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‘The Deal’
In These Parts #5
© 2023 James LaFond
JUL/8/24
The deal was, Friday night. Almost all coke is sold—or was, back in my day—on Friday night. Just like I didn’t drink far from home, I didn’t sell far from home. I had a job, that is number one. Don’t sell on the job. Near the job. Only sell to friends, people you know, or on a stretch, in a bar where you were regular, so you knew who wasn’t.
Pushing? The idea of a drug pusher is crazy. You have to push people away, people you don’t know, people you don’t trust, people that might be in trouble with the cops.
Get it and go, no cutting it, playing with it, storing it up. I learned that the hard way. We had cops out front. I had coke. I thought, oh, shit, this is bad. Well, the cops were here for the neighbor’s idiot son or something and my coke ends up scattered around the garden on the dirt—try sorting that out! The rats were happy, I can tell you that.
That weed was ever illegal is kind of crazy. I didn’t deal much in that. I did, one time, bring a bag of weed and ajar of the oil camping. We were way out, a hundred degrees, enjoying ourselves at a rural lake. We were horse playing, karate fighting, diving off the pier and here comes this county sheriff down this long ass hill, all by himself. Took him a half hour to walk down to us.
There was no radio, just him and us, three big fuggers and him. I dump the weed, scatter it about. But he saw us through his binoculars, had been spyin’ on us. He wanted to know what was in the jar and I told him. He asked about us and I told him I had a DUI on me and that I was a truck driver.
He said, “You know, you could be in a whole lot of trouble here.”
I said, “I know, but we just came out for a good time, don’t know nobody out here, not sellin’ anything”—and we weren’t. It was just a good-time supply.
Well, what was in the jar was weed oil. It was leaking, so when he took it and put it in his pocket it stained his shirt—his uniform I guess you’d say.
Weed was just too bulky, not discrete enough. You had to sell a lot to make money—just a pain in the ass. I was just a guy that knew a guy and everybody wanted to do coke on Friday, cut loose after work...and that guy can only be so many places at once.
Now Mike, he told me about the docks, down on the waterfront. There was this bar where all the longshoremen went to cash their checks. The barmaid had a safe full of money. Big Irish fuggers, always wantin’ to know who was the biggest and baddest, ready to fight.
Now Mike [redacted] he was a good boxer. Then there was Paul, the hard hittin’ knock your ass out guy. [1] So, we go down there on Friday night after work when everybody has got paid. The deal was, bare knuckle fights on this pier that looked like wood covered with asphalt, a real power punching surface. These fuggers would go down hard and quick. Was not a lot of dancin’ around. Now Mike could get out there—being a real good technical boxer, not just a big lug like me or a knockout guy like Paul—and you could bet on the fights.
I was not fightin’ with these fuggers. I would put up money and it was a good time. Mike was the guy knew everything about the fight game and knew these longshoremen who were, tough, tough guys.
You’re dealing with men like that, a lot of them, at their bar, where they work, in their world—you behave yourself and don’t pull any shit. Three of us and thirty of them, all of them big, unloading stuff all day. The fact that I was a driver and dealt with men on docks at various pick up and drop off points, well, none of these were places I’d sell—that’s my job—what’s some side money to a good job?
Deal is, I knew these kind of men, knew how they behaved, knew how to get along. That is the key right there, to know people, to avoid placing trust in people like at the bar the other night [1] with big mouths. You deal with people you drink with, are involved with through fighting, arm wrestling, working the door at bars.
There were times that friends called me to a bar they worked at for some backup when there was a big mob of fuggers causing trouble. You’re working a door, that little world there in the bar and just outside, having one or two brothers show up, that will more or less settle it because you have the solid focus, the bond—the people misbehaving, maybe touching the bar maid or the strippers, they have a negative focus that doesn’t bind well together under pressure. Faced with men with that bond that are shoulder to shoulder—or commin’ up behind them to help out—they tend to disperse, which is what you want.
You don’t want the cops called.
The thing is, the wild card, is that strippers love coke, will flock around anyone that has it. I guess there has to be something wrong in the mind of anybody that is gonna get up and take their clothes off and dance. Strippers are great. But strippers are trouble… so that’s one reason to step away from that side gig, risky shit combined with flaky women.
Notes
-1. I was at The Dive Bar last night, and a man named Donnie, same age as Kelley, was talking about this same Mike, that he had lost a good union job for selling something illegal on the job. I asked nothing, just burglarized that conversation. Few people at the bar like this Donnie fellow, who is a real, loudmouthed man. He is a big fellow who is nice to me.
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