Where I live
you exchange a look with every stranger on the street
and that look says nothing
and you know it
It is a place where women have china doll faces and their boyfriends don't get jealous
We stand on the top of the library and see
beyond suburbia's roll
our City
crown of the land
From anywhere
the invisible chorus is heard
three wailing notes lilting off the building faces
like the air can't stop screaming
Fire falls from the trees and piles in the streets with autumn
We kick at the flames if they catch on our shoes
then walk steadily on
to the streets
where whiskey flows and no man bears a grudge
and it always smells of donuts.

Where I live is Medford
which is north of the Cambridge
which is north of the Charles
which is north of the Boston
and you'd be right to call it heaven.

Long distance to the other coast, my message being returned:

So this guy's comin up the street, right? And he's movin his mouth like he's gonna chew his ear and he's makin this movement like he wants to talk to me and I hate dealing with retards, man. They freak my shit out. I don't know what level to operate on. They make me feel real fuckin uncomfortable.

uh huh.

So he's makin this move to talk to me and then he coughs and sneezes at the same time, and I see he's not retarded after all! He just looks that way when he sneezes!

crazy. you find a roommate yet?

No, only people I've interviewed have been a bunch of assholes. Oh, but get this, you know that dude who was obsessed with me?

no, man.

Shit. This dude, right, comes by the place to check it out and likes all the right shit, but way too much. Fanboy. Shook my hand way too long. Smelled like a sweat sock in a subway. Didn't feel right, so I tell him I'll call him. Asshole spends the next week calling two three five times a day, til finally I tell him, "Hey, boy, I found you another roommate. I think he's an asshole too and that's why you might like him. Just don't ever call me again."

wow. harsh.

Yeah, but check it, the cops came by this morning to ask some questions about the dude. Turns out he stabbed his roommate in the shower with shards broken from the bathroom mirror, then shot himself in the head with a fucking flare gun.

you're putting me on.

I shit you negatory, if divine Providence hadn't interceded and shied me away from a bad choice, I would have been murdered last night.

crazy, man.

Yeah, man. Crazy.
So your message said you need help with the rent?

yeah. one of my roommates got vacated today.

What happened?

it's complicated.

ET's got the magic touch and he doesn't come around much so, when he does, we really roll out the green carpet and go HOG NUTZ to make a splash. Like you have to try when ET is around, bitch laced up to the Keds and busting out of his skin. Shit, even the Fry Guys know bout when ET got juiced up on tanq and tanq and took a riding mower to his bitch's house in Dorcester.

So we were ready to roll out when Jammy, the gook, comes up the stairs and says someone's slashed our tires! The nerve! In our parking lot! In Medford! Of course we ran down and sure enough, rims to rubber to asphalt, and I immediately suspected the slanty, but ET played it off legit, real cool. The man says Jah hates you boys, it's Gaymo Patrol for us. It is a pain in our asses to drag our vespas and ET's shriner car up the basement stairs and into the lot. Once assembled, though, we look BAD. ASS. All within earshot to hear the fury of our song know that we rule the school, and we'll shoot your cracker ass down if you cross the street in front of us. It makes me feel like Brando in The Wild Ones. Or Sinatra in The Manchurian Candidate.

Even if Jammy hadn't slashed our tires, he still totally fucked up our vespas. We were rolling drunks and running reds on tha Mt. A when he flipped out, total commie shitstorm. I saw him smile, thin, animal, as he gunned it and sailed into oncoming traffic, slid that shit right under the first pair of headlights he could find. Diverted the goddamn flow of traffic right into the head of our posse, cleared out four of us before the group halted and drew their buckys. ET was on Jammy already, dragging him into the car, and I knew I wanted a piece. The man says Step, po's rollin and they not here to skank. I hop in as they scream away to a dark afternoon, Jammy's eyes bugging as I tell him We are going to shoot you. In the back of the head. With Chekov's gun.

Jammy is undaunted, asks where we're going. ET says Man, we taking you to the Mick, he patch you right up for us. Jammy says back You can't perforate me, I got the ninja styles. I punched him right in his gook teeth and he kept em wired until we got to the Mick's place in Newton. What the Mick had done was gutted this mansion and replaced the inside with a maze of mirrors and french doors, a carnival labyrinth to his scotch hutch where he sits and polishes his irons. He is bomb high on his Pumas when we roll up, like he's already got the hook on the handle. He led Jammy through a pair of superfluous doors to a superfluously mirrored room.

ET gets out his notebook, says He's gonna smoke that Vee Cee, time for us to forget and lie. I put my finger to the glass and mouthed Go Fuck Yourself. Jammy was alone with The Mick:

What are you on then?

i never knew i could get drunk off one beer.
i wonder which one it was.

Funny, oi, ya be smilin outta yor arsehole if ya don't get straight with us, boy. Why'd you roll yer homies?

forty makes a man mean
whiskey on the streets makes him meaner.

So the Mick kissed him with butt of his stubnose and told him to face the glass. His words, as he said them, were You may hear a sound, a bit like a gunshot.

And if the gook did hear it, he didn't hear it for long.