The Last Bus To Rockaway
About a month ago, Dan O'Shea issued a challenge. For the details and additional stories go here. For my story, keep reading.
The Last Bus To Rockaway
Last bus from Brooklyn College Station. The Q35 all the way down Flatbush and cross the Marine Parkway, over Jamaica Bay and then—the Rockaways. The Ave is packed. Everybody out tonight. Everybody who not out is on this bus. S’okay. Nobody paying me attention. Nobody looking at me or what all over my coat or what I gots inside it. Just sitting here, head pressed against the glass, hand cupped over a cigarette, watching the lights go by.
First time I remember the Irish Riviera, my father took me. This back before the Playland closed. We’re there early in the morning, soon as it opened. Rides and hotdogs and cotton candy all day. That was some good times.
Course then it was mostly Irish. Now, it’s a lotta Russians and a Russian dude is the last man I gots to see tonite to try to keep things that way they is. You see, Dad been dead less than a week and the wolves already circling. Comin’ for what he always took care of. Comin’ for us like we all up for grabs.
Day after the state buried him way over there in the potter’s field, some Eye-talian cats tried to play grab ass with my sis on the bus. She’s just thirteen but she’s already got titties like a woman and most a her baby fat done melted off. Two days later Moms was on her way home from the store and when she came out somebody taken a shit on the hood a her car and popped one of the tires. When Big Tommy never came by yesterday with the money he always bring oncet a month outta respect, I knew things was gonna be fucked less I did something about it.
‘Cuz see that’s the thing about Dad, he weren’t around much. He been in prison most of what I remember but even when he was away he always kept us fed and safe. He always did what he have to do. Even the crimes. He knew what was what. He knew we wasn't never gonna have nothing that he didn't take. And I knew with him being dead, I gots to move quick. Just like he did when those Jew kids bashed my brother’s head with a brick and made him retarded.
See, after my dad went back inside for this last long stretch, my brother took me out there to the Rockaways all the time. He used to surf out there. No one believes you you say that. Surfing in New York? Shit, surfing is Cali or Hawaii or Australia with the girls that look like they from Cali but talk prettier. It’s true though. Beaches and everything. I remember, he’d say, “Hey kid, let’s head out to Rockapulco.” Sound like something from the Flintstones, don’t it? Yeah, I’d smile and we’d drive over there when the sea was right and the big waves came in over the ocean and play that Ramones song.
Everything was cool till he went by himself oncet. I didn’t go, see, ‘cuz there was this girl used to live over in Queens. Real pretty girl built like you don’t think regular people are, in real life, I mean. Like in movies and shit. She was that fine and I was trying to get with her at the time’s why I didn’t go. Dad had been in for about a year again at this point and some peoples was forgetting who he was and what was his. Some Jew kids tried fuckin’ with my big bro aand he got mouthy and they stomped him down and finished it off with a brick upside the back of his head.
Dad called the next day and he told me, he told me over all the noise echoing there in big room where you go to make the phone calls that makes it so hard to hear, he told me real soft in that way he had of talking, he told me it was taken care of and it was.
Jew kid got hit by a car crossing the street from Luca’s Pizza. Another got shived on the subway just 'round midnight. Some black kids fishing off the Rockaway pier found the last one. After that no one fuck with us at all. They remember and when peoples forget, he make sure it wasn’t long.
I gets off the bus now and I’m footin’ it over to the beach. Head down and hands loose. I’m doing the crack head shuffle. Most folks don’t bother crack heads none. Just look the other way.
That’s how I started tonite off. Did the shuffle when I popped K-Roc. No, he’s not that dude from New Orleans that runs all the womens over in Brooklyn. He’s that black dude with the bad skin who sells all the college kids weed. He’s got that condition that make it all lined and scaly looking like a lizard. I got him over in the b-ball courts by the Boy’s Club. Clipped him and his girl too, which is a shame ‘cuz she was so nice looking.
I’ve gots four of them tonight. All over town. Boom boom boom, motherfuckers. Easier than I thought too. ‘Cept for that hillbilly they called Methistopheles. Dude was fucking psychic. Shoulda been on meds.
I ain’t ashamed to say that I a little scared about what’s gonna go down when I top the last dune. Russian dude always gots his men with him at night when he’s swimming the cold, cold water. But what choice I got? Motherfuckers didn’t leave me none.
It’s like they expected Dad to leave a will or something.