Tuesday, June 7, 2016


I had a lot of things pulling
me, in one direction or the
other, the entire time I was
in NYC. I could have simply
selected to be a criminal. But,
I guess I didn't. I've written
about this stuff before, but
no matter -  I was occasionally
running packets for others, I
knew what was up but pretended
otherwise. The money was cool
the instructions were simple, and
a few times the calls were close.
Decisions to be made always
circled me back to the presence,
within me, of 'other' things. I
was possessed of a spiritual
voice, and an artistic voice  -
and I knew it and accepted it.
Accepted it willingly and as
far more powerful than the
dreck any of these jerks
around me could offer. It
was more right, and I knew
it. I had never been the
vacuous kind, and had
always answered to 'higher'
impulses I'd always felt
within me. They spoke
to me, and gave me
things. Words. Writings.
Pictures. Whenever I met
a real jerk, an impudent
idiot, it was always one
of these criminal types,
mob-induced and
speckled over with
dirty shit. Even funnier,
these guys were always
New York natives. Like
they just grew thugs here.
Westside dock guys, Hell's
Kitchen types, 'Westies'.
It was a law unto itself,
and nobody much else
was let in, or, if so then,
let out. Mostly unless you
were dead. They were
career guys. Middle-aged
men. Deadheads.
One time, much later, one
of these guys came to me
and asked for a nickel. 5
cents. He was an older mob
guy, and he, along with the
big fat guy with him, came
monthly, end of each month,
to a biker bar where I hung
out, to collect their take,
their pay-off. They claimed,
and got, some cover-money,
some percentage, of the action,
whatever it was and however
it was accounted for  -  not
my problem, never my
concern. He called me over,
asked for the nickel  -  'to
make it a deal, there always
has to be payment,' he said.
He gave me something that
looked like a rich, silver pen,
anodized finish, with a pocket-
pen-clip, all that. When you
opened it up, instead of a
pen, it was an extremely long,
thin, triangular, razor-sharp
knife-blade. His point to
me, after this instant, was
two-fold: 1. If ever asked to
kill someone with this, or if
for some reason you have to,
you strike and strike quickly.
Unsheathe it, and in a swift
motion, while twisting it, drive
the blade, with some force,
into the guy's ear canal. Into.
He'll be dead before he hits
the ground, or gone enough
anyway not to tell what he
even thought happened. And,
2. Once I accept this token, it
must always be on me and in
my possession. He said he'd
make a point of asking to see
it from this time on, each time
he saw me, anywhere. If it was
not on me, there'd be my own
little hell to pay. Fair enough
deal, even as I had no plans for
any upcoming needs or action.
It was just part of the (sometimes
tough and deadly) game. The fat
guy always went in to (they arrived
in a big Lincoln, with the fat guy
always driving, and parking
wherever they chose) get his
money pick-up, and this other
guy, older, skinny, and even a
bit natty, sat outside on a chair
there, facing out, as a watch. The
whole thing took maybe 15 minutes,
a bit longer of they had a beer out
front or stayed to chat. Not often,
it wasn't good for the 'transaction',
and anything could go wrong. I
learned all this. I learned these two
'always faced in two different
directions; only a fool would
only be looking in one, together'.
I learned they both were packing,
didn't often turn the car off, only
told you what they wanted you
to know, mostly knowing you'd
tell others. Evidently their 'beat'
consisted of picking up the monies
extorted from various locations
around their turf. Little trouble
was expected, or resistance anyway,
and evidently little was ever given.
From what I learned, most of these
proprietors had little incentive, or
reason, to refuse. It was like part
of the rent.
That was the invisible side of 
New York that you never really 
see or know of, unless you're 
involved in it. As I said, I had 
the opportunities to just be a 
criminal, from that point on,
and all around there. I took 
any number of assignments, 
did some weird stuff, and got 
away with things too, but that 
was all and enough for me.
Everything was getting too 
close, and I knew I was too 
stupid to not, at some point, 
screw up and regret it. And 
anyway, my mind was really
elsewhere. really. Once I got 
better involved with the Studio 
School, and started doing some 
more credible stuff with a, let's 
say, less 'transitory' nature, I did 
Somehow get away from all this. 
Lucky for me; I guess I managed
to wiggle out before it was too 
late and I'd be stuck. Outlaw
motorcycle clubs were like 
that too. Once and if you're 
asked in, do the Prospect crap 
needed, and get 'accepted', then 
if you say yes there's no stepping 
back, and your bike and registration, 
plurals here or not, get turned over
to the club, a ready part of the
'fleet' if needed, as it were, in 
case there's any need. Same with
all else. The reputation of others
all of a sudden rests with you. That's
a big burden and, if you do screw
up, the onus of that falls back onto
the guy who sponsored you in. 
That was made really clear to 
me, once, by a guy who 'lived 
under the bridge' over in Port 
Elizabeth. Known to be mad,
known to have killed and done 
time, this guy somehow took a
liking to me, requested for me to
come in under his name, but made
it clear that if I screwed up on
him, it was HIS name, he'd have
to kill me. I readily understood.
In a cold sweat, I declined, in the
nicest, swellest fashion I could.
And he accepted that. The 
problem I'd created, in actuality, 
was that none of this was really 
'me', but only I knew that. I'd 
convincingly played the part 
selected, and none of these people 
understood, or would understand,
had I let on, that the better part
and the better task of me would have 
none of it and was NOT that at all 
I'd almost created a real problem for 
myself, and one that could cost me.
That mis-representation alone could 
really get me a hurt-on. Best again,
as I saw it, was to just slowly back out
and disappear; but I've always taken
all I've ever learned from such scenes
and situations with me, as I've 
disappeared, leaving 
nothing behind.

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