Journal

The 2 Street Chronicles: Bad Reunion II.

Part II. Soldiers of God

Ten minutes of silence was broken by the sounds of his return. If you didn’t know better you would have thought a mob of rioters with bullhorns were walking up the street. But it was just Joe and two friends who had happened by. When I saw who he brought back with him, my heart began to race. I had to swallow a deep chill in order to put my game face on. Those spidey senses were ringing off the chart.

Joe introduced Mick and Monk (I’m not joking) Mick was a skinny bald guy who looked like he had dressed up as GG Allen for halloween. He was decked out in leather biker jacket and spiked bracelets. He didn’t have eyebrows and had a long thin catfish whiskers hanging from the sides of his chin. His spindly little hands were covered with tattoos of finger bones and he had a small swastika tattoo right under his right eye and a black tear drop under the left. He had just finished a 3 year stint for possession. Monk was even bigger than Joe with a long braided ponytail and a mountain man’s beard. He didn’t have the swastika tattoo, but trumped Mick with a row of three black tear drops. Monk had just gotten out of prison after serving 12 years. They said the guy he killed was a priest who had tried to fondle him, hense the name. (I know, it doesn’t make much sense) The two of them had been released at the same time and had been on the town for three days straight. Joe had spotted them stumbling by the bar and chased them down.

The three of them looked completely mismatched sitting together. All three achieving a perfect stereotype for the look they were going for. But as is often the brutal truth about so many stereotypes, they were whole heartedly the real deal.

Mick sat tiny and mute in between the hulking Joe and Monk, both of whom bellowed a mile a minute at each other like two pro wrestlers giving pre match speeches. Monk felt compelled to repeatedly shake my hand and didn’t want to let go, like he wanted to have an arm wrestle on the bar but wouldn’t come out and say it. “DO YOU LOVE JESUS, BROTHER?” Monk asked again for the third time as I tried to wiggle my hand from his grip.
“YOU GOTTA BE DOWN WITH JESUS ROB, WE HATE THOSE GODLESS FUCKS” Joe interjected, slamming his fist on the bar and pointing at the fading Celtic cross tattoo on his arm.
“BROTHER, WE ARE SOLDIERS OF GOD.” Monk proclaimed.
I didn’t even try to give them an answer, they weren’t looking for one.
“I worship Satan” Mick mumbled and pulled out a rolled up plastic baggy.
“OH SHIT IS THAT WEED?” Joe asked apparently oblivious to Mick’s religious affiliation. “ROLL UP A FATTY”
Mick started to roll a joint.
“Seriously, you know you can’t…”
My protest was drowned out.
“YO, ROB, NOT FOR FUCKING NOTHIN’ THERE’S NO ONE HERE. YOU DON’T WANT TO PISS US OFF.”
Joe was right. I was totally trapped, out matched, and what? I was going to do what? Call the cops on the owners friend and dealer? I couldn’t leave, I couldn’t kick them out. As I had done a hundred times before, I reminded myself that this was their neighborhood, their bar, their world. I was just a tourist.
Mick finished the joint and pointed towards the back door.
“NO FUCK THAT, I’M FRIENDS WITH THE OWNER. ROB’S COOL, WE CAN SMOKE HERE.”
This time I tried to stand my ground.
“YOU A NARCO, BROTHER?” Monk asked and jumped to his feet and flexed his arms like the hulk. I wanted to giggle but fought the urge.
“LOOK, ROB, THERE IS NO ONE HERE. JUST US. JUST US ALONE IN THIS BAR WITH YOU. YOU KNOW NO ONE IS GOING TO COME IN THIS BAR IN THE NEXT 10 MINUTES AND 10 MINUTES IS A LONG TIME TO BE ALONE WITH US.”
He was right. I didn’t care anymore and told them to do it. But to my surprise Mick handed the joint to me first. “I’m not really into smoking pot” (which I’m not)
“BROTHER, YOU ARE A NARCO” accused Monk and he started his body builder flexing routine again.
They hounded and argued, getting more and more agitated. Being stoned while trapped with them seemed like hell in hell, but I knew I was just dragging things out.

I lit it, took a hit, passed it to Joe. Something wasn’t right. Joe took a hit, passed it to Mick. My mouth tasted like gasoline. Mick took a hit, passed it to Monk. “JESUS FUCKING CHRIST, THIS IS SHITTY WEED” Joe complained. Monk took a hit and passed it to me. I exhaled what felt more like chemical fumes than smoke. I took another hit, passed it to Joe. Something was defiantly not right. Joe took another hit, passed it to Mick. “WHERE THE FUCK DID YOU GET THIS SHIT, IT’S FUCKING AWFUL” he moaned. I remembered the taste from a party in college years back. This wasn’t weed. “SERIOUSLY, I’M FUCKING INSULTED BY YOUR SHITTY WEED.” Joe continued to complain with a sour look on his face. “GOD IT SMELLS AWEFUL.”
“This is the best stuff on the market.” Mick mumbled in a slightly offended tone.
“YEAH, IT’S GOOD STUFF BROTHER” Interjected Monk.
My body was starting to tingle.
“YO, YOU’VE BEEN LOCKED UP FOR TOO LONG, THAT IS NOT GOOD WEED.”
“it’s not weed” I said. My whole body felt light, like I was going to start floating.
“I GOTTA HOOK YOU UP WITH MY GUY CAUSE THAT SHIT TASTED LIKE A CAR BATTERY.”
“It’s not WEED!” I screamed shocking Joe into a brief moment of silence.
“WELL, WHAT IS IT?”
“It’s pure wet.” responded Mick with a “duh” tone of voice.
I was floating.
“…EXCUSE ME?” Joe stood up.
“You know, dusted.” he shrugged.
I was a balloon with just enough helium.
Their voices started to echo, like there was reverb attached to their mic. You could see in Joe’s face, a look of realization while fading at the same time. LIke he was looking up at you as he was falling off a cliff.
“YOU TWO… JUST SLIPPED… ME PCP… YOU TWO… JUST SLIPPED ME… A FUCKING… DIRTY GHETTO DRUG…”

The altercation escalated but I couldn’t hear what they were saying anymore. They seemed really far away. Like I was watching a movie through dirty glass with static cutting through the audio. I remember Joe grabbing Mick and shaking him like a rag doll. Monk jumped in and the two hulks grappled each other. But this distant film that I was watching was edited and cut strangely. I only saw a couple of short clips and then suddenly they were all gone. I was standing (floating) alone in the morgue silent bar. I had 7 more hours left in my shift.

I ran through the bar and locked the doors, shut the windows. After sitting for a moment, I called a cab and went home. I was off for three days after that. I came back and no one mentioned the bar closing at 8 pm or the money sitting uncounted in the register. I never saw Monk or Mick again and when Joe finally returned a month later, neither of us said a word about that night. Shit just happens

(originally written circa 2006-2008)
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