All The King's Horses & All The Kings Men...
In the Big Apple and within Bedford Stuyvesant Brooklyn a 36 year old African American man named Sam will have to face a broken promise and face the reality of a choice.
On Putnam between Marcus Garvey & Lewis in Bedford Stuyvesant Brooklyn the light of a new day shines into a one bedroom brownstone with hard wood floors. The sun peers in through the living room and touches a futon and a fake decorative fireplace. The light continues to spread and a small kitchen without a stove, or oven reveals the close quarter combat of this occupant. The light reaches across the hardwood floor and straight back passing up a small book case on the left and onward through an open door into Sam’s room.
With a mess of papers around his queen sized blow up mattress and a laptop on one side of him, electronic tablet on the other and a to do list of sticky notes sporadically placed on his forehead and all along the length of his outstretched arm and the furious Dr. Frankenstein scribbles of notes on various pads of papers, which are next to him and at his feet…this is Sam’s idea of living the dream. Finally Sam feels he has broken the bonds of a late bloomer’s life that furiously haunted him all his life in Indianapolis Indiana.
Sam stirs restlessly in his bed while incoherent images of memory lane bleed into his mind. Sam remembers the days of watching his mother struggle and scratch the bottom of the barrel to get by.
He remembers blaming some of his Christian millionaire siblings that would rather take care of strangers and the people they use as replacements for the family members that didn't fit into their mold. He remembers all the years he was rotten to the core. He remembers all the things he put other people through. He remembers his oldest brother and sister trying to fix him and being wrote off by them. He remembers all the shit he took from his in laws just to try and belong with his family. He remembers feeling like that maybe he deserved to be treated the way that he allowed himself to be treated by them. Now there was nothing.
There was only one all-consuming goal. Sam also had to arrive at the fact that he was the one still living with her. He was the one that didn't know how to do anything. He was the one that lived on her worn shoulders. He used to think the reason that his siblings would not help their mother because he lived there, but even when he wasn't they still didn't help her. So Sam had to face the reality that he was just as lousy of a child as his siblings. Despite what he put her through all his life and half of hers he could never pay her back. So it's left up to him. Sam had to find a way to get his mother off of the drug infested street she lived on with dis respectful neighbors and all the usual suspects that color life with the mundane, the predictable and the miserable.
From Sutton Place Apartments on 42and Post Road, to Roosevelt, to Brookside, to Bright wood, to east 10th street aka Dime Life before there was a Dime life and the skulking around various sides of town and Indiana counties Sam safari of mediocrity has been put in check mate. A situation of 8 felonies, eight months of work history, burned bridges with anybody that ever tried to help him, no tears to cry, but an infinite amount of pain to endure every day. Every day he used to have to face the choice of waiting on God, but now it’s the choice of who gets paid first…the rent, the lights, the cell phone bill, the wireless provider, or payment on the tab of his sexually promiscuous appetites.
Years ago during 2008 his sister gave him a shot to come stay with her in a mice infested brownstone in New York in a sort of soup kitchen-welfare situation until he found a job. Back then Culinary Arts showed him that he still had the phenomenal potential he flourished in as a child. He interned at Burke In The Box at Bloomingdale's, At the time David Burke was the 2and best restaurant in the entire world.
He had to accomplish the impossible in a city with one of the highest cost of living in America. He had to accomplish this in less than a year and he had to be out on his own. He had found a utility worker job through a temp service, but after having words with an unpleasant employee he left the job.
His sister was done with him after this and even though on the outside he knew he could find another job suddenly he was out of time and it wasn't even the deadline. She had given up on him and in this moment in hindsight Sam realizes that it was never about helping him, but it was about him proving himself to her. It was also her micromanaging the help she gave him and when it did not give her the return she though it should she made up a story and got rid of him.
He failed and a long standing relationship with a sibling that always thought she was his mother and that she could fix him finally turned into her washing her hands of him. For years Sam felt like discarded human trash. He struggled not to blame her, but to find the strength to break the bond of the portrait the help she wanted to give him made of him. A quitter. The guy that couldn't cut it and a destiny of being less than a 40 year old paper boy living in his mother's basement. For years after the dance with his sister she always elaborated that he should be able to let it go. That he should never mind what she did and how she did it which scarred him for life.
After a series of dead end jobs and going through the motions of mourning what should have been this time Sam changed. Sam remembers his sister's face that day in the airport. The "I tried so hard, but you're just a loser face’. Very often he can read in between the lines with his mother and he knows that she thinks that he will not be able to pull his life out of this horrific wreckage. She used to ask him what he was going to do when she died, but now she doesn't even ask him that.
Sam had to push beyond desperation. Sam thinks to himself how did I become this guy? The spark of his stubborn fighting seems to have finally went out. His days and nights bled together from the depression that rocked him to the core. He avoided family gathering, because to him what was the point? They were not really with him and he had gotten tired of trying to prove that he belonged among them after setting himself apart for all those impetuous days of his youth. With fifty cent in his pocket to make a phone call. With less than a high school education and all the usual suspects Sam changed. Sam realized that there are no free rides in life and the one he had gotten for so many years cost him the life and relationships he could have had.
He lost his son, his siblings, friends and everything to the "Never Ending Story's" great nothing that he fed and cared for all his life. Now forced into exile, but his own craftsmanship Sam became a prisoner in his mother's home. He spent his days behind vertical blinds. Like Dr. Frankenstein he became insane as his genius turned in on him. He finally had found the formula to create his perfect monster. In Sam's mind the same thing echoed day and night.
No more of the famous one liners from the ruins of his family. No more "it will be alright...just keep trying things will work itself out...you shouldn't focus so much on money...you need to just let some of that stuff you're holding onto go...are you really trying...you need to go to church" and so on. His monster would finally have life and his escape from the Alcatraz of his life behind vertical blinds is complete. Without selling drugs, or mindlessly filling out applications to dead end jobs Sam had finally found his Eddie Murphy's "Golden Child."
With just an internet connection, a scruffy beard and the wake of a relationship with a die-hard determination Sam finally found the formula. Sam finally had dug his way out of Alcatraz and he's inside his underground railroad to the floor plans of a real fresh start. With a seemingly chance meeting while he was on his way to the Central Library to meet with a City Council men a chance meeting sets everything in motion.
Sam had written an ad on Craig's list looking for a fellow writer to help him revise his short stories. Sam had written a collection of Christian Science fiction literary works along with narrative poems. In his mind this is his last play. Despite the fact that he is going to a local community college for Computer Information Technology this collection is what is going to make it happen.
This collection would finally set him free. Sam walked holding the printed pages of one of his stories rolled up like a newspaper in his hand for over four miles. He was going to meet a City Council Men to pick his brain for the mechanics of a Representative For The National Affairs Of Convicted Felons & Ex Offenders. They had made contact through one of his other Craig’s List Ad's.
He is walking by the Indianapolis Convention Center and a uncommonly attractive Hispanic woman that is leaning on the hood of her parked late year rent a car is talking on her cell phone. Just as he is walking up she reaches inside the driver's side window and hits the power button to her trunk. The trunk opens. Sam is almost past her and she excitedly steps in front of him and lightly places a restraining hand on his sternum. "Hold on a second. Excuse me are you from this city? Could you help me take my things inside the Convention Center?
That sounds good go ahead and add the theme and run it. Sorry work stuff. So are you..." The woman said. Sam shakes his head while he takes a step back and looks at this uncommonly attractive woman. Sam's uncanny pessimistic nature automatically assumes the worst. In Sam's mind here is a Hispanic woman not only trying to damn fool him, but she is on something racial to even bring something like this to him.
He also thinks about what he must look like to her...a bum that is a ready-made sucker. "Usually manners helps bullshit go a lot further...look whatever your name is despite what I look like I am not a golf caddy, or the help. If you notice I am walking down the street. That means that I didn't not come here with you.' Sam said and he steps around her. "Wow I'm really just feeling the love right now. Such a warm and fuzzy attitude reminds me of home. I didn't think you were the help...I'll pay you. Sorry I probably should have led with that, but what can I say I'm a New York girl at heart. Come on help a girl out and make some money." The woman said.
Sam stops and turns around and walks back to her. He stops a few feet in front of her. "How much?" Sam asked. "Does it matter?" The woman asked and Sam begins to turn around to walk away. "$200.00 if you help me bring just what it is in the trunk into the Convention Center. Wow you're not acting...you really are an asshole." The woman said. "Such charm. Fuck you, or pay me." Sam said. He turns back around and he pokes the tip of his index finger in his open palm. "My name is Punta Cana Andrea and to the first part of your statement I thought about it and to the second part what do I look like you'll get paid when the job is done." Andrea said. "Princess Andrea? You thought about it...what...what did you think about it exactly?" Sam asked. "Don't be easy now. It is your difficult nature that makes me kind of hot for you right now." Punta Cana Andrea said.
Sam walks around to the open trunk. He looks at a lot of very elegant brochures, shrink wrapped professional grade desserts that look like little portraits of art. There are some fold up tables more shrink wrapped desserts, brochures, microphones, 15 Inch LCD with stands, wires, jacks and speakers. Andrea studies Sam's face as he looks over the contents of the trunk. She touches the paper Sam is holding in his hand and he sorely shrinks away from her. "I'm sorry. I'm just an inquisitive person by nature. What is it?" Punta Cana Andrea asked. "I write short stories and this is the one I'm trying to push to get copy written. This is the one that is going to make my life make a lot more sense. A million copies sold...my mother in a new home built from the ground up and taken care of for the rest of her life. 501 Levi's and few other things out of Times Square...fresh cut in Flat Bush off Ocean Ave... Dinner at Beso's...last, but not least Jet Life without the loud packs, or the Reggie." Sam said. Punta Cana Andrea is aroused by the passion that she seems to find in Sam's all-consuming determination.
Something she recognizes easily as it is a part of her everyday life. "I'm not trying to get up on you, but what is holding you back?" Punta Cana Andrea asked. "Yes you do mean to get up on me with your meddlesome ass. Nothing, but the usual...money and me getting in my own way. This is it though...there is nothing else. My collection might not make up for the life that I took for granted and mend the relationship I broke, but it sure is going to give me a life to live. I mean I'm in school for Computer I.T. At a community college and when it is time to do my four year degree double up and grab an English degree in Journalism so I can do an online newspaper like Street News Newspaper from up your way. My fault I'm talking to much and its not that I feel so comfortable with you, or some sentimental shit. Maybe I do. Anyway let's get this stuff inside." Sam said and he finds himself amidst a moment with Punta Cana Andrea. "I think you're something special. No whole life stories... I'm just saying. Is that all you think of my ass is that it's meddlesome?" Punta Cana Andrea asked.
Things have become awkward and Sam shuts down. He thinks to himself that this little bit of chemistry would be sugar that would quickly turn to shit if she knew what his life was really like. Sam can tell she is basically a good chick that does not have that many miles in hardship and life on her and this is only in comparison to himself and all the miles he knows he has. He breaks the moment shrewdly and Punta Cana Andrea is kind of scolded as she is not use to rejection.
Sam wants to explain himself, but he hides this in a motion to go into the trunk and grab one of two threefold tables. She touches places a hand on his arm and the prickle of hot and cold chills run all over his body in the 80 degree Indianapolis humid heat. There is a pause like she feels it to. Sam is trying to be the good guy. The respectful guy, but being broke, busted and disgusted with an uncanny ability to suck at being successful with women it had been a long time since he had known a woman.
He glances at her and it adds insult to injury when his brief glance is welcomed with an equally hungry stare that is steady and penetrating. "Okay....um...yeah... anyway would you wear this chef jacket I kind of got the feeling its a little Culinary Artist in you. Um I kind would like it if you stick around...Sorry. I mean I'm going to need some more help with my event and I was wondering if you wanted to make some more extra cash. Besides I'm new in town and if you're up to it you could show me around." Punta Cana Andrea said.
Sam stands erect and she goes into the trunk and finagles a neatly folded chef jacket in a plastic wrapper out and hands it to him. Sam takes it. "Look um...I'm not really in any shape to...I mean I don't what this is...I mean I do...you gotta know what you look like, but it's not just what you look like...I mean a second ago you felt that to didn't you..." Sam said inconclusively. "Everybody is not what they appear to be. You don't have to show me around. After we're done here I'm going to need help getting my stuff into my room at the Conrad. We could talk and you can ramble to your heart's content as deeply and long as you like." Punta Cana Andrea said.
Two years later much to his delight Sam is back in New York. He got the very same living quarters on the 3rd floor of the Brownstone he lived when he lived with his oldest sister and niece. He's never tried to contact his sister that lives in Harlem, or his niece and her family. That time had passed. Even though he partly chose this place because of the irony of it…this was proof during his good days and bad ones that he didn’t need any of his family anymore…his family that he had created a sandpaper relationship with, but at moments the face of God’s love still shined through.
Every day he only regrets one thing, which is how he left things with his mother. His mother he stayed with all his life and despite her Southern upbringing went against everything she believed in for what she faithfully stayed in front of God for, which is for Sam to get his life together. She wanted this for the obvious, but more than that she knew that when she died there would be no one that would take her Jabez into their lives, or homes. He always made sure that he kept at least 2,000 dollars in her bank account each month and paid all of her bills online. He missed his difficult "General Gearldine." He hadn't called her, or been home to see her in quite a while. He missed her and he felt like shit because of it.
Puddin always thought that she would outlive Sam, but in his eccentric mind and in his spirit he knows differently. He knows that his mother will live to be 150 years old. Maybe this was a childish wish of a man that was in the nest for far to long, or maybe otherwise. Who knew? Right now Sam knows that he is doing what he set out to do, which is take care of his mother. He knows that she did not want to go to any funeral home. He knows she ate fish every Friday.
He knows that she loves to shop. He knows that she loves to be in the garden and fixing on something. He knows that sewing has been her things for over 50 years. He knows that she will see him get his life together, but she will not see him leave this life, because she will be amidst the love of family when God comes to answer the one prayer he’s been praying for quite some time now…which is to be a good son to his mother and to God…and like David to be a man after God’s own heart.
Sam paid for home improvement Loise for seniors that she regularly visits twice a month and a sewing club for active seniors once a month. Despite how he knows that he sucks as a son he tries to do more than just look out for her. He just tries to show her that he loves her by giving her the chance to be the very active, tell it like it is, very difficult and strong willed Gearldine that has a heart of gold. With the course that Sam's life had now taken this small out look into some good that he does sometimes gets him through the Vietnam of life in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn.
Maybe some of what Sam thought and knows is his childhood fascination of not wanting to out live his mother. Maybe God would not let Sam leave this life until he fought the way God made him to fight and through Him to win the one battle that he had fallen short in all his life, but not in every military engagement…the battle with Satan…the battle with Azazel… the battle with the 7 deadly sins…the battle with Imp’s…the battle with his un regenerative self and everything in the valley of the shadow of death…where he could fear no evil. The evil he had come to know well over the course of his life.
The evil that he had fought and that God allowed him a special communion to be able to witness the defeating of this evil at every occasion. All Sam’s life he’s been conditioned for a final battle since the day he was born.
Every day of Sam’s life has been spent in the 23rd number of Psalms. No matter what he perceived to do on his own and no matter how disassociated from life he and others may have felt like he was…The table that God prepared in the presence of his enemies was and still is Sam’s cross and the oil that his head is anointed with until his cup overflows is the blood of Jesus…the Word…The Way, Truth and Life.
For so many years fear ruled Sam’s life. Fear of mattering, sense of belonging, fear of confrontation, fear of pain and so many other faces of the same entity that was dark, void and without form. When Sam was 7 years old he was marked for this battle. At this tender age and during his stay in Sutton Place Apartments…something came and visited him. One day in the tiny one bedroom apartment Puddin was in her room, which across the hallways from her son’s room…Sam.
All at once she heard something coming up the stairs and it sounded like it crushed every step as it came. Instinctively her maternal defense kicks in and she went for 25 automatic, but as she did…something speaks to her in her first mind…"You cannot kill this with a gun." Automatically she prayed and in her mind’s eye she saw it.
Years later after previous engagements that Sam had to face…she told him what she saw…"The Worm." The worm that never ceases to turn in Hades.
This worm burrowed deep into Sam’s life and his person and even though it had been bound…very often it would break free. Very often it was subdued, but Sam would feed it again and give it life.
Now the battle would belong to God in a different way and Sam would have to endure the journey of his mustard seed of faith into God’s infinite faithfulness during this last battle. Sam knows this worm and its master.
Sam wanted to slay that old serpent, but this in itself is the trap. It is the unspoken rule behind "violence begets violence." The unspoken rule that Satan has been trying to use on Sam to bait him… bait him into slavery, servitude and into what Satan has always wanted…a son, a weapon and a sleeper cell agent of the pit with God’s power.
This worm in infancy is bigger than a man’s hand. This worm his how Satan and all the officers and soldiers of his brigade scratches at Sam’s door. God is going to open that door. Sam’s appetite for destruction is this worm’s relationship with its host and how it feeds. Sin keeps it playing the scenario’s the enemy wants Sam to internalize and it intensifies the experience until he cannot differentiate this from his natural and divine natural attributes that he shares in with God. This worm does not have the God’s limitless and self-sufficient power. This worm has been feeding off of God’s power in Sam…Satan has been feeding off of God’s power in Sam.
During Sam’s stay with his mother that was just a few months back…Sam remembers each day and the stress of seeing how his choices in life sucked all of Puddin’s dreams out of her. The stress his life caused by not being able to hold a job and how just being there was a strain for her. How his cooking and eating…clanging and banging all hours of the night when Puddin had to get up at 5am to go to her job as a bus monitor at a township school. Sam’s life constantly caused pain.
The same pain he is suffering from. Each day his family members who loved him were on standby and if anything that looks like something was wrong with Puddin… not to mention Puddin’s friends…they would chase him down like the mysterious enigma in the Blair Witch project and satisfaction for a lifetime of crimes against family…love and God would be had. There was and is no place for Sam to rest.
There is no penance for the people he has robbed at gun point, for the drugs he sold, for stealing out of his deceased grandfather’s wallet when he had nowhere to go and everything had been taken from him…for stealing time after time from his mother… and being so much of a monster that she put a 25 automatic to his head over doing the dishes in his youth. The list goes on… the reasons were never about drug addiction, but an insatiable appetite for money, to fit in and finally those hard pair of shoes that Sam had finally chosen and accepts every day.
The streets that he once loved so much he now wore a snitch jacket throughout and it would follow him for the rest of his life. It would follow him just as much as his inability to gain the respect of his peers, women, his estranged son, his family and now just any one in life. To Sam life is often a bully that you cannot pay off, or escape.
To Sam the more he has fought it the more he finds himself drifting away form who he really is and in the all-consuming pursuit of decapitating a head that vomited his night mares. Nightmares that he lives every day in his life, because every so often Sam would do the unspeakable and get on his hands and knees and impetuously eat handfuls of that vomit and hates and is disgusted and repulsed with himself for doing it.
It is as if the light has a mind of its own. The light shines through the wood blinds on his room window and it lies perfectly across Sam’s face. The sting of it digs into Sam’s hypnotic breathing and he opens his blood shot eyes squinting. His scratchy beard and his course hairs scrap over the pillow.
He let’s go of his pillow that he has in a sort of head lock above his shoulder that he leans on while his outstretched arm reaches off the blow up mattress. He shields his eyes and with a good and nasty attitude complains about the day. "Come on I need a few more minutes I have got a lot to do." Sam said irritably. He moves his head out of the light and the light follows him. He sighs and turns his head the other way.
The light does not give in and the room becomes like a sauna. Summer time. Sam lies there until his cell phone rings…it’s his publisher. His electronic tablet whistles and it is three new clients that have sent final notices for the short stories that have been purchased from him and the chime of another message whistles on his electronic tablet…regarding a contractual dead line for their gourmet desserts clients have purchased from him and these dessert customers are all the way in Indianapolis. Sam knows that this certain whistling from his tablet is a new dessert purchase and for the last few months he has been pushing the envelope for new business in Indianapolis. Sam smiles. "Momma." Sam said thoughtfully. He is irritated by his own morning breath. "Got to start doubling up what I put away so I can rock that Chris smile before I get to Indianapolis." Sam said.
Sam sits up erect in the bed and he stares at the light that still shines on the bed. His hard expression softens as he looks at the consecutive row of stick notes that reach from his shoulder all the way to the inside of his wrist. He rifles his ringing touch screen cell phone from amidst his twisted sheets. He sees 6 missed calls from two very important women in his life who are a bitter sweet mix of business and pleasure. "Hello…yeah Ronnie I got the next three done.
They’re all fiction and roughly 50 to 60 pages a piece. I know we agreed on at least one of them needed to be non-fiction and at least 100 pages this go around, but it will have to…Yes I know what my contract says. Oh let me guess you did me a favor setting me up to swim with the big fish like you right? You've been pulling that Don King shit on me for a cool minute now. Look I’ve been going for that "Fiction short stories are a flooded market" trash while you’re on your blog with your trophy braud Helen toasts in Paris from what you’re getting off me. I’m doing the juggle Ronnie!! The juggle of who is gonna get paid this month and you’re playing the game and ordering up drinks! Quit trying to damn fool me and make something happen, or fuck you it's shaking time. I can go with the Irish cat and get %10 more. Yeah sucka there is more than corn in Indiana!" Sam exclaimed while he ends the call.
Ronnie would surely try to over talk him, because Sam had the set the precedent of letting Ronnie get over. With no literary agent Sam put himself at risk. Indeed Ronnie was eating good. Sam looks at his phone as his text alert sounds. He thumbs through. "Good argument. It was a bitch move to hang up, but to each his own. A lot passion…you think the juggle is bad wait until there is no juggle and no more holes to make in your belt. You’ll beg me to put you back on the stage. So you better remember who you’re talking to, or you’ll be eating Pork & Beans at your Ma’s house in good old Indy –Tucky. It’s Tuesday the 5th and you have until Monday the 11th to have what I asked for on my desk." Ronnie’s text message read.
He thumbs through some of the text messages of those two important women, which are Punta Cana Andrea Vega a food column writer for the New York Times and she does a couple cameo’s in Vogue Magazine. She branded her Food writing column "The Lime At New York Times", which recognizes her Dominican heritage, but she is a local celebrity in how she still manages to project to various audiences with her columns. To Sam she is also the ink of his personal Cinderella story. Every time he sees her he mulls over why she was really downtown that day in Indianapolis. He has went over the scenario countless times. He has went over it back and forth. He knows there is something, but he does not want to begin to sabotage things like he knows he will if he thinks about this to much.
Milagros is the Moby Dick of his Captain Ahab style of obsession. There brief encounter haunted him. He was day late and a dollar short when it finally hit him. He searched for over five years. He frequented her old home on Sylvan Rd off Kessler. Finally... He sank to dubious and unscrupulous low’s to find her once he happened to run across her blog that linked Beso’s and Eve Longboria. After that he used a military style of attack to snare her. Milagros is from a small town called Masaya in Nicaragua. Sam met her in Indianapolis at the Jazz Ktichen on Latino night. Even though he could not speak Spanish and she could speak no English the language they both understood was the passionate lust of sexual congress. She taught him a little Spanish. Time passed. Morning in her embrace had become intense and his nights were long and mundane. Her husband found out about them and they disappeared. Milagros wanted Sam to run away from her husband with him, but living with his mother the only thing he could think of is that she wanted something from him. Something that he did not have. She disappeared.
After meeting Eve Longboria who is a well-known Philanthropist…Milagros asserted the steps to her independence. She attended Columbia University for 4 years and obtained a degree in Short story, poetry and screen play writing. She attended Le Cordon Bleu In Paris France for two years, but finished an entire Associate Of Applied Science In Culinary Arts & Pastier Baking. Now she is one of the Head Chef’s in Eve Longboria’s restaurant Beso’s, she also has a bakery in Manhattan and Spanish Harlem. She often goes on sabbaticals to her home country and shrewdly manages the maintenance of a Culinary Program for at risk females. She often gets interviewed by The L.A. Times, Chicago Tribune and The New York Times just for the story of her life. Not to mention here monumental approach to commitment.
Milagros has two Flats in Manhattan, one in Flat Bush and a beach house somewhere in Miami. She has written a couple of books about arranged marriages in her country and the epidemic of sex slavery. Where she was once blind to the epic power struggle between men and women…now she knows the game. Now she is successful and she has her independence. Now she does not need an escape from an arranged marriage to support her family and her beauty is no longer her prison.
Despite the amount of time that passed between them and Sam’s inability to be her prince charming in her darkest hour she still has an itch for him. It was close to ten years when she first disappeared while she was married to Devon. He had no idea what she had been through. For the time being she was back. Sam knows that he has to get his shit together and leave Andrea alone, but the more he deals with her the more things seem to stay the same. He thinks about Milagros. Her hot and colds are legendary and her contempt for men is stifled out by her soul that burns with a deep passion for life and love even though she is sorely afraid of both. She trusts no man and she does not know why she fools with Sam. Despite this fact his stubborn fighting to keep her and not let her go again is also tempered by the fact that he knows that he failed her when she needed him to be there the most.
Like in the movie Carlito’s Way starring Al Pacino…Sam wanted to run to that train station and shoot it out with the perils of his own past and board that train with her, which would lead into the rest of their lives together. She needed love and through it all he needed it just as much even though he spent even more time getting in his own way and being that nearly impossible thing to love. Milagros made him hope and believe that he could be loved and that he could love.
Sam sighs and vividly shares in a day dreaming moment where he is choking Ronnie to within an inch of his life. The only problem is that even though Ronnie’s blood vessels are protruding all over his head…he’s laughing.
The day dream is ruined and Sam snaps back into reality. He plucks his sticky notes off his arm one at a time and patiently checks his messages on his tablet and his laptop. He gets out of the bed and stretches while he finagles to keep an eye on the laptop screen and the screen of the electronic tablet in his hand while he reads each one. Most of the sticky notes are story notes for what Ronnie asked him for in a non-fiction short story and the others were random thoughts. He begins to read them.
"Call Princess Andrea and pay the devil her due and schedule a flight for both of you to Indianapolis. Get dropped off in Flat bush. Get a haircut and meet an angry Milagros. Spend some time with her and stop in Manhattan and grab some groceries and leave them at her place. Cook a meal. Stop at the Schomburg Library to research character back drops and archetypes. Get picked up by Punta Cana Andrea Front with the bill money while you’re with Princess and deposit it online while you’re waiting at the airport and pay the light bill, rent, wireless and have a grand total of $5.00 to your name when you arrive in Indianapolis. Semper Fi." Sam read.
Sam texts Punta Cana Andrea Vega. "Hey sorry about the missed calls…been in traffic. Got some errands to run meet up with at…and grab us to first cLois tickets to Indy…I want you to meet my Mom. See you in twenty." Sam texted.
He gets ready to do his daily hygienic routine. He places all his sticky notes on the back of the sink and he gets into the shower. He contemplates what kind of game he needs to run on Princess to get her to pay for their cab to his mother’s house. He wonders how he can do this and still have a strangle hold on the story line and imagery of the type of men Princess is used to dealing with and that he has been flawlessly perpetrating as for the last couple of months since he came to NYC. Sam justifies to himself that he is not using her.
He justifies this and he cannot even believe his own bull jive. He uses her for grocery money… he uses her for money on his Metro Card…he uses her for at least a 900.00 on his $2000.00 rent. He uses her position as a Food Writer for the "New York Times In The Lime" to further what was his mediocre dessert hustle into a legit semi international gourmet dessert business. One that earns him about 12000.00 a month free and clear.
Sam has always been socially inept when it comes to women. He is no way charming, charismatic, or have anything that remotely looks like swag. Sam learned that in times of desperation he could loathe what he did not have, or let his morality be a millstone on his neck, or he could just treat approach a woman like a black ops military goal…Simply, adapt and overcome. Sam had to come to grips with how the game is played in mainstream America and all throughout the world.
He had to be numb and just like being in MGM Las Vegas sometimes he had to bet everything he had and let it ride for the sake of the lights being on. So he spends close to 5,000 a month on his wardrobe and to feed the Dr. Seuss orientated tale he reads to these women. A story that he believes that they have to be fed, because if they saw the real him…they would just be two more people he would be that unlovable and difficult thing to.
All of this might be a lie…a lie that he spun as the truth to these women…a lie that he spun as the truth to his mother and maybe one day it would all fall down, but in the meantime all the lies felt so good. He had become addicted to the buzz. He had become an ego maniac, because where he once struggled and chased women…now he was pursued. Confidence was intoxicating to him and he was a lush. It feels so good to Sam not to care about all the insecurities of the childhood taunts that hit him when he was broke.
The taunts of how he had a huge head and a skinny body. How he was crazy and a slow head. Now his big head kept an immaculate fade and shave. Now his skinny body wore the best clothes money could buy. Now Sam relished in not giving a shit about what other people thought. Sam didn't care what was in style, or who was trending what. Twitter, Face book, Instagram and Tumblr were some of his best hoes that lived to prove themselves to him.
Some of his family members that were about writing him as a shit stain in the under wear of life were now like groupies at every social media outlet he had going and despite the man himself he hit them with the Jay z approach of silence. Sam's relentless straight ahead growl by his new dog bowl. Sam knew how to have sex with a woman’s mind and how to flirt with disastrous Pandora’s box of needful things in each of them he was unnaturally talented in finding. He knew how to recognize their thirst and how to exploit it on all sides….even the best of the best. Yet Sam’s keen Clark Kent cover as a naive late blooming guy, which still lived with his mother and could not hold down a job still remains to be his ever allusive bait. It’s always Sam’s justification for the things he does that when he was broke no one wanted to hear his story… and now that he’s wrapped himself in the raggedy worn *flag of the American dream…every woman he encountered was hungry and thirsty for every part of his story even though now it is all a lie.
Sam showers and in moments the comes out of the bathroom fully dressed. He surmises that it looks like it is going to be at least 90 degrees today. He collects his laptop, electronic tablet, menu’s and a colorful assortment of papers and files them neatly into his designer carrying case. He looks into the 6"4’ body length mirror on the front of his bathroom door and he takes off his hat to himself. With just a mustache and a clean shave Sam sees his recently deceased father Leroy Hawkins Sr looking back at him in the mirror. "Finally." Sam said.
Eminence Front by the Who begins to play in Dolby Speaker surround sound in his mind. With frightening precision he hit his signature run way walk and as he comes out of his room he passes by his mother’s picture and he does not turn to face it. For a second the dream is not worth all shenanigans and the music grows dim. He shakes it off and all of the lights are back shining as he steps outside his front door and sets his carrying case down.
He fishes his door keys out of his right pocket and he carefully slides the top lock of the door. He picks up his carrying case and heads down 3 flights of stairs. He steps outside of one of three gates in close proximity and locks each one behind him until he locks the last one outside on the front steps of the Brownstone. Punta Cana Andrea Vega is impatiently waiting in her 2011 745 B.M.W. She holds up two first cLois Air plane reservations to Indianapolis. "Good girl. " Sam said to himself.
Sam comes down the stairs and he mischievously smiles to himself while he heads to the passenger side window. He sees this as an opportunity to test Punta Cana Andrea’s patience. He constantly is in a power struggle with the aim of her submission. She is just as stubborn as he is and very often it is more than a to do list item to break her down. She is truly has a "Princess" attitude and temperament.
He sticks his head into the passenger side window. Instantly Punta Cana Andrea's irritable disposition shifts into a warm reception with a seductive ulterior motive. "Yo that’s crazy. You know I’ve been out here…so you know you owe me right..." Punta Cana Andrea said inconclusively as she hungrily rants in Spanish. Sam smiles his egotistical Wal Mart commercial smile. "You’re gonna kill me, but I forgot to pack a bag…" Sam said inconclusively. Punta Cana Andrea eyes grow wide with delight and she quickly shuts off the car. She is out of the car and she breezes past Sam with a big pay back smile on her face. Sam watches her very deliberate switching while she shoots up the stairs and waits for him at the top of them. "Don't play! Get your ass up here now!" Punta Cana Andrea exclaimed with a heavy accent.
Sam realizes that he did not think this through and that she has something else in mind. He thought he would be able to disarm her…with the whole meeting his mother scheme and that this would be at least after he got in Indianapolis, because he is trying to save his energy for Milagros, but it looks like he has painted himself into a corner…or maybe the corner is exactly where he needs to be in order to take breaking her down to the next level.
Princess Andrea is at the top of the stairs patiently patting the right foot of her flats. Sam confidently walks up the stairs and he knows that if he turns to the right, or to the left from his goal that he will fall victim to her very sweet, passionately demanding, calculating and ferociously brutal feminine wiles.
He reaches the top of the stairs and he looks at her and he smiles momentarily while he turns to the lock on the gate. He fishes his keys out of his pocket. Princess Andrea just watches him for a second and then all at once she quickly draws near to him and whispers in his ear that her lips are less than an inch away from. "Oh you look nervous Papi…After I spend some time breaking you for starving me out…I am going to be real nice and gently pick up the pieces and put you back together…that’s real… before I break you again and again until I make it clear to you that you can kill that "running me" noise. Yeah I know what you’ve been on…you’ve been trying to snow me and get in my head and maybe you are…a little, but it’s time for you to sleep outside in the car for a while. You’ve gotten to comfortable. I know your weakness. I'm New York Papi. Not Indiana." Punta Cana Andrea Vega said.
Sam laughs to himself and he slides the gate key into the first of three gates.
He unlocks it and locks it behind him while Punta Cana Andrea pinches his designer blazer at the shoulders and Sam sets his carrying case down while she helps him out of his blazer. She folds it neatly over her right arm and she unbuttons four of the buttons at the top of his shirt. She teasingly hands him his carrying case.
Sam sighs heavily while he quickly snatches it from her and she delights in his irritation. He repeats this process with the second and third gate. Sam heads up the first flight of stairs and he stays ahead of Princess Andrea to avoid anymore of her games.
She knows he is trying to avoid her and she takes off her flats. She places them in hand and she speeds up to catch up with him and slows down when he looks over his shoulder. Sam measures out his involvement in this game and he strokes her ego.
She playfully laughs and his enjoyment of her passionate spirit and her aggressive nature and straight forward honesty of who she is, is very genuine. For a second he almost feels guilty… and he does. Instead of letting this guilt tear at him like he used to in his mother’s house…always apologizing for the things he did and never having that apology accepted…denying himself and persecuting himself for wanting. Suppressing and fighting what he knew was his destiny to be in this desert mirage all his lies provided him in this very moment. She deserved better than him. She deserved to have someone that would love her, but didn’t he love her?
Even this early he had told her in so many ways that he was not for her, but she would not let him be a one man Island. Since the first day they met she thought it was chemistry, but close to a year before he targeted her in the NYC Times. He had read the news feed of her facebook page and blogs. He knew she had an event at the Indianapolis Convention Center that day.
Later that day they let themselves go with one another for most of the night and the morning. She was gone when he got up. She left nothing behind, but he knew that he had left something with her. What he had left was the grass roots of an appetite. Her presence was intoxicating. The ways he could use her invigorated his weary hopes and broken dreams. He had formed a perfect combination of relentless ambition and die hard passion. A combination that spoke to a complete stranger and solved the arithmetic of what defies the sensibilities of today's woman. He was hungry and his kill did not escape him.
He had successfully marked it. Sam begins to day dream and go back to the events that led to that first day and Punta Cana’s lovely face becomes blurry while he fades into the yellow brick road of memory lane.
He studied her. He went blood banks, clinical trials and worked bottom of the barrel jobs… he saved the money for Spanish dance and specifically Dominican dance class. He saved more and took etiquette class and Dominican style of Spanish. He did this so he could know what was being said even while the company of her close knit family and friends thought he didn’t.
He learned while they thought him to be oblivious to their conversations. He took close to a year forming his Keyser Söze from the movie "Usual Suspects". This character could see beauty profound beauty in a woman’s flaws, but also critiqued an unnatural intuitive nature to be able to read them. This character is hypocrisy, a tragedy, poetic sadness, ego, arrogance, emotional detachment and an intense passion that he controlled the aura of, or at least with Punta Cana Andrea he could…
One day he had went onto the Iupui campus and met a student that knew how to fish to get other people’s information from their page and he did this to Punta Cana Andrea and it was the intelligence jackpot. Now he knew the clubs she went to, her circle of friends, where she ate, her dream guy and he never minded that the criteria was that he was Dominican and around her age of 24. Sam had all he needed to make his debut.