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Joel [teens through present]
Big Ron's Baltimore

He was a Southwest Baltimore boy, from a big family. One of their kids was blind so the state helped them to move up near the School for the Blind. He’s the dude that the baseball bat got swung at him and he came up under with the mace. He worked, at Sinai Hospital. He wrestled for various schools. He had this crazy Puerto Rican girlfriend named Marie. Jeff was about five six, stocky. But Marie was bigger than him. They got in a fight one day—now I’ve seen him drop dudes in the street with hooks and he’s banging left hooks and right hands off of her head and this fucking crazy Puerto Rican bitch was taking these hooks. Left right, left right, left right, he was hittin’ her and he was skipping punches off her head. She as taking it like nothing. But we were like, “Goddamn, let’s break this up.”

But she got him back at some later point. She drove a fork in his neck, right above his clavicle, where the jugular is. You could kill somebody right there and all this meathead could say was it looked pretty cool right there, like a tattoo. They wound up breaking up and his life really got involved in drugs.

It really took him bad, fucked with his head—go figure, you throw a left, right hook on some girl and she leaves—who would expect that? But go figure, she left. He took it bad and got himself wrapped up in drugs. Life’s tough. As John Wayne said, it’s even tougher when you’re stupid. He went through prison, all kinds of shit. He ends up living in this room he rents on poplar Grove and North Avenue, close his methadone program, crack dealers, the liquor store, gets welfare, pulls little caper with the black boys in the neighborhood. I stay in touch with him because he has his finger on the pulse of West Baltimore.

He was involved in the Freddie Gray Riots, broke into a shoe store with a bunch of Dindus by Greenmount and 32nd. I have a pair of new Nikes that I bought from him that I can’t get into because I can’t bend over to tie the shoes. They also broke into the Ace Hardware next to the Giant. I might keep them shoes as a sovenier from the riots. They got a bunch of tools from the hardware store, but they unloaded then really quick. I don’t like being around him too much but I like staying in touch with him because he’s got his finger on the pulse of what’s going on on the street. I called him about the smart phone thieving and he knew all about it.

I really don’t understand suicide—look at this shit, life is great! I don’t want to die yet, not while I have all these people to entertain me.

White in the Savage Night: A Politically Incorrect Life In Words: 2016

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