Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The Last Straw

You really are not in the mood for her today. Maybe if you refuse to speak, she'll leave.

“Hey I was using that!”

You have no idea what she is talking about. But then again, you never do. So the pointing starts.

“That. That right there.”

Oh. That. Right. So you hand over the salt shaker you were using to put some flavor into some luke and limp fries at Wendy’s. Man, you hate Wendy’s. The fries taste like cardboard. So you salt them until they resemble a winter wonderland. Then the sarcasm hits you like a weighted bat.

“Yes." Bug-eyed. "Thank you.” With a flip of her extensions.

The frantic salting of her own pile of fries begins, but she keeps looking over at yours with a raised brow, on the verge of speech.

“Jesus. Do you really need all that salt?”

Yes, fucker, you need that much salt. What a judgmental… trade can be like that. Trade treats trade like sisters, but with only one dad, the competition is always there. You continue to maintain your silence, as you don’t want to get cut today. She's always up to cutting something.

“So, like I was saying, there’s this guy from back in my neighborhood who says he can get the best shit. I mean, really good stuff. Like, two lines and you’ll be setting your neighbor’s yard on fire wearing your mom’s favorite pearls, type-of good. Know what I’m sayin’? Sheeeeit negro. That’s all I’m gonna say about that.”

Your nails are too long to deal with the fries. Move on to the strawberry shake. Ooooh, the strawberry shake. And at Wendy’s, you always get a spoon with it too. One of those long-handled spoons, with the teaspoon end. Better than those gift-wrap-tube straws from McDonald’s. You always get too greedy. It flows too easy, and you always get that throbbing headache from the fat straws. She is still chattering. Maybe if you keep quiet she'll just get up and leave. But she never does.

“So did you talk to your sister about that thing we discussed earlier? I mean, I don’t want to get into it too much here, cuz, you know, there are people around and shit but I need an answer on that before Friday. Friday is my CUT-OFF. For that. Straight? Because it is a bonafide one-time thing for her. Cuba’s been givin’ her the eye, and he doesn’t waste lots of time on tricks like her, so she better flip and flip fast if she’s lookin’ for a solid hustle. Cuba ain’t the one, so don’t get it twisted. “

There’s no way in hell you’ll let Alisha get into this game. She’s thirteen, and still has a chance. No need to waste any years on the boulevard of stolen cream.

Oh great, someone she knows.

“Hey, hey Damon, Slick! Over here!”

Slick? How charming. And he isn’t even coming over to talk. The shouting is ruining your shake.

“Hey, this is my girl Trina, she’s in from Miami! Come on over here muthafucka and say hello!"

He won't.

"Well fuck you then!”


“Fuck him and his triflin’ ass. I hear he got a chinky dick anyways. Triflin’ ass…”

Clever. With the racist allusion. Cleverly put.

“So they say that there’s this cat up off Monroe, who’s got boo-coo bucks and he don’t even want to run it or nothin’. He just likes it if you dress up in this outfit like that coyote from the cartoons or some shit and suck him off while he’s in this rabbit outfit. Bugs Bunny I think. Haley says she copped like two grip off that fool for doing it. But the suit was hot. And his breath stank like pickles and onions.”

She always talks like that. The up-and-coming hustle. But you are busy studying her hands. Her garish display of nothing. Too much gold on those fingers. You should never advertise like that around here. You can only keep what you can protect around here.

“But then again, Haley does some stupid shit. Like that one time she went with that dude to Matamoros for the weekend. Did you see her when she got back? That puta had a cut all the way from her left ear…”

Those long fingernails look like daggers. She could be slicing her own neck right now while she’s talking, and it would not be surprising. Nothing ever is. Surprising, that is.

“…all the way around the back of her head. I think that cracker really wanted to kill her. Like those devil worshippers down there. Remember them on the news? White folks is crazy like that. Some got no god and shit.”

That is true. And these fries are awful. Too much salt.

“I’m tellin’ you girl, if this business didn’t have Cuba or cash, I wouldn’t be in it today. Cuz some of these muthafuckas just ain’t worth my time. I could be working at Foley’s or some shit. In the air conditioning. Cuz some of these freaks got no god. Some just don’t know god.”

Forget the fries. Tell her that her gold is too much and she will lose it because she is too weak. Tell her here, we can only keep what we can protect. Everything else belongs to Cuba, or whoever takes him. Tell her now. Tell her that she has nothing. Tell her about the gold. Tell her that your sister will always belong to herself. Tell her that you can and WILL protect something. Tell her. Tell her now.

Better yet, tell her that her god belongs to Cuba. Maybe then she’ll fucking leave.

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