Rolando: Help Yourself to a Handful

April 23rd, 2016

“How’s it going, Ro?”

“I’m good.”

“You sure? You seem a little off.”

“No, I’m good, Stevie.”

“Alright. How was the ride in?”

“It was fine. Took the redline in. It’s Saturday night, so you already know it was packed with assholes.”

“Dude, I like not having to pay for parking when I take the train, but sometimes it’s worth paying the extra cash to avoid mixing in with the riff raff.”

“You’re right. I shouldn’t have been such a cheap ass and paid for parking tonight. So Stupid.”

“Dude, you sure you’re ok?”

“Listen, I’m going to tell you something.”

“Alright.”

“But you can’t tell anyone else.”

“Alright.”

“You just can’t…”

“…Jesus, dude, alright. Out with it already.”

“I’m pretty sure I got sexually assaulted on my way out of the subway station just now.”

“What do you mean by ‘sexually assaulted’ and by who?”

“I mean I got off the escalator at Chicago and State and started walking to work and got sexually assaulted.”

“What? Like someone attacked you on the street? Sexually assaulted how?”

“Stevie, I’m walking up Chicago towards Michigan Ave and someone grabs my ass.”

“Well, first, that’s not really a sexual assault. That’s some dude grabbing your ass as you walk by him…”

“…Whoa, who said it was a dude?”

“It wasn’t?”

“No, it was a girl.”

“You sure about that? That sounds like a perv dude thing to do.”

“I’m positive, I turned around and there was a group of girls walking past. Not a dude in sight.”

“You freakin’ kidding me? Was she hot?”

“I don’t know, I only saw her back. She had one of those long North Face coats girls wear and some knee-high boots on.”

“So let me get this straight, you’re walking to work and a girl, who may or may not have been hot–but probably was hot–grabbed your ass and you’re all bent out of shape about it? Get over it, already.”

“Stevie, it was an unwanted advance. I’m a gentleman. You can’t just go around grabbing my ass. And besides, I have a girlfriend. I’m sure she wouldn’t appreciate some random chic fondling me on the street.”

“Well did you tell her about it?”

“Yeah.”

“What’d she say?”

“She made some jokes about it and said, ‘You do have a nice butt.’”

“Ha! You see, even your girlfriend can see the humor in it.”

“Whatever, man. It’s creepy. And a double standard. And not funny.”

“Sensitive Nancy over here… I wish girls would grab my ass. I’d take it as a compliment.”

“Well I should’ve chased her down and slapped her on the ass.”

“Whoa, whoa, man. You can’t be doing that.”

“What? Why the hell not?”

“Cause that’s just creepy, and wrong and not funny at all. She’s a lady. You can’t be slapping a random lady’s ass.”

“You’re an asshole.”

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Rolando: Red line Hook Up

April 16th, 2016

-Where you headed?

–I finna go over by Mike’s and them house over there right off the Jarvis stop.

-What you gonna do over there?

–Shit….

-Can I come with?

–You know damn well Mike and them don’t fuck with yo dumb ass.

-Well fuck ‘em anyway. I’m on my own shit.

–Yeah? What you finna do?

-I got me this here pint of Cognac and a fresh pack of Newports. I’m going to the crib and get it right tonight, baby.

–You got you some Newports and some yak?

-Best believe I do, baby.

–Can I get a square off you then?

-Nope, can’t even do it. But I’ll sell you one for 75 cent.

–See, that’s why nobody wanna fuck with yo ass. You too god damn cheap.

-I tell you what. Why don’t you come over the crib and you can get more than a square. You can get some of this bottle and a little bit of some break you off right delight.

–Fool, you done lost your damn mind? Ain’t all the Newports or yak in the world gonna make me go home with you.

-I’ll treat you right, baby.

–You’ll treat me dead. I’d have to kill myself if I ever laid down with yo scrawny, dirty, no front teeth having, ass.

-It’s all the same to me, baby. I’mma get mines with or with out you. This my stop. See ya later, baby.

–Damned fool.

- Last chance, baby. We can… Turn off the lights, and light a candle. Tonight I’m in a romantic mood….

–Boy, take yo dumb ass on.

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Rolando: A Slow Night

April 9th, 2016

FUUUUUCCCKKKK, I’m tired. What time is it? It’s gotta be at least three. No, maybe it’s four. If it’s four, that’ll mean four more hours to go. I can manage four more hours of being this tired.

One o’clock? Only fucking one o’clock? I’m not going to make it. I’ll die before morning. They’ll walk into this EKG room and find me slumped over in this chair, face down on this keyboard—death by sleepiness they’ll call it.

‘He was a good man. A young man.’

‘It’s a shame how he passed.’

‘How’d he go again?’

‘From lack of sleep.’

‘Damn shame.’

‘It is….’

Ok, get up and wipe down the cart and EKG machine again. Do something. Anything. Can’t fall asleep. You just got this job. Can’t fuck it up. Cart and EKG machine are clean. What next? What next….

I can’t be in this tiny ass room anymore. Feels like the walls are closing in on me.

Damn, I’m so tired.

Stop being a baby. There are worse things that you could be doing right now than making money. So it’s a little slow tonight and you’re tired. Get over it.

I know. Write your blog post. Yes! I’ll write my post. That’ll kill some time. At least an hour or two.

I’m writing my post….

Yeah, this is good. I’m writing this am I’m not tired anymore. Good shit here, writing this post….

God I’m still tired. Still fucking tired.

Only 15 minutes have passed? Shit! SHHHIITTTTT!

I know, I’ll wipe the cart and EKG machine down again. That’ll kill some time…

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Rolando: New Gig

April 2nd, 2016

I started a new gig last week. I can’t say where or what it is, but I can say that it’s at a place where everyone carries a gun, you have to pass several layers of security clearance to work there, and I never pictured myself working in this type of environment.

So my first day, the boss is taking me around, giving me the tour. There’s a work out facility with a locker room and showers, a parking garage with free parking, and a gun range.

Yes, a gun range.

The boss walks me into the gun range and introduces me to the guy in charge of the range for the day. We walk into a room with a big glass window that looks onto the range. Inside the range, there’s a woman loading a clip, preparing to shoot.

My boss and the guy start talking guns, naturally, we are at a gun range. The conversation goes on about scopes, range, sights, calibers. They talk about a recent shooting where a guy emptied a clip and missed his intended target.

All shit that I know nothing about. But I try my best to stay relevant. Me being the new guy and all, I try to get in on the conversation. Hell, I just got off of working at a levelI Trauma ER. I’ve seen some shit.

I have….

I start telling a story about how we got a guy that was shot at 20 times but only got hit once in his ass. He was crying about us cutting his jeans. They laughed.

Then, with out warning, I heard a distinct sound of muffled gun shot. Four of them in a row, actually.

My reaction? I ducked. Really, I ducked and almost ran for the door. And I let out a sort of a squeal.

I squealed. A little squeal. A sort of a something….

My boss, the guy? Didn’t even flinch. They looked at me like, ‘What the fuck, dude. You’re at a gun range. Scary little punk bitch.’

And I admit it, I didn’t look as tough as I was trying to come off. But my explanation for my reaction wasn’t going to cut it in my new position.

What I wanted to say was, ‘Force of habit.’ As in, where I come from, if you hear gun shots, you duck and run, and ask questions later.

To hell with getting shot.

What I couldn’t justify, either way, was the squeal.

I’ll write that off to my new work environment.

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Rolando: My Nine Lives

March 26th, 2016

I was hanging out with some old buddies of mine the other day and we got to reminiscing about our teenage years growing up in the city.

Now we weren’t the wildest bunch of kids, but we saw our fair share of craziness growing up.

So we got to talking about those crazy times. I’m not even sure how or why the subject came up, but we started talking about all the times we almost got shot together.

I know, crazy ass subject to be discussing over pizza and beer.

When I thought back I counted 9 times I had almost been shot. One time I had a gun pulled out and pointed right at my chest. Another time some dudes pulled out a gun and put it to one of my friend’s head as they robbed us.

One of my old buddies, we call him Blanco, took the record for the amount of times we had either been shot at or near together. We counted four times in total.

They happened when I was 19 and living in a studio apartment on Blackhawk and Bosworth just on the outskirts of Buctown. At that time the neighborhood hadn’t fully been gentrified and there were pockets that were heavily controlled and fought over by local gangs.

We were hanging out at my place one night when we decided to go to the local fast food joint to get some food.

“Let’s get some pizza puffs, bro,” Blanco said.

“Come on, let’s go.”

I grabbed my keys off a table and headed for the door. Blanco got up from my couch and followed me out, but turned around.

“I got to take a piss, bro.”

“What the hell, man?” I said. “Hurry it up.”

When he was done we got into my car, made our way onto Ashland Ave. and headed south to the fast food joint that was literally two blocks away.

Then we heard gun shots, at least six of them.

“You heard that, bro?” Blanco asked.

“Yeah.”

“Someone got there ass popped.”

“Yup.”

When we got to the fast food joint, it looked like a scene out of a crime movie. The windows were all shot up and there was blood everywhere.

Some dude was laying on the floor moaning in pain, and the Arabs that owned the joint were all cowered behind the bullet proof glass they had installed to protect them from such an incident.

Within minutes the place was swarming with cops. We got the hell out of there and headed back to my place.

It wasn’t until about a hour later that it dawned on me: If Blanco hadn’t gone back in to use the bathroom, we would’ve been in that fast food joint when that shit went down and we would’ve been dead.

There was another time that was a bit closer.

Same scenario. We’re at my place and about to head out to the gas station for some munchies. We jump in my car make our way to the gas station, stock up on a bunch of junk food and head back south on Ashland Ave. towards my place.

As we get two blocks from my street, I see this kid walk up to the street corner raise his arm and start letting off shots from what had to be a .45 magnum. The thing was like a cannon.

Things is, he shooting across Ashland at some other dudes who start to run. And Blanco, myself and my car are right in his path. Now we’re moving in the car, but it felt like everything froze. I just remember looking past Blanco out of my passenger side window and seeing this kid fire this gun with a weird perveted smile on his face. There were these flashes of light coming out of the gun followed by thunderous blasts.

But then the funniest thing happened. While I was taking all this in and trying to process exactly what it meant for my life and safety, I noticed that Blanco was sitting in the passenger seat oblivious to what was going on. He was tucking into a tub of ice scream he had bought at the gas station.

When I looked back up the kid was running in the other direction. The whole thing happened in a matter of seconds.

The two other times were similar scenarios; just us being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Thankfully none of us were ever actually shot. And now that I’m older, I look back at those times and can now fully appreciate that none of us were ever hurt.

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Rolando: Help Yourself to a Handful

March 19th, 2016

“How’s it going, Ro?”

“I’m good.”

“You sure? You seem a little off.”

“No, I’m good, Stevie.”

“Alright. How was the ride in?”

“It was fine. Took the redline in. It’s Saturday night, so you already know it was packed with assholes.”

“Dude, I like not having to pay for parking when I take the train, but sometimes it’s worth paying the extra cash to avoid mixing in with the riff raff.”

“You’re right. I shouldn’t have been such a cheap ass and paid for parking tonight. So Stupid.”

“Dude, you sure you’re ok?”

“Listen, I’m going to tell you something.”

“Alright.”

“But you can’t tell anyone else.”

“Alright.”

“You just can’t…”

“…Jesus, dude, alright. Out with it already.”

“I’m pretty sure I got sexually assaulted on my way out of the subway station just now.”

“What do you mean by ‘sexually assaulted’ and by who?”

“I mean I got off the escalator at Chicago and State and started walking to work and got sexually assaulted.”

“What? Like someone attacked you on the street? Sexually assaulted how?”

“Stevie, I’m walking up Chicago towards Michigan Ave and someone grabs my ass.”

“Well, first, that’s not really a sexual assault. That’s some dude grabbing your ass as you walk by him…”

“…Whoa, who said it was a dude?”

“It wasn’t?”

“No, it was a girl.”

“You sure about that? That sounds like a perv dude thing to do.”

“I’m positive, I turned around and there was a group of girls walking past. Not a dude in sight.”

“You freakin’ kidding me? Was she hot?”

“I don’t know, I only saw her back. She had one of those long North Face coats girls wear and some knee-high boots on.”

“So let me get this straight, you’re walking to work and a girl, who may or may not have been hot–but probably was hot–grabbed your ass and you’re all bent out of shape about it? Get over it, already.”

“Stevie, it was an unwanted advance. I’m a gentleman. You can’t just go around grabbing my ass. And besides, I have a girlfriend. I’m sure she wouldn’t appreciate some random chic fondling me on the street.”

“Well did you tell her about it?”

“Yeah.”

“What’d she say?”

“She made some jokes about it and said, ‘You do have a nice butt.’”

“Ha! You see, even your girlfriend can see the humor in it.”

“Whatever, man. It’s creepy. And a double standard. And not funny.”

“Sensitive Nancy over here… I wish girls would grab my ass. I’d take it as a compliment.”

“Well I should’ve chased her down and slapped her on the ass.”

“Whoa, whoa, man. You can’t be doing that.”

“What? Why the hell not?”

“Cause that’s just creepy, and wrong and not funny at all. She’s a lady. You can’t be slapping a random lady’s ass.”

“You’re an asshole.”

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Rolando: St. Paddy’s Day Parade Texts

March 12th, 2016

-You ready for this dude

-Hells yeah mo fo… St. Paddy’s day

-What time you want to meet up

-Early..we gotta hit up a pub and get a pint and an Irish breakfast… bangers and mash

-You even know what bangers and mash are

-Something that’s banging and comes with mash… fuck yeah

-Well you don’t know. whatever. what time you want to do this

-Well they’re dying the river green at 9a so we should get downtown around 8

-Dyeing

-What

-They’re dyeing the river not dying it

-Whatever dude. mr. fucked up grammar over here

-Bro it’s dyeing. you look like an idiot saying they’re going to be dying the river. no one’s killing the river

-Ok man. whatever. we getting some pints and an Irish breakfast or not

-Yeah man. fuck it. 8a it is.

-Cool. that’s what i’m talking about. St. Paddy’s day baby. celebrate with our fellow country men

-You do realize we’re both Puerto Rican right

-Minor detail.

-Nah it’s more than a minor detail. we’re from a different island.

-We’re also from Chicago so we’re practically Irish.

-Fuck it. bangers and mash, pints and dying the river. see you at 8.

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