Pimp. By Robert Beck aka Iceberg Slim. Adnotated without permission. Chapter 21 -- The steel casket.
Seattle had played out. It was nineteen-fifty-eight. My stepfather died, leaving Mama all alone back in California. Her letters were full of her grief and loneliness. I had blown down to Rachel and the young hash-slinger I'd turned out.
I had put on fifty pounds since I kicked the habit. I weighed more than two-hundred pounds. Time had scissored away my hair in front. I didn't look much like the mug shot of that sleek escapee.
I smoked a little gangster and snorted cocaine now and then. I actually copped a cap of H once with my C. I wanted to mix it in a speedball. It was hard to flush the H down the drain.
At almost forty I was ancient as a pimp. I looked like a black, fat seal in my expensive threads.i For the first time in many years I had rediscovered my appetite for good food. I was slowing down. I spent most of my time reading in bed. The end of my pimping career wasn't far in the future.
I made the decision to go back to the fast track. I stayed away from old haunts. I had put my two girls to work in the street near downtown. Most of their tricks were white. I stayed in a nice hotel nearby. They lived together in the same hotel. Three months after I got back, a fire changed my pimping setup. The change set up the chain of events that busted me for the escape.
I was taking a walk. I stopped to watch flames gut an apartment building. An old brown-skin stud was watching beside me. He was a sure-shot craps hustler. He also sold working togsii to whores in houses in ten states. After the fire we went and had a drink together. We liked each other right away. For the next month we saw each other every day. I started going with him to the whorehouses to peddle his merchandise.
I'd always had contempt for whores who worked houses. They gave up fifty percent of the scratch to a madam. I'd always believed a good whore went to the street to meet the trick. Even when I had the houses in Ohio my whores got their tricks in the street.
Lazy, half-ass whores worked houses and let the trick come to them. My friend, Bet 'Em Big, convinced me whorehouses were the thing for me. His points were that the wear and tear on a pimp was less. The houses were protected and the madams were responsible for falls. Also a girl didn't need the complicated turn out for houses.
A pimp's blows would be at least fifty percent less in the houses. He told me at my age I could grind up a bankroll in the houses. Then I could open a couple of my own and live to get a hundred years old. I wouldn't live that long under the stress and strain of the street.
Two months later I had both my girls in houses. I got my scratch every Monday in money orders by registered mail. Just like he said, it was an easy way to pimp.iii The fifty percent off the top, I couldn't miss. I never had it.
The girls would work maybe a month or two before coming in to visit me.iv I spent the time between with Bet 'Em Big. He was a real pal. He blew his top when I ignored his advice and tapped almost out for a new fifty-nine Hog.
I loved him like a father. He knew all the percentages on craps and people. His friendship and wisdom maybe helped me to stay away from H. Maybe if I hadn't gone to jail I would have gone back to it. I was tempted a dozen times.v
I moved Stacy, the younger whore, to a house in Montana. It was March. She was up there for the season. This meant every six weeks or so I'd have to go up there to service her and tighten my game. She was lonesome. She'd call and write to tell me how much she missed me.vi
She fell out with the madamvii and started working in a house run by a stud in the same town. I told Bet I was going up to visit her.
He said, "Ice, you can't take good advice. You were a sucker to go broke on that new Hog. Now here is more good advice. Ice, not only should you not go up there, you better pull that fine bitch out of there. I know that stud. He's a snake. Pull her out! I know a spot in Pennsylvania just as good. Inside of two days you can pull her and place her."
I didn't take his advice. I took a train up to visit her.viii I rented a room in a motel. I registered as Johnny Cato. It was on the outskirts of town. The only Negroes ever in town were whores in houses and pimps come to visit them.
She'd come to the motel in early morning after work. She confessed to me that she woke up one day and found her boss in bed with her. In her alarm she struck him on the head with a heavy brass clock. It didn't chill him. He wiped the blood away and gave her fifty slats to get his rocks. He begged her to quit me and be his woman. It was a bitch of a time to tell me.
It was the third and last day of my visit.ix It was Sunday night around nine. She didn't work Sundays. We were playing around. I had my pajamas on. I had a cap of C in a pocket. I was just lighting a cigarette when a roller-type knock shook the door and me. I went to the door.
I said, "Yes, who is it?"
He said, "Police, open the door."
I opened it.x It was two red-faced Swede rollers. One was porcine, the other lanky. I put my shaking hands into the pajama pockets. My fingertips touched the scorching hot cap of cocaine. I hoped I was keeping the fear out of my face. I gave them a wide toothy smile. They came in and stood in the middle of the room. Their eyes were racing about the room. Stacy was open-mouthed in the bed.
I said, "Yes gentlemen, what can I do for you?"
Lanky said, "We wanta see your ID."
I went to the closet and got the phony John Cato Fredrickson ID. I put it in his palm. I felt cold sweat running down my back. They looked at it, then looked at each other.
Lanky said, "You are in violation of the law. You signed the motel register improperly. Why didn't you sign your full name? What are you trying to hide? What are you doing here in town? It says here you're a dancer. We don't have a club in town that books entertainers."
I said, "Officers, my professional name is Johnny Cato. I've got nothing to hide. My full name had always been too long for the marquees. I've fallen into the habit of using the shorter version. My legs went out last year. I don't dance anymore. My wife and I decided to go into business. We are making a tour of this part of the country. We think that in your town we've found the ideal site for a Southern fried chicken shack. My wife has a secret recipe that should make us rich up here."
Porky said, "You're a Goddamn black lying sonuvabitch. Every one of you niggers come up here to open another cat house or suck your whore's pussy.xi You and that bitch aren't married. You're a low life pimp and she's your whore. I've seen her around. I'm telling you boy, get your nigger ass out of town. We don't want you here."
I said, "Yes Sir, I'll forget about the restaurant like you say."
They turned and walked out. I knew Stacy's boss had put his finger on me. It was too late to catch the train back to the city. There was one a day at eight P.M. I knew they'd be back. I was trapped. I'd heard radio bulletins warning that the highways were snowed under. I couldn't even walk out of town. I snorted the sizzle and sat trying to figure a way out.xii
The chief of police came back at three the next afternoon. I let him in.
He said, "Boy, I'm not satisfied. I'm going to forget about the phony registration. Now there's a more serious matter. If you and this young woman aren't legally married. You've broken a law I can't overlook. When and where were you married?"
I thought fast. I tried to remember a courthouse fire from the newspapers. I couldn't.xiii
I said, "Sir, we were married three years ago in Waco, Texas. I just can't understand why you doubt we're married."
He said, "I'm going to take you in. I'm going to check your story. If you're telling the truth, I'll let you go. If not, you'll get a jail sentence."
He took us down. We were mugged and fingerprinted. Afterwards we were taken to his office.
He said, "Boy, you lied to me. I called Waco. There's no record of your marriage."
They locked us up. An hour later we walked out on two-hundred dollar bonds each.xiv We got a cab to the motel. I understood the bond delay. The joint had been searched. We got her stuff from the whorehouse and sat in the train station until eight P.M.
We got back to the city early that morning. I knew when my fingerprints got to Washington the F.B.I. would rush backxv the news I was a fugitive. I had to get out of town.
The police chief knew my destination when I left his town. "Bet 'Em Big" called Pennsylvania. Stacy was parked, ready to leave for the new spot the next day. The chief must have flown my fingerprints to Washington.
The city rollers, with a captain of guards from the joint busted Stacy and me. I was held for the escape. Stacy for harboring me.xvi There was one angle I couldn't figure. All the way to the lock-up it bothered me. How did the city police and that screw know just where in that big city to put their hands on me?
I had been transferred to county jail when I figured it out. I have made many stupid mistakes in my life. None was more stupid than the onexvii that put me back in the shit house. I had a letter in my bag from Stacy. The rollers that searched our room while we were in jail made a notation of my city address. I had played the hick coppers cheap and here I was with my balls in the fire.
Rachel rushed to me from the whorehouse. I fought the charge of escape. After all, they couldn't prove it to the extent that they could tell in court how I had escaped. At my first hearing I told the judge I hadn't escaped. I told him one night before midnight a screw unlocked the cell and took me to the front gate and released me.xviii I had a friend who had supplied the scratch for the underground release.
It was a very thin story, but it was strong enough to forestall my return to the joint. I was sure bad things would happen to me back there. Bet visited me. He offered to do anything for me. I was lost. No one could help me.
Mama came from California to visit me. She was sick and old. In fact she was dying. She had heart trouble and diabetes. I don't see how she made the trip. It was an old scene. I was in a barred cage. She was crying on the outside of it.
She sobbed, "Son, this is the last time we are going to see each other. Your Mama's so tired. God gave me the strength to make the long trip to see my poor baby fore I go to sleep in Jesus' arms. Son, it's too bad you don't love me as much as I love you."xix
I was crying. I was squeezing her thin, pale hands in mine between the bars.
I said, "Now look Mama, you know we all got Indian blood in us. Mama you ain't gonna die. Mama, I'll live to get a hundred like Papa Joexx, your father. Come on now Mama, stop it. Ain't I got enough worry? Mama I love you. Honest Mama. Forgive me not writing regular and stuff like that. I love you Mama, I love you. Please don't die. I couldn't take it while I'm locked up. I'll take care of you when I get out. I swear it Mama. Just don't die. Please!"xxi
The screw came up. The visit was over. His hard face softened in pity as he looked at her. He knew she was critically sick. I watched her move slowly away from me down the jail corridor. She got to the elevator. She turned and looked at me. She had a sad, pitiful look on her face. It reminded me of that stormy morning long ago she had stood in the rain and watched the van taking me to my first prison bit. I get a terrible lump in my throat even now when I relive that moment.
A week passed after Mama visited me and went back to California.
I went into court for the third and last time. The judge ordered me into the custody of the joint's captain of screws. Stacy was released.
The captain and his aide were grimly silent. Their prison sedan sliced through the sparkling April day. I was on the rear seat. I gazed at the scurrying, lucky citizens on the street. I wondered what they'd use on me at the joint, rubber hoses or blackjacksxxii? I felt so low. I wouldn't have cared if I'd dropped dead right on the car seat.xxiii
We went through the big gate into the joint. The warm April sun shone down on the ancient grimy buildings.
The yard cons leaned on their brooms. They stared through the car window at me. The sedan came to a stop. We got out. They took off my handcuffs. I was taken into the same cell house from which I'd made the escape thirteen years before. I was locked in a cell on the flag.
In the early afternoon a screw marched me to the office of the chief of the joint's security. He looked like a pure Aryan storm trooper sitting behind his desk. He didn't have a blackjack or a rubber hose in his hand. He was grinning like maybe Herr Schickelgruberxxiv at that railroad coach in France. His voice was a lethal whisper.
He said, "Well, well, so you're that slick blackbird who flew the coop. Cheer up, you only owe us eleven months. You're lucky you escaped before the new law. There's one on the books now. It penalizes escapees with up to an extra year.xxv Ah, what a shame it isn't retroactive. I am going to put you into a punishment cell for a few days. Nothing personal mind you. Hell, you didn't hurt me with your escape. Tell me confidentially, how did you do it?"
I said, "Sir, I wish I knew. I am subject to states of fugue. I came to that night and I was walking down the highway a free man. Sir, I certainly wish I could tell you how I did it." His pale cold eyes hardened into blue agates. His grin widened.
He said, "Oh, it's all right my boy. Tell you what, you're a cinch to get a clear memory of just how you did it before long. Put in a request to the cell-house officer to see me when you regain the memory. Well good luck my boy, 'til we meet again."
A screw took me to the bathhouse. I took a shower and changed into a tattered con uniform. A croaker examined me, then back to the cell house. The screw took me to a row of tiny filthy cells on the flag. My first detention cell was on the other side of the cell house. The screw stopped in front of a cell. He unlocked it. He prodded me into it. It was near the front of the cell house. I looked around my new home.
It was a tight box designed to crush and torture the human spirit. I raised my arms above me. My fingertips touched the cold steel ceiling. I stretched them out to the side. I touched the steel walls. I walked seven feet or so from the barred door to the rear of the cell. I passed a steel cot.
The mattress cover was stained and stinking from old puke and crap. The toilet and washbowls were encrusted with greenish-brown crud. It could be a steel casket for a weak skull after a week or two. I wondered how long they'd punish me in the box.
I turned and walked to the cell door. I stood grasping the bars, looking out at the blank cell-house wall in front of me.
I thought, "The Nazi figures after a week or so in this dungeon I'll be crying and begging to tell him how I escaped. I'm not going to pussy-out. Hell, I got a strong skull. I could do a month in here."
I heard a slapping noise against the steel space between the cells. I saw a thin white hand holding a square of paper. I stuck my arm through the bars of my cell door. I took the paper. It was a kite with two cigarettes and three matches folded inside.
It read, "Welcome to Happiness Lane. My name is Coppola. The vine said you're Lancaster, the guy who took a powder thirteen years ago. I was clerking in an office up front. I took my powder a year and a half ago. They brought me back six months ago. I've started to cash in my chips a dozen times. You'll find out what I mean. I've been right in this cell ever since. I got another year to go with the new time stacked on top for the escape. I got a detainer warrant from Maine for forgery up front. We're in big trouble, buddy. The prick up front has cracked up four or five cons in these cells since I came back... There's six of us on the row now. Only three are escapees. The rest are doing short punishment time like two days to a week. I'll give you background on other things later, I know what screws will get anything you want for a price."
I lit a cigarette and sat on the cot. I thought, Coppola is a helluva stud to keep his skull straight for six months on Happiness Lane. He doesn't know I'm just here for a few days."xxvi
That night we had a supper of sour Spanish rice. I heard the shuffling feet of cons filing into the cell house. They were going into their cells on the tiers overhead. The blaring radio loudspeakers and the lights went off at nine. Over the flushing of toilets and epidemic farting, I heard my name mentioned. The speaker was on the tier just above my cell.
He said, "Jim, how about old Iceberg, the mack man? Jim, a deuce will get you a sawbuckxxvii the white folks will croak him down there. A pimp ain't got the heartxxviii to do a slatxxix down there."
Jim said, "Jack, I hope the pimp bastard croaks tonight. One of them pimps put my baby sister on stuff."xxx
I dozed off. After midnight I woke up. Somebody was screaming. He was pleading with someone not to kill him. I heard thudding sounds. I got up and went to the cell door. I heard Coppola flush his john.
I stage whispered, "Coppola, what's happening, man?"
He whispered, "Don't let it bug you, Lancaster. It's just the night screws having their nightly fun and exercise. They pull their punching bags from the cells on the other side. It's where drunks and old men are held for court in the morning. Buddy, you ain't seen nothing yet. Don't give them any lip if they ever come by and needle you. They'll beat [the] hell out of you. Then take all your clothes off and put you in a stripped cell. That's one with nothing in it, just the cold concrete floor. Buddy, there are at least a dozen ways to die in here."
All the rest of the night I lay staring at the blank dirty wall in front of me. I wondered what Rachel and Stacy were doing. I had to make contact with a screw to mail some letters on the outside for me. The joint censors would never let whore instructions pass through.xxxi Every few minutes a screw would pass and flash his light on me.
That morning I watched the cell-house cons file past my cell on the way to breakfast and then to their work. All new arrivals the day before were also in this line.
That afternoon I got letters from Stacy and Rachel. They had also sent money orders. They missed their strongxxxii right arm. They were working bars downtown. "Bet" was handling any falls they might take.
Coppola within the first week hipped me to the angles of survival. I had a screw who would take letters directly to the girls. He would get his pay-off from them. He would bring me cash from them.xxxiii
I got a letter from Mama. I could hardly read the shaky writing. She sent me religious tracts inside it. I was really worried about her. The tight cell and the fear of a year in it was getting to me.xxxiv The little sleep I got was crowded with nightmares. I was eating good at high prices. I still lost weight.xxxv
The first month I lost thirty pounds. Then I got bad news twice within the fifth week. I got a letter from Stacy. Bet had been found dead on his toilet stool at home. It really shook me. He had been a real friend. I got a very short note from Rachel. She was in Cleveland.
It said, "I ran into an old doctor friend of yours the other night. He was looped. He bought me a drink. Lucky for me the bartender asked how you were doing. The doctor spilled his guts. He told me about a dead patient of his who came back to life. My worst wishes. P.S. Please drop dead. I'll keep the Hog."xxxvi
The joint waived the balance of Coppola's time to face the rap in Maine. The skull pressure was getting larger. The cell was getting tighter. With Coppola gone I was in real trouble the third month. It was like a deadly hex was at work to crack me up.xxxvii
None of the screws would cop heavy drugs for me. I settled for whiskey. I stopped using the safety razor. I didn't want to see the gaunt ugly stranger in my sliver of mirror. It wasn't just the cell. It was the sights and sounds of the misery and torment on the row and in the nightmares.
Mama was bedridden. She was too sick to write. I got telegrams and letters from her friends. They were all praying that I'd get out before Mama passed. I got a pass to the visitors cage. A screw took me and stood behind me the whole time. It was Stacy. She was pregnant and living with an old hustler. Her eyes told me how bad I looked. Her letters dropped off to one a month with no scratch.xxxviii
At the end of the fourth month my skull was shaking on my shoulders like I had palsy. A con on the row blew his top one night around midnight. He woke up the whole cell house. At first he was cursing God and his mother. The screws brought him past my cell.
In my state the sight of him almost took me into madness. He was buck naked and jabbering a weird madman's language through a foamy jib. It was like the talking in tongues Holy Rollers do. He was jacking-off his stiff swipe with both hands. I gnawed into my pillow like the runtxxxix to keep from screaming.
The next day I put in a request to see the Nazi. Nothing happened. A week later I was sitting on the John with my head between my knees. I heard the morning line moving to breakfast. The line had stalled for a moment right outside my cell door.
I looked up into a pair of strange almost orange eyes sunk into an old horribly scarred face. It was Leroy. I had stolen Chris from him many years ago. He still remembered me. He stared at me and smiled crookedly as the line moved out.xl
I got my screw to check his rap sheet. The screw gave me the whole rundown. Since nineteen-forty Leroy had been arrested more than a hundred times for common drunk[edness]. He had also been committed to mental hospitals twice. I was forty-two. I was twenty when I stole Chris from him.xli I asked the screw to pull strings to send him to another cell house. I gave him a rundown on the Chris steal and how weak Leroy had been for her. The screw told me he couldn't cut it.
Leroy was doing only five days for drunk[edness]. Leroy had to stay in the cell house. I wondered how Leroy would try for revenge. I had to be careful in the morning for the next five days. I had to keep my feet and legs away from the cell door. Leroy might score for a shiv and try to hack something off when he passed my cell. I worried all day about what he would do. Could he somehow get gasoline and torch me?
That night I heard the voice for the first time. The lights were out. The cell house was quiet. The voice seemed to be coming through a tiny grille at the head of the cot.
A light always burned in the breezeway behind the grille. The pipes for all the plumbing for the cells were there. I got down on my hands and knees and looked through the grille's tiny holes. I couldn't see anybody.
I got back on the cot. The voice was louder and clearer. It sounded friendly and sweet like a woman consoling a friend. I wondered if cons on one of the tiers above me were clowning with each other.
I heard my name in the flow of chatter. I got back down and listened at the grille. A light flooded the corner. It was the screw. I spun around on my knees facing him. The light was in my eyes. He said, "What the hell are you doing?"
I said, "Officer, I heard a voice. I thought someone was working back there."
He said, "Oh, you poor bastard. You won't pull this bit. You're going nuts 'Slim.' Now stop that nonsense and get in that cot and stay there."
The cellhouse lights woke me up. My first thought was Leroy. I got up and sat on the cot. Then I thought about the voice. I wasn't sure now. Maybe it had been a dream.
I wondered whether I should ask the screw about it. One thing for sure, dream or not, I didn't want to go nuts. My mind hooked on to what I'd heard the old con philosopher say about that screen in the skull. I remembered what the books at federal prison said about voices and even people that only existed inside a joker's skull.
I thought, "After this when I get the first sign of a sneaky worry, thought or idea, I'll fight it out of my skull."
Maybe I wasn't dreaming when I heard that voice. If I hear it again I'll have some protection. I'll keep a strong sane voice inside to fight off anything screwy from going on.xlii
Every moment I'll stand guard over my thoughts until I get out of here. I can do it. I just have to train that guard. He's got to be slick enough not to let trouble by him. I'll make him shout down the phony voices. He'll know they're not real right away.xliii
I got up and went to the face bowl. I heard the rumbling feet of the cons coming off the tiers. I was washing my face. I heard a series of sliding bumps on the floor behind me. It was like several newsboys all throwing your paper on the porch in rotation. Then I smelled it. I turned toward the door. I squinted through the soap on my eyelids. I had been bombed with crap.
It was oozing off the wall. The solid stuff had rolled to my feet. Pieces of loosely rolled newspaper were the casings. Cons were passing my door snickering. I felt dizzy. A big lead balloon started inflating inside my chest. I remembered the inside guard. He was new and late on the job. I puked.
I shouted over and over, "Watch out now, it's only crap, it's only crap. It's just crap. Watch out, it can't hurt you. It's only stinking crap."
A screw stood at the cell door twitching his nose. He was screaming, "Shut Up!"
He opened the cell. I got a bucket of hot water and a scrub brush. I cleaned the cell. The screw asked me who fouled my nest. I told him I didn't know.
My screw came to see me at noon. He told me how Leroy had enlisted the crap-bombers. Leroy told them I had put the finger on him years ago when he got the bit for the Papa Tony beating. My screw dropped the truth around the cell house. All the bombers were down on Leroy. They dared him to bother me again. I was safe from Leroy. I didn't mourn when Leroy finished his five-day bit. It was the end of my sixth month. I beat down worry, voices, and countless thoughts of suicide with the skull-guard plan.
A friend of Mama's sent me a telegram. Mama had been stricken.xliv The hospital doctorsxlv had given her up. Then she bounced back. She was very sick now, but still alive. The telegram gave my skull gimmick a tough test.
I had a very sad day around the middle of the seventh month. A booster from New York busted on his second day in town was on the tier above me. A con on my row several cells down called me one night to borrow a book. A moment later I heard my name called from up above. He came down next morning and rapped to me. His job was in the cell house.
The booster asked me if I were the Iceberg who was a friend of Party Time. I told him yes. He didn't say anything for awhile. Finally he told me Party had often spoken of me as the kid he once hustled with who grew up to be Iceberg the pimp.
He told me Party had copped the beautiful girlfriend of a dope dealer when he got a bit. Party turned her out. The dope dealer did his bit. The broad tried to cut Party loose to go back to a life of ease.
Party went gorilla on her. He broke her arm. Two months later Party copped some H. He didn't know his connection was a pal of the dealer who got the bit. It was H all right mixed with flakes of battery acid. I didn't sleep that night.
I had come to a decision in that awful cell. I was through with pimping and drugs.xlvi I got insight that perhaps I could never have hoped to get outside.xlvii I couldn't have awakened if I had been serving a normal bit. After I got the mental game down pat I could see the terrible pattern of my life.
Mama's condition and my guilty conscience had a lot to do with my decision. Perhaps my age and loss of youth played their parts. I had found out that pimping is for young men, the stupid kind.
I had spent more than half a lifetime in a worthless, dangerous profession.xlviii If I had stayed in schoolxlix, in eight years of study I could have been an M.D.l or lawyer. Now here I was, slick but not smart, in a cell. I was past forty with counterfeit glory in my past, and no marketable training, no future. I had been a bigger sucker than a square mark.li All he loses is scratch.lii I had joined a club that suckered me behind bars five times.
A good pimp has to use great pressure. It's always in the cards that one day that pressure will backfire. Then he will be the victim.liii I was weary of clutching quicksilver whores and the joints.
I was at the end of the ninth month of the bit. I got a front office interview. I was contesting my discharge date. I was still down for an eleven month bit.
An agent of the joint had been in the arresting group. I spent thirty days in county jail before the transfer to the joint to finish out the year. I knew little or nothing about law. I was told at the interview I had to do eleven months. I wasn't afraid I'd crack up serving the extra month. By this time I had perfect control of my skull.
Mama might die in California at any time. I had to get to her before she died. I had to convince her I loved her, that I appreciated her as a mother. That she and not whore-catching was more important to me. I had to get there as much for myself as for her.
I lay in that cell for two weeks. I wrote a paper based on what I believed were the legal grounds for my release at the expiration of ten months. It had subtle muscle in it too. I memorized the paper. I rehearsed it in the cell. Finally I felt I had the necessary dramatic inflection and fluid delivery. It was two days before the end of the tenth month. I was called in two weeks after I had requested the second interview.
I must have looked like a scarecrow as I stood before him. I was bearded, filthy, and ragged. He was immaculate seated behind his gleaming desk. He had a contemptuous look on his face.
I said, "Sir, I realize that the urgent press of your duties has perhaps contributed to your neglect of my urgent request for an interview. I have come here today to discuss the vital issue of my legal discharge date. Wild rumors are circulating to the effect that you are not a fair man, that you are a bigot, who hates Negroes. I discounted them immediately when I heard them. I am almost dogmatic in my belief that a man of your civic stature and intellect could ill afford or embrace base prejudice. In the spirit of fair play, I'm going to be brutally frank. If I am not released the day after tomorrow, a certain agent of mine here in the city is going to set in motion a process that will not only free me, but will possibly in addition throw a revealing spotlight on certain not too legal, not too pleasant activities carried on daily behind these walls.liv I have been caged here like an animal for almost ten months. Like an animal, my sensitivity of seeing and hearing has been enhanced. I only want what is legally mine. My contention is that if your Captain of guards, who is legally your agent, had arrested me and confined me on such an unlikely place as the moon for thirty days, technically and legally I would be in the custody of this institution. Sir, the point is unassailable. Frankly I don't doubt that my release will occur on legal schedule. Thank you, Sir, for the interview."
The contempt had drained out of his face. I convinced him I wasn't running a bluff. His eyes told me he couldn't risk it. After all, surely he knew how easy it was to get contraband in and out of the rotten joint. Getting a kite to an agent would be child's play. I didn't sleep that night. The next day I got a discharge notice. I would be released on legal schedule.
- Keks. I'm sure he did, and it's a wonder he noticed -- but then again powers of observation were never his weak suit. Doing much with them, yes ; but brute sensual input never was in short supply. [↩]
- Negligees and that sort of thing. [↩]
- Most pimps pimping this way are three to nine years old. [↩]
- Can you imagine they actually did come visit him ? I mean there you sit, you can't get the hussies you raised to come visit you once a year. How much did you spend on their ass in two decades, would it've been enough to finance a heavy dope habit ? It costs a lot, sure, but it doesn't cost that much ; yet disguise it as "Thanksgiving" or however you will, still they won't come. Yield what you might, kiss their ass whichever way you can devise or read about, still they ain't interested. You know they're whores just as much, what, "they're experimenting in college" gimme a break. They're just too dumb to get paid for it, is all ; but the whoring out they do by the book in any case. Yet yours, won't come. His, do come. What gives ?
Are you that much worse than this balding, fat seal in a suit ?
Yes, yes you are. It doesn't make him any good ; but it does make your utter misery, your unspeakable inner bankruptcy somewhat more shamefully visible. That's what "going to church", that's what "never say nigger", that's what your ideology and your culture bought you. Need I explain now why nobody with a clue has any need for either pile of nonsense ? [↩]
- The secret about whores is that a whore gets a bankroll only to have something to give away. There's no other reason there.
So yes, the foregoing's logical : this pimp in name only had only kicked in the first place to have what to give away. Casinos don't mind bad beats for the exact same reason : the chump's gonna step over himself to give it all back, with trims and extras brought from home. [↩]
- How about that! [↩]
- But... why ? Wherefore ? What the fuck happened ? Whence this obtuse, wilful blindness to anything substantial about poor Stacy, she can't have any sort of content relied no matter what happens. I wish to fucking know what they fell out about! [↩]
- No gas money, huh! [↩]
- Wait, she only came over on his third day there, because that's her day off, and such nonsense matters, actually scratch "matters", such nonsense actually rules their lives and their relationship ?! Why keep up pretending, by that point! [↩]
- What happened to "get the fuck lost", exactly ? What, they're gonna tear down the door and... what. [↩]
- Right ? [↩]
- Ahahahaha da fuck, seriously ? [↩]
- That's not thinking fast, that's trying to think fast, and failing. [↩]
- Inasmuch as this wasn't particularly surprising, wouldn't a much better use of four hundred dollars been renting transportation the fuck out of there ? How much would a Montana cabbie want, to drive to Seattle ? How much would a trucker want, besides some grass & some ass ? What the fuck is wrong with these indolent idiots! [↩]
- Takes a while, back then fingerprint matching was still done by eye-and-lens. [↩]
- Harboring nothing, the escape happened more than a year previous, she's not required to know or for that matter give a shit. [↩]
- Actually it's difficult to classify, let alone sort by some kind of criteria, this dude's shockingly poor hygiene. [↩]
- Bad story. He should've told them that he never escaped, that he served his sentence and was regularily released in due time ; that they probably fucked up their paperwork and are now trying to cover up for some clerical error on their part at the very real cost of his pimpin' good name, flashy&fronty froth an' ringin' etcetera. I mean... everyone's captive here, might as well have a good time & make a good yarn out of the scum of days, neh ? [↩]
- Yeah. Well... [↩]
- Papa Hoe didn't spent his days holed up in a room years at a time, banging girl. He probably pulled a plough while some ox was whipping his ass for that whole hundred. [↩]
- Do you suppose if she had been his first bottom bitch "the life" would have turned out different ? Right about the Pepper days she could've said "Baby, I see what you're up to. Mama's a good bitch, she gonna turn out for you, try cop a young whore or two too. Forget that phony freak Georgia with the convertible." Should she have so said ? By what logic "yes" ? By what reason "no" ? I mean... bitch wants now an' always really wanted to die in Jesus' arms (not even much of a religious notion, this "Jesus" of hers is really very personally incarnate, like the best lay she ever knew, for her only magically re-enacted, "in Jesus' arms" to her denotes something like "Jack's arms that one time, but on metaphysical steroids" and naught else). That's exactly what she gets to do, so what the hell's she beefin' about ? What's wrong with a frank and truthful, "Son, I never gave much of a shit about you, I always had my own interests that I followed for myself. So fuck you, I guess." It's what she did, why not say it too, what's the spurious pretense and assorted bullshit supposed to deliver ? What, it's his doing that everyone ultimately dies, that nothing ultimately works out, that her runt jesus's no better than his runt jesus ? He didn't make it this way anymore than she did ; the fact his rope's got a little more left than hers plays no part in this.
Ultimately the problem with the delusion of autonomy, autocephaly, whatever you call it is that it dun work in practice any better than the opposite. If you're gonna top you'd better fucking top, which includes not regretting other tops ain't your bottoms ; and if you're gonna sub you'd better fucking sub, which includes not regretting you don't get to ever top, not ever. Mix-and-match doesn't work, and calling the attempt "love" is no better con than any other -- thin, flimsy, and to the competent irritating. [↩]
- A short club designed to deliver a silent blow to the back of the head knocking the victim unconscious. Ancient tool of the thief, or anyone else confronting fixed positions and capable of sneaking from behind. Gave the name to a popular casino card game precisely because the A-J combination hits like a blackjack. [↩]
- That's probably because pimps are so very hip to the silk lifestyle. [↩]
- Ahahahaha! What's this nigga know! [↩]
- "I don't owe you shit, Jack. You owe me, room an' board, your guy in funny robes said so. Now cough up." [↩]
- He is, huh. Too bad the old timer doesn't know shit, but it's a blessing the new face's here to set him straight. [↩]
- Five to one odds. [↩]
- Stomach, as in "a hearty meal". [↩]
- A year. [↩]
- Pimps were never popular, somehow. Not in ancient Greece, nor in either Republic or Empire, not even in Venice, a state arguably built on whoredom. Never. Much like the jews do, the pimps themselves put it down to gentile jealousy. Do you suppose the jews are right, and the true reason Jim hates Slim is that Jim wanted to fuck his own god damned sister himself, fuck her up himself, her and Slim's sister too ? Or do you suppose the pimps are wrong, and the true reason everyone wanted to firebomb the jews always, forever an' at all points of this world's history throughout was rather that they are, by nature and structure, insufferable ?
It's really either one or the other, so pick your poison and justify it as best you can. [↩]
- Wouldn't it make sense to have standard instruction sets an' whore operating manuals such that emergency instructions needn't be nearly as bulky or frequent ? Wouldn't it make sense to have pre-arranged codes such that the pompously self-important censors work out exactly as well as they possibly ever could, which is not at all ? In fact, wouldn't it all work a lot better if them manuals said "if they ever kidnap me, burn the world down", for simplicity's sake ? [↩]
- Strong how. [↩]
- Heh. Not bad ; but why's this dude's brain only engage in new, troubled circumstances ? How come every time he's in a position to make a dent, he switches back to coasting mode, like god-damned pussy-headed white boys on the Internet exactly ? Once he's got nothing he's suddenly resourceful, when all that hard work can at most turn a cent into a nickel, not a dime. When he's got stacks and stacks that he could turn into a hammer perhaps large enough to flatten the world into a more palatable shape... then all he wants to do is shoot up and drive around in a circle. What the fuck!
It cost Sweet five grand to beat a murder wrap ; four grand weren't enough for Slim to beat a lousy pinch ; how the fuck much would it have cost to put the screws on the prettyboy "head of security" ? He's got a niece somewhere about ready to go to work, he's got a son in "college" or whatever the fuck, he's got something, somewhere. What the fuck is this moron thinking, to permit action flow unfollowed by disproportionate reaction ?
Ultimately, that'd be the problem with pimps : they're no gangsters. They're faggots. [↩]
- Did he spend most of the whores' money orders to buy stamps to orchestrate mail-in campaigns to, for instance, the FDA ? Because certainly the food in the joint wasn't up to snuff, and they certainly had to do something, such as... inspect it ? Every third week ? Why not! If he got a hundred dollars, he spends at least fiddy in poison, yes ? [↩]
- In his case this is a desirable outcome, skinny seal > fat seal. [↩]
- As predicted.
Chick's remarkably terse, for a thirteen years' bottom. [↩]
- Yes, it's called "the passage of time". What the fuck did he think it was all about, why the fuck did he think actual top dogs don't look so warmly on his squandery ways ? You get a bundle when you're nineteen and you don't know what to do with it, woe upon you, it'll be that much worse to handle twenty-nine. Tick-tock, aite ? [↩]
- A squared, married, pregnant whore's pity. Pimps may be "accustomed to fine living", but pride's not something conceded them. All front & facade, no substance underneath. [↩]
- This unforgetfulness thing is bijective after all, huh. [↩]
- Well, she was worth stealing back then, that's for sure. She was all the more also worth keeping, but that's a discussion for a previous footnote ; in any case check out Leroy, he lived! An ugly cricket comes out not so far behind a pretty pimp, towards last count. Ain't that something!
Do you suppose he ever got his settlement, by the way ?
Maybe I could work an angle to get her and a slice of that settlement. Of course, I couldn't wait forever. If I had to, I'd cop without a slice of the settlement.
Remember that ? [↩]
- To take her to a pullman porter, tired, sad an' well disappointed. [↩]
- If only. [↩]
- At any rate he could say "as I walk through the valey of the shadow of death, I fear no evil" over an' over an' over again! I mean, how screwy could that be, amirite ? [↩]
- Had a stroke. [↩]
- Suddenly they ain't croakers anymore, are they! Fancy that wonder. [↩]
- By now, what difference does it make anymore anyhow. Talk about fixing the busted hatch long after the last hen flew the coop. [↩]
- What he means to say is that he understood things he could've perhaps never understood if he weren't incarcerated. [↩]
- Chasing "skullbooks" never did yet pay off. [↩]
- Nevermind "staying in school" retarded cuck bullshit. No school he could've stayed in was ever worth an hour's dwelling.
How about if he didn't lie to those eager women giving themselves to him heart and soul every god damned fucking chance he got, instead ? How about not sending them to pointlessly headbutt walls, for their trust. How about not being so god-awfully fucking lazy and self-indulgent, how about pushing what works rather than doing the Romanian the very instant anything moved. [↩]
- The fewer Iceberg Slim MDs, the better. I don't want this guy to be involved with anything, seriously now, take that pipe-dream of "he turned his life around" and shove it. This asshat does not belong in human society ; the fact that he had the common fucking decency to stay the fuck out on his power is one of his few claims to mercy, and definitely the one thing about him that needs absolutely no fixing. Stop trying to con the world that ghetto pickaninnies are really politicians, that's how you end up with Obamas and a fucked country. [↩]
- Quite. [↩]
- Actually, trading money for time's not nearly the worst deal one can make. Consider you've never seen such a thing as a rich colony. The colonial metropolis-colony economic system is built up on the colony selling raw materials cheaply so the metropolis can sell finished goods at a hefty price. Consider a pimp's stock in trade is trust. He's not selling sex, he's not selling the girls' sex, he's selling outright their trust. How's he supposed to do well, selling out cheaply the raw materials of a happy life ?
Of course the square mark is coming out on top. A crippled louse on fire'd come out on top just as well. [↩]
- This is incidentally also an excellent argument against large scale deployment of field artillery. Somehow though... [↩]
- This is about as subtle as what one'd expect be called "subtle" in the circumstances, huh. [↩]