the only one. I wonder when it faded out of style, when it was "deleted" from "the book". [↩]
- Penis. Apparently blowjobs were rare or something, certainly no half&half standard seems visible underneath. [↩]
- I somehow suspect they didn't really have the actual rubber doll just yet, so this'd be more like a fantasy than actually denominative. [↩]
- Speech calculated to produce a specific effect. Like militant art but without the round glasses. [↩]
- American democratic sentiment, what. All in all just another prep for just another con. [↩]
- Seems he always did have that desire, but for a while also had the sense to keep it in check with a spurious pretense of its inferiority, "he has better things to do". As that faded... [↩]
- Technically a hot shot would be a poisonous dose ; he doesn't say "put on the spot" so it's not that he got shot, though that's how I'd have played it, as a writer I mean. [↩]
- This guy's talent for simply bad simile! It's like if someone had a talent for something really stupid that made no sense, something like making bad simileae. Simileses. Similis. Right ?
It's like my mental eyes have been compared to a comparison of eyes. [↩]
- Apparently "stood" in that position is more recent than previously thought. [↩]
- Thoroughfare. [↩]
- Full. [↩]
- Brothel. 'Cause the pope doesn't go to the brothel, see. 'Cause he's the pope.
Which happens to be true, seeing how the cathouse's fulla cats (and kittens) whereas at the time the problem of the actual Pope, you know, in Rome, was that he couldn't very well issue a bull to limit the number of boys the cardinals kept in their retinue to fuck, because if he did the fringe might find out what the fuck they're actually up there, on Vatican hill. So upwards of a thousand cardinals kept in service two to three dozen boys each, an army such that'd have easily overwhelmed all of Chicago's "vice district" dozens of times over.
Worst. Smiles. Ever. [↩]
- I suppose she was a Sicilian rural Chicagoan black girl. [↩]
- Ie serious enough. [↩]
- I have the feeling a great opportunity for a terrible comparison was missed here. Tell, oh tell, bard of the shoeshine : what did the gleaming mahogany desk gleam like ? [↩]
- Dickens reference, of all the rotten things to do in writing, that old Jew teaching children how to pickpocket. [↩]
- Really ? Why ? [↩]
- I believe this is a reference to the Jasper Wildcats Indiana team of some obscure USian sport or another. Because it's from Jasper, see. In Indiana.
Otherwise it could just mean "hottie" (these days it migrated to "well hung dude"). [↩]
- This does not fucking work. [↩]
- Ahahaha, what a ridiculous fucking claim. Africans were pimping about the Bois back when these dorks were still slaves, and back when the second president was wetting his pecker in slavegirl, and back before the colony was even independent! What the fuck ridiculous jingoism is this, what, the world dawned with bleedin' Kansas ?! [↩]
- There's worse dreams. [↩]
- Motherfucker idiocy, this idiot recounts "his lived history" like inept amateurs shoot porn : cutting out all the good parts. Hey suckers! What people want to see is how he sticks it in her, the how, the wherefore, that transition phase. Nobody gives a shit about fifteen minutes of pumping, the same self-same back and forth. Certainly nobody cares about that enough to miss out on the ten seconds of whatever the fuck they did at first. Did her eyes open wide ? Did he pull her panties off ? Or did she ? How, just fucking how did they end up knotted, how just fucking how did she go ?
"For several months I had been" fucking bullshit. How'd you hook 'er ? What'd you say, what'd she come back with, and why'd it work out ? Pshaw. [↩]
- What did she do to mitigate the risk of pregnancy, by the way ? And don't fucking tell me "what she did was being fifteen", because that don't fucking work out. [↩]
- Through the locked door ? What, was she a spook ? [↩]
- O yeah, totally. This dialogue is gripping, dripping with credibility and... actually, this dialogue is just like a dialogue at a rapist colony for blind nudists.
I'm pretty sure I know who I want convicted to cleanning up the walls every morning. [↩]
- To bad Diamond Tooth Whoever didn't think to ask her, huh. He couldn've been a real pimp! [↩]
- Wait... what ?! [↩]
- Lawyer. [↩]
- Five years, at the time exceptionally lengthy a term. [↩]
- Wait, wasn't he black !? It's funny that he bothers to tell us he propositioned the girl at noon specifically, and that she turned her first trick in all of five minutes, but we don't get to know if June was white. [↩]
- The fuck nonsense is this, seems by any standard the sentence is lenient, however stern the "eagle-faced" dude might've been in its delivery. [↩]
- She... sent it. That's how "she found out" : by being part of the same hive mind. Such is the drawback of permitting the Karens to exist "independently" : they cause trouble.
Bring back them pillories for the public exposure and public degradation of the obnoxious, uppity women ; bring back the witch trials and the whole rest of it, the it which makes the world acceptable. Now.
And let June be turned out, if that's the best owner she can find who gives a shit ? In any case it's way the fuck better than the simp-powered alternative we've wasted a century or two experimenting with. Caveat emptor, and fuck all "duties of care", because there's no need for more children. None at all. What there's need for, ample need for, is more brains scattered against cement walls. [↩]
- Doctor. [↩]
- Talk. [↩]
- Blacks. [↩]
- Small child. [↩]
- The question's utterly misplaced, isn't it now. The better question is whether the joint is capable of doing its duty. Not like it's a fucking challenge. It's just a place. Like Moma's just some broad, the joint's just... some joint. Right ?
Dumb niggers worshipping the wrong things, and then having the gall to spit on "Southern niggers" for "their terrible fear". Pshaw. [↩]
- Junkie going through withdrawal unsupported and unprepared.. [↩]
- The... universe ?!
Really this attempt at a book'd have come out a lot better if the alleged author had actually written it. [↩]
- Turns out blacks are cowardly. If the charge's abused, what's to keep one from beating the shit out of the "scary" Alabama dude ? What, "they're gonna get killed" ?
Only little girls are affraid of dieing, and not all of those, either. Only the worthless ones. [↩]
- Pimps. [↩]
- Now this is a pretty fucking hysterical image ; though in the age of the Internet it's rather lost all its cachet. [↩]
- Aaahahaha ok, sometimes he delivers.
Incidentally : it turns out that the dood settled down with a woman sometime towards the end of the 50s, and had three daugthers with her, the last one of which (Misty), "three times featured by Jet Magazine as their Beauty of the Week" did indeed "help" him put strange words like "the universe" in here. By the mating call of werevolves, being as it is such deliciously virginal naivite, I suppose she may be forgiven -- besideswhich, I'm sure she spent the 80s whoring anyways. [↩]
- Maybe he was playing craps. [↩]
- Can you believe, incidentally, that some woman lived somewhere who thought this dude's the most cultivated man she ever met, posessed of the widest, shockingly widest vocabulary ever and so forth ? [↩]
- No curiosity to find out, huh.
There's this thing we bloggers do, that I surmise isn't either common among book writers nor close to their heart... yet nevertheless, we still do it. I call it documentation, and it consists of the strangest habits imaginable : before sitting down to vomit some crap upon the guiltless paper, we check things out. Occasionally this even involves reading, as it were.
Who ever heard of this, amirite, a writer to read. Unthinkable. But that aside : at least a coupla phone calls ? [↩]
- Now you know where that comes from. [↩]
- The fuck's
Cavanaughoops sorry, Iceberg Slim even care ? Inside the state paid his rent, da fuck's he gonna do on the outside ? Not like he has anything. [↩]
- Ya think ?!
I suspect it might've been more like a blast of fresh air. [↩]
- Oxygen actually does that. Well, either oxygen or farts. One or the other, anyways. [↩]
- 'Cuz he can't talk, see. He can communicate (with boys only), by use of his... rod. He just can't talk [to women] since one fucked him in the mouth.
Tres recherche, parole d'honneur. [↩]