Chapter 55 – The E-Train Derailed
When I heard that my buddy Emmett was returning to Milwaukee during my junior year at Marquette for his third visit, I could already tell that the shit was about to hit the fan. It’s not something I can explain, it’s just something that happens every time this kid is around. The E-Train, Moses, Senior Junior, Son of Dad, “Hwonder Boy,” the original, self-proclaimed Niggie Rider – whatever you wanna call this guy, he ain’t nothin’ but a wild animal whom havoc always surrounds.
Back in the days of our youth, the father of Moses – a lurching six-foot-six-inch counselor at St. Patrick’s High School known only as Senior – had always been stern with the boy. He’d always tried his best to keep young Senior Junior from veering off the straight and narrow, to keep him from living “that” life, but what Senior didn’t realize was how little he could do for a kid who was destined to live the dream.
Twerking at legendary status in the Edison Park neighborhood of Chicago right from his inception, as a fledgling, The E-Train had been known to throw spur-of-the-moment parties at any given time in which he’d pack up to thirty always-on-call boozehounds into his house when his parents would leave for as short a duration as going to church or running to the grocery store to pick up some shit for dinner. At other times, he’d wait until one of his friends’ families would go away on vacation then throw his illicit underage shindigs at their unattended homes. Even though he had enough sensibility and “respect” to clean up the houses which he’d trashed before his friends would return from vacation, he had too much style and originality in his blood to toss the bags of garbage somewhere as mainstream as its designated receptacle. Subsequently, as I’d noticed after he’d once held a rager at a temporarily abandoned abode across the alley, Hefty CinchSaks full of cans found in the bushes of neighbors’ houses were a sure sign that Moses and Company had been gettin’ jiggy at your house while you were away.
Where exactly had a fifteen-year-old kid been getting all this booze to throw wild parties with drunken topless bitches in pools at the homes of vacationing friends you might ask? Well, if the liquor hadn’t been purchased by and obtained from either a homeless guy or some shady Mexican valet parker near all the restaurants along Northwest Highway, then it’d probably either been stolen straight from the kitchens of said restaurants during daring missions of unlocked-alley-door thievery, swiped from the coolers of unsuspecting neighborhood parents during covert block party raids or jacked from a guy named Mr. Donnelly’s perpetually stocked garage fridge – that is, until Mr. D. wised up to the whole operation, bought, drank, urinated in, jammed the caps back on and then left 24 Miller Lite bottles full of icy cold dad piss for the boys to crack into.
“Hwonder Boy!,” as our butt-chinned grade school gym coach Derf liked to refer to him as, had always been wildly popular among his peers especially during these primordial years of sneakily shitfaced shenanigans. Known for getting absolutely bombed before high school football games and dressing as a leprechaun to represent the St. Pat’s Shamrocks, Emmett was known for his fantastic flag-waving abilities which he managed to juggle with a healthy amount of shit-talking to the opposition and the occasionally surly scuffle with the mascots of other teams.
Although he’s usually on the ground floor of any sort of plans involving a party, The E-Train has been known to either crash and/or trash a venue if he’s not been formally invited. One fine example of this had been when an eighteen-year-old Emmett wasn’t allowed into a neighborhood bar known as the Emerald Isle where, in our tightknit Irish community, the bouncer personally knew the guy on his bullshit ID, took it away and didn’t let The Train hit the scene. In response to his denial, Moses came right back and tossed a brick through the ten-foot-tall front window of the pub.
Another time not too long after that, The Niggie Rider had been down at U of I visiting friends and pounding beers on one end of campus when he received a text from some other friends about an even more rowdy party on the other side. According to legend, it’d been an exceptionally snowy evening and, while too cheap to pay for a cab and without a car of their own, The Train and a buddy named Pat arrived at the conclusion they were gonna hafta trudge through a foot of the white stuff all the way to the sock hop if they were to partake in the debauchery.
As Hwonder Boy and his sidekick fearlessly traversed the inclement weather, their toes and fingers began to get very cold and frostbitten. Noses red and runny with snot and pants soaked up to their knees, things began to look pretty bleak for these two brave weekend warriors who sought only to extend their bender. Nevertheless, they kept to their path, setting their sights on the taste of that first drink with which they’d be rewarded upon arrival to the land of milk and honey.
Alas, amidst their seemingly darkest hour, a light appeared at the end of the tunnel. Idling in the street with blinkers on to alert other drivers of its presence in the practical whiteout, a Jimmy John’s vehicle sat unattended in front of a house to which one of the employees had been making a “freakily fast” delivery. Without a word, Moses approached the driver door of the ride while Pat instinctively went around to the other side. Suddenly, the party didn’t seem so far out of reach.
“If this door is unlocked,” Emmett imparted across the roof of the car, “I’m getting in it.”
“If this door is unlocked,” Pat said back to him, “I’m gonna be right in there with you.”
As it happens, both doors turned out to be unlocked. Senior Junior stepped in and floored it while the hapless delivery boy watched the still blinking hazard lights disappear into the snowstorm as the car fishtailed down the street. On the way to the party which he’d risked a DUI and a GTA to get to, Train noticed his buddy Pat had been fidgeting with something in the passenger seat.
“What is that?” Emmett asked. “What are you doin’ over there?”
“I dunno,” the kid said while trying to pull out some sort of thick synthetic bag from under his ass, “I think I’m fuckin’ sittin’ on some sandwiches here.”
What he thought he’d felt under his cheeks had indeed been a bag full of sandwiches with a variety ranging from Turkey Tom’s to Italian Night Club’s. When these two heroic should-be felons finally arrived to the party, everyone stopped what they’d been doing and screamed their names as if they were freakin’ Norm walkin’ into Cheers. In response to their warm welcome, Moses reached into the bag that Pat had been holding and tossed every last “free” sandwich to their hungry-ass buddies who couldn’t have been more glad to see ‘em.
As you can see, this hard hittin’ Niggie Rider clearly leaves his mark everywhere he goes and the first two times that he decided to taint Trillwaukee with his barbaric antics proved to be no different. Let’s review…
The first time in which Nosie Mosie showed his face around campus had been during the summer before junior year which is when Marquette students are finally allowed to move out of the dorms and into the housing of their choice. Just after I’d gotten settled in my house at 931 on 14th Street with ten other dickheads, a mutual friend from our neighborhood in Chicago named Christina had moved in two doors to the south. After making Friday evening plans with her, a good-sized crew of Northwest Side rag-tags chugged up to Mil-Town with The E-Train to blow off some steam.
This particular session started off in the boiling hot kitchen of the girls’ house with our grade school buddy, Big Johnson, declaring and dishing out round after round of “Juliana’s shots!” to fellow SJS Trojans until an entire bottle of rum had been polished off. Following that mild intemperance, all parties present agreed we couldn’t handle the heat and decided to get out of the kitchen. After relocating to the front porch where we’d helped the girls move their couches for the evening, the boozing continued at a breakneck pace.
The shots hit hard and as the party went on, the sauce began to show its power. Despite everyone urging him not to, Big Johnson decided to wander off by himself to the north towards the heart of Milwaukee’s stab-you-in-the-face ghetto. Luckily he wasn’t hurt, but hilariously, he didn’t return until seven the next morning completely barefoot and with absolutely no idea where or in whose hands his shoes and socks might’ve ended up.
At some point in the alcoholic blur between the time Johnson had left and the time he made his naked-footed return, another proud son of St. Juliana School named Colin started the trend of standing in front of and pissing directly onto the cushions of the girls’ couch. Although great to watch, I personally did not urinate on their furniture because my girlfriend at the time had lived there and I never would’ve heard the end of it. However, just because I set the couch off limits for myself doesn’t mean that I too didn’t have a little fun. I instead opted to drain my bladder into the mailbox of the neighbors with whom the girls shared the porch and giggled like the oh-so-mature 20-year-old I was as piss trickled directly onto the floor of their living room. Despite my personal boycotting, after the ho’z had all headed off to bed, the couch became the designated toilet for nearly everyone equipped with a penis.
Unfortunately for him, when it came time for The E-Train to “use the facilities,” he happened to get caught mid-piss by a girl who lived there named “DogHorse.” To describe how livid this girl was to see my intoxicated friend hosing down one of their brand new sofas, try imagining how upset you’d be if you caught some random-ass pencil mustache pervert who’d snuck into the wake of a loved one, kneeling down in front of the casket and furiously masturbating at the corpse.
As you might imagine, with a nickname like DogHorse this girl packed quite a punch and as it happened, Emmett didn’t know what’d hit him until it was far too late. After angrily storming up right behind Moses as he blindly continued to soak the seat in a drunken stupor, DogHorse dealt him a devastating right hook to the side of his face just below the temple. The impact had been so great that it caused him to temporarily let go of his penis, lose control of his flow and accidentally waste a few precious droplets of the excretion on the sidewalk instead of it all landing on and being absorbed by the fibers of the cushions where it belonged.
Okay, so maybe a kid getting socked in the face by a DogHorse while takin’ a leak on somebody’s love seat isn’t the most outrageous thing to ever happen to a bro on a college campus, but taking home a bruised face with a big lump sticking off the side isn’t a bad start.
The second time in which Emmett came up to disgrace the state of our cheese-loving neighbors to the north, he brought along another neighborhood guy I’d grown up with named Bo. At that point in my life, I hadn’t seen Bo in years but always retained fond memories of the time he introduced me to his dad’s stash of porno mags when I was in second grade and then how he soon after got caught with a locker-full of said pornos at St. Juliana grade school. What a scandal it was, how the gossip among mothers abounded. And also around that time, since both our young impressionable minds had been so jacked up on porn, Bo and I used to film and narrate action figures fuckin’ each other on my parents’ video camera which was a habit they weren’t very fond of. I guess since the time I’d last seen him, Bo evolved from a wormy neighborhood pervert into a Navy Seal, had gotten married and had himself a kid. It’s funny how things change like that.
Anyway, on some September Saturday, hours before those two fools were due to roll up, I’d been drinking all day at a house on the west end of campus known as “The Mansion.” The Mansion had been an enormous, hundred-something-year-old landmark filled with archaic wooden floors, ceilings ten feet tall and of course, the St. Louis, Milwaukee and Kansas City dildos who occupied the place. We were friends with all the guys who lived there – all of whom happened to be massive dudes – but maintained a personal vendetta against them for the time that one of their occupants, a St. Loser named Cooney, had taken our fire extinguisher and sprayed down everything in our house from the common room on the third floor down to the interior of the fridges on the first.
Because college bros can never let anything go without getting at least an eye for an eye, it was a given that we’d get them back in some way, shape or form. However, as we pondered an appropriate means of vengeance that wouldn’t be viewed as appallingly horrendous but also one that had the audacity to piss off a group of kids who already liked to stand on the bar and tables of their own house writing their names all over the walls and ceilings in permanent marker, we learned it’s not so easy to find that middle ground. I don’t know which or how one of my roommates decided that this was an appropriate measure of retribution, but it was agreed that the spirit and character of their old house – the fancy chandelier which hung over the table in the dining room – would fall at the hands of a house member belonging to nine-thirty-one. It was only a matter of when.
Like I said before, my shithead roommates and I had been boozin’ all fuckin’ day at The Mansion. It’d been one of those typically selfish I-don’t-give-a-fuck-about-anyone-but-me college days where, among other things, we’d spent hours hitting golf balls from their front lawn into the parking lot across the street with no regard for anyone else’s personal property. By late afternoon when Emmett and Bo finally showed up, I’d already been pretty tanked. This proved not to be an issue because those two bozos had been pounding beers the whole ride up from Chicago. So, basically, we were all on the same page.
Once Moses had parked his ride, the duo stepped up to the house just in time to witness my wasted roommate Burns gargling citronella from a bamboo torch and using it to blow massive fireballs out on the front lawn. Given the circus-like atmosphere at such an early hour and the presence of Sir Senior Junior in the flesh, it was plain to see that things would soon be spiraling out of control.
Fast-forward a couple hours later. Dusk had been upon us and all the truly competitive drunkards from 931 had squared off against the members of The Mansion in a flip cup series which took place on the long, homemade MU beer pong table just below the lighting fixture which, at that point in the game, had basically been living on borrowed time. While semi-interested onlookers crowded around the table socializing and thirsty motherfuckers refilled from the keg which sat in the corner, Moses stood in a #23 Jordan jersey aside my man Hoffman – another neighborhood guy who also attended Marquette that’d appropriately been rocking a Pippen – as they chilled and bullshitted next to a large set of built-in-the-wall bookcases.
As the games went on and everyone involved became increasingly more hammered, things began to get pretty heated. While all the cups had been filled and ready to go for the next match, shit-talk flew back and forth delaying its commencement. During this time, one of my housemates started the obnoxiously catchy three-syllable chant of “Chan-de-lier! Chan-de-lier! Chan-de-lier!” which grabbed everyone’s attention as it caught on like wildfire.
Next thing ya know, most members of 931 had had a hand on some part of the chandelier and were more than ready to rip the motherfucker outta the ceiling. Meanwhile, despite not even knowing what retaliatory significance the demise of this particular light source had held, everyone in the house except the guys who lived there had been just as keen as we about seeing the thing destroyed and it showed in their shouts of “Do it!” and “Take it down!” alongside the on-going drone of “Chan-de-lier! Chan-de-lier! Chan-de-lier!”
Just as everyone had been about to do a group-pull and tear that old-ass piece of shit down to the ground, I saw something that immediately trumped the team effort.
“Yo! Yo! Look!” I tapped those nearest me as I pointed to The E-Train who, with the help of Hoffman, had been scaling the bookshelves and positing himself upon the highest ledge. “Emmett’s got this! Let him do it dude! It’ll be so much funnier!”
Everyone agreed, removed their hands from the chandelier and took a step back. Crouching down like someone about to spring off the edge of a diving board, all eyes were on the Nigger Rider as he leapt from the top of the bookshelf halfway across the room and grasped onto whatever part of the ancient light source he could manage. Holding on for dear life as the old time fixture flew in the direction of his momentum, fuckin’ Air Jordan swung forward until he’d been completely parallel with the ceiling. Everybody in the room had been shocked by what they were seeing. I personally thought that he was gonna make it – that the thing could support his weight, but as gravity took him back the other way it turned out to be a completely different story.
The downward impetus of The E-Train on the return swing proved to be too much for the aged thing to handle and, with a flash of sparks, together they came crashing down through the homemade beer pong table while ripping out the electricity for the entire house in the process. For just a split second following the fall, all in The Mansion remained completely silent until one of my roommates decided to chuck his beer into the crowd thus sparking an absolute trash-the-place free-for-all. During this time when the old house was all but burnt to the ground, Bo and Moses made their Exodus then texted me and Hoffman to meet them out by the car. Without responding to the message, I was on my way when one of The Mansion guys drew me to a halt.
“Where’s the kid in the jersey!? I know he’s your buddy, Lally! He has to pay for this shit!”
I shrugged and bailed.
As I left out the front door and started making my way to Emmett’s car, all The Mansion bros had been huffing and puffing while the boys of 931 reveled in the victory, hoisting, tossing and kicking around the fallen chandelier.
“Yo,” Emmett called out as I got near, “where’s Hoffman at?”
“I dunno dude,” I replied, looking back toward the house. “Thought he’d be out here already.”
As I got in the car, Moses started it up.
“There’s the idiot now,” he added as Hoffman came casually strolling out the house with a freshly filled pitcher for the ride. “I wanna get the fuck outta here – the dudes in that house are huge.”
“Yeah, they are. And they’re pissed.”
“Yeah, I can tell.”
After getting myself buckled in, I looked up to check on Hoffman’s progress just in time to see some Wisconsin acquaintance whom I can no longer remember the name of grab my homey’s arm as he tried to walk down the steps of the porch. Instinctively, Hoffman took the whole pitcher and tossed it in the kid’s face before bolting down to Emmett’s ride, diving in the back and shouting “Drive! Drive!” with the furiously dripping wet dude in hot pursuit.
“What the hell was that all about?” I asked as we ironically drunk-drove to safety.
“That guy grabbed my arm and demanded that I fill up his cup, but I was feeling generous and decided to give him the whole thing. D’oh!” he held his hand up requesting a high-five which I indulged with honor. “C’mon! We got work!”
Following our narrow escape, the four of us went to spend the rest of the evening incognito at a dive bar named O’Brady’s where I received more texts than I can count demanding Emmett’s personal information and monetary retribution. A few of the messages also included wildly tossed accusations saying that I personally had taken a pound cake or some equally ridiculous dessert from the fridge and used it to clog the plumbing in the upstairs toilet once all hell had broken loose in the compound. As funny of a thing that is to do to someone’s shitter, I never take credit for work that isn’t mine, denied it and ignored all further attempts at reaching me.
I said it in the beginning and I’ll say it again – havoc surrounds The E-Train. For that exact reason, I knew something felt wrong during his third visit when, by bar’s close, no guns had been pulled, no arrests had been made, not a punch had been thrown and, unbelievably, not even a single couch had been pissed. Like most things that seem too good to be true, the calm before the storm proved to be a serenity that would not last.
Traditionally, liquor stores in the Milwaukee area stop selling booze at nine which usually proves to be a problem when lazy-ass Marquette students who’ll definitely wanna keep drinking after last call fail to set aside some suds for late night. As per usual, my cupboard was bare but luckily Moses had been working for a Chicagoland beer distributor at the time and was able to fuel an extracurricular drinking session during the night of his third visit. Never going anywhere without enough firewater in the trunk of his ride to keep him sauced through a nuclear holocaust, Senior Junior had come armed to the teeth with an arsenal of just-in-case cases that may or may not have “fallen off” one of the delivery trucks he’d been working on.
Around two-thirty in the morning, Moses, Hoffman and a dude named Carini came over to my house with a couple cases fresh from the stash for the four of us to pound post-bars. During this late-nite brofest where music had been blasted, cigs had been ripped and about a case-and-a-half of Miller Lite had been torn through, it was decided that we’d push forward toward the dawn and open up a hole-in-the-wall bar known colloquially as “The Harp & Sham.”
The Harp & Shamrock is a filthy, wood-paneled, carpet-floored dive bar on the west end of campus which basically looks like it’s been carved into the living room of someone’s old-ass wood frame house. Opening up at 6am on Sunday mornings to accommodate serious alcoholics who hadn’t yet gone to bed after the 2am bar close four hours beforehand, The Harp & Shammy had been Hoffman’s and my stay-up-all-night go-to spot when we had visitors to show and prove to them “how hard Marquette parties.” I have no scientific or medical background whatsoever, but I’m pretty sure that each Milwaukee bender which involves an early morning stop at this place takes about a total of two weeks off your life-expectancy.
Coincidentally, next door to this life-ruining loser bar had been the Avenues West headquarters of the Milwaukee Police Department. I personally did not notice this until having been told by Hoffman not to make the same mistake he’d made during an early morning walk home from Wisconsin’s number one alcoholism enabler. After getting tossed which, without a doubt, is the ONLY way to leave The Harp & Sham, Hoffman decided he couldn’t make it back to the dorms without first yielding the contents of his full-ass bladder. Looking no further than the front entrance of the adjacent building, my man whipped out his willy and stood there doing his diddy until the door had been opened by a friendly officer who invited him inside to receive a ticket for public urination.
While setting ourselves up for certain disaster, the four hours in watering hole limbo passed, the majority of the two cases had been crushed and we showed up to The Harp & Shamrock as disgustingly drunk as you’d expect four guys to be after pounding away for fifteen straight hours. As it happened, some waste-o bitches from Marquette – our female equivalents – had the same idea and had been boozing there as well.
To be completely honest, I remember very little of our time spent at The Harp & Sham which lead up to our inevitable expulsion. Faint flickering images of shots being poured and my struggle to find “Never Been Any Reason” by Head East on the jukebox stand out in my mind. I can’t even imagine how unintelligible our conversation must’ve sounded or how ridiculous we must’ve looked when, at different points in the morning, each of us thought we were being sneaky as we ducked our heads below the bar and puked on the side of it after a Rumple Minze or Jame-O eye-opener didn’t settle as well as we figured it would. Not to worry, though – the vomit ran down the side of the bar and soaked right into the carpet as chunks blown by our boozehound predecessors had for years before our discovery of this 6am alcoholic playground. And even if it hadn’t initially been sopped up on account of its thickness, I’m sure all the ensuing “bathroom breaks” on top of the upchuck did nothing but help the cause.
At some point during this glorious Sunday morning when church bells summoned the pious to give alms and pray for people like us, Hoffman danced, twisting and spinning around the group of drunken broads while the rest of us sat on our stools barely able to hold our own heads up. After finishing off a drink – I can’t recall which or why I hadn’t just done whatever I had to do on the side of the bar – I sauntered over to the bathroom to take a piss, take a shit and/or have myself a nice little barf.
Following the evacuation, I must’ve been super pumped to get back to drinking as evidenced by the way that I busted out the scummy little cubicle of a washroom like a bat outta hell. Soon wondering why he too hadn’t just decided to piss on the side of the bar, Moses had been approaching the facilities as I’d been coming out and was subsequently smacked on the forehead by the corner of the door as I blasted it open from the inside.
With blood trickling down Train’s forehead from the instant lump, Hoffman still dancing like an idiot, Carini in a coma on his stool and me half-assedly caring for my injured friend on the ground while largely preoccupied with getting myself another drink, the bartender finally chose to relieve himself of his babysitting duties and “asked” the four of us to get the fuck out sometime around eight-thirty in the morning. I guess our business and major lack of tips weren’t worth the trouble. I can’t say that I blame him.
After we’d gotten the boot, Hoffman and Carini headed back to the dorms while I and The Niggie Rider with his fancy new Harry Potter scar made our way back to my house to finally get ourselves some fuckin’ sleep. En route, for one reason or another, we decided we’d stop at Kilbourn and 15th to check on the status of Emmett’s car. When we showed up to the spot he’d left his slab, I felt as if we’d been reenacting a scene from a childhood classic…
“Dude, where’s my car?” he gasped, totally dumbfounded by his automobile’s absence.
“I dunno dude,” I responded, wishing it’d just appear so I could go the fuck to bed.
Collectively too hammered to come up with a logical way to handle the situation, Emmett and I stood and stared at the empty street for a good several minutes before deciding to approach the house which it’d been parked in front of in search of some answers. After trying to ring the doorbell and missing the thing a few times like the drunken clown showing up trashed to Macaulay Culkin’s birthday party in Uncle Buck, I finally pressed the summoner of tenants and could hear the chimes within.
“Hi,” I greeted the girl who’d answered our call with a massive blast of booze breath, “have you seen my friend’s car? He left it in front of your house and now it’s gone.”
She couldn’t have slammed the door in my face any faster.
“Shit,” Emmett spat from the bottom of the staircase. “What should I do now? Should I call the police?”
“Yeah dude, I don’t think you have any other options at this point.”
“What’s the police number around here, 9-1-1?”
“Yeah dude. 9-1-1 will work for sure.”
He dialed it.
“Yeah hi, 9-1-1?…Yeah, uh, my car got stolen and I’d like to report it…No, I’m not injured. Well, I am injured but not from my car being stolen…No, I don’t need any medical assistance, I just wanna report my car stolen…Oh, okay,” he looked over at me and cupped the phone. “Guess 9-1-1 is only for emergencies. She’s transferring me over to the local police.”
“Ah, right,” I said while pulling out my phone to call my ex-girlfriend – the last act of a desperate man.
So while Train was busy filing a police report with an officer who specialized in translating drunken jibberish, I was doing my best to emasculate and make a total ass out of myself to someone I’d parted ways with several months beforehand. “Uh, yeah, Lauren, my friend’s car got stolen…Yeah, I can’t believe it either…If we come over, think you can help us sort this whole thing out?…Great, great…That’d be great. We’ll be right there.”
Lauren shared a house with our neighborhood friend Christina as I’d mentioned in the story of Emmett’s first trip up to Marquette – a visit which’d earned him the pejorative reputation among their housemates as “the asshole who pissed our couch.” Nevertheless, we made our way over there and posted up in the living room on what may or may not have been the sofa that Emmett and the rest of the crew had, less than a year beforehand, tag-team sprinkled their nastiness all over. While we made ourselves comfortable, a sober-Sunday-morning Lauren pulled out the phone book and called every impound lot in the city seeing if they’d towed the Moses Mobile. During this time when my former lady slaved away in search of his ride, Emmett drifted to sleep.
“No luck,” Lo-Lo said as she set down her phone. “That was the last impound lot and they don’t have your friend’s car.”
“Shit, that’s not good,” I sighed. “Well, thanks anyway for trying. I appreciate it.”
“Yeah, you’re welcome.”
“So, uh, have you eaten any breakfast yet?”
“Should we make some?”
“I don’t have any food here.”
“Well, let’s go to the supermarket. I’ll buy all the shit and cook it up too – if only you would drive there, it’ll be my way of saying thank you for all your efforts.”
“Hmm, well, I do gotta get some groceries for the week anyway…”
“Yeah c’mon, let’s go! You know you wanna…”
“Alright, alright. Lemme grab my keys.”
Lauren drove me over to the supermarket in the Hispanic part of town known to racist Marquette students as “(S)Pic(k) & Save” where we temporarily split up to get the items we each needed. After grabbing a carton of eggs and a pound of bacon, I stood in line at the deli for some specialty items – namely, a quarter pound of Eckrich’s hard salami and the same quantity of Land of Lakes American cheese. Once I’d obtained all that I needed to cook up a nice, big and unhealthy-as-all-hell Wisconsin-style breakfast, I went to find Lauren and when I did, she informed me she still had some more shopping to do. Opting not to walk with her as she did her thing, I buggered off and said I’d meet her at the checkout.
By that point in the morning, my stomach felt like it was eating itself. As I normally do when on a serious bender, I skipped dinner and hadn’t eaten for nearly twenty-four hours. Unable to practice any self-restraint whatsoever due to being so wasted, so famished and so tired, I wandered around the store with my basketful of goods looking for a spot with nobody near where I could discreetly stuff my ugly drunken face.
After some scouting, the vacant aisle of choice turned out to be the one housing the napkins, paper plates, baby diapers and other disposable things of the sort which abound in all our overflowing landfills. Within the confines of this corridor, I could do nothing to stop myself from ripping open the salami and the cheese which I had not yet paid for and devoured both quarter-pound packages as fast as I could before stuffing the empty bags behind rolls of Brawny paper towels on the shelf. After indulging my basest of human desires, I checked out and paid for the bacon and eggs like nothing had happened and patiently waited at the front of the store for Lauren to finish her shopping.
We soon after returned to the girls’ house where Sweet Fancy Moses remained passed out on the couch. As you might imagine, with a belly full of salami and cheese, I was no longer hungry but felt obligated to make good on my offer of throwing together a breakfast. While I got busy frying up the bacon in the kitchen, Lauren decided to go upstairs and take a shower. Aside from her, I could hear a few other roommates stirring upstairs but none had come down to the first floor as of yet. Since I really had no interest in cooking this breakfast and no one was around to criticize me, I went in their fridge and cracked open a cold one to make the whole course of action seem a little bit more tolerable.
In my exhausted state, the bacon seemed to be taking forever to cook so I turned up the heat to expedite the process and decided to step outside for a nice rejuvenating morning smoke to accompany my hair of the dog.
As soon as I stepped back inside after making out with my Marlboro, I could hear the smoke alarm going off in the back of the house. I bolted back into the kitchen to find the pan full of bacon shriveled, blackened and burning. After twisting the knob to “off,” throwing the pan in sink and blasting the faucet on top of the smoldering mess, my immediate concern shifted over to shutting that fucking fire alarm off before everyone in the house had been woken up. Having been way too high for me to reach on my own, I placed one of their kitchen stools right below the epicenter of obnoxiousness and tried to silence the thing by pushing and flipping each and every button and switch I could see. When that didn’t work, I resorted to more desperate measures, clenched my fist and began to violently sock the wailing bastard until it cracked and fell to the ground where I stomped it ‘til it stopped beeping. In spite of my valiant effort, everyone except Emmett had been woken up by the burning bacon and the pesky smoke detector.
Nevertheless, shamelessly picking up where I left off with the stamped-to-bits warning device scattered about their kitchen floor, I finished cooking the bacon and made eggs for Lauren and whoever else wanted any. Following the preparation process, I joined all the now wide-awake girls in the living room to watch whatever stupid-crap reality TV program they felt like putting on and parked my ass on one of the couches. Not very much later, a groggy-as-fuck E-Train whose back had been facing everyone rolled over and sat himself up.
“Oh! My! God!” one of the chicks burst out laughing. “Look at all that piss!”
In the shape of a half-circle spanning in height from his nipple down to his knee and from his side past his belly button in width, Emmett had been soaked in his own urine. He pissed the fuck out of yet another one of the girls’ couches. Rubbing his pounding head and not saying a word to anyone, The Niggie Rider stumbled to the bathroom in the back, apparently didn’t like what he saw in the mirror and then, to spare himself of any further embarrassment, walked right out the back door.
After hastily re-thanking Lauren for her help, apologizing for the destruction of her smoke alarm and then leaving all the dishes and the mess for her to clean up, I followed the piss-drenched Senior Junior out the back door, through the alley and over to my house where we ended up sleeping until around five or six in the evening. Once awake and hungover as fuck, I did my best to cook up a second meal of the day without burning the shit out of it while Moses called a very disappointed Senior to tell the old man that his car had been jacked by some Milwaukee miscreant. Meanwhile, Hoffman had been on his way over to watch the Sunday night HBO/Showtime line-up.
While The Train and I cut into the pork tenderloin I’d prepared and the opening song of Entourage blared from our big-ass, outdated as shit living room television, The Hoff walked in through the front door and stood in front of the screen with a big ol’ shit-eating grin on his face.
“Get outta the way, faggot!”
He ignored both the directive and the insult and continued smiling like a molester at Boy Scout car wash.
“Uh, so,” he began laughing at his own comment before he could even spit it out, “have you guys looked out in front of your house today?”
“Nooooo…not that I can remember…”
“Go take a look,” he beckoned. “It’s good, you’re gonna like it.”
Emmett and I stopped eating, frozen by the ridiculousness of the possibility.
“It can’t be…can it?”
“Just go take a fuckin’ look!”
We dropped our dinner plates, ran out the front door and were stopped cold on the porch at the sight of the Moses Mobile sitting directly in front of my house.
“No one stole your car,” Hoffman laughed. “You moved it when we brought those late night cases over here you fuckin’ idiot!”
“Oh my God!” The Niggie Rider spat before going back inside and gathering his piss-covered belongings.
“Calling 9-1-1 to report your car stolen?” razzed The Hoff as Moses slapped on his sneakers, “You’re fuckin’ ridiculous! Your life’s a joke!”
“Shut up, Hoffman!” he retorted then hustled back out the front door. “Lal, thanks for having me and no offense,” he called out en route to his once lost but now found car, “but I fuckin’ hate this place and I’m never comin’ back.”
With those parting remarks, Moses, living legend of Chicago’s Northwest Side, began his shameful trek home – a ride which I’m certain had been spent brainstorming bogus lies regarding the retrieval of his car to spoon-feed the old man upon his inglorious return to the house of Senior.