I have to tell you a little bit about 'Rita' before I move on. Me and sis have always had a very complicated "situationship". Like.. always! Me and Rita were never officially "a couple", or anything like that. We were halfway cool, you know? Being friends with females is always complicated as fuck, aint it? This was me and Rita. Kind of hard to explain, but if I had to put it simply....Rita was DTF when it came to me. Like anytime, anywhere, anyhow, kind of DTF, you feel me? There aren't too many places in this city where me and Rita haven't had sex at. Hell, we probably had sex on that couch you're sitting on right now! Who the fuck really knows, right? Anyway, me and Rita were like two creeping ass Energizer Bunnies. I say "creeping" mostly, because Rita has always had a man over the years. Like... always! I knew Rita for over 15-years, and in that time, I can't honestly say that I remember Rita ever being single for more than a week. Most of Rita's relationships lasted less than a year....JUST LIKE MOST OF MINE! That was kind of the reason me and her never took that step, when it came to us. Relationships with Rita or myself were usually destined for failure before they really even got going. Can you imagine what would happen if me and Rita ever decided to try to be a couple? Just thinking about the shit sends chills down my spine!! We were equally stubborn! About practically everything! Things with each one of us were always "my way or the highway!" You know? It was one of the reasons Rita and I got along so well, and it's ironically also, one of the reasons we love/hate each other so much....and so hard. You feel me? 

Listen man….things in the neighborhood have always been complicated. A 10-year absence from the hood was on some whole other shit though! A lot of shit seemed to have changed. A whole lot of things! First and foremost, a lot of very low-key, unbreakable, type of bonds took place when a lot of us were in our teens and early 20’s. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, sometimes come along and takes everyone in separate directions, but a lot of bonds that were formed a long time ago, managed to survive the test of life and time. Male/female bonds, neighborhood bonds, and some people were even bonded by secrets, believe it or not. Either way you slice it, there has always been “low-key”, unbreakable-type bonds around the way…..Always! That was dangerous. You haven’t been around for years. Who are friends? Who are foes? Your dumb ass don’t know, you’ve been gone for over 10-years! The second complicated thing about the hood, and being away from it for 10+ years was, new faces. That was a tricky one. New faces were always a tricky thing in the hood. Mostly, because they weren’t from the hood….or at least not from our hood! Somebody brought that weird muthafucka’ around here! Right? How else did the weird nigga get to hang around here, and not get his ass beat every 30-seconds or so? But who? Who introduced this very weird, very “Joe Familiar” ass joker to our hood? Right? That was always a thing. But the strangest thing about being away from the hood for 10+ years was definitely relationships! Some of the people who are married or “shacking up” together…….are a very weird thing to see….considering what-was-what around here 10-years ago. You feel me?

Rita was in a relationship once again. That never surprised me. Like I said before, Rita was always in some type of short-term relationship since as far back as I could remember. What was surprising, and somewhat bothering was the who, Rita was currently in a relationship with. Dilan! That’s the name of a female by the way. But, that was not the surprising part about this. I knew Rita went both ways, everybody knew that. It wasn’t like it was ever a secret or anything. Naw, I was more surprised by the fact that Rita was with Dilan, especially considering the fact that Dilan was one of my ex’s. I used to mess with Dilan and her sister Kuren……at different times! Get your mind out of the gutter! But anyway, yeah. Kuren is my ex that I told you was currently up Broad & Lehigh slangin’ cheeks (at a discounted price…..I hope!) and Dilan is my ex that’s a bitch!

Dilan hated my guts! I wasn’t too fond of that hoe either, to be honest. That’s why it was hard for me to believe her and Dilan were in a relationship. The reason Dilan hated me was, yup, you guessed it……because I cheated on her with her sister, Kuren. But, if Dilan hated me for having sex with her sister, I wondered how much more she hated me after Rita told her I was having sex with Dilan’s best friend, Leggs too. There was no doubt in my mind that Rita told her about that. There’s no way those two didn’t spend hours on end discussing me….and what type of work I be putting in! Sike naw! But, I know them hoes be talking bout’ me though!

My point? Things were complicated with a capital “C” when it came to my history with Rita….and others. I had complicated relationships with dozens of women in the neighborhood. It was usually my fault that things got complicated. I was a very immature type of dude the last time I walked the streets of North Philadelphia. I like to believe I’ve grown substantially since I’ve been gone. Physically, mentally, and spiritually. But, ladies do have a pretty good reason to be a little on guard, when it comes to me. Not trying to sound like a big shot or anything, but I LAYS THAT PIPE! The correct way! You feel me? I know it, and all the ladies know it too. Okay….I admit, I am trying to sound like a big shot. But you would too, if somebody had nicknamed your private part “Anaconda.” That was just one of the many pet names the ladies had gave my Johnson & Johnson over the years. Anyway, my point was, a chick was more likely to fall in love with me, than I was, with her. Feel me? It’s nothing you need to doubt, get angry, or insecure about. It’s just……..facts! You know?

Rita and I made a tacid agreement, that we were basically going to be getting it in at some point tonight, without even needing to say one word about it to one another. We simply walked away from each other smiling after our short embrace. We had some type of weird telepathic communication going on or some shit. We were always on the same page, without even having to say one word. Shit was some of the craziest shit I’ve ever been personally involved in. Anyway, after my little chat with my Rita-Boo, I headed inside. The bar was jam packed! Wall-to-wall kind of packed with people. I was supposed to be looking for Gotti, but I couldn’t help but to grin slightly, as someone else caught my eye. My old pal Montay. He wasn’t really my pal, fuck outta here! I was being sarcastic. That muthafucka’ is more like the Lex Luthor to my Superman, the Joker to my Batman, and he’s definitely the Solomon Grundy to my Superfriends! Feel me? I can’t stand that weird nigga! Why….. is the question you have, right?

Simple explanation there. I’m 35-years old….so is Tay …and so is everybody else I know. Or, at least in that 30-35 year old range. Most of us went to elementary, junior high, and high school together. Me and Tay definitely attended high school together. You know how I know? He stole my girlfriend in the 9th grade! I ain’t forget about that shit! “Oh, you a petty ass dude for holding a grudge that long”, is what you’re thinking of me after hearing that, right? Know what I’m thinking? Fuck you, fuck Montay, and fuck the fuckin’ Diaz Brothers! Bul fucked my whole future up early in the game. Who knows? I could’ve been married to that hoe or something today……..if only I could remember her name. But, that’s not the point here! The point is, I’ll never know, and that’s because of Montay……Plus, he’s a weird nigga. I never liked weird ass niggas anyway.

“Give it up pussy!”

I heard someone say from behind me, after I felt the butt of a weapon find it’s way to my back. Before I had a chance to even begin to try to figure out what was happening, I heard a familiar voice…..and a more familiar laugh. The laugh of a freakin’ mad man! This nigga really laughed like a comic book villian or some shit.

“BeeeeeeReeeze! What up my nigga!?”

Gotti said before giving me a pound. I laughed as I shook my head.

“Just the man I’ve been looking for.”

Gotti had the hook-up that I definitely needed. His Pops (and my favorite ol’ head), Will-Kill was the supervisor for the late night shift at the power plant that Gotti, and a bunch of other people from the neighborhood worked at. Get this……the starting pay was $55/hr. I had no idea what they did at the plant, but for $55/hr, I honestly didn’t give a flying fuck!

With a gig secured, my mood automatically switched from business to celebratory! I was ready to get bent! On some real life “white-boy wasted” type of shit! I scanned the bar with my eyes, in search of something….or someone, to get into tonight. Rita was pretty much a guarantee for tonight, but it was always better to be safe than sorry, you know? I needed some back-up, or “break glass in case of emergency” cheeks set up for the night also. My search stopped when I spotted Mahogony standing over in the corner chatting with Michelle. M&M is what I called the two of them when they were together. They were always together too. I was going to definitely have to split those two apart if I was going to try my luck with Mahogony tonight. Michelle had a baby by Haddy (You will meet him shortly!), plus Michelle and Rita were pretty cool. Not that I thought Rita would care, but I just didn’t want any confusion on this night. Or anyone in my business! This shit was personal for me. I didn’t consider Mahogony “emergency cheeks.” I had a crush on sis’ since back in Junior High School, at John Wanamaker. I just never had the heart to attempt to go at her. This woman has always made my stomach and heart do somersaults and other weird shit, without even trying to. This woman has been the owner of my heart for the last 15-years or so, and she had absolutely no idea how I felt about her. In all of those 15-years that I’ve known her, I’ve never said more than “hi” and “bye” to her. Most importantly though…..weird ass Monte bul felt exactly the same way about Mahogony, and he made no attempt to hide that shit either! Like I said earlier….that weird nigga was like the Gargamel to my Smurfs! My Mahogony Smurf!

I took a couple of steps in Mahogony and Michelle’s direction, before I stopped dead in my tracks. That Ol’ Dirty Negroe, Tay was all up in her face already. “Weird ass cock-blocking ass nigga!” I said to myself. I almost yelled that shit out loud though! But, my expression changed seconds later. My frown was turned upside-down when I realized they were arguing. Not even really arguing. She was trying to get away from that weird nigga like he had that Rona! This might be my moment to step in like some type of suave ass Cat Daddy, and save the day! The ladies liked that type of thing right?

I didn’t even get a chance to see if that type of thing would work. Mahogony and Tay’s argument quickly escalated. Tay said something that led to Mahogony slapping the dog shit out of him. I was too far away to hear anything from where I was standing. Especially with the music blasting from the jukebox. I’m pretty good at reading lips though. Tay called Mahogony a B-I-T-C-H! If he got slapped that hard for something other than calling her a bitch, I could only imagine what was about to happen, now that he had……called her a bitch. Shit happened in the blink of an eye too! Mahogony started swinging on Monte, and of course Michelle joined in. Most people inside the bar were so preoccupied with whatever else it was they were doing, that nobody really paid much attention to Tay over in the corner getting strolled by two very lovely ladies. I grabbed Mahogony as I moved in acting like I really gave a fuck. Mahogony was still swinging wildly as I grabbed her from behind. She turned around and began swinging on me!

“Woah killer! Don’t hit me, I’m just trying to break shit up!”

I said with a smile as I held Mahogony from behind with my arms around her waist. I physically removed her from the drama……that was still going on, by the way! Tay was not trying to hit either of the women. He wasn’t even trying to stop them from hitting him. He just balled up and took it. He was honestly no threat to anyone in that moment……but, just his luck, the “Doubie Brothers Plus One” had just stepped into the joint! And Doubie Brother #2 walked into this bar to see his child’s mother swinging on somebody. This was going to end bad. Like really, really bad!


Special shout out to the entire Huntingdon Street. Thank you for always being lit in the 1990’s. The hood wouldn’t have been as much fun without you!

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