“…the sunset is not only for heroes!”
I stood there looking at her and she looked at the picture of that girl. She looked so sad like she had died already. I was just there to make sure her body followed the rest of her.
“Dude, when she walked into my studio downstairs, I promise you I only saw a kid who was interested in developing her painting style. Then we spoke and when I listened to her – we have so many things in common. I don’t know if that makes her mature or me immature. We went through some of the same rough things in our life, just in different decades – neither one of us had it easy. I knew that it wasn’t merely the love of the same artists that made our bond tighter. We both love Matisse. Yes, on occasion she would say things that would remind me of the generation gap but I was ready to work through that. After a month I knew without a doubt that she was the woman I wanted to marry.”
This woman is crazy, I hadn’t heard a damn thing she was saying that made me think what she was doing was right.
“So what the fuck happened? Why you didn’t say nothing?” I asked.
“Kids have it a lot easier today than we did. My tuition if my father found out, my friends and family, all of it would have been gone. I only came out three years ago, Dude. I’ve loved women since I was five and I’ve only just started to really be me at 40. I don’t know what to do. What would I tell her? What would I say to her, ‘teach me’? And what do I do when she, being so free and open, wants to go to parties? What happens when she shows up with me, a pathetic old lady?”
“Why couldn’t she teach you? Just because you’re older don’t mean you know everything. And when you go to a party she tells her friends she ain’t getting beat up and she’s happy as hell! Then you are going to have to fight them young girls off you because they are going to want what she got!”
“You’re pretty. You can get plenty of girls.” I couldn’t believe I was hearing me say this. Psycho is going to kick my ass.
“You mean dating? I’ve done a little of that – disastrous. I’ve been looking for women to be her and it hasn’t worked out. I want to wake up and it’s her voice I hear saying good morning to me; it’s her scent I smell in my sheets when she’s not there. I know what I want, who I want. And more than anything I want her to be happy and she is. I know I sound like an idiot, Dude. Maybe I am depressed. Maybe I’m just broken.”
“What about when she comes to visit and sees your dead body? I know she got to have a key.”
“She did. It’s the key you used to get in here. She and her girlfriend have been doing a lot more things together and she thought it best that she not have my key. She didn’t want to lose it so she gave it back. Did I tell you they travel?”
Her story was getting sadder by the sentence. Everything she said made me want to walk out of there without touching her and I was fucked up off that.
This crazy depressed woman was my first real conversation. She called me beautiful when nobody ever did in my life. And she was a great artist – how could I dead a teacher? There would be a special place in Hell, just for me, if I did that. I didn’t know what to tell her.
Niggas get depressed too don’t listen to that bullshit like we don’t, you should take those pills and maybe that would help, should I say that to her? I wanted her to wait just a little while and maybe the feeling would pass.
“What you going to do about your paintings?”
“I’m about to make my collectors some very happy people, I can tell you. Besides, I haven’t done anything new in almost a year. OK, Dude, enough of my sob story. I paid and I expect my consultation.”
“I’ll come back in a couple of days.”
“A couple of days? I paid!”
“Don’t worry, I’ll be back. I have a rep, you know. Two days and I’ll be back.”
“I’m a silly old lady to you, aren’t I?”
“I think you’re wonderful.”
“Thank you. I’m glad they sent you, Dude,” she said and I dipped out of there, quick.
Give me a couple of days; what the fuck was wrong with me? I know that movie “The Professional” like the back of my hand and Leon got fucked up because he got soft. But I felt alive like all those colors Andrea had in her paintings. If she could get over this somehow, I thought that it could change me too – my life could be different. I listened to somebody and she thought I was good enough to tell her story. I didn’t even get the chance to tell her I was an artist too. I paint those figurines that should count for something, right?
I turned to go back to her crib and tell her that I paint those figurines but I want to learn some real shit. She’s got to miss teaching, being away from it for so long. I’m sure once she got started there’s a lot of stuff we could make together.
I ran back into the building and made it back to 5C, I still had the key. She was in her bedroom and I could hear a fast clicking sound. I knew exactly what that was and I rushed to her bedroom.
“Dude! You’re back.” She had the .32 aimed at her temple. I aimed my pistol too, right between the eyes.
“I thought you were going to give me a couple of days.”
“This is the first time I actually built up enough courage to get this far in the game.”
“Andrea, I told you I have a rep.”
“Will you forgive me?”
She was a half second slower on the trigger than I was. Mine went “pwtt” as the silencer does and hers went, “click”. I couldn’t take the chance of her finishing the job I got sent there to do.
Shortest fucking friendship I ever had – hell, my only friendship.
None of this shit matters anyway. You’ll never know how much pain she was in because I took the suicide letter with me and the .32. I grabbed one of those long ass boxes she had lying around and took some good paintings and the one of you that isn’t finished, that she had sitting in the easel. It’ll look like a robbery gone wrong, like they call it on the news. And you and your girlfriend will help too. Y’all are going to tell the police that you saw a scary looking black man with big box that looked like a painting walk out her building. You’re going tell them that your girlfriend said, “Excuse me, sir,” and I grunted and kept it moving. Then you said, “Men can be so rude.”
Girls can be too, bitch.
My day in Hell will have to wait; I got a stay from God. This was a mercy killing.
I do my job, you pay me, it gets done or I die getting it done.
Tonight, I died.
“…perhaps one can leave with a clear conscience…”
When I opened the door I was a little surprised; the place was a loft and a lot bigger than I thought it would be. It smelled real nice, like incense was burning, Sandalwood. A Jill Scott song was playing softly in the background and I went to the door real quick to make sure I had the right place. This was it, 5C. It looked more like someone was preparing for a date and not with me.
There were canvases in a corner and one on an easel – let me guess, she’s an artist. Curiosity got the best of me so I checked out her stuff, the chick was bad. She was that dude with the bitch in the shell, bad. She painted other chicks, like portraits, and she did some real quality shit. I saw a couple of naked girls in there too, lots of colors. She had some naked black girls; I never knew black girls could be in paintings like these.
Why the fuck would this chick want to off herself? I never asked myself questions on a job and for the first time, I felt like it would be a shame for me to do this. This chick was giving me doubts. Drug dealers, pimps, gangsters, crooked cops, I had no problem running up in their house and finishing them. But her, she’s an artist. What did she do?
I went up the stairs to her bedroom and she was there. She was sitting on the corner of her bed with a nickel-plated .32 beside her. She didn’t reach for it, that’s why I was here. She held something in her hand that looked like a picture frame and I could tell she’d been crying. I had my pistol aimed right at her when she turned and saw me.
“You have such beautiful bone structure.”
I had what? This chick was confusing me and worse yet, I couldn’t pull the trigger. I didn’t put my gun away because I saw she had one, regardless if I thought she was going to use it or not.
“What’s with the heat, Lady?”
“Oh. They say I’m depressed. They give me pills that I don’t take; have you seen the side effects of these things? I got this gun for my safety because I live here alone. Every once-in-a-while when I have one of my bouts with depression I like to play a little Russian Roulette – only I never make it past putting the gun on my bed. So I decided I’d call in an expert and here you are, an expert.”
“Um, this ain’t part of company policy but, why you want to do this?”
She handed me the picture frame. It was a picture of a young, fat girl, smiling like she found a treasure of fried chicken and jelly doughnuts. Her hair was curly and she looked good-natured enough, but she didn’t look like the mark. Matter-of-fact, the mark looked like me, if God decided to make me pretty and girly looking with nice chinky eyes and long dreadlocks, instead of this buckshot I have all over my head.
“She dead or something?”
“She was a student.”
“You a pedophile?”
“No, I’m old and silly and should be playing bridge with my peers, shouldn’t I?”
I looked around the room, didn’t see no bottles, she wasn’t drinking.
“How… How old is she?”
“She’s 22. Now be a cad and ask me how old I am?” She winked at me and I didn’t know what to say.
“I’m 43. You see, silly. Do you know what’s so sad about the whole thing?”
“She hasn’t got a clue. Which isn’t that bad when I actually think about it because I’d be absolutely mortified if she did. If she could see me like this…”
“Well, I’m saying, people do this old young thing all the time now-a-days. I think you should tell her before you get a um, consultation.”
“ ‘Consultation’. Now there’s a euphemism if I’ve ever heard one.” I smiled at that one it was kind of funny.
“Apart from the fact that I’d have absolutely no idea where I’d begin with her, I think that her age appropriate girlfriend would strongly object.”
“You could start by saying that you love the bitch, then I’d take care of the girlfriend for you since you already got credit, if you know what I’m saying?”
“I told you I love her. She’s very happy with her, they travel together they go on art junkets, which is a great thing. She keeps up her painting and I get to see her every now and then. I’ve seen her in a bottomless pit of despair. Now, she’s so happy, why would I ruin that with my delusional machinations? It would be selfish of me – excuse me, what is your name?”
“I find it hard to believe that your mother named you ‘Dude’.”
“I find it hard to believe you want to die because of some young bitch.”
“Touché, Dude. I’m Andrea.”
My big Mac. Cheeky Robot! ;o)
- Neighbor Says: So I was a little nervous about her going up the block and I told her, "no".
- So I Says: Nervous? About what?
- Neighbor Says: You know they've been having those killings and dumping those bodies by the beach.
- So I Says: Yeah, but that's way out from here.
- Neighbor Says: I know but that doesn't mean that the killer is located by the beach. They just dump the bodies there.
- So I Says: Oh yeah! You're right, you're right.
- Neighbor Says: So I told my daughter that she can't go up there, it's getting too dark. And she asks me, "Why Mommy?" And I tell her it's because of that serial killer we have on the loose!
- So I Says: That scared her, huh? She won't go anywhere without Mommy now.
- Neighbor Says: No. She just looked at me with a long pause, thinking real hard and finally says: "Well Mommy, why don't you just hide the cereal?"
- You can not make this stuff up!
“…you gotta love me or leave me alone…”
You know that flick from back in ’97, “The Professional”? Well that’s me – it was me, but I’ll get into that later. I love that movie, shit, I even wear them same dusty ass highwaters like my man Leon, did; and the beanie and the round glasses like Whoopi Goldberg. I know Whoopi had them first but I like the way Leon rocks them. And I don’t let no damn wops hold my money, I’m literate enough, I can count. Besides them grease ball guineas don’t like niggas anyway so what the fuck I look like giving them all my money to hold? And I do my job, you pay me, it gets done or I die getting it done.
I’m that type of chick nobody wants, not guys or girls. I couldn’t really give a fuck about the guys and after a while I learned to care less about the girls. I’m black. No, understand what I’m saying; I’m not shouting from the rooftops about how proud of “my people” I am – fuck them niggas. I am real black, dark as night-at-nighttime-in-the-dark black. And although I have all my teeth and no scars on my young face, God saw fit to make everything on me look manly, nothing soft at all. Anything in me that was gentile left when I shot and killed my very 1st mark; I was 15 when that happened. Some guy thought he was tough until this psycho gang banging kid found him and duct taped his ass. He tortured the tough kid for a little while and was about to off him until he saw me walking through the playground to get to my building.
“Yo! Dude, come here!” He was waving at me and laughing. I went over there because, one I was curious and two, the most important part, the psycho guy had a gun.
He looked at the tough guy and said to him, “I’m the man round here, muthafucka, don’t you ever forget that shit! I’m so on my shit I’ma let this dude shoot your ass!”
I was the “this dude” he was talking about and I knew I had to shoot him or be shot.
So I shot the tough guy, blew his brains all over the damn side of the building, nearly took my hand off from the kick back, and the psycho guy laughed his ass off while his boys standing around scared shitless, ran like the wind. He looked at me, patted me on the back like I was some kind of hero and realized I was a girl.
“Oh shit! You ain’t a guy at all. Yo, fuck them pussies that ran, it’s me and you from now on, my dude!”
“You a psycho, man,” I told him.
That’s how we became business partners, “Dude” and “Psycho”.
We was well known too. Gang bangers and drug dealers would fuck each other up when they were at war but when they wanted to send a message they called Psycho. Psycho called me. There were a lot of regime changes in the underworld because of me. The cops and the FBI haven’t caught me so far because they are looking for a Nigerian or Kenyan or South African man. And like my boy Leon, I lived real low key.
I ran away from home, actually I just packed a garbage bag and walked out that bitch, two days after I shot the tough guy. I knew I wouldn’t be missed, Moms had 6 other kids to worry about. One less ass to kick would give her foot some rest. I kept on stepping and never looked back.
I stay in a nice little one-bedroom brownstone apartment, small closet, twin mattress, little ass kitchen, sink, tub, and a toilet that works. I was going to get a plant but ain’t nothing green about my thumbs so I got figurines instead. You know, those blank white ones that you can paint yourself. I made sure I wore gloves and bought a special painting outfit so I didn’t leave anything behind if I have to leave all of a sudden. No need to make the job for the authorities easy.
When I made my first $10K, I got myself three safe deposit boxes at three different banks so I’d have a place to store my money, just in case I had to be on the move real quick.
I was by myself, no ties, and I felt no loneliness because I knew my place in the world. It had always been my philosophy that people were unhappy because they didn’t know their place. You have a bunch of hamsters trying to be top dogs. You have Alpha dogs not wanting to be responsible so they try and be hamsters; you got dumb asses trying to convince you they are smart and the smart ones run around acting stupid. Nobody wants to be in their place, it was that simple…
Psycho called me about a job, a suicide. I’d heard about this kind of shit but never actually believed it; thought it was some rich soap opera shit. But there I was on my way to 645 Lavender Ave., apartment 5C (key to the place over the door jamb) to off some chick that paid $30K for it to get done. Thirty thou, is that all her life was worth to her?
How do you determine the price? When gangsters would see me coming they’d beg and promise to double and triple the price. I always found it funny that in the little span of time they had, instead of begging me to spare their family or giving a message to so-and-so of how much they loved them, special shit like that, they would put these ludicrous price tags on who they were which really got me thinking about how much they actually valued their life. And being a nigga with a gun, they insulted my intelligence every time. A watch, or a necklace or the diamond earrings in the safe – just the diamond earrings, not the Treasury Bonds that were worth 20 times more sitting next to the diamond earrings. One guy offered up his daughter in the next room, because he just knew a young white woman was going to be his stay of execution. I shot that guy’s balls off before I killed him.
But this job was different.