The Brooklyn Renaissance (Part 3)
The three of us left the ministry’s area and proceeded to head back to Rebecca’s place. We figured we’d work on some songs for Leanne and her man.
“Nuh uh!” Rebecca’s fiancé Mitch argued against it.
“Huh? Why not?” Princess asked to why we couldn’t practice.
“Too much noise. Neighbors already aren’t too fond of it,” Mitch rubbed his head. Mitch, your girlfriend screams at people from 4 stories high...
“Aw man,” Princess snapped her fingers.
“You can probably just go by the studios in Manhattan. They’ll let you guys in cause you’re famous and well-known,” Mitch advised us. I guess it couldn’t hurt...
So, following the advice, we traveled across from the poor side of New York to the rich side, the Manhattan luxuries.
Approaching a recording office, we crossed over the busy streets trying to reach it. Mike noticed a Bentley Bentayga sitting there outside the gate.
“Why is that pathetic thing sitting outside a Manhattan pop culture center?” Mike pointed to it, disappointed.
“Oh, it’s supposed to be a Rolls Royce but the studio was too poor to afford one on set,” I admitted. Mike facepalmed.
We practiced some covers inside the recording house for some songs we thought about, tipped the staff there, had fun. Some of the other bands and people there saw us there and got out some speaker systems and orb lights that illuminated the room, and all of a sudden our simple jam sesh turned into a full on dance party.
Even Mike played guitar on the one song and stole the show for one woman eyeing him up and down and giving him the smooch impressions in the front row.
The other bands took turns after us to keep playing after we finished our set. Princess and I dance together, and somehow my lame moves ended up being the center of attention. Everybody circled around us. A slow song was coming on, and so I unleashed my swing dancing mojo, and swayed Princess like a damsel. The air just flowed as we flowed, and everything felt as it should. The others were tipping their hats to us and cheering, and I pulled off my big lasso finish. Mike was looking at us from by the door, not really dancing or interacting as he was, but seemingly jealous as he watched the way Princess and I danced. He chose to ignore his feelings, however, and carried on.
On our way out after the festivities, Princess said she really really wanted to visit Central Park, and although I told her several times that we passed it, she insisted on asking for directions. So, out of every living soul she had to ask, she chooses the snobbiest-looking businessman on the street.
“Hey, do you know how to get to Victory Park?” Princess tugged him a bit. While looking dissatisfied at first, the man’s eyes sort of opened a bit seeing the three of us. I think he recognized our band.
“You kids are out here walking the streets of New York like no big deal,” the man remarked.
“Yeah well, we’re just strolling for right now. We’ve finished a lot of our work for the day,” I mentioned.
“I could invest in your studio, help you accrue interest like it’s nothing. You think I don’t know what your band’s been up to? Such rapid famedom in such a short about of time,” he commented.
“′Famedom,’” Mike whispered at me, sneeringly. I laughed.
“You know music, sir?” Princess asked him.
“No, but I do know a lot about fame and how it works, and I’ve seen fame in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and it can go as easy at it comes, and it’s so hard to manage it to bend the way you want it to,” he rambled on.
“Should we let this guy keep talking?” Mike whispered again, in the exact same tone of voice to me.
“What are you famous for?” Princess asked him.
“Business, and worldwide fame for what my company has done for millions. I’ve had to go through a lot but I’ve made it to where I am. I’m sure you kids wouldn’t mind being in the same position some day,” the man bragged.
Princess took a long look at him. “Nah, I pass,” she said candidly. I don’t think she even noticed that it was a rude comment. Mike laughed.
The man sighed and tucked his suit a bit more. “You will just not understand.”
“So anyway, directions please?” Princess for once actually got back to the point.
“Central Park, it’s the giant 51 block park that you can’t miss,” he rubbed his face.
“Yeah Princess honestly I can show you it if we just walked like even a little bit toward East River...” I mentioned.
“Why didn’t you say so then?” Princess argued with me.
“I did say so...”
“May I contact you all again in the case for some stock deal? An interest accumulation, or some sort of collaboration between us all?” he recommended.
“Uhm, I don’t believe that’s what we’re looking for,” Princess scratched her chin.
“Hey, aren’t you the guy from ‘The Apprentice?’” I asked.
“Are we going to Central Park, or not?” Mike asked, tired of waiting out in the cold where the wind was starting to continue. The businessman also happened to notice how annoying we were.
“Fine, have these things your way, but my offer stands. Here’s my card,” he handed it to Princess, who thanked him despite denying him. We departed after that.
We spent some time in Central Park following that, admiring some of the autumn leaves and lovely, New York/Nature Lyfe atmosphere and gave us comfort. In the middle of such a bustling town, a serene park? It’s always been one of the greatest.
Afterward, I’d say about an hour’s time passed and so we were ready to head back to Brooklyn as the day waned to talk about how we were going to set things up for ‘the big night’ with Leanne.
As we did, we saw a man getting chased down and right-fucked by some gangbangers. He ran full speed on cheetah-like legs that bolted across town, across even the busy and narrow New York streets that gave nobody the time of day, but it worked out for him as he ran from the men in hoods chasing him with knives. We all ran to catch a closer look.
The man on the chase seemed to be doing well. . right up until his feet got caught up in some litter left behind and he tumble rolled in a ditch like area surrounded by hillside and tall buildings around him, with junk and trash and trees all around him. The gang proceeded to ambush him. Concerned, we stood at the top of the enclave and watched from above. Mike hurriedly tried to call the police, but then just held his phone, frozen in time for a second. We both looked at him.
“Mike, what’s the matter?” Princess asked him.
“Listen to what they’re saying...” Mike answered.
Both of us turned our ears to the action. “...drop...alright, DeAndre?...and stop with...our turf...” It was touch to make out since everyone had been saying different things. Still, we didn’t quite see what Mike was pointing out.
“I don’t see what you’re getting at?” I asked.
“They’re saying DeAndre. I’m pretty sure that’s Leanne’s boyfriend,” Mike said.
Princess and I looked back and recalled what he meant, from Leanne’s phone call. That was a strange turn of events. We grew concerned.
“We should tell Leanne,” I told everyone. “And also call the cops.”
“DeAndre might get busted,” Mike said.
“For what?” I held out my palm.
“The gang’s gotta be after him for something, right?” Mike proposed.
“I’ll go tell Leanne!” Princess volunteered and took off immediately, running back to her apartment down the road.
“The point is we should help DeAndre anyway. These members are gonna dip the moment they see strobelights. I’m calling,” I said, taking initiative and pulling out my cellphone. Mike wasn’t a fan of the way I did things, I could just tell. Still, he had a heart for music and missions much like I do, so of course, there was always room for us to work together and cooperate.
As I called the police and reported the trouble, DeAndre was down there holding his own. With Mike as just his spectator, he noticed that DeAndre was disarming the members slowly and using their weapons to fight with as his own. He was handing them a taste of what it feels like, and fighting ’til nothing was left. The thrill and rush of seeing him fight filled Mike with the same emotional rage. With that, he jumped over the brush and slid down the hillside to fight at DeAndre’s aide. I called out loud immediately for him to stop being an idiot, but he didn’t listen and kept running. Guess I was going to have to save his dumb ass.
Jumping out too, both of us full on tackled some of the other guys. They still had knives in their hands which they tried to impale us with but we tried keeping their heads buried in the ground. DeAndre, still in the middle but slowly getting covered in cuts and bleeding through his shirt, just gazed at us and wondered who the hell we were.
“You’re..helping me?” he raised an eyebrow at us, incredibly confused.
“Watch out!” both me and Mike yelled as two others tried jumping onto him. They managed to since his back was showing, but his brawn just overpowered the two of them and they collided. I could hear the loud smack and it probably hurt all 3 of them. Immediately following that, DeAndre gave a cold headbutt to another of the guys trying to bullrush him. That was terrifying. This guy was fierce. Just what does this man do to Leanne in bed...?
The two guys we still managed to hold to the ground started growling and grabbing our faces trying, to punch us. We punched them, and starting getting into full-on scrambles. One of them picked up Mike straight up from behind, which made me back up in straight-up fear, and tried to throw him to the ground, but Mike found balance on his feet and held his ground, now angry and gritting his teeth, and unleashed a mean elbow behind him toward the man’s jaw. Fierce. No other way to say it.
The sun kept setting while Princess managed to find her way back to Leanne’s apartment and knock on her door. “Hello?” Princess continued slamming.
Leanne’s mom opened it. Not what Princess was expecting. The mom examined her, looking up and down, about as confused and confounded as they come. “Who da hell are you?” she asked.
“Uh...” Princess starting wondering if this was the wrong place, but then Leanne appeared from the background behind her mother. Princess’s eyes widened. “Leanne!” she exclaimed.
“Oh, you’re with the band,” Leanne remarked. “Princess, right?” she started approaching the door.
“Da hell kinda name is dat?” her mom grew into deeper confusion.
“It was given to me by someone special,” Princess replied.
“What are you doing here?” the mom kept questioning. Leanne tried to maneuver in front of her and talk personally with Princess.
“Leanne we have to go! Quickly! It’s your boyfriend,” Princess rushed her immediately. She just stared at her now, also confounded.
“What? How?” she grew worried.
“Just come on! Hurry!” Princess told her, grabbing her hand and running. The mother tried stopping them. She grabbed both of them over the shoulder.
“Jus where do you think you’re going?” she asked, now with contempt.
“Mom, stop! Please!” Leanne was yelling.
“Dis is nonsense! How much do I have to put up with chu and dis boy? Have I not been sayin’ he’s been trouble from the start?” she argued.
Princess brushed her arm off her both her and Leanne and stood before the two of them, watching the broken family from the eyes of a girl who once had the most dysfunctional of households, and the flashbacks rolled into her head which she shook her head and removed them from her mind. She spoke to them with resolve. “What is going on here? You’re her mother. You should be trying to support her. This is someone important to her, so isn’t her right then to defend him and be there for him?” Princess questioned her. The mother gave Princess a very cold and harsh look.
“You said your name was Princess?” the mother asked again. She nodded. “It was given by someone important to you?” she went on. Again she nodded. “How do you define somebody that’s important?” now this question brought everyone back down to earth, and into the substance of life. Princess stopped and took a look around her, seeing the Brooklyn ghetto for what it was, and absorbed every aspect of life from it into her own in the single breath she took to clear her mind.
“Somebody’s important to you when they love you, and think about you...” Princess began to answer.
“They make sacrifices for you, and devote their time to you,” she went on to say.
“I got to meet a lot of people like that and they changed my life completely. I feel accepted as a person and the one I have to thank is the one that gave me my name,” Princess put her hand to her heart.
Leanne’s mother was really moved. Princess spoke like someone so wise but also so relatable at the same time. She had such empathy and a place in life where she understood other people at the core. She was much like me.
“Dis is your friend?” Leanne’s mom turned to her daughter, surprised. Leanne looked over at Princess, who went so far out of her way to help her save her boyfriend, and now is standing up to her mom in a way that she never could. She smiled, and then nodded to her mom, “Yea. Yea she is.”
Her mom smiled. “Go with her,” she commissioned. Princess and Leanne hurried down the block, and toward the impending scene of pure turf war. Her mother sat there on the steps feeling proud of her daughter as she makes friends who go above and beyond your everyday person, and can actively change hearts so well.