I took a left on Belmont and wined my way around the potholes left from mortar shells from a time long past it would seem. That long ago time when chaos ruled the streets. Hard men and women during a hard time doing whats best for them. The scars on buildings haven’t quite faded. You can still see the pock marked brownstones of battlegrounds past. I was young when it all went on. Cowboys strolling the streets with Tommy guns and tie clips. Gold for the big shots. They’d drive by homes and make a meal out of whoever was inside. Even the coppers didn’t go after them. Half the time we were out gunned. Everyone thinks that the bad times are past us. They aren’t. This place burns with vengeance. I can hear the cackling of the mad men in their ivory towers. Fellows like Mason, swan’s like Marta Price. Ready to take the whole place down and walk off with the China. Jack asses like Artie Mills cutting school houses to ribbons for some misplaced sense of entitlement. The rats will roam these damned streets again I fear. I never was the man to fix it, but nowadays it feels like I got no business other than messing with this system.
Junkies on corners toss glass bottles at children as their skin crawls for another, get right. Emaciated mother hens squawk at their children up high from their nests. Old screwballs sit on their stoops and shoot dice made from sugar cubes. Poor pricks can’t even gamble proper. I have to jump on my breaks every block or so, so I won’t take the life of some lunatic that can’t seem to keep it together. Just like the rest of us. Hopping out into traffic when we aren’t welcome.
I should have stayed home, I should have fucked Etta Clover, I should shoot Artie Mills…HAHA! In all seriousness though, it might come to that. I’m not seeing any outs at the moment. Except home.
I’m sure Marty brought the bad news to Jenny. I hope she took it alright. She did I’m sure. She’s a rock. Stronger than I ever was. She hugged our kids, told them something sweet about their uncle. Something beautiful. Something that will give them hope for the future. She probably even said something sweet about his mange brother…that rascal of a father. She’s good like that. Artie’s wife is right. These women out here go through it all and more just to keep up sowed up. When we lose sight of that is when we fall…hard and bloody. The Magician was just the tool I used to let it happen. All this time I’d tell myself that it was all his fault. It wasn’t. He’s just doing what psychopaths do. I should have been stronger. Realized what I had at home and made sure to keep it there. But instead I played the role of the “boy” and pouted. Life goes on whether we want it to or not. It’s all past us now though. Now I gotta keep going forward and the only place I can think is where my family is.