A dream for my daughter

A dream for my daughter

A Story by Jonas Hughes
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A man's struggle to provide a better life for his daughter.

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            The two chalky rocks fell from my hand into the dried heap of skin worn out by years of abuse.  The skin was pulled tightly over the bony fingers, and the leathery palm of the out stretched hand gripped the rocks as if they were precious diamonds.  The smell coming off of the hand smelled of urine and unwashed body odor.  My stomach seized tighter, and I turned my head away covering my nose with my hand.  I looked into its eyes, and I balled my fist as its presence lingered in my personal space. 

                        “Go on now; get the f**k away from me!” I yelled.

            I watched it scurry off into the shadows to find paradise or so it believed.  Once they take that first hit, they forget reality.   I’ve seen their souls leave as they spend whole weekends in the smoke shack smoking away their lives.  Children’s toys, a Wife’s wedding ring, a blow job, or their employer’s delivery vehicle are just some of the things I’ve received since I started this job.  I stand on my corner, and I wait for them to slip in and out of the shadows for more product. They love me because I run more specials then K-Mart, my product is pure, and I never ask for sexual favors.  I’ve seen guys make them do some crazy s**t out here on the track for a rock.  Once a hustler pissed on one of them just to see how far they would go for a rock. Completely humiliated the poor son of a b***h, but they can’t resist the rock.  A couple of week’s later they found that hustler on the side of a building screaming with blood pouring from his hands.  His hands were holding the area where his dick used to be, but it had been bitten off by one of them.  They may be addicts but they stick together, and will come down the wrath of God on those who abuse their community.

            I fault no person for their decisions they make because it is their life.  It kills me to hear other hustlers talking about them like they are a sub-species. I often think to myself that we are truly the sub-species because we sell the poison that destroys souls.  We offer escape at the price of a person’s soul, and our product is the devil’s candy.  I look up the avenue to see the pimp turning the corner to come check his evening stable.  His money green Lincoln shined even in the dark and the music blared from his sound system to announce his arrival.  I’ve watched this pimp ever since I started on my corner, and I’ve seen his stable grow from one chick to having a day shift and evening shift.  He was making so much money off of his women that he actually had his own theme song recorded.  He would pull to the curb, and get out to sit on his hood.  After pressing a button on his key ring, all of the doors would raise Lamborghini style, and his song rang out.  His stable would come running to turn over their shift’s earnings, but they wouldn’t give it directly to him. His number one, Justyce, would collect, and only the biggest earner had the privilege to actually speak to him.  The girls were enthralled by his milky brown complexion, and his hazel eyes with gold flakes.  The mother f***a had honest to God flakes in his eyes, and he would use them to mesmerize his women.  He would run his perfectly manicured hands through their hair, and I would watch the women kiss his hands to thank him for letting them work for him. If he showed too much attention to the earner, Justyce would snatch her by her hair to force her back to work.  He would giggle at her jealous outburst, but he would ruthlessly beat her for mishandling his merchandise. Night after night she would apologize, and he would pick her up cleaning her off, and whispering he loved her the most.

            I couldn’t help but watch it unfold because I had a small part to play in this orchestra of underworld madness.  He bought in bulk from me, but I had to keep it a secret because he didn’t want word getting out that his women were crack heads.  Once they were associated with them their price would drop on the street and profits would plummet.  Of course I kept my mouth shut, for one it was good money, and now matter how much I despised what he did, I could never rat out my brother.  Although I sold drugs I could never do what he did to women.  We had seen what it had done to our mother, and how it destroyed her.  She spent her life burying the pain with drugs, and alcohol.  I grimaced as pictures of her ran through my mind, and I felt my eyes water up but I couldn’t let them fall here on the corner.  I took a deep breath to clear my head, and concentrate on the business at hand.  I didn’t like selling drugs, but due to a juvenile mistake I was forever barred the world of jobs that could actually feed a family.  I was a high school graduate who was at the top of my class with scholarship offers. Unfortunately life intervened, and my daughter was born.  There was no way I was going to scrub toilets just to keep food barely on the table, and live underneath the governments thumb through federal aide.  The mother of my child was killed in an attempt on my life last year, and I’ve been paying for professional help every since.  I got a tattoo to commemorate my love for her, and to keep her forever near my heart.  I kicked some pebbles into the street, and watched them tumble over the asphalt.  I could feel the water behind my eyes, and I pushed it back to where it came from.  I rubbed the knot in my pocket to remind myself why I continued to stay on this corner.  I had to feed my daughter, and I had to pay the bills for our home.  I had moved out of the hood soon after her mother died, and our new neighborhood was not cheap. 

            I heard something creeping up behind me, and my hand went quickly to my hip. I swirled around with my hand visibly on the grip of my pistol.   One of them stood cowering behind me with his hand outstretched with a crumpled twenty in hand.  I watched his body shake with fear, and I could feel my heart pounding against my chest. I took my hand from the grip, and put it into my back pocket.  I felt around for a couple of rocks to give to it, but I threw in an extra rock because I scared it so much.  A shiver came over me as I looked to its eyes, and I felt something click in the back of my mind. For a moment greasy knotted hair disappeared, the crust fell from the side of her mouth, and the dry skin became lively once again.  Memories ignited like a star going nova and shot forth from the darkness of my mind. 

                                    “Do I know you?” I asked it

                                    “Yeah, Yeah. We. We.. Went to high school together.” It answered

`                                   “You lie. Where did I go to high school?” I questioned

                                    “Green…Green Streams East” it replied

            I took a step back, and let the memory flow over me like water from a faucet.  It was her, but the rock had stolen her beauty prematurely.  The poison had robbed her of her looks, and destroyed her future as a model.  I remembered stopping her in the hallways trying to get her phone number, and her playfully denying me.  I gagged involuntarily as I thought back to the woman she used to be, and what she could’ve been.  As head cheerleader I remember her being offered a full ride to the State University, and I assumed she went.  Reality was breaking my heart as I stared at a shell of the former beauty queen.  Again, I could feel the water behind my eyes, and it was becoming harder to hold it back.  I watched her cower before me, and I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach.  The pain was unbearable, and the rocks in my pocket felt like they weighed a ton.  All of a sudden I could felt the weight of a thousand stolen souls bearing down upon me.  The crumpled twenty in my hand began burning like a hot coal, and I shoved it back into its hand.

                                    “I don’t want to suck nuthin!” she stated bluntly

                                    “What…NO that’s not what I want” I yelled

 

            Its hands shot over its head in a reflexive action as if I was about to begin beating it.  I took a step back, and covered mouth so the scream building inside of me wouldn’t escape.  I turned my back to it, and walked toward my stash spot.  I’d given it my last product, and I needed to refill.  I looked up the avenue, and I could see the pimp still preaching his street gospel to his lost disciples.  I stopped to look at a flower growing up through the cracks in the concrete, and thoughts of my daughter strengthened my resolve once again.  My brother and I had Stockholm syndrome, and we had become everything that held up captive as children. The streets swallowed the lives of our parents, and now it had claimed another generation. My brother and I had the audacity to believe that we were running the streets, and not the streets running us. I stood on this corner even though I had a whole crew running the avenue drug scene.  My brother controlled the sex trade, and between the both of us so called “King Pins” we run the avenue.  I thought of my daughter when cracks in the dam began to form, and I would do anything to keep her from the life I had growing up.  She already lost one parent to the madness of these streets, and my baby girl would never know the pain that this concrete jungle holds.

            I stood underneath the streetlight mid-block, and surveyed the surrounding area. Except for the sporadic flashes coming from their lighters on the closed basketball courts there was no one around.  I moved a stack of bricks that were covering a hole in the side walk. It was a simple spot, but no one dared still from my stash.  I’d once caught one of them with its hand in my cookie jar, and what bothered me the most of the situation was the fact it was a cousin of mine.  I’d given him a spot because he dropped out of school, and his mother, my aunt, was tired of him sitting at home doing nothing. She had her on heroin business but she fronted him once, and he never produced a profit or the product for return. It turns out that he was an addict, although functioning he was an addict all the same.  I gave him a spot on the avenue because although there was great profit, the real reason was so I could watch over him. On a busy evening I lost sight of him, but I figured he turn up. I thought he might be somewhere getting a blow job from one of them, he was stupid like that.  I decided not to worry when I headed back to my stash spot, but when I got there my heart dropped into my stomach. There my cousin was with his hand in the hole.  What happened next made the water build up behind my eyes once again. I felt one break through, and I could feel its coo l trail flowing down my cheek.  His first reaction was to go for his gun, and all I could do was to go for mine.  I was faster, and I shot him down. 

            The legend of the incident was that I shot down my own blood because I caught him stealing from me, and nobody stole from me. Nobody.  It helped solidify my reputation but it was not the truth, and my aunt does not speak to me even now, but I can’t blame her.  I wiped the tear from my face with the back of my hand, and reached down into the hole.  I grabbed a handful of product, and put them into a skittles bag for this shift.  At this time of night it was to risky to keep product on your person because the cops liked to do “surprise” curb checks.  There was one of them on the inside of the police department, and I supplied him with free product to keep me informed.  I kept them in a skittles bag because I could hold it in my hand while they searched me and they never suspected it was anything other than candy.

            I put the rocks back over the hole, and I began my way back to the corner.  I stopped under the streetlight again, and checked my clip.  The gun oil burned in my nostrils like napalm dropped on a South American coke factory.  Live by the gun, Die by the gun.  It was a mantra repeated over and over by street soldiers, and more often than not it was true.  I secured the clip, and put it back into its holster.  I began walking up the street once more, thinking it may be time for me to stop coming to the avenue. My daughter was in kindergarten now, and she knew I was gone at night.  The private school I was paying for was well worth the money.  My brother couldn’t understand why I sent my daughter to private school or why I moved across town to what he calls “square Ville”.  I once commented that I lived in the real world now, and that my daughter would never experience what we lived through.  It touched a nerve partly because he oldest was already doing a bid in juvenile, but it really angered him that I called it the real world.  Our world was the real world he argued, in our world a woman who sucks dick to feed her children is the real world, not some a*****e working in a cubicle everyday even though he f*****g despised it. In our world people were real he said, because we don’t live to ourselves.  For instance, he said, I’m a pimp, and I know I’m a pimp, but that a*****e in the cubicle lies to himself, and says I middle management material.  The muthafucka, he ranted, ain’t even a muthafuckin manager, but he lies to himself so he will keep going to work that bullshit dead end job. Shiit, he said, I know what the f**k I want, and that’s why I’m a muthafuckin pimp.

            He refused to apologize for what he was, and said the world need people like him for it to keep turning.  His street eulogies were legend upon the working girls along the avenue.  I saw him once turn a straight girl into a working girl with one of his sermons on the “Hoe and the Mighty Dollar”.  He self medicated to kill the pain, but I used mine to keep going.  The thought of what I did day after day ate my insides like the Ebola virus destroyed flesh.  Sometimes in the night when I slept I could not awake from visions of my own daughter buying drugs from me, and I can’t stop myself from giving them to her. That nightmare happens at least once a night, and no amount of sleep medicine can stop them.  I carried the weight of that nightmare with me through my waking hours with every transaction I made.  Sometimes when one of them bought product with me I saw her face on theirs and I had to stop myself from gagging.  When it happened they always apologized because they thought it was because of their smell. 

            I continued back to my spot, and the reality of what I had planned begun to hit home.   It had come to me one night after a long shift, and I was completely drained.  I sat on the edge of my bed in a quiet suburban home with a nine millimeter in my mouth.  Death seemed a relief from the everyday horror that I helped perpetuate through my poisonous transactions.  The despair I felt was like a rusty razor being dragged across my soul with salt poured into an open wound.  Tears poured from my eyes, and sweat ran freely from my forehead.   The oil of the gun tasted bitter on my tongue, but the tears that dripped into my mouth made it salty as well.  I stared into the mirror and all I could see was lost souls floating in the air around me.  I felt my finger tense around the trigger, but then I heard it.  It was a very faint sound at first, but then I it became so loud I couldn’t hear myself think. My daughter was standing the doorway screaming at the top of her lungs.  The sight of her daddy with a gun in her mouth was more than her little mind could comprehend.  I pulled the gun from my mouth, and quickly slid it under the bed.

I moved faster than a fat man at last call of his favorite buffet to scoop my daughter in my arms.  I told her some laughable story about something being stuck in the barrel, and using my tongue to loosen it.  It was so absurd even a child had a hard time believing it, but she eventually gave up with the questions.  As we laid there that night in my bed, I watched television as she drifted to sleep, and I was about to drift off myself when the infomercial flickered to life.   It was all about losing a loved one but that love one was prepared because he had life insurance, and his family would never have to worry again because he made sure they were secure.  I

 

© 2008 Jonas Hughes


Author's Note

Jonas Hughes
The draft of this was erased, and I can't find the rest. I will keep looking. Does anyone think this is worht finishing/

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Added on March 11, 2008

Author

Jonas Hughes
Jonas Hughes

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Imagination is a gift to be used to help others percieve a world just outside of their realm of understanding. Imagination is a tool to help those unlock the door to a new world. Imagination is a guid.. more..

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