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G&B: Apologies to Sting

It's been a blast, folks. The Worlds Most Popular Podcast is signing off. Truth to be told, there's not enough hours in the day for ...

Monday, April 27, 2009

short story: the block.


I couldn't find my wallet after walking out of the nearby variety store. I've been going to see Johnny Jr. ever since his father owned the place and Johnny was just a bit older than me and was just getting into high school. We never were really good friends. More acquaintances, I guess. We would do that obligatory friendly nod in the mornings when we would pass each other in the hallway. We would catch up when we would see each other shooting pool. We would bum smokes from each other when we were out. His father passed away a few years ago when someone robbed the place right smack in the middle of the breakfast rush. It's still hard for some folks to go into the store since the ghost or maybe I should say the legend of Johnny Sr. still lingers around isle three. Right by the mystery novels. John used to love all of them. I remember I would go to pick up a new mystery novel once a month at the store and then John would always tell me if it was worth the five bucks. If not, he would help me choose one. I think he wanted to be a policeman or a secret investigator as a kid and never really got rid of the itch. You can see how much he loved trying to solve little mysteries. He had a mind and the heart for it.

I love this neighborhood. I've been here since I was born. 24 years back when there weren't any Starbucks on the corner or those big name clothing stores that bring all the rich locals down from the west end of town. It was all Mom and Pop stores. Everyone knew everyone. We were a little family inside a large city of strangers. I go by the TV repair store where they're playing the Noon news. Swine Flu news is what the reporter is talking about now. Huh. Do you remember Mrs Latcher? The one who died from SARS? Yeah. She passed away. Sad story. Nice lady. I wish it was the women who lived beside her, though. That's Mrs Miller. She's one scary old lady. She would throw her cane at kids on Halloween when they tried to walk up her driveway to get candy. Mean old lady. From what I hear is that many years ago, she was really nice and then one guy who she used to like tried to kill her one night when she was cooking him dinner. Ever since, she doesn't like people. Young, old, middle aged. Men, women. Kids. Doesn't matter. She hates them all. People say that she tried to go to a shrink, but she started to hate her and hit her with the cane and the shrink charged her for assault. Funny enough, Miller got off. Didn't have to pay anything. Just well, had to go to a shrink. I won't get into what she did to the second one. That would take way too long. Let me just say Mrs Miller just got out last year but is still on home arrest. She's lucky.

Just passing Mr Goregis-- bah. Don't know how to pronounce his name. Long Greek name. Too long to remember. Too long to even comprehend. I've just been calling him Mr G since I met him five years ago when I first entered the our local bar. Tim's Tavern is a neighborhood landmark. That's the place where everything goes on after 9pm. Everyone used to leave their home and we would all have dinner together at Tim's. Tim would make us a huge feat and he would join all the tables in a circle and we break bread together. That's when the community was a true family. It's changed now. The tavern has been taken over by hipsters because one of the area kids became a promoter and started to do a club night there. And many of the old regulars thought that Tim sold out for letting them do shows at his bar. Tim said that he needs to bring in the money to survive. He said that he can't survive by just serving regulars. Whatever. I still support him. The shows are great and I meet some really cool new people there but yeah. I do miss the good ol' days.

I had to give some money to Mr. G. He's been doing our laundry for a few months since our washer broke down. He's a nice guy. We consider him an uncle, or grandfather or just a really good family friend. He's a good guy. I'm sad that we didn't meet in his younger days. I hear that he was a playboy. He flirts with my Mother all the time. My Mom giggles and says "Oh G, You're sucha' sweetheart" and taps him on his chest.


Heard that the rain is going to start soon. Should head back home. I've been walking this same path for years and I still haven't noticed that they put this new record store here. It looks like it's mom and pop owned. Good stuff. I should go there when I have more time. I like to dig for some good tunes. Especially when its on vinyl. Music just sounds so much better on vinyl. Ya'know? Better stop off to get my Mom her weekly gossip magazine and soap dish. She won't be able to live the week without those. Since she retired in 2008 she has became a couch potato. She deserves it though. Being the only female cop on a force of 20 for 30 years grants you a few years of relaxation. At least that's what she's been telling the neighbors. I'm just happy that I have my mother back home full time. I grew up without her. I would go to sleep wondering if she was safe. If I would wake up and find out that she didn't make it. Thankfully, she was a good cop and she survived. She loves telling the stories about how she once saved a fellow officer from the mafia and how she helped give birth to twins in a back alley by the Tavern. But her favorite was recently when she was able to meet Obama. Her Grandparents were slaves. My fathers father was one too. In the picture of herself and the President, you can see my mothers eyes swelling up and she just had this face of pride and joy and accomplishment. She tells me that the only three times she had that face was on her wedding day, when I was born and when she met Obama. Her three top men she says with joy. Ah. I'm here. Just in time for My Mom's jerk chicken and fried rice. Gotta get in. My Mom promised me that she'll tell me this one story about Mr Jackson from down the block.

I'll see ya guys around.