Saturday, November 13, 2021

The Wilderness Years - Ascending the Throne

Looking back through the lens of memory and time if there was ever a point where the soul had been corrupted absolutely it was probably right about here. This was hood famous rock star shit at this point with strippers bickering over who gets first crack at the ranking hood. I stood in the morning light of my apartment and gazed out at the cold street, drinking coffee and laughing at my dumb luck, high on the adrenaline rush of the night before. The King of North Oakland was a cad. In my mind i was ruminating, justifying my actions, and yes there were these pangs of hurt when i thought of Veronica but in the next second i was thinking, "fuck her", she could have stayed the course and we could have kept on until i had sorted something out. Granted i most likely wasn't going to sort fuck all out but that didn't matter to me, i was the entitled Kono, a prick for lack of a better term, i let the girl i was in love with walk right out the door and never raised a finger to stop her. Instead i went home her with her co-worker and fucked. There were my wants and whims and then there was the rest of the world and i wasn't all that fucking concerned with the rest of the world. If i trampled feelings or upset the delicate sensibilities of the minions i didn't fucking care, i was The Man goddamit! and The Man gets what The Man wants. 

Our hero here was drifting into dangerous ground at this juncture. I was running the show at a money printing factory. From Stiv to the Billy Goat to Ginger Mike to the many nickel-dimers, i was the key, the lynchpin that held the thing together. I may have come across as down to Earth but as things went on i wielded my power a bit more. If you pissed and moaned you were cut off, it was that simple, especially if you weren't one of the Weight Crew. Of course the Billy Goat was a continuing pain in my ass, always short with the money and needing more product and forever showing up at my door with another lame-brained scheme designed to make him money. I wasn't all that concerned if he made jack shit as long as i was making mine but some of his schemes were so fucking ridiculous it was difficult to fathom his stupidity... but more on that later. 

Sitting there on that X-mas eve basking in the glow of another conquest i wondered what i should do? I was restless but that was just because of the events of the night before, yet it would be damn nice to not have to leave my apartment today, to maybe even shut off the phone. I knew there were a few bars open but with the my building pretty much empty except for me i could lay around on the couch all day eating pizza and smoking weed. At this point i didn't smoke that much any more due to the paranoia that would creep in when i did. When the realization that you i had a felony sitting in a trunk in a bedroom sunk in it tended to wear on the nerves. It's why i slept like shit on Tuesdays and Saturdays, i kept a close eye on the papers and knew which days the boys in blue liked to kick in doors and perform their raids... but like a well known poet-cop in my city once said... "we'll never see the good dealers because they're good, if we catch one it's pure luck, luckily for us there are a ton of bad ones to keep us busy." 

And so i sat in my apartment, the cats roaming around, nothing to do and nowhere to go, a day off for the busiest man in East End... except of course i knew that at some point there would be that little flurry of business and i thought about how to handle it. There was a bar within walking distance, one of my locals that looked out for me and i knew from X-mas past that it would be low-key, especially early, and that i could get a few things done, have a pint, then head home to relax. The day was sorted and now i sat back, flipped on the telly and lounged on my couch while the cats all made beds and crashed with me. When the rush finally wore off i drifted off to sleep between the purring of my feline friends and the hum of the television.

 It was somewhere around 3pm when the buzzing of the cell nudged me out of my slumber. I took a few calls from the nickel dimers, it was the kind of shit those in the know were amazed i even did any more. In total i'd move a couple ounces, what was once a few years ago considered a banner day was now almost not worth it. I had ascended the throne. The reality was i could sell nothing but weight, hell i could sell nothing but pounds of grass and still be making a few grand or more a week. Why did i still do this? maybe it was the action or maybe it was staying true to the roots as they say. A lot of my nickel dimers were OG customers and i felt a certain obligation especially since they had remained loyal to me through fat times and the lean. Granted i was quite good at the game and many still marveled at their luck of finding a responsible and courteous dealer guy but really all these little deals were nothing more than me adding to the risk. Fact was i could deal weed in my sleep, these little transactions were nothing and i could sit in certain bars and sling with impunity. It's good to be king. 

So on the birthday eve of the baby Jeebus i sat back and took stock. There comes a point when you realize you're at the top of the mountain. For a street level hood i was there, standing at the summit, my flag firmly planted in the terra firma of North Oakland. As the Fuzz types would tell you the slinging business is a lot more scattered and free agent than the nightly news likes to admit. I was a one man enterprise with gross revenues somewhere around 400K a fucking month... my net was roughly ten percent with the rest being dispersed on down the line. All run out of the bedroom of a second floor apartment. I was a fucking badass and i knew it. I had more money than i knew what to do with, i had women pursuing me, i had clout as the kids today say, i could walk into bars and was treated like royalty, and of course down at a certain club things were just starting to get interesting.. all i didn't have was Veronica and i was doing a good job of convincing myself i didn't need her. Sometimes it's necessary to lie to yourself. 

On the home front things just rolled along as they usually did. There was a routine for the Waitress and i, we'd hang on Wednesday, going out to dinner and what not, Saturday we'd do the same and walk down to the local pub around the corner from our place. Every other night i was usually out running the streets and the Waitress would often tell me that she was lonely. I didn't care... i was hood famous and partying like a rock star.  It was around this time when she asked me if i had to give up the business or her which would it be? I explained i didn't think she wanted me to answer that question. The answer was her. The truth was i was too caught up in my own little world to give a shit about anyone or anything else... and while i came across as a laid back and decent guy i was a fucking bastard, in my mind the sun blazed out of my dirty ass as i was the master of my own little imaginary kingdom. If anything the Waitress provided some stability, some sense of normalcy for someone who did his best to avoid the workaday and "normal" world of the squares. But at this point i was a monster, a big hairy beast trampling through the streets doing whatever came to mind. I was the wolf though i may not exactly been in sheep's clothing. 



looby said...

40K net a month -- back then! Normal work truly does not pay!

Kono said...

looby - It certainly didn't suck, lol!!! Of course as they say, nothing lasts forever... i've said it before, i've made and blown more money than the average bear ;)