Poverty speaks a universal language that I’ve become fluent in. Necessity drove me out of bed today, and into a little patch of grass, with a playground, surrounded by tram stations and broken down houses around the Psych ward.
I had my track pants on, and a cotton sweater and I cocked my hat backwards. I was my Ghetto’s flag fluttering. First day at work, and I wanted to be dressed for the occasion. A group of young men sat and stood around a wooden bench, looking over to the play house. It was 10 a.m, and the park was already full of people swaying in, lumping around, like unanimated puppets being dragged by the strings of addiction.
We shake our hands and touch our chests. “Ewa drari.”
Even linguistically, we are a militia. All I saw was young soldiers, pledging allegiance. A “Caesar Ave” to each other. All of us salesmen in our own right. Respected for where we are, and what we’re willing to do, and misunderstood by the outside world that looks into our lives from the comfort of theirs.
Like all warriors, when we aren’t fighting, we kick the shit. Talk, smoke, and stare down people and cars. When they were preoccupied, I found a chance to peddle my merchandise, make my money, afford that car, party on a yacht, and maybe buy my mother a pearl necklace. If she only took the damn money.
They kicked around, and play fought, and I saw a skinny twenty-something man. Tall and lanky, and his hands reached his destination before him. I nodded my head up once. He nodded back, and showed me his two fingers. Was he giving me the peace sign? Did he want two bags? I was learning. I didn’t know yet. So, I approached with my guard up. I figured if you’re buying drugs, you must be around them and in the same situation as a person selling them.
Police doesn’t care if you’re moving ten grams, or a kilogram. If you intend to sell or buy something without the government getting its share, you’re setting yourself up for some trouble.
“Where are they?” he said. He was obviously bothered, and he pushed his money on me, in a hurry.
“How much do you want?” I asked.
He was getting nasty, bothered. I felt like a new cashier in a McDonald’s serving an obese man the wrong type of fries.
“I showed you my hands. I told you two.” he snapped at me.
I took out two bags and he handed me the money. Like a good worker bee, I quickly thought of how glad I was I was able to get rid of a rude client with no problem, and figured this is a gained client.
He quickly turned and left and I could hear him murmur something that I didn’t understand. I looked back, and no one saw what happened. I was alone. Their judgment made me no difference, because it didn’t exist.
By the time he was on the ground, and my foot was playing his ribs like a xylophone, it was too late for me to stop. I heard them laughing behind me, and I gave him a final kick, and backed up.
He ran away, and I went back to the bench. I sat on it, and laid back, and lit a cigarette to calm my nerves. They asked me why I kicked his ass.
I was confused whether it was a rebellion against all management, all conducting laws that tether me to a set path, a manner things must be done, or because I thought he rebelled against mine. Only I have the right to disrespect.
All I could say was “Because he’s a little bitch.” and all they could do was laugh.
I made more money in one day than I did in the past year. Maybe it’s because it’s tax free. Maybe because we are destroying lives of the people we would be had we not taken the other side. Or just because I did what I did. It doesn’t matter why, just that I need more. When you’re in a position where you defy rationality, logic, morality and all man made systems purely out of a personal flaw, it’s hard not to look at the crazy house across the park, and realize that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.