Vicious stomach pains wake me. Rushing to the bathroom I stub my toe on a kitchen chair. Toe throbbing, stomach rumbling I plop my ass onto the cool porcelain. A shotgun blast of diarrhea explodes into the toilet bowl. Leaving a psychedelic pattern of creamy feces on the inside of the bowl. Like some twisted Rorschach test. What do you see? The start of another horrible day. I put on some music, turn the TV to a news channel and start to make myself some breakfast. Thankfully my mind is currently blank. No wacky thoughts. Deceased’s “The Funeral Parlors’ Secret” blasting in the background, I sink into the couch like a body being absorbed by the Blob. Crunching on my cereal. Absentmindedly watching the talking heads on screen. A news story catches my attention. I lower the music so I can hear what is going on. Newsanchor: “A 13 year old school girl was brutally assaulted and raped in Queens late last night. A knot of apprehension forms in my gut. “She was followed by an unidentified man.” Due to her age, the girl’s name is not mentioned, her picture is not shown either. My gut tells me it is the girl from the subway last night. “What police believe to be the suspect, was caught on camera, in the park near the rape scene, only a few minutes before the rape occurred.” A black and white scene from a park security camera shows a blurry image of a man walking by in the distance. The man is too far. It is too indistinct to see any features. “If you have any information regar-“I turn the T.V off. My mind is rocked. Kicked in its balls. It could have been any girl. It could be any of the maniacs in this city that raped her. The video footage of the rapist doesn’t resemble the pervert from the train, the distance is too far for a clear look, but that doesn’t mean anything. The rape went down in Queens, they both got off on 23rd and Ely, the first stop in Queens. It is too much of a coincidence. Besides that I feel 100% sure, actually I’ve never felt so sure about anything in my life, that the rapist is the guy I saw on the train. The guy who’s thoughts I heard. I knew what he was thinking. I could have done something. I should have done something. Maybe I’m not crazy. Maybe I have been chosen. Oh that poor girl. My thoughts cyclone inside me, snatching up emotions as they spin. Creating a storm within. I can’t let some shit like this happen again. I can’t keep ignoring His voice and this fucking “gift” I’ve been given. Guess God has a plan for me and it looks like I’m finally coming around to it.
After five rings and than being forced to listen to cheesy-ass-fuck-you’re-on-hold music, my boss picks up. “Remember that bug I was talking about? It’s gotten worse. I wont be able to make it to work for a few days.” He replies but all I catch is “your health” and “important”. It’s hard to focus. “Yeah just use my sick days. I’ll be good as new soon.” I say. In response all I hear is more mumbling and half words from his end. I force out a “Thank you. Have a good day sir.” Asshole.
I get dressed and zoom down the stairs. Brisk, frigid air batters my face while exiting the building. I inhale the air with gorilla nostril efficiency. It rejuvenates me, an infusion of calm. I feel like I have a purpose, What purpose? It is yet to be determined. But I feel the tug of something, this pull on my heart, soul and the last to follow, my mind. I am reluctant to accept but the proof was before me, me, of all people. So be it. I don’t feel like a prophet. I feel like a fucking lunatic. But I guess people thought Jesus was a lunatic and look how he turned out, besides all the nailed to the cross shit.
Times Square. In the 80s it was the center of debauchery. Pimps, whores, hustlers, drug dealers, murders, trannys, rapists, freaks, weirdos, all denizens of the square. Those good old days are gone. Now Disney is the new pimp on the block. Times Square is just one huge advertisement, assaulting the senses with color and Gigantor sized video screens. The bright lights drawing tourists like moths to a flame. The scum is still there, just hidden from view. A polluted current, flowing beneath what can be seen at first glance.
The Naked cowboy jams on his guitar while slack jawed, wide-eyed tourists bask in the mainstream glory of corporate sponsorship. If I listen closely I can almost hear the screams of peoples’ individuality dying. Standing in the middle of Times Square, I scan the faces of the passing people like the Predator searching for the perfect skull, but I’m not looking for skulls. I’m searching for something a little less concrete than that, evil and thoughts of harming others, thoughts of committing crimes. Full of Gods fury like some televangelist ranting while saliva flies from his mouth. “Show yourselves to me sinners!!!! Show yourselves so that I may cleanse the demons that plague your minds!!!!!” I stare into the passing eyes. Nothing. No time freezes. No hearing their thoughts. God-powers go!! Activate!!! My holy might refuses to manifest. What if I imagined the whole thing with the schoolgirl. Shit God, you are making this “cleanse the city of filth” business real difficult. And just when I started believing you.
Munching on a dirty water dog that I bought from a terrorist looking vendor, I act like a tourist and just wander around the area. Why did I come here? What was I expecting? I would leave the train, read the thoughts of a rapist and bring him to justice? I’ve already seen a few crosses, but they didn’t glow or pulse. I guess he knows that I know what I have to do.
I pass the time by checking out the parade of gorgeous women’s asses. Asses in jeans, asses in slacks, asses in skirts, asses in sweatpants. I focus on a young woman, in her 20s, who has a particularly rotund posterior. A purse swings from her right side, in time to the bounce of her ass. As I watch a teenage kid bumps into her on the purse side. ”Sorry miss” he says. The woman just mean-mugs him and keeps walking. I notice the kid stash something under his shirt as he walks by. I look in his eyes. Everythiiiiiinnnggg sllooowwwssss. You know the routine. During my mental eavesdropping I hear “Yes. This lady is ballin’. I know I got at least a hundred bucks and a straight up legit Louis Vutton wallet. This bitch aint playin’.” Back in real-time I begin to follow the kid down 44th Street towards 8th Ave. Before he reaches the corner I reach out and grab him by the shoulder, pulling him around. “What the fuck man! What’s your problem!” “You’re my problem. I think you have something that doesn’t belong to you.” I tell him. For some reason I’m incredibly angry. More than I should be. “You think god didn’t see you steal that wallet? You think he’s blind?” “You’re fucking crazy man!” he responds while trying to twist out of my grip. My eagle claw holds him. “I am gods eyes in this city! You will be punished!” I look around and spot a police officer up the block. “Officer! Officer! I need some assistance!” The cop looks bored as he walks over. “Yes?” he says. “This little punk lifted a woman’s wallet..” “He’s crazy man! Don’t listen to him! He’s a pervert he tried to touch me just now!” rants the kid. “Check under his shirt.” I say. The cop lifts up the kids’ shirt and reveals a wallet sticking out of his waistband. “Thank you sir. More people like you and this city would be crime free.” I watch the kid get cuffed and led away. My mind is floating. A sense of extreme euphoria fills my being. Like a warm golden light traveling through my veins. Wow. Who would have thought that doing gods work gives you such a high. I pleasure-bounce my way back towards the train. “I am gods eyes!” Damn, that’s a pretty good fucking line. Cant’ forget it.
By the time I get home it’s almost 5:00PM. I spent a few hours just walking around Manhattan, ramped up on righteousness. All was right with world. Nothing could get me down. Proof that I am not crazy has taken a huge soul-crushing weight off my shoulders.
I spend the rest of the day just chilling out on my couch with the T.V. on, not really watching at all. I go to bed before midnight and lay down. God’s love, I guess that is as good a explanation as any, still caressing me like a gentle lover as I drift off into the land of nightmares and dreams.
I arise from my slumber feeling refreshed and energized. Criminals beware, Gods eyes are watching! Chuckling to myself I go the bathroom to relieve my bloated bladder. I haven’t felt this good in a long time. Remnants of my holy high still linger in my thoughts. If I’m going to go all vigilante I will need a weapon to protect myself. I’m bound to come across more dangerous people than just pickpockets. The face of the pervert from the train flashes in my mind. He better hope I don’t ever find him. A pile of crusty plates and utensils sits in the sink, untouched for days. Vigilantes don’t have time form dishes. I open the drawer next to the sink and look at the knives inside. I pull a huge steak knife, sunlight from the window flashes on the blade. No, too big. I don’t think a knife is gonna cut it. No pun intended. Maybe I should call Oscar.
Oscar is my sick-in-the-head cousin. When we were younger we would do all types of crazy shit. Once we stole a box of condoms from the corner store, filled the tips up with mayonnaise and tied them to the doorknobs of homes all over the block. We would than go to the roof of our building with binoculars and watch peoples reactions when they come home and find an cum filled condom on their doorknob. Another time Oscar came with a great idea. We scrounged up five, one-dollar bills, and using rubber gloves and a plastic butter knife, we smeared dog shit on one side of the bills. We than strategically placed the bills, shitty side down, all over our block. People would see the money and happily rush to pick up the bill. They would pick it up and get shit all over their fingers, pockets, and wallets. Ha Ha. Jokes on you, yeah I know, we were fucked up. It gets worse.
Like I said Oscar is twisted. You know that one kid that likes to torture animals. That’s him. One day in the summer, I must have been 13, Oscar was 15, I got a call from Oscar telling me to meet him down by the abandoned docks by the East River. It was one of my favorite hangouts. Abandoned buildings, bums, danger and hiding places, every teenage boy’s wet dream. I crawled through the hole in the fence that went around the whole area. I could see Oscar moving around near the water. We had a “club house” right on the edge. It was actually an old rusty storage container with the side facing the water missing. The container was perched on a concrete pier. The open end stuck out a few feet above the water. I approached and he waved me over to our clubhouse. Something whimpered as I drew closer. Oscar was standing inside with a grin resembling an insane clown. I followed my ears towards the source of the whimpering. It was a dog, a mangy looking street mutt. The dog was hanging in the middle of the room. Its front and back paws tied spread eagle to the walls resembling an X. A sick feeling formed in my stomach at that moment. Oscar just kept grinning and pulled out this one-foot long Rambo knife. Oscar loved knives. He always carried one on him ad this one was particularly sharp and nasty.
“This traitor refuses to give up any information!!!” Oscar says. “His punishment is death. It would have been quick and painless if he only spoke. His silence buys him a horrible death.” I just stood there dumbstruck. Oscar always played these kinds of games but nothing like this. If it were a cat I wouldn’t mind as much, but a dog? Who doesn’t love dogs? In this day and age you murder a human and its no big deal, but animal cruelty and the media will crucify you. Oscar stepped in front of the whining animal. I tried to tell him something but my efforts were half-assed. Oscar raised the knife and swiftly plunged it into the dogs’ chest. He than pulled down and sliced its stomach open. It split like a rotten melon. The dog let loose with the most horrifying scream I have ever heard. It thrashed around, but the ropes held it secure. I couldn’t wrench my eyes away from the site. The dog hanging, slightly twitching as its slimy intestines hung from its eviscerated stomach. The tips of the intestines just barely brushed the ground like the touch of a ghost. The wind blew, gently rocking the corpse, a gull cried in the distance and Oscars laughter bounced of the steel container walls. If you listened closely you would have heard a sound like a stained glass window breaking, it was my innocence being shattered. I avoided Oscar for weeks after that incident.. Oscar went on to have multiple arrests and multiple drug problems. We still stay in touch with each other but nothing like the carefree days of our youth. Sometimes I still have nightmares about that dog. Hanging there, gutted, but with Oscars laugh coming out of its dead mouth.
Oscar lives on the Southside in Williamsburg. The gentrification has already spread here but his block is still rundown and condo free. The decrepit red brick building looms before me. I open the graffiti covered door and step into the gloomy hallway. A single light bulb hangs from the ceiling, flickering every few seconds. Some people would say this is a crackhouse. There are crackheads here and it is a house, but crackhouses are way worse than this. Walking up the creaky stairs to the second floor, I can hear a couple arguing somewhere above. The sounds of junkie love. In my opinion there is nothing more powerful than love between two junkies. No matter what they will stick together. They will fight and claw at each other over the last bag of heroin, than the next day be happily scheming on how to get more, totally in love.
My fist smashes against an old wooden door. “Ifuckingtoldyoufucksthatimoutuntiltommorrow!” Great, by his rapid-fire delivery I can tell he’s tweaked out. “It’s me Oscar.” I tell the door. Sounds of someone moving reach my ears through the wood. “Whothefuckisme?” Oscar says. “Your favorite cousin.” I respond. Multiple chains and bolts rattle. The door opens and Oscar is silhouetted in the doorframe. He is wearing a stained G-Unit style wife-beater, his hair sticking up all over the place, pupils dilated to the size of quarters. He looks worse than when I saw him 4 months ago. “Sorryman.Ithoughtyouwereanotherjunkie.Theybeenbangingonmydoorallday.IfuckingtoldthemIgotnomoreuntiltommorrow. Junkies, whatdoyouexpect?” He cackles like a hyena on laughing gas. Oh yeah, Oscar is a drug dealer. Has been for years. He sells everything from pot, coke, crystal meth(his personal favorite), heroin, magic mushrooms, when in season and anything else that can get a human being high. I close the door and step into the filthy apartment. The pungent smell of smoked crystal meth hangs in the air, the smoke is still slightly visible, hanging above the room like a mist over a harbor town. On the coffee table there is a blackened glass meth pipe and next to it, a pile of meth. A naked, skeletal woman is sprawled on the couch. Her right arm hangs off the couch, revealing track marks and scabs all over the inside of her arm. Oscar notices me looking at her. “Youwanttohitthatpussyman? Heybitch! Wakeupandfuckmycousin!” he yells. “No that’s cool, Oscar. Thanks anyway.” “Youfuckingsureman? ThishocansuckanapplethroughastrawifyouknowwhatImean?” He laughs maniacally. “Grabaseatman.” I look around the room and don’t see any chairs. I brush a stack of Playboys, that look like their from the 1970s, off of a milkcrate and sit down. I look in Oscars’ eyes expecting time to slow and his thoughts to be revealed. Nothing happens. I’m grateful. Oscar is filling his pipe with meth. He lights it and inhales. Holding his breath he asks “SowhatcanIdoforyoucuz?” I feel like a criminal but it is necessary. “I need some protection.” I tell him. “Yeahnofuckingproblem.Thereisaboxofcondomsinthekitchen.” he says as smoke escapes from his mouth like steam seeping from a sewer grate.. “Not that kind of protection, Oscar. I need a weapon. A gun.” This grabs his attention. “Ohyeah!Nowwefuckingtalking!” His pupils look bigger than before. The whites of his eyes lost to pools of black. He rushes over to a closet, opens the door and begins rummaging around. “Hereitis!” He returns with a big cardboard box in his hands. Oscar pushes the junkie girls legs off the couch and sits down. She doesn’t respond. “Sowhatwillitbe?IgotMac10s,Tec9s,.45s,evenafuckingbazookaifyouwant.iwouldneedatleasttwodaystogetitthough.” I just blink at him. “I don’t know what the fuck your talking about. I just want a gun.” I tell him honestly. “Okmanhereyougo.” He hands me a silver gun. “ThisisaGlock.Itscompactandreliable.Thisboxgotthebullets.” he says holding up a small box. Oscar than showed me how to load and unload the gun and how to hold it and use it properly. “Youwannashootitofffirst?’ he says enthusiastically. “I’m not sure it’s a good idea. Someone will hear and call the cops.” I tell him. He just looks at me and laughs. “Maninthisneighborhoodnobodygivesafuck!” He walks to the kitchen and opens the window. “Goaheadman!letthatfuckerrip!!” I step up to the window with the loaded gun. I take the safety off and stick the gun out the window. “Thatsitman,justaimandfuckingsqueezethetrigger!!” Oscar says encouragingly. I aim at a pile of old tires in the backyard. BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! I squeezed off the shots in quick succession. I honestly can say that I liked the feeling of it. The power. I turn the safety on and retreat into the kitchen. I put the gun in my waistband and the box of bullets into my pocket. I take out my wallet and open it. “How much do I owe you?” I ask Oscar. “Whatareyoufuckingtryingtodisrespectme? Youfamilyman.Thatshitisonthehouse.” I give Oscar a hug and thank him. “Anytimeman!feelfreetostopbywhenever!” I head towards the door when I hear Oscar. “Waitman.HereIjustgotthisweedfromAmsterdam.Thatshitisdankasfuck.” he slips a bag of weed into my hand. I thank him again and start to exit, but turn to face Oscar one more time. “You’re not gonna ask me why I need a gun?” “Probably to fucking kill someone! HAHAHAHAHA!!” I shake my head while walking down the stairs, Oscar’s laughter fading in my ears. I push open the door and see that there is a black teenager sitting on the stoop. I dig into my pocket and retrieve the bag of weed. I toss it into the kids lap. “Enjoy.” Is what I tell him as I walk away. I have better ways of getting high. The kid is already breaking up some of the weed in a folded dollar bill, not bothering to question his gift.
During the walk home I keep looking at all the people on the streets, wondering if they are hiding evil thoughts, but nothing is revealed to me. I pass by the church and glance up at the cross. A smile spreads across my face and I give the cross a wink. I should go to church sometime soon. A little tribute to the big G. I enter my apartment and decide to take a nap. I have to wait until night before I go out, because, if you haven’t heard, all the criminals and sickos come out at night.
Hours pass. I sit at my kitchen table, a half eaten bologna and cheese sandwich sits on a plate before me. I’m not that hungry. I feel incredibly anxious. I want to hit the streets. Do some good. And to be honest, I want to feel that rush again. To be touched by God. I can see the top of the church from my kitchen window. I feel a powerful urge to be inside, to just offer a quick prayer. A glance reveals the time to be 11:52PM. The church closes at midnight, I can still make it. I grab my jacket and tuck the gun into my waistband behind the back. I don’t know if it is right to bring a gun into church, I’m sure there are some moral implications, but I plan on going out after. I don’t feel like coming back here to pick it up, so in my waistband it stays.