Friday, July 10, 2009

BEVERLY HILLS

Can’t remember the last time I had any fun. Back in Ballentine, hanging with the boys, or spanking Rosa, who was my last good lay. No fun in Los Angeles. Only daggers and guns and a lot of motherfuckers trying to off me. Even screwing Mrs. Nerd wasn’t anything to smile about. More like going to the batting cages.

But last night. That was fun. And dangerous as hell. I swear I saw a dude with a sub-machine gun. This town is hard core.


And big. When I first got here, I hopped off a train in Downtown Los Angeles. It took me a day to walk to Santa Monica, following the sun like the Rail Riders told me to do. Wasn’t paying much attention to the city then. It was all a bunch of low and tall buildings and traffic and bright skies. I was hungry and alone and didn’t know what I would find near the ocean.


I found a little black bag and a lot of trouble.


Been here long enough to get a lay of the land. I can recognize the landmarks. Across from the Veteran’s graveyard is the big concrete Federal Building. It looks like a giant headstone, looming over all the smaller ones. Must be teeming with G-Men, salivating to get their hands on me, lock me up and throw away the key. I walk wide around that building.


The college campus makes me feel better. Big eucalyptus trees and all kinds of hot chicks. No one looks at me funny here. I’m in their library now and they probably think I’m working on a term paper. It’s an essay on how badass Trey is.


Chapter 1: Trey walks from his empty condo, across the college campus at night, hearing a couple of parties from the dorms, and keeps moving, heading east. He’s like a ghost, living in the shadows. Vampire Batman. Sexy as hell. Caught the eye of a couple of betties on the campus. They were outside some theater or something, looking alt and hot. But Trey was on a mission, gave them a smile and a wink and disappeared into the shadows.


Chapter 2: Trey finds Beverly Hills. Can’t miss it. Keep heading east on Wilshire Boulevard. You have to be careful on a long stretch with just a little sidewalk. Big trees all around and the cars are blasting past. Thought I was going to buy it a couple of times. Came out the other end of that stretch and into the golden glow of Beverly Hills. Glittering lights everywhere and department stores and hotels, all with clean glass.


Chapter 3: Trey mingles with the natives. Saw two kinds in Beverly Hills. One type was dripping with money. Sunglasses at night and the women in tight jeans and high heels. The other type was the tourist. They pointed and took pictures. Lots of Japanese. They had money too, but from out of town.


I was looking for an address, one of the restaurants that Jasmine told me Rodeo was an owner in. At first, I hit up the locals, but they didn’t know shit. Most of them looked stoned and sloppy. The tourists knew more about that berg than the people living there.


Chapter 4: This is bullshit. I never wrote good essays.


With the help of the tourists, I made it to the restaurant. Not much more than a door to the street and ivy covering the walls. The name of the place was real small, like they didn’t want anyone to know it was there. Maybe they were hoping Trey wouldn’t find them.


Trey’s on the warpath. What I want I get. Even got lucky. See what happens when you stop running and start hunting? I took a chance going to this restaurant. Jasmine told me about some places that Rodeo had his fingers in, but one was downtown and I wasn’t ready to take that walk. If the Beverly Hills valets had been looking in the shadows across the street from the restaurant, they would’ve seen my vampire smile in the shadows. Rodeo’s Mercedes was parked out front.


You think I had Mrs. Nerd buy me this Carhartt jacket in black because it goes with my eyes? No, it’s so I can hide in the dark of night and spring on my prey when they least expect it. I might be outside your place. I could be looking in your window right now. But I wouldn’t do anything to you. You’re my only friend.


I watched a couple of fancy cars and SUVs pull up to the valets. The dudes in the red vests ran around like doctors in the ER while the douchebag a-holes strutted out of their cars and handled their skinny women toward the door. Would be cool if I could waltz into that place with Tokyo on my arm. We’d shoot sneers at all the fools, drink their bar dry and eat all the good food. I’d let Tokyo order, don’t think I’d know the kind of food this place served.


Night got later and I made my slow way around to the side of the restaurant. Took a while, like a sniper stalk. My dad told me stories of some Nam snipers who took days to cover a hundred yards so no one saw them. Then they’d put a bullet in a dude’s head and disappear like they were never there. Sounds cool. But Trey doesn’t have long range capabilities. I got stealth.


Ducked into the shadows by a Dumpster when Beverly Hills Cop rolled by. These boys were no shitty comedy. Cocked buzzcuts looking for a reason to beat you down. I want no business with them.


Cops cruised past and I found a good place to wait for my shot. Couldn’t see the front door of the restaurant, but I had a view of the sidewalk and Rodeo’s car. I waited. Thought about those snipers, or my dad. What was going through their minds as they crawled through a field or down a tunnel? You plan every move, every inch forward? Or does your body go automatic and you have time to remember your 18th birthday or first girl you kissed?


My 18th birthday party was a summer barbecue around the trailer. All my friends were there. Got blasted and punched out a good buddy and made out with a couple of girls at once. Hell of a time.


First girl I kissed was Brooke. You don’t deserve to know anything about her other than she was sweet.


She was on my mind, her eyes closing and getting closer and that first thrill that scares the shit out of you, when Rodeo stepped onto the sidewalk. I got that thrill again and ran at him with everything I had. Don’t think. Take the shot.


Rodeo’s bitch was the first to see me coming. Guess women are more trained to be ready for an attack. He should’ve been paying attention to her. Her hands went up to block me and her eyes went wide. I noticed her shiny, tight pants and thin high-heels as I shoved past her. Girl couldn’t keep her balance on the stilts and went over on the sidewalk. Didn’t like hurting her.


But I loved lowering my shoulder into Rodeo. He was just turning toward his woman when I hit him. He grunted all his breath out and we went down to the sidewalk. I may have caught him by surprise, but the dude was ready after that. Punching and kicking and gouging, we worked each other on the pavement. Don’t know what he ate for dinner at his fancy restaurant, but there’s no way he was as satisfied as I was when I put my thumb in his neck under his jaw.


His face turned red and he flailed, but I kept pressing. And I punched him once in the ribs with my free hand. He kneed me in the side and reminded me of the bruises from my run in with Sig and The Eagle. Part of my body knotted up and I barely managed to slap him with the back of my hand. He felt it and I’m still feeling good now, a day later.


Footsteps started shuffling all around us and I heard Rodeo’s girl screaming. She was probably singing the whole time, but it didn’t hit me until I knew it was time to blow. I was on my feet in time to see the dude in the suit coming out of the restaurant. No kidding, he had a fucking Uzi or something like it.


If I were the American Ninja, I’d be spraying back at him with my belt-fed M-60. I’d level that whole place. By now you know I’m not the American Ninja and I ran like hell before the dude started popping caps in my ass.


Running away and laughing the whole time. I’m still smiling. I fucked with Rodeo on his turf. Knocked his girl down and he couldn’t stop me. People’ll think twice about going to that restaurant. I made that fucker hurt. If he’d dealt square with me, he would have had his girl all over his face that night, instead of an ice bag.


Rodeo’s learning. You don’t cross Trey. It’s an expensive lesson. He’ll pay later, once I’ve softened him up and he’s really ready to hand over the cash for the black bag. That’s right. Trey’s still going to get his payoff.


And it’s going to be a hell of a lot of fun kicking ass until I ride off into the sunset.