Monday, March 12, 2007

Take a trip to the Stuy

Way back in deuce aught aught four I lived in Bed-Stuy. This was the kind of place where white kids didn't go out past midnight for fear of their eyeballs turning into sidewalk garnishes. The kind of place Jay-Z would love to own a store. I happened to live above that store. Now, Jay-Z never stopped in as far as I could tell, but I'm not sure I even know what he looks like. The guys who worked the store were amateur rappers just like everyone else with in miles.

Before I met them I'd sit up on my roof, sippin my schmirnoff ice at noon on Sunday. Now, to really understand this, you have to understand the difficult process to get anything at all on a Sunday from the bodega in the stuy. If you arrive too early, say, 11am, you get stuck in a line of people each buying $150 worth of lottery tickets. If you arrived too late, say 12:30pm, you'd be stuck in a line of little old church ladies buying their Sunday booze. And lord have mercy if you got in their way. Be sure to keep in mind this isn't the sprawling mecca of booze that is a Plaid Pantry. It's a room about the size of a bedroom, with ceilings caving in, cameras everywhere, workers screaming at customers in Arabic, and the customers that weren't cussing out workers were commenting on my "fyoin ghetto thang". Somehow I managed to get in there wait the 45 minutes to get my "malt drink", with out losing my sanity.

I pay my money and take my headache juice home. I'm kicking it on the roof making passerbys paranoid. My roommates join me with their equally pain inducing drinks. Our downstairs neighbors take this time to begin the long process of opening the store. The first step is to do wheelies around the block for 30 minutes. The second is to get off the bikes and adjust their clothing for another 30 minutes. Finally they are two feet away from the door and my friends and I are giggling like idiots over the show. The downstairs neighbors take this time to holla. I holla back, being neighborly and all. They invite us downstairs. I venture alone. My drink dangerously low, but no headache yet on the horizon. I grab something else from the fridge. The neighbors pull me up a beat up lawn chair. We talked of many things, fools and kings and they grilled me as to why white people like country. Then they invited me to the back for some cocaine. I had never had cocaine before. So I considered my options. Schmirnoff induced headache to soothe the summer heat or cocaine and creepy neighbors? Well, it was a tough call, but some how roof and schmirnoff ice seemed more appropriate for midday summer then back room and cocaine. Shake that thang.


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