Posts Tagged ‘Chicago Police’

Make Believe

August 27, 2018
Kurt ran the plates of the young woman who was swerving while texting in an old Buick.  The car’s registration was expired, the driver’s license was expired and she had no insurance.  She cried as he explained to her that she would be ticketed and the car towed.

“If I had the money for insurance and to get the license tag renewed, I would have done it.  I am flat broke right now until I get my first check.  If you would find it in your heart to let me park here and take the bus home, I will get someone to take me in and register the car…”

Kurt, a police officer used to dealing with so much gang violence on Chicago’s west side, actually felt bad for the young lady.  It did not hurt that she was fit and pretty, dressed well and her car was clean and did not smell of booze or weed.

“Okay Ms. Tonisha…  I will let you get this automobile home without towing or ticketing you.  You have to get everything in order.  The next cop you come across will not be so kind…  I have a favor to ask of you and you do not have to say yes.  There is no gun to your head figuratively speaking of course…”

Now Tonisha felt that white people were the devil and those they were all of privilege, responsible for slavery and for all the misfortunes of the black community and the world.  Only thing worse than a white man was a white male cop.  She saw them as predatory profilers.  Kurt while driving his beat, thought that many blacks were animals that preyed on each other and pointed everywhere except at themselves over problems in their community.  Like most people, Kurt didn’t see himself as racist.  He has a black friend he drinks with that also is a cop and a former soldier.  Every white person has a black friend and they often begin a sentence while speaking to black people by saying- I have a black friend…  Kurt was never drawn to black women particularly but saw how beautiful Tonisha looked and thought hanging with her for the night would be fun and really amusing. The thought came to Tonisha that he was going to ask for a sexual favor.  She hit the record button on her phone.  The question was weird but there was an opportunity to make some money.

Kurt showed up at the banquet hall in a convertible Jeep in a suit, Tonisha in a tight fitting black dress, with pearls to contrast against the tight velvet dress.

“All you have to do is roll with me…  I want to have fun with this all tonight,” said Kurt.

Kurt was fit for a man of nearly 50 years of age.  Kurt had not been to his previous 10 and 20-year reunions but told some old friends that he had lost contact with that he would come. Kurt didn’t believe in Facebook or Twitter and nobody really knew much about him.  He had attended a high school in a northern suburb north of Chicago, joined the military and then became a cop.  He grew up a hockey playing Punk Rock kid with a bald head, tight jeans, Doc Martin Boots, plain shirts with suspenders and hated the world.  He hated his mom for marrying a man he hated back then and the anger of Skinhead Punk Rock, appealed to Kurt.  Thirty years later, Kurt was still playing hockey, was divorced from his wife and living away from his children in another state.  Kurt had a great disdain for the people he went to high school with.  They made fun of the culture he had adopted and didn’t accept him in their circles of friends.  Even the guys on the hockey team felt he was a weirdo albeit a good player.  Kurt put his nametag on and one for Tonisha.  Kurt gave Tonisha his last name on the tag.

“Do you like Champagne?”

“Um…  Hell yes.”

A group of men who used to be on the hockey team were sitting at a table together with their wives.  Kurt walked up and pulled the chair out for Tonisha and then pushed the chair in.

“Wow…  Thirty years…  My god, where has the time gone?  Toni…  These are all guys I told you about that I played high school hockey with…  Lester, Tom, Jim, Horse…  You don’t wanna know why we called him horse…  Bill the goalie.”

Tonisha could feel all the eyes of people old enough to be her parents, burning into her.  The men were thinking that he had managed to land a very pretty, young, black woman… Black woman.  They knew that Kurt was one of those bald kids who hated everything and everyone back in the day.  The Skinheads hated everyone who was not like them and thirty years later, their star defenseman married a black woman?  No way.  After drinks and more drinks, some dancing and then dinner, the questions started coming.

“Toni was driving fast…  I mean really fast.  Texting, swerving, changing lanes without signals, blowing red lights just to get away from me…  Because I’m a police officer, not just some crazed white dude after a pretty African-American princess…  Naw…  I’m just kidding.  She has a thing for ice hockey players and white dudes in general and she happened to be at the rink watching another white dude that she broke up with to be with me.  After a few years, we married and have… two girls…  Twins.”

The women looked at the young woman with a waist the size of a neck and wondered how she got that figure back.  The women there were older, lumpier, wrinkled and Kurt looked like the fountain of youth with a shapely and pretty young thing that would jump-start any man’s libido.  When the night was over, Kurt stopped at a pizza place that never closes in Berwyn and in fancy clothes; they stopped to have a slice of pizza each.  After hours of dancing and drinking, they had worked up an appetite.  Tonisha talked about mundane things with Kurt as they laughed and ate but she had to know why Kurt went through such an elaborate lie with people he used to know.  Tonisha stood to earn $100.00 and keep the clothes he purchased for her and yet she had to know his reasoning for such a bizarre night.

“Those people all live in a Facebook world.  They might take forty pictures of their annoyed wife and kids but they post that one where everyone smiles and looks happy to be together on vacation somewhere.  I’m so happy for you that your kid got a trophy or that you’re at the Grand Canyon…  That’s fantastic…  Why should I give a good goddamn?  It’s not real.  You never hear that their lives are fucked up and that they are stressed out, maxed out on credit cards and suicidal.  They want each other to think everything is fabulous.  I was interested to see if I look as bad, better or the same as those fucks.  I’m trying really hard to fight the effects of aging.  It was purely scientific.  I appreciate your help with this whole make believe night.  I know it’s silly but I really wanted to put on a show for these people tonight.  What are they saying to on another on the way home?  Wow, she is so young, so beautiful and so… Not white.  I may never see them again in my life but I left them wondering…  Come on, I’ll take you home.  Your mom is probably waiting at the window to make sure the cop didn’t kill you…”

Kurt flipped channels as he pet his dog that was sleeping on the couch beside him.  Baseball highlights, hurricane footage from Hawaii.  Kurt was drifting off to sleep when his cell phone buzzed.





After close to a half hour a response from Tonisha came in.



Kurt responded immediately.





March 25, 2018

It was some time after 9-11 that Lars Bjornson left his home in Stockholm to discover America. He wanted to eat hot dogs, see sporting events of sports he knew nothing about. He wanted to be in the audience of a Jerry Springer show. He wanted to see where Michael Jordan played basketball and where Al Capone once ran around. Lars wanted to see the tall buildings of Chicago and he also wanted to see the ghetto.

Lars rented a car and asked the doorman of the posh hotel he was staying at on Michigan Avenue, where he could go to see the real ghetto. You know… Poor people. The doorman thought Lars was a bit nuts but then again he felt that all of those really white, white people of Northern European countries, were truly different than your run of the mill American whites. In reality, it was not unlike going on a safari in Africa or visiting a zoo. Lars wanted to see blight, hopelessness, drug addicts and the mentally ill hanging around on street corners. The doorman spoke frankly with him.
“Hey man, there’s shit in life you just should not do. You puttin your life in yo own hands…. It ain’t like round here, dude…. Shit…. It’s yo life. Tell you watchu do…. Take any one of these streets named after old dead white dudes that was once president. Madison, Washington, Adams…. Randolph…. I don’t remember no President Randolph in school but it coulda been one them dudes who was president fo like a day and then got shot. You might wind up like them but you welcome to go. Four miles that way. You cain’t git lost.”
Lars was excited in a sick way not unlike when people go online to view people getting beheaded or shot and watching the life drain out of them. Lars wanted to visit the most dangerous city in an area where the most people get killed every year in the richest most prosperous country in the world. Lars was hoping to actually see a shooting happen in the streets. He slowly drove up and down streets that were strewn with debris, high weeds, barber shops with men hanging out in front of them, boarded up storefronts and liquor stores on almost every corner. People looked back at Lars not unlike when animals make eye contact with humans at the zoo.

Lars saw a beautiful young black woman at a bus stop, eating something carefully out of a bag. Her young, perfect body and model like face attracted Lars. He parked the car and strangely pitched the idea of the woman getting into his car to go to dinner, talk to him and then later have sex with him. For $1,000.00. Asha ( pronounced ASIA ) thought about all the things she could do with $1,000.00 and hopped into the car of the tall blond man from Sweden. Asha went to an expensive seafood restaurant and then back to Lars hotel room to do the deed. Asha marveled at her strange day as she put her clothes back on in front of a floor to ceiling window that looked out at Lake Michigan and the high rises that lined the downtown. It was a glimpse into a life she had only seen on television. She concluded that to be white was truly a boost up the tree of life that black people rarely get unless they have some redeeming value to white people. Lars thought to himself while he showered with all his jewelry, cash and credit cards where he could see it in the locked bathroom, that it was a really cool experience and that having sex with someone of a different color was something that everyone should experience once. Sometimes weird moments and actions lead to something surreal. Well… It did.
Two presidents and sixteen years later, Asha’s son Lars was about to play in the state championship basketball game. Picture a tall caucasian looking child with a tint to his skin with sort of yellow hair with large rotini like curls. Around his ankle was a tracking device for those that should probably be in prison but are allowed back out in society. Lars was arrested for carjacking. Several times in the past, Lars had successfully secured a car, drove it around, smashed it up and abandoned it. In Chicago, things such as that are sport for underprivileged inner city kids who see the disparity between those that have and those that have not. The last carjacking backfired when Lars and his buddies tried to carjack the car of an off duty cop who had a vintage 1970 Plymouth Challenger. Upon pulling a gun on the officer and hopping in, they found that the car was manual transmission and none of the trio knew how to drive a car with a stick shift. Lars looked up to find a gun back in his face. Lars’ two friends had no redeeming value to society at this point in their lives- high school drop outs, gangbangers with criminal history but Lars intrigued the judge. The judge listened to the tall boy speak who looked like he could be white but also could be black, looked at his African American mother and asked the boy rhetorical questions. Do you want to go to jail? Do you want to die young? Do you want your life to amount to nothing? Do you want to become something? Asha told the judge that her son was a very good basketball player and that 6’ 7, he had a good chance of getting a college scholarship and possibly professional basketball. Asha handed a handful letters of intent from division one universities from around the country that were interested in having young Lars play basketball. The judge saw a letter from his alma mater and grew excited. The stern looking white judge looked at Lars and said that he wanted to see him, his mother and his attorney in his office. Once in the judge’s quarters, the judge picked up his phone on his desk and made a call to the president of his alma mater who happened to be a friend, a golf buddy, a drinking buddy to let him know that he should send someone from the athletics department to come to the championship game in Quincy, Illinois to sign Lars to their university. Asha and Lars were stunned by how the serious looking judge was talking so casually to them.
“You’re going to love this school. It is one of the greatest schools in the country. You’ll get a great education in a good environment and you could really help the school by being on the team. They came so close this year! Sweet sixteen! Hopefully you can help them win a national championship…. So listen. Lars will have to wear an ankle monitor for a while. You’ll come back in a few weeks and I’ll clear him. No record. You have to stop fooling around, Lars. You have a promising life ahead of you. Don’t screw it up…. Tell you what…. I think I can make that game in Quincy. I have nothing on my calendar. I will be there with your mom.”
Somewhere in Europe, there is a man with an American son that he knows nothing about. Lars Sr. would be so proud to know that he helped create hope for a woman who was destined to live a dismal, mundane life. Stories such as this make white people feel really good when they know their own kind are helping in some small an indirect way to create prosperity and equality. Even if they didn’t mean to.

Chicago’s Finest… At a Bad Time

December 13, 2015


                “Every damn cop that ever fired a shot at something or someone will have a hearing…  Am I fucking clear to you?  All cops who ever pulled their gun out will have their day in court. Dig up everything you can find before others do and we will have a special committee to hear every case…  DON’T STAND HERE LOOKING FUCKING DUMB!  GET TO WORK!”

                And so it was that every cop alive that ever pulled or fired a gun, was put in front of a Chicago tribunal.  Those willing to purge themselves of wrong doing, might be able to keep their jobs if it was found that the lives of the officers were in danger.  It was sort of a truth and reconciliation tribunal like South Africa had after apartheid whereby white officers went before a commission and apologized for wrong doing and then went on with life without penalty.  Why?  So that the mayor could keep his job.

                The city called in the Altgeld 20.  Altgeld Gardens as it was called, was a housing project where poor African-Americans lived.  It was named after a former German born Governor of the State of Illinois.  Nobody in the early 2000s gave a shit about the name of their blighted housing project.  It was bordered by landfills, steel mills and constructed during a time when asbestos was widely used in the construction of the buildings.

 The police got a tip that the Gangster Disciples were gun fighting with the Black Disciples.  Why?  Drugs, territory, territory to sells drugs, retribution and so on.  Ten squad cars raced in a line down 130th Street towards where the gun fighting was taking place.  It was alleged that four innocent men were gunned down by police that night. The four innocent men were gang members who terrorized the residence of Altgeld Gardens.  This fight took place nearly ten years earlier and was captured on a VHS recorder from a window.  On the film, you can see the mostly white cops surrounding and shooting the gang members in a clearing among buildings, like fish in a barrel.  Anyone who did not drop their weapon immediately was shot.  It was the commission’s belief that none of the officer’s lives were in danger and for that reason, at a minimum, all who took place in the murders, should be fired and their pensions taken away.   Residents of Altgeld Gardens took turns reading accounts of the confrontation that day.  The last to speak was a little old woman by the name of Dorothy.  Dorothy had the same hair style that she wore back in the 1950’s.  She was a tiny old woman in a nice dress and a pill box hat held in with hair pins.  She sat on the witness stand with white gloves covering her hands and her purse on her lap.  She smiled a serene smile and waited her turn to speak.  The whole crowd of angry protestors and former neighbors of the since closed housing development laughed at what Ms. Dorothy had to say.

                “Now y’all fixin to crucify all these here officers.  Nevah the mind dat we killin each other an little ones who happen to git in the way.  There one man among all these officers who never pulled his gun and wadn’t even part the whole ordeal…  Officer Miller…  You want to tell them all or should I?”

                Officer Miller looked down and picked at a loose thread on his cuff.  He had a hard time looking at Dorothy or any other of the people in the room.  Officer Miller was horrified by what was about to be said about him.

                “Well then…  He won’t talk, I will.  I was watching ma television bout 9pm.  The lottery numbers was about to come up and I was all ready to look at what I got.  I don’t nevah win but I play.  Some call it gambling but I don’t see no harm in pickin a few numbers and maybe git a few dollars off it.  Ain’t like no casino.  Anyway, I had all ma tickets spread out and I was waiting for that woman to pull the balls that bounce around in the air puffer that make them move round.  I suppose I nevah heard them numbers cause all the sudden the door was knocked down clear off the hinges.  There stood Officer Miller.  He wad out breath an he aksed me where I keep ma crapper.  I toll him dat ain’t no way to enter a person’s home and ain’t no way to aks where the bathroom at.  I looked at him and say- excuse me?  The man was sweating and panting.  He removed his gun and begin to unzip his pants while he walk to the washroom.  He slammed the door began a moaning and crying.  I believe it wad comin from both ends on him.  Now this went on foh a good few minutes maybe five.”

                Officer Miller recalled stopping off for lunch and eating something with sour cream.  The cream was truly sour.  It hit Miller when the call went out that ten squads were needed to quell a gun fight at a housing project.  Miller began to sweat and it felt as though he had rodents running through his intestines.  He felt waves of nausea come and go and had to use all the muscles possible to keep from shitting in his pants.  Miller turned to his partner, Officer Termini and told him to stop the car.  Termini told Miller that it would not be possible.

                “Are you fucking nuts?  You want me to stop now so you can take a shit?!  If I stop, every car behind us is stopping too.  I can’t do it.  You’ll just have to fucking hold it,” said Termini.

                “You have to stop or I’m going to shit my pants.  I’m sick.  Something is wrong and I have to fucking go now,” said Miller.

                Termini drove faster and told Miller he could just shit in the field when the got there and hope that he wouldn’t be shot while relieving himself.  When all twenty cars pulled up, Miller went into the trunk and pulled out the battering ram.  It was a heavy cylinder shaped metal with two handles meant to break doors down with.  Miller found the first door he could reach and broke down the door without knocking.  Once in the bathroom, the shit poured from Miller’s ass while vomit flew from his mouth.  Miller turned his head while sitting on the toilet and filled the sink with vomit.  It felt as though the end of the world had arrived for Officer Miller.  After five minutes of expelling food and fluids from every orifice possible, Miller opened a small window and closed the door behind him.  His shirt was drenched from sweat.  Dorothy looked at the man who looked like he was about to pass out and guided him to the couch and laid him down.  She wet a washcloth and put it across Officer Miller’s forehead and held his hands.

                “You gone be alright, baby.  You jus sick.  You coulda knocked and I woulda opened up but now I understand what you was up against.”

                “Ma’am…  I’m so sorry.  I will have this door fixed immediately and get cleaners in here for your bathroom.  I feel so bad about this, ma’am.”

                While Dorothy and Miller spoke to one another, gun fire popped in the night like popcorn in a popcorn maker.  It was nothing new to either Dorothy or Officer Miller.  Both were used to hearing gun fire.  After all- it was Chicago and a part of Chicago where nobody white ever went unless they had to.  It was poor and gang infested.  Dorothy was just a widowed church going elderly lady who kept to herself.  The gangsters knew it and left her alone.

                “And so…  I don’t know what you all fixin to do to these here gentlemen.  They might be wrong or jus doin they job.  It ain’t foh me t’say.  I can tell you this- Officer Miller was in a bad state that day and he had nothing to do with deaths or gun fire dat day.  I ain’t got no reason to lie nor stretch the truth.  God as my witness- this man look like he wad gone die on ma couch.  Officer Miller was a man of his word.  He got someone to install a new door dat night.  In a day, I got it painted.  I had two Polish women come to ma place and clean the entire bathroom.  Nice ladies but none could speak a lick of English.  I aksed them thangs and they just laughed and kept saying yes.  I say girl, what’s your name an the one laughed an jus say yes.  I jus laughed and said thank you.  So y’all do whatchu want but this man here ain’t like the rest.  Maybe he a shot someone ifin he wadn’t sick but on dat day, this man could barely stand.  He innocent as the day he born…  And dat’s all I got t’say.”

                Officer Miller was found not guilty that day.  And faith in humanity was restored to the jaded if only for a day.

A Kidney Don’t Mean Beans

December 9, 2014

Terrance not Terry was listening to Kenny G. on the way to Midway Airport in Chicago. The official story was that he was on his way to visit a client in Fargo, North Dakota but actually he was on his way to see his girlfriend in Memphis, Tennessee. Terrance’s wife didn’t stop to think that in Fargo, North Dakota, there probably wasn’t a great need for hair care products for black women in such a homogenous part of the country. All Lanita knew was that her husband traveled a lot for work leaving her to raise their two children for the most part.

As Terrance was listening to the whiny soprano saxophone music that would fit well to soft porn on Cinemax, the thought popped into his head that possibly he forgot to turn off the computer in the living room before leaving home. On the screen would have been his email messages to his girlfriend Chiquita in Memphis. Lanita, the wife, knew nothing of Chiquita the girlfriend. Terrance looked at the digital display on the dashboard. The flight was to depart at 12:35pm it was 10:55am. Terrance thought that he might have logged off but then again maybe not. He had been on the phone arguing with Chiquita about paying bills for her that her ex-husband should have been playing and may have forgotten to log off of his email account. Terrance was also a bit put off that he donated one of his kidneys to Chiquita and she had only thanked him initially and then never discussed it again. Terrance expected more gratitude from his girlfriend.   Spoiled, kept women don’t usually lavish praise on their sugar daddies for going overboard. It’s part of the game. You take care of me and I will provide some ass. Or something close to that.             It had been three months since he learned that he was a match for Chiquita whose kidneys were failing. Terrance never hesitated. When Lanita saw the scar on her husband’s body, she asked him what happened.

“Well… When I was in Arkansas some time back on a sales call, a big pit-bull came right at me. I ran my ass towards a fence and climbed as fast as I could, slipped at the top and snagged my side on top of the fence. It was just a few stitches… I’m tough, I can handle it.”

Terrance exited Lake Shore Drive heading south and immediately tried to enter going north so that he could get back to his condo overlooking Lake Michigan and ensure that his email was in fact logged off. Terrance sped in his late model Jaguar like a state trooper in high pursuit. About a block ahead, it looked to Terrance like people sitting across all lanes of the highway. He wasn’t imagining things, there were people sitting in the road. As he pulled up, there were young artsy looking people, mostly white but some blacks and other people of color. Some were chanting, “can’t breathe”. A few were banging drums. One loud, white young man with snarled rat’s nest of braids under a bandana, wrapped within an American flag, was ranting into a bullhorn.

“They send young men to fight for freedom on the other end of the world when we don’t even have freedom here in this country. African-Americans are being massacred by the law, a law that doesn’t protect us. This big brother shit and heavy handed, racist system has got to stop now, people!”

As the saying goes, he was preaching to the choir. Nobody disagreed with him or the megaphone message. Terrance was trapped with cars ahead of him and behind him. He began to panic about the thought of his wife coming home and finding out about the kidney donation, the girlfriend in Memphis and so on. Terrance walked up to the skinny young man and tried to get them to move by making up a plausible story.

“Hey man… I don’t want y’all to stop what you’re doing and as a black man, I appreciate your attention to this sad situation but the thing is right now my wife is bout to have a baby and any minute she bout to drop… You dig? I need to git through and git my wife to the hospital… The water broke… Baby is coming… I need to git home now.”

The ranting young man hugged Terrance as he was speaking. Terrance wanted to punch the man in the face but didn’t.

“Life is a beautiful thing, man. It’s sad that your son will be born into this world, this country and have to worry about being jailed, shot at by gangs or cops. I feel for you, man.”

Terrance took the arms of the young man off of him and spoke more firmly.

“I ain’t havin a boy. It’s a girl and my wife bout to trip if I don’t git her to the hospital…”

Terrance ripped the megaphone from the young man and pled his case to the crowd. The group of subversives, anarchists, nihilists, communists and trust funders all looked at the black man in a nice suit and collectively decided that Terrance was not the type they were fighting for. A rich black man in a really nice suit next to a really expensive car struck the crowd as if Terrance was an Uncle Tom, sellout. The group was not interested in moving for him even if his wife was going into labor. Terrance became honest with the crowd.

“When y’all finally own something one day, you gonna want that protected. You gonna want protection. When a cop stop you, they ain’t never no reason to resist arrest whether you feel justified in selling single cigarettes on the street or walking up the middle of a busy street after stealing a blunt. Get you Johnny Cochrane and plead yo case in court. That’s how the world works and it ain’t gonna change. Y’all agree with each other on what’s wrong with society but these people in these cars need to be somewhere right now. Right now they hate y’all and they wish to hell y’all git arrested and I agree with them. Now imma tell you that if y’all don’t move the fuck out the road now, you gone git hit by my automobile… I hope you can understand the fucking words coming out my mouth.”

Cars moved enough in front of Terrance so that he could drive to the front and play a game of chicken with the protestors. Terrance blared on his horn and inched forward until someone whipped a can of paint at his window. Things got ugly after that. Terrance was arrested and bonded out by his wife. Lanita gripped the wheel of her car and said nothing to Terrance. The silence concerned him. Terrance asked if everything was okay. It was a silly question.  Things had come unraveled in their married life. Lanita not only read the emails regarding their relationship but found pictures of her husband and some white woman with a ridiculous name like “Chiquita”. What Lanita didn’t know was that Chiquita was a former stripper who could do interesting things with a banana and her vagina. Chiquita wasn’t Latino and didn’t particularly like bananas.

“Baby… You gonna git tired and you gonna need to rest. When that happens, you gonna wish all you lost was your kidney…”

And so they went home. You use your imagination as to what happened next. The end…

Nato torturers-Happy Talk

June 2, 2012

Happy talk, keep talking happy talk,
Talk about things you’d like to do,
You gotta have a dream, if you don’t have a dream,
How you gonna have a dream come true?

The happy, syrupy, musical song from the movie, South Pacific played loudly through speakers in a stainless steel room. Russell sat naked and shackled to chains on the wall. The lights cut out and suddenly fire hose force jets of cold water ripped at Russell’s skin. Water filled his ears, went up his nose and caused immense pain to his testicles. The dousing lasted thirty seconds followed by a drop in temperature within the room to a crisp 45 degrees with giant fans from the ceiling that sounded like a World War II propeller plane. The cold temperatures and high wind, made it difficult for Russell to catch his breath. The music suddenly stopped, as did the fan. The lights, as bright as the sun went on and standing with their heads cocked towards one another as they studied Russell was Phil and Andy. Phil was a giant of a man with broad shoulders who wore a white lab coat splattered with blood. He wore a Hilary Clinton mask over his face. Andy, a legal midget wore a white lab coat also stained with blood and a Mexican wrestling mask over his face. The music resumed loudly as Andy used a remote control switch to elevate Russell to Phil’s eye level. The chains that held Russell suddenly tightened so that his back was plastered against the wall.

Talk about a moon floating in de sky looking like a lily on a lake,
Talk about a bird learning how to fly making all the music he can make
Happy talk, keep talking’ happy talk, talk about things you’d like to do,
You gotta have a dream, if you don’t have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?

Andy took a bat used to play cricket and smashed the bottoms of Russell’s feet. Russell screamed about his civil rights and rights as a human. Phil took a feces stained washcloth and stuffed it into the mouth of the career protester. Russell gagged and shook his head in an attempt to get the washcloth out of his mouth. Phil took duct tape and ensured that the rag would remain in Russell’s mouth. Russell was then lowered so that his head could be placed into a tub of water. Phil held Russell’s head in the tub for about twenty seconds as electric contacts that were attached to Russell’s finger tips, suddenly carried a current from the bike that Andy pedaled furiously. It was a 1970 gold Schwinn with a banana seat and blue poms that hung from each side of the handlebars. With each revolution of the pedals, a current ran from a car battery and caused a painful shock. Russell, whose head was underwater when the initial shock took place, gasped for air while his head was underwater. Before Russell could drown in twelve inches of water, Phil pulled the choking Russell out of the water and into a plastic bag. Russell went from immense pain to complete panic for close to thirty minutes while the song, Happy Talk played over and over. The Asian woman with an accent sang about dreams and happiness, the moon, the stars and birds while Russell nearly passed out from the torture.

Talk about a star looking like a toy, peeking through de branches of a tree,
Talk about a girl, talk about a boy, counting all de ripples on de sea
Happy talk, keep talking happy talk,
Talk about things you’d like to do
You gotta have a dream, if you don’t have a dream, How you gonna have a dream come true?

Russell’s head was covered in a dark pillowcase as he was transported and dumped in a park near Lake Michigan in Chicago. Russell cried and whimpered as other protesters untied him and asked what happened. Across town at an all night diner, Phil had a steak with eggs while Andy ate oatmeal and read the paper.
“How bout that, Phil… The paper says that the city of Detroit is a safer place to be this week than the city of Chicago. The article says we can expect about 10,000 protesters.” Said Andy.
“Well Andy… You know what God said in Genesis 18 about the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah? God said, “If you can find fifty good people there, I won’t destroy the city.” Said Phil.
Andy took a sip of his coffee and looked out of the window at a group of unwashed kids passing out literature to disinterested people walking by.
“Hmmm. Well maybe we should get the hell out of here and go to Detroit. I don’t want to be here when god decides to torch this town. It happened once, it could happen again.”
“Amen, little buddy, amen…”

Wonder Drugs

July 21, 2010

Officer Gomez, Sandra Gomez stood five feet six inches and had brown stubble for hair. She had a strong jaw yet a very attractive face. She became a Chicago Police officer five years back. She served as a young Marine in Desert Storm in the early 1990’s. As far as women police officers go, she looked butch but yet had a stunningly beautiful face.

Sandra was a second generation Ecuadorian who looked European. Her parents had left Ecuador when she was very young. They had a hacienda like home in Quito that was equipped with servants. The servants were poor Quechua Indians. Three Indian women took care of the home and the children. They wore big skirts and Fedora hats. Her father heard from friends who did really well in United States with real estate and so the family moved to Chicago. They moved to the United States and it really never turned out to be that lucrative for them. Everyone thought that because of their last name, that they were Puerto Rican. Sandra’s father considered changing their last name to Jensen, which is Norwegian for the son of Jen. Sandra’s mother, who’s maiden name was Hidalgo, thought that taking on a Scandinavian name was ridiculous. The family struggled like many immigrant families do but they were happy and well balanced. Sandra’s family eventually went back to live in Quito where life was much slower and more patient with older people.

Sandra started to lift weights towards the end of high school. She had a boyfriend that would slap the back of her arm and laugh when it jiggled. He told her that he loved Hispanic girls with a little meat on them. He told her that he was not interested in skinny white girls. Sandra one day saw her boyfriend coming out of a restaurant with a skinny white girl with blond hair, with her arm wrapped around his. It had been weeks since he initiated sex between them and Sandra suspected something. Sandra began to run everyday. It was hard at first to run two blocks. By the time she joined the Marines, she was able to run an eight minute mile.

Sandra like many women who had low opinions of themselves, felt that she could always do better. Sandra discussed with an owner of the small store front gym that she would like to be more toned and more muscular. This store front owner began to give her injections of a steroid that was purchased for dirt cheap in Mexico. Within three months, Sandra was stronger and looked stronger. Her stomach was defined and her arms were muscular. Her breasts became domed shape rather than plump and full. Sandra could run faster and lift more weights. The gym owner told her how much money she could make on the side by doing wrestling and stripping aside from entering body building competitions.

On Monday nights, the gym owner would rent out a suite at a luxurious downtown Chicago hotel and invite men to wrestle women like Sandra. They would pay $200.00 an hour to writhe and wiggle on a rubber mat, covered with oil. The same gym owner was able to convince the women to do lesbian porn movies too. Sandra and the other women became hooked on the way they looked and the gym owner was their pimp. Sandra’s job was to arrest people who took, sold and distributed other illegal drugs during work but she saw nothing wrong with what she was doing.

“Sir… You the owner of this building?” Asked Sandra while pointing her pen at Mort.

“I’m just the manager of the building,” said Mort, while fixing his glasses, sporting a ball cap that read, “Bass fear me”.

“I thought this guy here was the manager… What’s your name again?”

Dwight replied. Sandra asked to see his driver’s license because she thought he was trying to be funny. Sandra had decided that if it was not his name, she was going to find a reason to bring him into the station. Fortunately for Dwight, it was his name.

“No, I’m the janitor, he’s the manager… They need managers to watch the janitors and then the big boss watches everyone. Nobody trusts each other… This is how it works. I don’t need him and he don’t need his boss but everyone need a job.”

Sandra closed her eyes and held up her hand for Dwight to stop speaking. The night before, she had wrestled a group of Japanese men who were executives for a drug company. Their job was to come and tell the Americans who ran their company for them in the United States, that they were being bought out by another drug company and that 50% of the current workers would be let go. Their company had just developed a drug that helped people with narcolepsy, stay awake. It worked so well that young twenty something aged clubbers were using it so that they could stay up all night. Their slogan was a catchy one. They had a Charles Nelson Reilly look alike with a magic wand, spreading pixie dust over the head of some poor person who was unable to stay awake.

“Wakie wakie, eggs and bakie…” said the Charles Nelson Reilly impersonator with a magic wand, while laughing hardily with a double chin.

That became the catch phrase all over the United States and Canada. The scientists had actually screwed up. They were trying to make a drug that helped people with insomnia sleep. It had the reverse effect. Insomniacs were up for days and felt great as if they had slept. One of the scientist decided to try it on narcoleptics and voila. One billion dollars in tests for the FDA and the fledgling drug company had struck gold. On billboards, on the sides of busses, on the radio and television, was the distinct laugh of Charles Nelson Reilly, a moderately famous dead actor who was flamboyant yet funny.

Those who worked for the company thought that they were secure. The three Japanese men were there to bust the bubble. There was another company that was purchasing them and only needed a portion of the work force. C’est la vie.

Sandra had to wrestle the three hatchet men from Japan men who were in their early thirties. Through their interpreter, they asked Sandra if it would be possible to have sex with her at the same time. They were willing to pay her close to $3,000.00. For them it was a deal since their money was exchanged from Euros. Sandra declined. They offered her and extra $1,000.00 if they could masturbate on her. She went along with that. The gym owner had cameras set up in the room and caught every second of it. It became his promotional film for Japanese executives. It was on the internet but was not easy to find. Sandra never found out. Sandra was towelling the spew off of herself at roughly one in the morning while the three Japanese men, grinned like fools and bowed to her as she got dressed and exited the hotel room. The money was helping Sandra to buy her dream house along the shores of Lake Michigan. She had several thousand saved in certificates of deposits. She was a million away but getting closer all the time. The dream house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright back in the twenties. It was a swell looking abode.

Sandra took her notes of the robbery at the building and left. She had two hours left on her shift. With under an hour to go, she would be called to a dumpster where a baby was found dead. A teenaged mother, fearful of losing her twenty four year old heroin addict boyfriend, put her newborn baby in a plastic bag and threw the baby in the dumpster behind her building. A homeless man looking for scrap metal and scrap food, found a catatonic new born in a plastic bag. Sandra experienced many heinous things as a Marine and as a police officer, but that one took the cake. Sandra worked an extra four hours. She was the one who had to take into custody the young woman who suffocated her week old child. In the apartment was a small child, watching Miley Cyrus on the Disney Channel, while sitting on a urine stained mattress in a bedroom. Sandra fought hard not to break down and cry. She told herself that it was a job that somebody had to do and it was one that she signed on for and that anything and everything would be possible.

“Hey sweetie… We’re going to go for a ride, okay?” Said Sandra.

“I want to finish watching Hannah Montana though,” said a cute little girl who was almost seven years old.

“I know honey… But we really need to take a ride now. I promise you’ll get to watch your show again soon,” said Sandra.

“It’s my favorite show… I want to be like her when I grow up,” said the small girl.

“Yeah? I think I wanted to be Wonder Woman… We gotta go now.”

Life always looks so much better on television.

Welcome Home, Soldier or It’s a Thag’s Life

May 11, 2010

Kilbourn came back from two tours of duty in Afghanistan without much psychological damage and his whole body intact. Being an Army Ranger, Kilbourn had been really gung-ho about finding and defeating the Taliban in Afghanistan. After seeing the situation and living it, Kilbourn understood that it was not going to be easy to flush out the enemy as it was all to easy to cross the border into Pakistan and disappear for a while. Kilbourn suspected that if the Soviets, who were ruthless and not too concerned with human rights and polls at home, could not defeat the Taliban or the former Mujahedeen, it was going to be damn near impossible for the United States to win both the hearts and minds and whatever else needed to be won in order to feel good about having gone there in the first place.
Kilbourn landed at O’Hare in Chicago and had his sister take him to Superdawg so that he could have a really good Chicago hot dog, fries and a shake. A group of friends gathered at Kilbourn’s apartment on the north side of Chicago to celebrate the fact that he was home and had not been killed or blown apart into nonfunctioning pieces.
The next day, Kilbourn stood out on the patio that faced the street and had a cigarette in the warm spring sun. It was nearly noon and it felt good to sleep the whole night without interruption, in a bed, with sheets and a pillow and not have to worry about dying… So much.
A man, who looked to be a solid mélange of several different races and ethnicities, drove up on a bicycle made to resemble a low rider vehicle. It had long forks and little wheels and a banana seat. For a boy of twelve, it would have fantastic ride. For an unemployed, felon on drugs, the bicycle was a bit ridiculous.
Avery had been out of Cook County Jail for almost two weeks and had just been piss tested the day before and so he thought it was safe to indulge in some recreational drugs. The black Jeep Wrangler that was jacked up and full of military type stickers on the back caught Avery’s attention. He noticed that the driver side window was down enough to put a hand through. Avery got off his bike and reached in through the window to grab a smart looking ball cap with pins and patches on it from the Army. It belonged to Kilbourn and had the staff sergeant patch on it and pins. Avery grabbed a handful of toll money from the cup holder and stuffed it into his pocket and drove off with Kilbourn’s smelly military hat cocked to the left. Kilbourn ran down the stairs, barefoot with no shirt on and a pair of jeans. Kilbourn never yelled. He decided he would tackle the thief off of the bicycle and then beat him to show him his displeasure with the fact that he had to go fight for people like him. Kilbourn thought that a better punishment for a man who would steal a hat and pocket change out of a vehicle, should be to have the hands removed by the Taliban. The Taliban would be able to dissuade the drug addicted thief from stealing again at least with his hands.
Avery tried to make a call on his cell phone while riding the bicycle towards a mechanic’s garage. Avery was within the fence when Kilbourn caught up with him. Several men walked out wondering what it was that Kilbourn wanted, half naked and out of breath. Two of the four men had wrenches in they’re hands. It had been a few weeks since they were robbed by a white guy with no shirt on and they were all curious as to what it was that Kilbourn wanted. Kilbourn sensed the situation was going to deteriorate and so he defused the situation the best he could.
“Did you guys see a dog come by here?’
The men shook their heads as Avery got off of the bike and staggered inside the shop. Kilbourn went back to his house and called the police and within thirty minutes, a squad car showed up. The officers were more annoyed than anything else to be dealing with the theft of a ball cap.
“So it was a baseball hat?”
“No not a Cubs or a Sox, hat… It was my staff sergeant’s hat that made it all through two tours of fucking duty in Afghanistan. Dudes with fucking bathrobes and towels on their heads were trying their level best to fucking annihilate me and I make it all the way home and some fucking crack head reaches into my car and steals my shit. It’s the principle of the whole thing, man. How would you feel if you just got home after fighting for fuckheads like that and then you get robbed?”
Officer Timms thought about it. He had served in the Desert Storm and had been in Kuwait and remembered what it was like to trudge through the desert while the sky rained oil. Officer Timms remembered thinking that not one damn person except his mother seemed to know or care about what he had to go through in the Middle East. Officer Timms offered to drive over with Kilbourn to try and retrieve the hat. The two officers were about to get into the squad car when Avery drove towards them on the bicycle, wearing the Army hat cocked to the side while talking on his cell phone. Avery soon figured out that the officers were chasing him and picked up his speed on the bike. Avery couldn’t have peddled fast enough to elude Kilbourn. Kilbourn sprinted like a lion on the Serengeti towards a wildebeest. Kilbourn tackled Avery and removed the hat from his head. The two officers caught up and slapped the cuffs on Avery. Avery’s eyes were glazed on his forehead were the words, “Thag Life” in gothic blue letters.
“Thag Life?”
“Shh-damn… I wad fucked up when I got the tattoo. It’s sposta say T-H-U-G…” said Avery.
“Doesn’t say much for our education system when a thug can’t even spell out what he represents,” said Timms.
“True dat…” said Avery, while shaking his up and down in agreement.

A day in the life of an American part II

January 22, 2010

Now keep in mind that our hero in part 1, blended one day into the next without the benefit of any sleep. He has spent over $15.00 on over priced coffee which included the obligatory drop of coin change into the barista’s clear box next to the register.
Trent’s mother has come unexpectedly with his her husband, Trent’s step father who is nearly three years younger than Trent. His stepfather is a former Marine and a closet homosexual with a drinking problem. Trent has driven over 100 miles since leaving home half of which were in a Smart Car. He answered over 30 emails on his Blackberry as well as answered close to ten voice messages. We find him pulled over on the north side of Chicago in part two.

2:20 pm- Trent has been pulled over by an Officer O’Malley in squad car 1592. Officer O’Malley is fifty seven years of age, has twenty two percent body fat and a penis that used to get 4.75 inches long when it could become erect. That was back when his body fat was under fifteen percent, over ten years ago. Officer O’Malley enjoys watching sports, loves his nine grand children and his time share in Cancun. He and his wife fall asleep watching Jimmy Kimmel on late night television in their matching recliners most evenings after watching the news.
“I hate to do this to you but there is a law here in the City of Chicago and normally I wouldn’t give a driver a ticket but I sat behind you for an entire red light and then you made a left hand turn without using your turn signal. I’m going to give you the choice of what I give you the ticket for… Personally I would go for the cell phone as it will not go on your record,” said Officer O’Malley.
Here’s the irony; Trent was on the phone with the Chicago Police Department, trying to get an officer to meet him at an apartment building where a tenant had adopted all the furniture in the foyer, for her own unit. A water leak from an over flowing tub in the thief’s unit had caused terrific water damage to a unit below.
A section 8 tenant with five cats, called to tell Trent that plaster had fallen and hit her while she was asleep in bed. The tenant had already called an injury attorney that she sees every commercial break on local television. He was in her corner all along.
“I’m on the phone with the Chicago Police Department right now!” Cried Trent as he held out the cell phone towards the officer.
“Okay… I’ll let you go on that account but I gotta ticket you for the left without a signal. That was just plain stupid, sir.

2:47 pm- Trent walks into the lobby of the apartment that had been stripped of a table and four chairs. Two lesbian officers stood annoyed with the janitor of the building whose name was Abulfasal and was born in Bosnia. Abulfasal changed his name to Bud. Bud had a wife and four children who lived in the one bedroom basement apartment belonging to the company that Trent worked for. His wife is an illegal alien and Bud is missing a tooth. The tooth came out while fixing a small plumbing issue in the building the year before. He hit himself with a large pipe wrench while trying to loosen a rusted fitting that was leaking. Bud underestimated his own strength. He loosened the rusted fitting and took his tooth with it. With no health insurance, his tooth did not stand a chance.
Now the lesbian cops both played softball on the same team and were training to run a marathon. Both of them had short cut hair and very pale white skin and spoke an octave lower than the voice god meant for them to have. They were annoyed that Trent had left them waiting in the lobby for over ten minutes when they were in the middle of eating lunch when the call came through.
The tenant opened her door to find Bud, Trent and the two female cops with low voices. The tenant was trying hard to get off of drugs and find a job but the problem was that she just had a child three months earlier and had another one that was eighteen months old. Both children were of mixed race or as they called them in the old days; mulatto. She was thin and pale with greasy blond hair, with huge bags under her eyes and a black front tooth that was affected by heroin. She was smoking a cigarette and trembling. The father of the second child had just called her from Cook County Jail and needed to be bailed out. She had no money and her boyfriend would have to stay until a court hearing and then maybe some extra for breaking the terms of his probation. The young woman was really nervous about what would happen upon her boyfriend’s return. Violence of some sort was expected but what was not known was to what extent. She had some time. Meanwhile she was at the mercy of Trent. Trent looked at the sleeping infant in an old car seat and couldn’t ask for the woman to be arrested. He ordered Bud to move the furniture back to the lobby and bolt it down. The officers questioned Trent in the hallway.
“It’s up to you… We can arrest her, the kids become ward of the state and chances are the judge is going to let her go anyway… Whaddya wanna do?”
The tenant with the five cats could hear the conversation as she walked up the stairs with yellow Tweety slippers, holding an ice pack to her head. Even though she was clunked pretty good on the head by wet plaster, she was absolutely fine. She was hoping to win the lottery on this one and nothing was going to come out of it. At that moment though she was full of hope as she climbed the stairs in her yellow slippers, holding the ice pack against her forehead, she interjected.
“You better know what you’re gonna do, mister. This is a serious situation…”

It was a serious situation. Trent at that moment was the closest he had ever come to quitting life completely. Nothing suicidal but more like clearing the deck. What Trent really wanted to do was go back to work and quit. He wanted to tell everyone at work to go fuck themselves and try to have a nice life. He then wanted to go home and tell his mother to plan her life better and send the Marine to rehab. He then wanted to put it to his wife that they sell everything and open a wine bar in the Bahamas or maybe a miniature golf center. Trent was ready to slow his life down. After all, every work day was nearly identical to the one he was having and some times he would sleep and often times he was too wired to relax. Trent wanted to live by the ocean where most every day was as beautiful as the next. He wanted to drive his car on the left with a wheel on the right and watch cricket matches in the shade on days that he wasn’t selling wine or handing out putters. All of these thoughts crossed Trent’s mind as he sat in stand still traffic late in the afternoon on Interstate 94 headed north even though the sign says west towards Milwaukee. While Trent contemplated changing his entire life for the sake of saving it, he listened to the news about tens of thousands of some of the poorest people on the planet, losing their lives in an earthquake in Haiti. The news was more or less subliminal. Trent then received a text from his wife.
“What’s the plan with your family for tonight? Eating? Food? Please advise.”
Trent really wished that she had not ended the sentence with please advise. Most people who complained all day long in emails, always ended their emails in please advise.

7:52 pm- Trent had brought home some deep dish pizza that Chicago was really famous for. His mother, her husband, his wife and he all made small talk. The kind of talk that when you try to remember what was discussed the next day it leaves one wondering what exactly was exchanged for hours? Weather? The baby? The past? It didn’t matter. While everyone chatted, Trent scooped up their infant daughter who was fussing due to the fact that she was hungry and tired. He changed her and got a bottle of formula ready. His eyes grew heavy as he starred down at his infant daughter who was having a hard time keeping her eyes open and focused on him. After all, he was one of two people she could now pick out of a crowd of strangers if she had to as she drank her milk in his arms. Trent thought about all the meaningless but necessary bullshit for a moment while looking down at his baby girl and decided he was no better or smarter than the Salmon. He like most, were just trying to fight their way upstream, against the tide for the benefit of their progeny. That’s just how it goes.