Wet streets from rain. Streetlights shine down on pavement. Shadows following hookers as they make their nightly stroll. Fat men in cars cruise by slowly. Rolling down windows.
Cops are in the diner drinking coffee eating midnight breakfast. They know what goes on in these streets; who’s dealing? who’s buying? They know the pimps, whores, perverts and junkies. They see through dumpsters in back alleys, dark corridors, down steps leading to basements in empty houses. People hiding. Hiding from them.
And, some of these folks are their friends. Telling cops the score. The latest victims. Who killed who? What’s behind door number one? There is no honor among theives. They’ll rat in a second. Telling stories about a guy who knows a guy. Some mad man running around passing junk with poison. He’s hurting business.
Pollo knew something was up. His paranoia was heightened. Antennae on his head buzzed constantly. The cops were on to him. He knew it. But, did he lay low? no. He might as well have shouted it from the roof tops, I’m a dealer. Wanna o.d.? Come see me, he whispered.
The short black man was shaking that night. He made his rounds. Hitting whores. Giving away free candy. Well, in this life nothing is free. He’d paid his price as well. Fresh out of Rikers where he had his right eye cut out with a shank. A black patch covered the wound. The fat little man swore he would never go back there. They’ll have to kill me first, he said; carried a pistol at all times. Ready to use. He wanted to go out in a blaze of glory. Just like the old West. A gun fight on 8th Avenue. Right in front of Madison Square Garden. Just him and the pigs. Shooting at each other. May the best man win.
His shit was clean; pure rock. That is, as pure as it gets. Nothing is perfect. All night long he’d stroll around Manhattan. Selling and giving out sweet tastes of crack, smack, reefer if you wanted. The man was a walking drugstore. Hand delivered goods to those in a constant wait. But, he didn’t watch his step. And soon everybody on the streets would know about it.
The cops wanted him back in Rikers. Or, better yet, dead. He didn’t play ball; cocky, but scared. He knew sooner or later he’d meet his destiny. The pusher man chose sooner.
The body was found in a stairwell on 55th Street. Gun was in his right hand. The shot was clean. Went straight through the brain. A hooker found him when she went down there to turn a trick. Cops identified him as Pollo Jackson. Just another dope dealer dead. There was no-one to claim him.