Blood Loss

07Dec10

(I write a lot. Sometimes about things that have happened. Sometimes about a specific topic. In all of my posts I share parts of me. Sometimes you like it. Sometimes you don’t. Nevertheless it is me. I’m still struggling with how much to show you. Rather, how much you can take–Bond)

Inspiration music:

One Day by UGK
Too Real by UGK ft 3-2
Regrets by Jay-Z
Untitled by Interpol
Happy Feelings by Frankie Beverly and Maze
Ridin’ Dirty Outro by UGK
Death Around the Corner by Tupac
It Ain’t Easy by Tupac
In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins
Cradle To The Grave by Tupac (Thuglife)
Just One More Day by Otis Redding
T.R.O.Y. by Pete Rock & CL Smooth
The Days of Old by Paris*
He got shot around this time.

My mother was telling me just as I was angrily preparing to go to work at a job where people were building careers on my back. Careers that allowed them to buy houses with wrought iron mail boxes in posh suburban areas with new SUV’s while I struggled to make student loan payments.

I cried.  Which is saying a lot because that only happens maybe once or twice a year. I usually have to invoke it without bad news like the news I received that day. Usually it takes a listen of Otis Redding’s Just One More Day with a bottle of spirits just as vintage. Sometimes I listen to Maze Happy Feelings, Miles Davis’ Blue In Green and a bottle of Johnny Walker or Glenlivet then I’m done for the year.

The way I heard it was that they came over to cop. He struggled with them and he was shot three or four times in the chest and head.  They ransacked the apartment looking for whatever they were looking for and left. We figured he had to know them, because he wouldn’t open the door for strangers in that area at midnight.

Neighbors waited a few minutes to call the police due to fear.

His mother, sister, and brother showed up shortly after the ambulance was called.  His mother had to be given a shot to calm her down. His brother hasn’t been the same since.

He was born 2 days after me. In the same year, we have the same initials. He played basketball. I played baseball.  He was someone everyone liked. I was someone everyone pretended to like.

True homeboy. Back then he wore Hilfiger everyday with a thick herringbone chain. I had one like it. All of us did, it was apart of the uniform. Along with starched jeans and a fresh pair of Air, wave pomade, quick fists, a sharp tongue, and a wet dick.

A cobra .380 if you were slick.

I was in freshman English class when he passed in the front of the door and showed me a knot the size of my head. I wanted in.

They had a pipeline that big cuz set when he was in the army.  Back then, 28 grams was a hundred dollars.  An extra ten if you wanted it weighed.  After all, if you don’t know it, you don’t need it.  That was usually your starter kit. But you could still win with it.

I wished he’d learned that.

But it came effortlessly to him. Everyone liked him. It was only a matter of time before he graduated.  I remember I asked him “why?” He came from a two parent household. Smart. Outgoing. Well liked. I felt like Ace in that infamous scene on Paid in Full when Mitch proclaimed his love for the game. He told me that I didn’t get it.  He used a Lamborghini as an example: If a man was born 6’9 with a certain build he could ride Lambo. If a man was born Caucasian, he could ride Lambo.  But who decides for the rest of us?  We do.  He decided he was taking his. Deal for the Diablo.

When I saw that part the first time, I got choked up. Ironic to say the least…

At first we thought his baby mother had crossed him. She was fucking another dude. They say the dude went to school with us. He even caught them in bed a time or two.  Apparently they had multiple fights in and out of clubs in and around the city. He wanted her or either he just wanted to stay closer to his daughter. Either way she put the squeeze to his self-respect as she put on dresses two sizes smaller. Sometimes with no panties. That’s a problem every night.

When we were young, he used to joke that he wanted a light-skinned girl or a Latina to have his baby. Colorstruck with no apologies. So all the things he went through with her didn’t warrant one.

Or maybe he knew that’s just how the game go. Just like she had to know he was fucking one of her friends. Those broads came to the funeral together. Hood shit. A Hood Bitch. His sister wanted to give her the full clip. Nah, chill out MeMe.

Charge that to the game baby.

Guess that’s what annoys me about squares: If you not built for it, don’t explore it. Shit will get deep.  That’s for everything, from dating and mating, to trapping and scrapping: stay in your lane before the pace exceeds your speed, then you crash.

He would make deliveries in his work vehicle. It was a good cover, because it was a government job.  Problem was, he was trying to cheat the game. You can’t hurt her though, cause she don’t love you.

The streets don’t love you. None of ya. If you think your special, you’re not. It was a man with an ounce before you. A man with a pistol before you. A woman with a plot before you.  The streets buried them. You only resurrected over old soul records when spirits are sipped through bottles and visions are hazy from haze and tears about what happened to you.

They pistol whipped him the first time. That’s from his father’s side though. Guess he thought because they were related, then he would be given leeway. No. Doesn’t work like that.  He even filed a charge they beat him so bad. Came up too short. Disrespectful short.

His family confronted them, they admitted the pistol-whipping, but said they wouldn’t have taken his life. He was family.

Family.

He told his mother he was going to be coming into some money. He only told her supposedly. But apparently, others knew.

They knew he had a Deville sitting right. Tight White what we used to call them. See, back home no matter what you get, you got to have a Cadillac something. It’s a right of passage. Let’s everyone know that you’re true to it, not new to it. Like eating grits with only those three ingredients: anything more or less, makes people ask questions about you.

We are a new breed so he had the Suburban also. Kitted and fitted. A little Jewelry. Most of the floss reserved for inside of his house. After all, down south when they see you riding too fly, they started plotting ways to clip your wings. Racism finds a way into the street game–usually that’s when stand up guys fall.

The suspects.

They said it was a dark late-model car that left the scene.

Something like the rabbits we used to roll in on gold Dayton’s with knock-off spinners.  Four 15’s in the trunk. JVC or Pioneer amp beating up the trunk like somebody locked inside. Passing rot gut like Mad Dog and Thunderbird. Looking for niggas to give issues to.  Looking for girls to give dicks to.  Looking for smokers to give hits to.

I went to the spot to put my ear to the street to see what I could hear. Doc may not want to tell me because he knows that’ I’m emotionally invested. He only confirms he was doing his thing, but no known beef.

I decide to ride. Picture me,  ‘the law student’, rolling through there. Bending corners again.

Return of Maestro– Not quite.

I’m riding squeaky clean on purpose, with a purpose. On point like Chris Paul, just in case.

I wasn’t trying to flex, just wanted to see how he was living. To breathe that air again. Back when I had a pager and wore Dickies & Levi’s with a fresh pair of air. Pumping.

So much had happened, I changed so much that I began to forget parts of me that existed. It takes my brother to remind me. It takes my brother to remind other too.

At the service people reminisced about how he talked and the nickname he called everyone. I didn’t even remember any of that.  I felt left out.  Like the time I didn’t make the basketball team, but then coach asked me to join the practice squad.

He made the squad, but the street team dream is always more alluring.

That dark car? My uncle says it was an American joint. Says he saw two people push it toward the back of a house close to my Grandmother’s old house.
My uncle had said enough.

What he didn’t have to say was that one of the guys who put that car there was my other cousin.

My aunt heard him rocking back and forth saying “I’m sorry” at the funeral. Damn______.

I knew you was a snake when you told me you got my girl’s number in 10th grade. And you kept calling her… Grimy nigga you are______, but this is too much.

Bad enough you moved back from Cali cause you had problems. Then you went to the Carolinas and they gave you problems there. I don’t blame you for retiring after that. I wonder if you’re on that shit. You look way smaller. Eyes all red and beady. Reptile like. Hyped.

After the service we go to his mother’s house and drink.  I decide to give in to better judgment and join in.  I listen to theories and probabilities abound, but no one has any facts.

I know that time will only measure a requital of merits or reveal his mistakes. See, if I hear about a body, that tells me it is a requital. Silence reveals his mistakes.

I hear silence. It’s been years and I still hear it. I saw big cuz. He’s been rinsed twice over. Says it was tragic, but he hopes it works out.

Translation: He made a mistake and paid for it. I shouldn’t feel some kind of way then right? After all, he’s your first cousin, your both my 2nd cousins. But close proximity doesn’t have an angle.  I wonder what his is. Hmm.

His modest answer is not how I know. I know because when one of the suspects was caught he lawyered up quick. Quick money that he didn’t have or he wouldn’t be kicking in doors.  They let it ride. Even young cuz could pull up the file and let me know what was going on from the legal in. Hmm.

When I was in I.C.U with a wound vac, he didn’t come through. A lot of them didn’t come through. I remember what it was like though: you don’t like to see people like that. His mother and sister told me he would come through once I recovered.

One minute everyone’s looking down at me in a hospital bed incapacitated with an NG tube in my mouth, catheter in my dick, and IV’s in my veins and then I’m up looking down at him in a casket.

The whole thing only made me want to love more. So I’m trying.

About two years after the fact they found prints from a home invasion turned homicide in an area known for rednecks and meth labs all the way to my cousin.  The suspect was a savage. They say he’s been putting in work for a minute. Down with two brothers with a solid click:  Takeover types. One brother posted bail and starts eliminating witnesses.  Savages indeed.

I want to see his mom more, but every time I see her she cries. Not because of anything I’ve endured or overcome, but because of who I’m not.

Her son.

My presence is a reminder that he’s gone. A reminder that school struggles will triumph street victory most times.

We all lost. Not just you Cuz.

Bond. BlkBond.

*This Paris song epitomizes how I’ve been feeling lately. That Blackbyrds sample is on point too.

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8 Responses to “Blood Loss”

  1. 1 amani

    “It has been said that time heals all wounds. I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue, and the pain lessens, but it is never gone.” -Rose Kennedy

    It’s hard to overcome grief. Most times, you just learn to live with the hole in your heart. Do what you need to do in order to heal. =-)

  2. Wow you really opened up. I love it when a man shows emotion. It’s extra special to me because you all rarely do. Consoling someone through grief is hard, I rarely say much because there really isn’t anything I can say. What I do is listen. I’ll sit there and hold them while they let it out. Even though it hurts, visit her as much as you can. I’m sure its alittle comfort for her pain. I’m sorry you lost someone special to you.

  3. 3 miss t-lee

    Dayum homie. I haven’t been through in a while– I dug this. Especially the part about seeing your friend’s mom. That happens everytime I go to see my sweetie’s mom. We’re both reminded of what could have been. Great post.

  4. Great post…good read.

  5. 5 THD

    You have an e-mail address?

  6. 6 THD

    Or…a producer of an upcoming online media network is interested in possible creating a Bill Maher-esque show featuring some of the more vocal commenters from A Belle in Brooklyn’s site – discussing similar topics we discuss there.

    It’s a real show – shot in HD and streamed online. He’d like to know if you would be interested and if so what would your fees be to appear on said show.

  7. 7 THD

    You can e-mail me at tsjohnson5@gmail.com

  8. This story has so many layers. I giggled to myself at “I knew you was a snake when you told me you got my girl’s number in 10th grade.” Its always the little things that show a person’s character. This was deep though. I don’t visit my homegirl’s mom for that reason too… she cries. And I cry.. and get depressed about it.

    Good read.


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