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Swallowin’ the hook

April 30, 2007

I see the wall clock over Pops’ shoulder and its 11:30. I’m still fifteen minutes from the Boss’ place, so it is time to move it along.” Pop, I gotta go…you stayin’ ’till later on”?” I gotta head back out before the dark or traffic…I hate this fuckin’ drivin’ shit, kid. Whats your rush”.” The Boss wants to see me….says be there in the afternoon”. Pop gets a little up on this one.” You do good by him mostly”?” All the time Pop, its’ my living”. He watches me get up and sweep the crumbs off my clothes, dab at leftover oil on my lips and chin. He is watching me close, he’s got narrow eyes.” Does he like you, ya think…….he smile when you come in the place”?” Sometimes he smiles….He smiles when I give up the earnings’ of the week. He laughs when I make wise….and I’m always early”.Pop put down the cig slow. He rubs a finger under his nose so hard I hear the whiskers’ lament. He scratches the back of his noggin with the other hand. He does all this all at the same time. He is movin’ his brain around.” I hear things…..I’ll ask around”.” Ask what Pop”? Pops’ waiting, sitting stock-still, like a cat on the pounce.” Paul….don’t try to get a laugh out of that cocksucker…let him make you laugh”?” Just tryin’ to get his good side, Daddy” I hadn’t called him Daddy since I’m in Highschool. It just slopped out of me. I was embarrassed, and felt childish. I maybe felt like, in a way, I had disappointed him, or pissed him off.” Better you let him be the comedian…that money is a lock…he don’t get it from you, he gets it from some other guy…you don’t need to be the mamaluke on top of doin’ his dirty work. No Paul, let him be the funny guy…makes him stay thinkin’ he’s smarter than you. Which we both know is not the fuckin truth”.I saw the truth then. He hated the Boss….hated him for making me into a second generation of muscle, and for not having respect. Pop was forgetting that we both muscled willingly….or I did, anyway.” Be careful if he tries to give you something…..You’ll be swallowing the hook…Something for nothing is always expensive, Paulie”.” Okay, Pop. I’ll let you know how it goes”.” You just tell me what happens. I’ll tell you how it went. “.Then He gives me those eyes, and everything else.

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