Friday, September 4, 2009


Emerging from the priest’s former shell was Ronaldo Dominguez, the handsome young gangster from Spanish Harlem. His nickname was “El Joven,” Spanish for ‘the young man’ and he was thinking that whether double E knew it was him or not was irrelevant.

Somewhere along the line though the moniker got shortened to Joven, which simply means young. He was referred to as the “Voltron” head of the crew because he always read books and broke down drug transactions to their last cent. Moreover he was known for elaborate transport schemes, but never anything like this.

After turning his head sideways slowly in his disbelief, Hector pulled out a freshly rolled white-owl, green leaf blunt and cauterized the damp lacerations from spilling out tobacco with a lighter shaped like a gun. He flopped on the couch, bouncing up and down almost chocking with laughter as he put the bliggety to his lips.

“Chistoso famoso! Oh shit, hell ‘naw. Oh snap, that’s the illest ever shit son. Joven you’re an asshole.”

Enriquillo stretched himself across the couch and seemed to smother Hectors knees, while howling with glee.

“The Holy fuckin’ father. Ladies and gentlemen, the holy…aw man that’s classic. I was killin’ myself B. I mean dying, literally trying to keep from laughing the whole time.”

“You big bitch,” Hector said, getting up and pushing Enriquillo in the back but still chuckling. “You knew?”

“I’m saying B, get this shit off me man. Can you could you please help me get this off man, damn,” said a pensive and irritated Dominguez.

“You’re going to hell for real. Naw on the real, you’re going to hell. You’re playin’ with God,” Hector retorted, removing large pouches of Heroin from the religious cloak.

“Yo I thought ya’ll wasn’t never gonna shut up. Is Eddie all the way gone?”

“Yeah he’s gone.”

“So Eddie didn’t know Joven was dressed up?” Hector asked.

“Nope, well, I don’t know, who gives a fuck, sanction was on anyway ‘na-mean,” Joven said dismissively.

Hector and Enriquillo quickly unstrapped the remainder of the merchandise and took it upstairs to the scales, to measure the quantity of hundreds of decagrams of smack.

In addition, about 15 birds had been wrapped in tin foil and placed in form-fitting bags, embedded in hollow Bibles that “Father De la Rosa” had brought. That’s why he found the bricks comment by the cop so funny, they were bricks, kilos of that brown brown.

“Man this is wrong,” Hector said examining the Bibles. “No, really, this shit is really, really wrong, for real this shit is a really ill, but it’s really wrong.”

Enriquillo darted up the stairs and then just as quickly returned with a towel, a black short-sleeved Guayabera shirt and some white-linen slacks for Joven to change into.

Joven wiped himself down with the cool towel and sprayed on some cologne.

“What a damn day. Yo, kid, I almost got ate up by a dog, the cab driver ran up the fare on me, Trevor disrespected the holy father,” Joven explained, making quotes with his fingers when he said ‘holy father.’ “Where is our boy Trevor anyway?”

“He’s lampin B. He out front chillin in the whip, you know, hangin’ out in the ride.”

“Yeah, he in the car,” Hector chimed in.

The three men made their way upstairs in single file.

“Well let’s go holler at ‘em,” Joven turned around and said, flashing his million-dollar grin, his soft brown dimples contorting as he smiled.

“Mami, I’ll be back in a minute,” Enriquillo told his wife.

“Hurry, dinner has been ready. Regresa, come back soon,” Gigi commanded.

Enriquillo with lips like a duck, waving Gigi off, “C’mon with that ma’ I’ll be back in like five minutes.”

“Yeah this won’t take long at all,” Joven yelled back.

The gangsters exited the house to go to a corner spot on 221st and White Plain’s Road under the train platform. There on the corner under a dark portion of the platform was parked a late model Toyota Camry.

“What time is it?” Joven asked.

“Almost nine now,” Hector said, discreetly placing a silencer on his gun and keeping it concealed.

“Hurry up man my wife’s gonna kill me.”

“Open the trunk.”

There lay Trevor Davis, gagged, bound and bleeding from the forehead. He struggled and screamed but thanks to electrical tape almost no decipherable sound emerged from the trunk’s interior.

There were many pedestrians on the street, which is exactly what would make this an inconspicuous hit because they were busy and oblivious.

“You know Trevor,” Joven began, pretending as if he was bending down to dust off his Kenneth Cole loafers, “Eddie really misses his brother, he thought I was a priest man. His grief really fucked me up back there. He was cryin’ Trev.”

Trevor screamed louder and Enriquillo made the sympathy sound with his tongue and teeth then rubbed his index fingers together and said, “That’s a shame Trevor my man. The dude was crying.”

“Crying like a baby, man. You see, I didn’t know until Enriquillo told me last night on a phone call all the way in Nigeria, that you were the driver when Tino got killed that day and the crap game got robbed and my man Hector here got shot by your man. You played us duke, I ain’t even gone ask who the shooter was, we know who you run with, only thing left is math papa.”

Tears began to drop from Trevor’s terror-filled and now orange eyes as he screamed in protest through the tape, muffled but clearly pleading for his life or a bargain or cussing them because he knew it was a wrap, or whatever. It didn’t matter anyway. His distorted cries sounded like a wounded animal or more aptly one being plugged nature’s way animal-style.

“And on top of that, you disrespected a man of the cloth,” joked Joven turning around and shooting a glance at Hector, who smirked.

Joven playfully cleared his throat and did the voice. How cool was it that it just look liked three cats getting something out of the car.

“And now my son, one man’s vice is another man’s pleasure, one man’s suffering, another’s glee,” Joven said chuckling.

Trevor’s eyes bulged as if someone were squeezing the life out of him. Stupid ass looked like it had finally dawned on him that he had sat there slowly set up.

“Oh and Trevor you should have said your confession,” Enriquillo added pulling the trunk down and beginning to walk back toward his house. “Ya’ll can keep messin’ around but you ain’t got to live with my wife.”

“See you later Trev. Oh my bad, I won’t see you later will I,” Joven said running to catch up to Enriquillo. “I’m hungry man, wait up.”

Hector, meanwhile, slowly lifted the trunk just enough to see between the terrified eyes he was aiming at. Trevor’s eyes now clearly begged for his life. Hectored lowered his head into the trunk space pretending to look for something while placing the barrel of the silencer on Trevor’s forehead.

“You know what your boy said to me before he shot me, before he tried to kill me nigga,” Hector whispered viciously, his teeth grinding together, trying to conceal a murderous fury. “He said ‘say your grace bitch.’ Now, uhhh you may not ‘prescribe,’ as you say, to any religion but to who ever you believe in, you got five seconds to pray. Five bitch.”

Enriquillo and Joven were back home by now.

“So Joven why a priest? Isn’t that a little overboard? You know there are certain things you just don’t fuck with it, you just don’t play with.


“Man if I had a hundred dollars for every time some fake ass makeshift preacher in the Baptist, Methodist and believe it or not Catholic denomination, surfaced, I’d be rich and wouldn’t’ have to be sellin’ this shit. We’d all be kings, sittin’ love style off my money.”


“Yeah you got a point there but ain’t nobody perfect, God still don’t like that shit you just pulled. But then again there’s probably not a lot about this world that God does like. Anyway, Joveeee, are you ready for some of that Goya rice and those platanos? Ooh and those sweet potatoes.


“Yeah Reek some of that hot buttered bread and all that..”

“Hold up Yo. But what about Eddie thinking you was a priest and shit?”

“Man, I think he knew, I can’t be sure, I’m surprised he sat next to Trevor so cool, if you know, he has to know. Why was even here, nigga had a suit on, I don’t know what the deal was. Look, real talk B, all these people, these religious people need, is hope. That’s what they go to church for hope, hope that the after life is not as fucked up as it is on earth. You know, hope that God will make shit right. Father De la Rosa, I, gave Eddie hope. Besides, I think we all give Eddie a lot less credit than he deserves you nam’ sayin? All he got to do is make a call, look up on a computer or sumpin’ he’d know Father Tony died in the 80s my nigga.”

“Whatever man that’s still shady. A priest and one you knew at that?”

“I’ll come as a Flamenco dancer next time ‘aight.”

“Cool,” Enriquillo responded laughing.


The interior of the trunk lit up quick, light mauve in the summer air and precisely as the shots hit their mark. Hector wiped the specks of smeared blood from his face with his tank top then took it off , wiped his necklace and put it back around his neck.

“You won’t be needing this or these,” the bare-chested Hector said grabbing Two-thousand dollars in dirty, nappy rolled-up cash and two decks of heroin and stuffing them in his bloody shirt. Then he realized how stupid what he just did was and simply picked up Trevor’s back pack and slung it over his bare back with all of his contents in it, twin semis included. He closed the trunk and left the car parked next to the hydrant. It would be towed in a matter of hours. Then he realized how stupid he looked bare-chested with a back pack. Fuck it.

“What’s up y’all,” he said in jest to passers by who may or may not have witnessed the hit.

Back at the house, the long table was set with baked chicken stuffed with peppers, soaked sweet potatoes under pineapple and coconut shavings, a burgundy looking big steak fresh out a A.P. Green store somewhere up in White Plains, white and yellow rice, peppered steak, mustered greens and spicy yucca. Then there was a mushroom salad, iceberg and spinach leaves in a bag with homemade honey vinegar dressing. And for dessert, a sugar cane cake, syupy platanos, accompanied by dulce de leche ice cream and sweet sour cream for the platanos to be dipped in. Kids liked to do that.

Hector darted threw the door smiling.

“You not sexy,” said Enriquillo’s wife, thinking indeed that he was and always had been with his curly ass hair.

“Yeah, okay Chico Suave, go get a extra shirt in my room and throw that other shirt in the garbage,” Enriquillo added.

“Hey let me get this Yankee joint,” Hector yelled from upstairs.”

“Yeah whatever man.”

“Where’s father Tony?” pleaded Enriquillo’s son.

“Yeah where is the..father,” the little girl seconded.

Enriquillo smiled at Joven as if to say, “you wanna take this one?”

“Mi amor, he’s tired he had to go get some rest. But he told me to give you this.”

Joven produced twenty dollars for each of the kids.

“Hey that’ s hush money,” Hector joked coming into the room while putting on the shirt.

“Shut up Ceasar,” said Gigi. “Ok papito, mamita, wash up, we gonna say grace alright. But on the real, Reeky, Joven, Hector, where is father Tony?”

Gigi had been expecting him, she knew the deal but honestly thought the priest was staying for dinner.

The three men laughed hard until the kids returned.

“He won’t be joining us for dinner,” Reeky said nodding ‘no’ and grinning like an idiot.

“Alright whose gonna say the blessing?” inquired a cynically-puzzled but still jovial Gigi.

“Why don’t you do the honors Ronaldo,” Enriquillo said followed by a hyeana’s sigh.

“Yeah you’re good at that type of stuff,” Hector followed.

“Go to hell,” Joven returned with a whisper.

“You first,” Enriquillo retorted.

They both snickered and then Joven straightened up and closed his eyes, taking the kids by the hand on one side and Enriquillo on the other side.

“Everybody bow your heads.”


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