Monday, July 27, 2015

Dominican Dirt pt. 3

Luciano was pacing around the parking lot, a fine sheen of sweat on his forehead shining in the dull parking lot lights, he walks over and explains that the guy he needs lives right here, pointing to the apartment block, he tells me he'll bring the guy out so that he sees me, he know me, and you know him, si? Si, i reply and off he runs into the apartment complex... i'm left standing in this parking lot, a 6'4 gringo, though i'm not quite sure that's term they use in the DR, but not the most inconspicuous of resort guests for my height and sideburns alone, but i wait and about 5 minutes go by and out comes Luciano, walking a few steps ahead of a dark skinned guy, Haitian looking, and Luciano walks by me all smooth as gravel practically yelling, you see him... he see you, nodding his head quickly and pointing back and forth between us, Si i say and the Haitian, who's jeans and shirt damn near match the color of his skin, barely looks at me and walks up some steps and back towards the apartments, Luciano then asks me if i know where the supermercado is, i tell him i do and he tells me to go over there by the street and the Haitian will meet me, fine i say and then he stops me and says, when you get there cut your wristband off, you get another at desk, i stop and say otra vez? and he says it's okay it's okay, get another... the antennae went up a bit on this comment cuz i know that these places always charge if you lose your wristband and here Luciano's assuring me that it's fine and i tell him i don't think i'm gonna do that and slip him a fiver as he jogs back to work and i head towards the mall...

Isaac Brock once said that the malls are the soon to be ghost towns, that was damn near 20 years ago now and it turns out he was right, malls i roamed as a child and teen have been bulldozed, replaced by different malls but they are indigenous to the suburbs of my youth and so it always feels odd when standing in a mall in a foreign land, this one was half indoor/ half outdoor with a disco, a supermarket and high end Euro/American swag, the same shit you could get at home, let's raise a glass to consumerism and the global community, at this time of day the place was winding down except for the Hard Rock Cafe and the Outback Steakhouse, standing outside and looking in the Outback's window i watched the end of the first quarter while a really bad American cover band butchered "Your Love" by the Outfield, i was waiting again after my first lovely interlude with the Haitian...

So making my way through the mall and  the paranoia is creeping, mainly cuz this crew seems to be a bit more Three Stooges and past experience has taught me that a loose team can be either dumb, dangerous or worse yet both, and so under the fluorescent lights i wander while trying to maintain a certain nonchalant air, i walk and look for the Haitian, clocking the security guards and realizing they were just the Domincan version of mall guards but the uniform providing a brief moment of oh shit, i'm scanning the lot and of course there's no sign of him and so i begin to walk towards the sidewalk that runs around the supermercado and next to the road, once around the corner i walk about 40 feet, once you get past the supermarket lights there is a whole lot of dusk and nothing, i can make out the outlines of buildings and such but there are no lights on in them, i look the street up and down and turn and start making my way back up towards the supermarket which sits on the one end of the mall, when i hear a pea-shooter motorbike coming up the road, the Haitian has finally arrived...

The Haitian pulls his motorbike over and i hop down to where the curb isn't as tall but i'm still standing on a bit of a lip, he looks up at me and the bright white of his eyes are almost startling, he says you want the coca? and at this point i about started yelling what the fuck is the fucking problem man no i don't want the fucking coca or cashews or an ashtray and you and Luciano speak the same damn language so tell me what the fuck aren't we hearing, mare-I-juan-AH, grass, ganja, smoke, Bobfuckinmarley, but instead i smile and give him the latter half of my mental rant and he shakes his head and says yes 10 minutes, you get on bike, i laugh and look at him, i don't ride bikes, no he says it's good, get on 5 minutes, a little more forcefully i tell him i'm not getting on the bike, c'mon man he says get on, i don't ride motorbikes i tell him, not in the fucking States and defo not here so if he wants to get my shit and bring it back here that'd be swell but if he doesn't well then i'll just be on my merry, fucking way...

There comes a time in every illicit transaction when both parties must balance their needs and wants, sometimes it's a seller's market, think powders and rock, sometimes depending on the situation it's a buyer's market, of course in the tourist/resort areas many times the seller's believe the Anglo's are made of money and want to get all they can, it's just like haggling for the fucking wooden mask at the local bazaar, how bad do they want to sell? how much you willing to pay? how much do you really want it?... The Haitian then gives me and exasperated look and tells me to meet him here in ten minutes, right in the middle of the parking lot again and under the lights so at least everyfuckingone can see what's going down and i say si si, and off he zooms and  like i said i wander in to watch some hoops beginning to wonder now if i'll catch any of the fucking game...

And so the first quarter ends and i walk back out and act like a confused tourist cuz by now the mall guards have to know something fucking shady is up and i begin heading back to the other end towards the supermarket and in pulls my friendly Haitian dealer, we'll just call him Curly... so Curly pulls up and immediately asks for the money, 50 American, i smile and say give me the shit, he says what? and a little more forcefully i say give me the fucking gear, he looks a bit taken aback but hands over a what looks like a torn off piece of a plastic grocery bag tied in a not, i hand him the money, i take the bag and hold it to my nose, i laugh and say this is dog shit, que? he says, mierda del perro i say, he nods and says great shit and then asks me for the 20 he saw in my hand, come again? i say, Curly then tells me that he gets nothing out of this and that i should give him the twenty as a tip, no no i say, and he continues to plead and then i stop and say give me the money, he looks confused, i say give me my fucking dinero! un momento he says and he hands me back my money and i give in a bit, i take out the ten and put in the 20 and tell him that he can have ten for doing me the favor of scoring me dogshit, i had put money in both pockets but had the sense not to let him see what i had in the other, i tell him that's it, that's all he's getting and to have a swell fucking life cuz we're done and i turn from him and walk off into the mall...

By now i'm talking to myself out loud and lecturing myself about how i'm not some fucking 20-something and what am i doing fucking about with half wits and wannabe thugs when a new character enters the fray, we'll just call him Moe, Moe you see is a slender light skinned Dominican lad sporting a rather expensive multi-colored striped polo shirt with his crisp and clean white Yankees cap and a pair of khaki Dickies, he bears a striking resemblance to Angel Di Maria and his voice seems an octave too high, you Chico's amigo he says, que? i say, Chico's amigo he says again and i smile and say i don't know a Chico and as i start to move he goes, no mean Luciano's amigo, oh i say quickly gauging what's in front of me, Chico's amigo, not so sure if i am i say...






4 comments:

Exile on Pain Street said...

That seems like an awful lot to go through just for some fucking weed. Is it worth it? Or is it not really about the weed at all?

Isn't it depressing when you go to a different country and see the same American shit restaurants and stores you thought you were getting away from? We export crap.

Parmatown is toast. And the granddaddy of them all--Randall Park Mall--is an empty, sad behemoth. Good riddance.

Rassles R. said...

Holy shit. I have to much reading to do here.

Kono said...

Exile- the short answers are, it was, it wasn't, and it's like Seinfeld it's really about nothing... part of which i think comes through in the last paragraph

And we export shit cuz Merkins want to see the same shit even if they're in a different country (for the record i don't want to see that shit), i had an old Texan high five me cuz i spoke English and he was sick of people who couldn't, didn't want to point out to him that he was in a Spanish speaking country (and i didn't even mean Texas) but i thought i'd be lost on him...

The mall of my youth being laid to waste gets my misty-eyed, my days hanging in the arcade and playing video games and cruising the food court looking for girls to talk to, my first real record store in the strip mall next to it, walking over to Byers Field and hanging around to talk to girls from different schools who wanted nothing to do with you, driving around in my friends car and getting stoned in the mall parking lot, it's no wonder i hardly ever go back...

Rassles- Good to see you back in the lounge... i'd just listen to the music the rest is all shite.

daisyfae said...

totally different for men than it is for women. it helps to be 6'4" and hairy. i could NEVER do any of this...