Who sees a fire in their neighbor’s yard and walks off without doing anything? A young white dude who flips houses for a living, that’s who. Who does something? Hint: It was not a white dude.
March 1, 2017 at 8:55 pm (creative writing, culture, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, issues, life, living, politics, random, relationships, Uncategorized, urban life, Writing)
Tags: communication, cooperation, dumb shit people do, fires, Issues, Mexican Americans, people, race relations, real events, relationships, urban living, White Dudes, Writing
Breakfast Special, eighth helping: Do You Dig Pink Flamingoes Dancing in the Snow and Blue Lights? , #8
July 2, 2013 at 4:49 pm (creative writing, culture, drama, entertainment, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, fiction, humor, life, literary fiction, publishing, Uncategorized, Writing)
Tags: #8, blight, Book, Breakfast Special, creative writing, date, Do You Dig Pink Flamingoes Dancing in the Snow and Blue Lights?, eighth helping, entertainment, groups, Issues, life, love story, men, neighborhood, novel, random, relationships, story, taxi, urban, urban living, Watch, women, work in progress, Writing
Do You Dig Pink Flamingoes Dancng in the Snow and Blue Lights?
As soon as they exited the Orpheum Theatre, Sarge realizing that the temperature had dropped nearly ten degrees took hold of Lily’s arm and effectively steered her toward the line of taxis waiting for fares. The wind had worked itself into a furious force blowing the upper crust off the snow mounds everywhere. When they reached a vacant taxi, Sarge opened the rear passenger door and waited for Lily to get inside. Instead she baulked. Shaking her head, she backed away from the bright yellow car. At a loss, Sarge watched her wave at him then turn away, walking into the wind. Closing the rear door, Sarge opened the front one and leaned in to talk with the cabbie. “Hey man, give me a minute here, okay?” He handed the driver a ten when he nodded. Setting off after Lily he yanked his coat collar up against his bare cheeks.
When he managed to get in front of her he took hold of the edges of her hood with both hands and leaned down to shout over the harsh wind. “It’s f’n freezing out here. Come on, get in the taxi!”
Lily shook her head inside the spacious hood designed for such weather. “It’s okay. I’m only ten minutes from my place. Go on. I’ve walked in a lot worse.”
Sarge stared at her while tightening his grip on her hood so she couldn’t step past him. “It’s not okay. I’m not leaving you out here.” Keeping his right hand on her hood, his left grabbed her shoulder and turned her by force back towards the taxi. Instantly she back-pedaled right into him in an effort to upset his balance and get him to release her. Seeing no other option at the moment, Sarge wrapped both arms around her shoulders to keep her still. With his back to the sharp wind, he bent his knees in order to talk to her after using his chin to nudge aside the hood covering her ear. “What’s the problem, Lily? I’m not making a play here. It’s just a taxi ride home.” He felt her test his hold on her, then relax. “Tell me what this is about and I’ll let go. Deal?” Her ear rubbed against his cold cheek when she nodded.
“I don’t have the cash for a taxi. Now please let go of me.” She let out a startled scream when instead of releasing her, Sarge quickly threw her over his shoulder like a sack of cement and sprinted back to the waiting taxi. The curious cabbie pushed open the rear door from the inside when Sarge got close enough to fling Lily into the back seat then quickly fold himself inside.
While yanking the door shut with his right hand Sarge grabbed hold of Lily’s coat with his left to prevent her from exiting via the other door. Pulling down her hood, she stared at him with stunned furious black eyes before yelling, “What the hell do you think you’re doing, Sarge?!”
Resisting the urge to yell back at her, Sarge kept his voice calm. “Making sure you get home safe, Lily. Now tell the nice driver with the nice warm taxi where to go. I’m paying. Money is no longer an issue in this argument.”
Sarge waited. The cabbie waited. Lily bit her lower lip and glared at Sarge while she got her temper under control. Keeping her eyes on Sarge, she leaned forward to quietly tell the cabbie her address. Immediately the taxi pulled away from the now empty curb and Sarge released his hold on Lily’s coat. He grinned at her. “Are we having fun yet?”
Lily looked at him and burst into laughter then caught her breath. “I gotta tell you, Sarge, I’m getting some pretty good ideas as to why your beard disappeared. Oh yeah. Paybacks are hell, aren’t they? I bet you pissed off someone, probably some woman, so much that they slipped you a rufi then shaved off your beard. How close am I?”
“Aww that’s a low low blow, Lily.” Sarge glanced out his window then faced her again. “Pretty damn close. There was no rufi.”
“Okay, some form of alcohol then.”
Sarge shook his head. “Zaaap! Wrong. No legal or illegal substances were employed.”
“Duct tape?” When he made a confused frown in response, she made little circles with her hands. “Instead of rope for restraining you while being shaved. Duct tape—handy stuff.”
“Yeah, I know what duct tape is. Noooooo. Can we let this drop now?”
“Oh certainly not. You just hauled me off my feet and threw me into a taxi by force.”
“What’s that got to do with anything? I did it for your own good.”
“That’s what she said when she shaved your beard. Didn’t she?”
Sarge looked at her. “Did not.”
“Why did she do it? Hmm? What pushed her over the edge? What did you do that drove her to it?”
Sarge looked forward for a few minutes then turned back to Lily, leaned in close to her face and whispered, “I honestly have no f’n idea why my mother slammed my ass onto a chair then assaulted me with a freakin’ antique straight razor.” Having said his piece, he slumped back against the seat and stared out the front window.
Lily twisted to put her back fully to the door, tucked her right leg up on the seat, braced herself by placing her left hand along the back of the cabbie’s seat and sat watching Sarge while considering what she wanted to do next. She took note that the cabbie was actually taking the shortest, most direct route to the address she’d given without asking for further directions. What were the odds of winding up in a taxi driven by a cabbie who actually knew his way around the Flats of Falls? She easily did the math in her head and then promptly tossed out the information as it was of no use to her in regard to the man who seemed to be sliding down lower and lower in his seat as the taxi mileage meter numbers rose higher. The way in which he’d dismissed the issue of money earlier made her fairly certain that the steadily increasing fare was not the source of the air of subtle dejection now silently emanating from him.
Wishing she had not gone straight for what he’d made clear was a sore point in her faulty effort to hide her own embarrassment regarding the taxi, she wondered how to best make some restitution and lift his quietly sinking spirits. Recalling his request for help with exacting some form of revenge she decided to toss that ball to him and see if he’d play or at least resume talking about something else. “Twelve against one. When you were joking about revenge you said it was twelve to one. Razor mom is just one. Who are the other eleven?”
Sarge looked at her for a while then nodded towards the cabbie and shook his head. They both were well aware that the cabbie had already driven well beyond the distance she could have covered on foot in ten minutes. “Longest ten minute walk home ever, eh, Lily?”
“You have no idea.” Looking out at the snow, Lily recalled a walk home so long that ten minutes had been nothing more than a blink in the time it took to make the journey. Only Sarge’s forthcoming sarcastic reply kept her from fully falling into the memory and leaving behind the present entirely for the duration of the ride.
“Don’t be so sure about that.” Sarge made a point of sitting up straight and looking out his door window, the rear window and the front window. “Yep, this is definitely the part of Falls where one can really stretch the rent bucks. Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with making what you got go as far as possible. Nor am I one to criticize anyone’s choice of landscape views. After all I do indeed conduct most of my sleeping and showering on the second floor of a converted warehouse in the freight district. Actually the converting is a work in progress. Hence I am not one to bitch about someone else’s love for plastic pink flamingoes dancing in truck tire ponds. Indeed not.” Sarge looked back through the rear window when the taxi drove past a group of men gathered on a street corner. “What the hell are those jokers doing out in this weather?”
Lily followed his gaze to the group of parkas milling about the last intersection. “That’s the Neighborhood Watch.”
“You said that with a truly great straight face, Lily.”
“No joke, Sarge. They really are the Neighborhood Watch.”
“They’re out looking for trouble on a night like tonight at this hour?”
Lily nodded. “Yeah, they go around checking on the old folks and others to make sure their heat is working. Most of these old buildings have radiators that haven’t been maintained for years. When someone’s heating quits on them the Watch either hauls in some electric heaters or moves them in with someone with space and good heating. That’s the sort of trouble they’re looking for tonight.”
“You’re serious, aren’t you?” The mix of surprise and intrigued curiosity in his voice did not go unnoticed by Lily. It gently nudged her decision-making in a particular direction.
She nodded then leaned toward the cabbie. “Please stop up there on the right where the little blue lights are on the porch. Don’t pull into that open space or you’ll never get out of the hole.”
“Okay. Got it. Appreciate the warning,” said the cabbie with a quick glance in his review mirror at the young woman he’d frequently seen on foot in Falls and in the Flats area.
Making up her mind, Lily looked at Sarge who was again looking out the back window towards the Neighborhood Watch group. When the taxi came to a stop in the middle of the street she opened her door and got out. Instantly she was hit hard by cold wind that took her breath away. Bending down, she stuck her head back inside the taxi and gasped for air. “You coming?” Seeing the confusion in his eyes, she reached in and grabbed his coat collar and yanked him a little towards her. “Pay the man already. Shake a leg, It’s like sci-fi hell cold out here.” Not waiting for him to verbally accept or refuse her rather vague invitation, she let go his collar, shut the door, skirted around the rear of the taxi and made a beeline up the blue lighted porch steps to the door where she went to work opening the locks.
HD Snowfall In Slow Motion
Music – ‘Brooks was here’ – (c) Thomas Newman
Breakfast Special, ninth helping, Old Reliable Jack —>>> https://47whitebuffalo.wordpress.com/?s=Breakfast+Special+ninth+helping