Grace Gets Served...
Grace pushed open the heavy metal door to a small hallway and was greeted by an overwhelming smell of urine. Worn, tattered carpet beaten down by the constant traffic of desperate lost spirits, stretched to rows of graffiti covered mailboxes and a tatty intercom. Grace didn’t remember her repulsion the first time she went to cop from D-Money, the filth and stench that permeated her insides and caused her to vomit. She also no longer contemplated the risk of a white woman, in the middle of the night, in the urban jungle. Grace could only consider her mission, which was to serve me.
Beyond the mailboxes and intercom is a narrow wooden door, the gateway. During the day the constant coming and going allowed easy access and climbing the three flights to apartment number 302 was routine, but at three o’clock in the morning nothing is routine. On occasion Grace found the door ajar or the lock broken. On this night she found neither.
The intercom, for reasons known only to him, annoyed D-Money and he rarely responded to its beckon, during daylight or nighttime. Grace was well aware of this. There were times she waited, impatiently, but waited just the same, until someone passed through the door allowing her entry. But at three o’clock in the morning Grace isn’t optimistic the door would soon swing open.
Lightly, as though it would ease the anxiety of having had to engage the intercom at all, Grace pushed the button next to number 302 and heard the muffled sound that signified the ring inside D-Money’s apartment. She released the button and waited. The knots in her stomach reminded her of her priority. Although she’s afraid of D-Money she’s petrified of not getting what she came for. Grace nervously pushed the button again and pressed on it a little harder and longer before letting it go; again she waited. Internally she paced, though never moving from the silver box that stood between her and Bernice. Determined not to leave empty handed, she reached once again for the button and was startled by the booming voice that exploded through the speaker.
“Who is it?!”
Grace, her voice soft by nature, placed her lips up against the speaker in an attempt to whisper, but every sound is amplified when the day sleeps. “Money, it’s me. I know it’s late, but I need you,” whispered Grace.
“Me!? Me who?!” erupted the voice through the intercom.
“It’s Grace. C’mon Money, please open the door.”
A guttural voice charged out of the speaker as though trying to jump through the silver box, “Bitch, you see what time it is! I told you I was done! Get the fuck outta here!”
“Please Money! Please, baby, open the door. If you open the door I’ll…”
The buzzer whined. Grace leapt to the door and forcefully jerked it open before the whining could stop. Her heart beat frenetically as she bound up the stairs, two steps at a time until she reached the third floor. Barely over a hundred pounds now, Grace, anxiously strode down the long, unlit hallway, passing apartments on either side, the creaking floor announcing each step like a bell on a cat. Grace tripped over a body in the hallway two apartments from D-Money’s door. Arms flailing, body out of control, she stumbled up against the door at the end of the hall, and the thud of her body served as a knock. A thick-muscled, tattooed arm reached out and snatched Grace by the nape of her neck. Her head was banged against the door’s metal frame as she was yanked inside.
“You see what time it is! Damn, bitch, the way you hollerin’ and bangin’ on my door you gonna put everybody in my business! Didn’t I tell you not to come back here tonight?! What the fuck are you doin’ here?! ”
“I’m sorry, Money. I just had to see you. I called, but I kept getting your voice mail.”
“Why you think that is?! Stupid ass, bitch! And how many times have I told you to call me “D-Money!”
“I’m sorry Mon…I mean “D-Money,” I won’t let it happen again. Can you take care of me?”
“You’re here now! Whatchu want?”
“Can I get a ball and pay you on Friday?”
“What!!! You come here at three o’clock in the mornin’ and you ain’t got no fuckin’ money!”
“C’mon Mon…“D-Money”, I’ll pay you. I promise! Don’t I always pay you? I know you’re mad ’cuz it’s late. I’m sorry. You gonna let me get that ball? Please, baby.”
“Bitch, don’t call me baby! I remember when you was fine. It was cool having this fine, white bitch, come to the hood and suck my dick. But look at your sorry ass now, you ain’t nothin’ but a trick. I wouldn’t let you suck my dick if you was the last bitch on earth!”
Without another word D-Money walked to another room and quickly returned. “Here!” he said throwing a package at Grace. “Now get the fuck out! And you better have my fuckin’ money on Friday!”
Yeah, Disease of Addiction, the moniker fits me perfectly. Not just because the initials, D.O.A., have such a powerful association for humans; dead on arrival. But your definition of disease includes, “a harmful development – as in a social institution.” Clearly I’m a harmful development in the social institution you call Life.
I’m getting way ahead of myself, couldn’t contain my exhilaration. Triumph is often the result of patience and perseverance. I have the patience of Job, a soul I never owned, but learned from just the same. Let’s turn the clock back, and see how Grace ended up at the doorstep of Mr. D-Money.