I pick up a fare who tells me a woman in her neighborhood, a crack head who lives with her grandma, has been forcing her to cash checks at a currency exchanges. The woman twists her arm near to breaking, and threatens the old lady with a knife if she says anything at the currency exchange. She has went to the cops, who basically blew her off, saying they couldn't do anything unless they caught the woman in the act....
I give the her my number and find out her name is... we'll say, Ann. We agree to get together again at the first of the month, when she receives the social security check that the junkie has stolen twice so far.
We plot out what to do, who will draw blood, watch for the cops, steal the cars, get the weapons.. come the first of the month, we are ready, out in two different cars. The junkie has been under survaillance for the last 48 hours. She's a two hundred and fifty pound slow walking junkie who watches tv all day, breaking up the monety with lotto tickets and crack. Three kids, all taken away by the state. I could write more that we gathered on her, give you her rap sheet; trust me, nothing came up in our research to say she was much of a human being at all.
Come the first of the month, I watch her though my binoculars from a roof half a block off. She has set a dining room chair up by the window so she can watch for the mail. She keeps tapping her fingers and seems jumpy, nervous; all the signs of a major rock urge.
Sure enough, she catches a glimpse of the mailman coming and leaves her perch, comes out the front door and sets on her steps... just waiting for the mailman to go into an apartment building so she can snag the check.
When she's sure no one can see her darkness, he crosses her lawn and goes to the Ann's mailbox, pulls out the mail, shuffles through and finds the check. With the blue envelope in hand, she has the stupid ass, don't give a shit, audicity to go up to her victims door and knock hard and loud.
Camera catches everything. We have her on a federal offense. The plan is to anonymously send the tape to a reporter we know, in the hope that at least the story of this shooting can make sense to people: an execution. The others in our cell made this decision. I voted against saying a thing to anyone. I am pleased when future events make this tactic unneeded.
Ann calls me on her cell phone. The knocking was driving her nuts. She is breathing fast, her small body all nerves. I tell her to open the door, so we can get the junkie on tape telling Ann she is going to go cash her check and give her the money.
Ann opened her door a crack and the junkie pushed it open. "Let's go, we're going to the currency." She reaches out to grab Ann's arm and I think of how fragile her bones seemed on her tiny frame and slowly pull down the trigger. I have my sights on a spot of red cotton between her monstrous breasts, just right of center, straight into the heart and blowing out her back through a four inch hole between her shoulder blades. In the close up of the cross hairs, I see the first red spurts of blood shoot out at impact. I lower the gun and watch her face. She looks surprised a moment, and then mad, and finally, as she crumples down on the steps, terrified. A shudder runs through her body. The front of her pants grows damp as her bladder goes loose....
I watch the news that night and hear the junkie was in a gang. The cops are calling the murder a drive by.
I laugh at that, knowing the cops have a philoshophy on gang bangers killing one another; A cop told it to me once, said, "If we catch a gang fighting, we let them kill as many of each other off as possible before we move in. If they shoot each other, we high five, man."
I remember the cops words and reach down to pet Ruby dog, who is laying on her back, shooting me what I call a tummy ray. She stares at me from this position until I break off whatever I am doing and rub her tummy. I laugh again. The cool breeze of the airconditioner feels joyous after the heat of the streets. I load the bong and take in a bubbling head rusher, sit a moment feeling the waves of the rush, blow out a stream of white cloud that swirls up into the air over the coffee table and looks to me like a rising cobra, look at a picture of my Dad that I keep by my desk, shrug and tell him, "Pops, things just got weird."