Oath of Hypocrisy

oath

Nicole Jackson, thirty year dedicated employee of Motion Packing, had her employment status changed from full to part time employee due to the American economic failures in the last days of the George W. Bush administration. With her reduced hours and pay came a loss of medical benefits as well. Additional part time employment was sought and accepted by Ms. Jackson to subsidize her income during the trying times of $4.00- $5.00 gas prices. Three months earlier, the war in Iraq claimed her eldest nephew whom she loved like a son. Never having children of her own, grief struck her especially hard. Strong, full of faith and diligent she remained in the face of adversity. Her part time employment as a waitress exposed her to bacteria, viruses and illness causing germs from the restaurant’s patrons during cold and flu season. Nicole fell ill. Her illness got worse. Medical attention was needed after eight days of steadily declining health. Adequate treatment was not provided, no health care. An upper respiratory infection developed into pneumonia and was treated tardily with a prescription for antibiotics; no x-rays or blood work was taken. Ms. Jackson, sent home to heal herself, was assisted by members of her home church to no avail. Hospitalized five days later after another turn for the worse, Nicole Jackson fought to live. Medicare was applied for on her behalf. Just a matter of time before the government would approve her coverage. Now more in depth medical treatment and even surgery was needed, time was of the essence. Doctors refused to provide the necessary medical treatment without first securing payment for their services. In the day and age of HMOs and restriction laden medical plans, the doctors were well within their rights to deny Nicole the life saving treatments she so desperately needed. She was sent home again and the church prayed. They prayed that the Lord’s will be done. She was comforted by members of her congregation and peace was given in the form of the Lord’s love and the knowledge that she would soon be with him. Nicole Jackson went home to meet her Lord and Savior hours later. A letter was received at her residence three days after her return to her father’s side, her Medicare had been approved.

A code of ethical conduct is no longer upheld or valued by the American healthcare system, only the all mighty dollar. New physicians commonly take an oath to determine their intentions and moral conduct during their service as a practicing medical professional. The Hippocratic Oath is now just a hollow statement of formality that young doctors make in order to start raking in the doe. It should now be called the “Oath of Hypocrisy” because it seems that the new millennium physician is nothing more than a hypocrite when he or she professes his or her desire to practice medicine as a way of serving mankind. They practice medicine to make money! I know this because to them, if treating a patient don’t make them dollars, then trying to save a life don’t make much sense.
Oath of
Hypocrisy

 

Justly Jilted Justin

justin

Dangerously ambitious was young Justin Johnson, ex-military and quite the yes man. Others allowed their ambitions to fuel their desire to chase dreams. Justin’s caused him to commit unscrupulous acts, constantly conducting himself in a dishonorable manner in the workplace. Always the accuser, consummate informer on co-workers’ professional as well as personal lives. He masked his betrayals as attempts at trying to do what was best for the company; a brown nosers brown noser. When given an opportunity to lead, Justin was never an advocate for his subordinates. Conversations would be had between he and his employees and their confidence would be gained. Once inside the private offices of upper management, Justin would “switch horses in the middle of the stream”, leaving his employee in a vulnerable position receiving all the wrath of the big bosses. Accountability, taking ownership or responsibility for his own actions and decisions were not attributes of Justin’s. Everything rolled down hill; he was always sure to dodge it and let it fall on the heads of those beneath him. To great lengths he would go to obtain information to pass on; expert was Justin at venting to a trustworthy individual enticing them to do the same. After they confided in him he would go directly to the person in management that they were speaking of and divulge all. Justin told of inner office romances and alleged employee drug and alcohol abuse. In actuality he dated low level female employees in the company and had been admitted to drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers twice in his young life. Fraternizing and drug abuse weren’t the only skeletons in Justin’s closet. Many employees under his command possessed medications for the pain they suffered from due to various chronic illnesses, injuries, surgeries or medical procedures. Medications came up missing and blame was cast all around the office place. Justin did his normal finger pointing and planting of suspects in the minds of his superiors. Slowly but surely all of young Justin’s unethical activities started to come to light. He was hated in the workplace for all of his random cowardly acts done to the innocent and trusting. Everyone shared information on his activities, dates, use, abuse and past. Untouchable he felt himself to be. He couldn’t have been more wrong. Soon Justin Johnson found himself sitting before the same people he tried desperately to impress with devious conniving, trying to explain his own corrupt conduct. Justly jilted Justin was. Justin’ s cruel crafty communication had claimed yet another job but this time he was left contrite because the job it claimed was his. How could they just fire him like that? They handed him a box that once held copier paper, stuffed full of his possessions and had security escort him out of the building.

Justly Jilted Justin

 

Blow Bubbles

blowing-bubbles

“Hey honey”
“Yea baby”
“What do you want to do today?”
“I don’t know; what do you want to do?”
“Lets’ blow bubbles!”
“Blow bubbles?”
“Yes blow bubbles.”
“We are two grown adults; the kids are out of town, and you want to blow bubbles?”
“Yes, let’s blow bubbles.”
“Blow bubbles, I don’t know baby.”
“I’ll make lemonade, fresh squeezed.”
“You know I love your lemonade honey.”
“Well then let’s blow bubbles!”
“What does lemonade have to do with bubbles?”
“They go together. Just like peanut butter and jelly.”
“Bubbles and lemonade, just like peanut butter and jelly? I got it.”
“Yup, they go together, now let’s go blow bubbles.”
“Baby what is with you and this whole bubble thing? Are you serious?”
“Yes, I am serious, I want to blow bubbles.”
“Sweetheart, you know that I would never want to deprive you of something that brought you joy but, bubbles?”
“Yes bubbles!”
“Bubbles.”
“Look baby we can sit on the front porch swing rocking back and forth, sipping on our lemonade, blowing beautiful bubbles out into the bright Pine Hills afternoon.”
“How poetic, bubbles in the Pine Hills afternoon.”
“Why thank you.”
“Oh, you are quite welcome.”
“So, you ready to blow bubbles now?”
“They can get kinda messy. They drip everywhere, sliding from the bubble wand down onto your palm, then your wrist and into your sleeve. I could never blow bubbles without making a mess as a kid.”
“Well like you said, we’re two adults now. I am sure that you can blow bubbles without making a big mess.”
“I don’t know.”
“We can go upstairs, put on a pair of old jeans, white tee shirts and white tennis shoes. We will dress identically and then sit on the swing and blow bubbles. If we make a mess we will just have to get out of those messy clothes.”
“Let’s skip the bubbles and just get out of our clothes now.”
“No mister! There is no need to take off clothes until we blow bubbles; and don’t try to be slick and spill them everywhere just so you can take your clothes off. If you do you may be taking off your clothes by yourself.”
“No need to pass threats now; alright, I’ll blow bubbles! Take my hand my lady as I whisk you upstairs to change into your bubble blowing attire. Then we will come down and make lemonade together; the forecast is calling for light showers this afternoon. You know I love the rain”
“You know that I love you, sir.”
“Come now I’ll carry you up the stairs to your bubble dressing room.”
“Oh you’re so strong sir, please be gentle.”
“I could never harm such a delicate flower such as yourself; I will most definitely be moderate and tender in handling your dainty frame.”

Clothes were changed, lemonade was made, swinging was enjoyed, bubbles were blown, clothes were taken off and passionate love was made by the married couple of twenty-two years. Enjoy life, love well, Blow Bubbles!

Blow bubbles

Rainbow Politics

rainbow-p
Tim, Patrick, Robert and Kyle were childhood friends in an affluent neighborhood born in well to do families with political ties. The four friends did as they were told. School, athletics, social events, clubs and up holding the family name were made priorities. Married, college graduates and fathers the four became. Tim, Patrick, Robert and Kyle were viewed as successful to all especially their families. Prestigious and privileged were their lives. Politics was pursued by the four men entering their late twenties and they were supported strongly by their southern Republican conservative constituency. Their family names served them well as none of them ever suffered a loss in an election on their rise in the political arena. The men were right wingers and supported big business, helping to increase the divide between rich and poor in their communities. Country clubs, servants and old southern living was the lifestyle they were raised on and perpetuated to their personal populous. Their concern and function in politics was only to preserve the way of life for them and those of their kind, the southern Caucasian wealthy. Southern Baptist Luke warm Christians, they held love in their hearts for only those like them. Devout Christians the elders of their families proclaimed to be but they wouldn’t allow a man of color into their home to do anything more than serve them. They were not viewed as equal. Tim, Patrick, Robert and Kyle were part of a secret society and often made their way from their small town in Arkansas to Orlando Florida for clandestine meetings. Covert conversations and undisclosed information and activity occurred unknown even to their families and especially their constituents. The four men traveled together quarterly to the southern city to conduct furtive surreptitious seminars at their favorite resort. Curious but unfazed their wives remained over the years; they weren’t terribly concerned as long as they were provided for and their social status was up held. Appearances were important. Now in their mid forties holding seats in the senate and congress, governor and lieutenant governor the men continued to promote their views and champion their people. The four were now more visible and becoming enemies of liberals, minorities, women’s rights groups and gays everywhere because of their politics and boarder line offensive statements through the years. Their private resort where they held their “meetings” was actually the largest resort in the world. The largest gay resort! The Parliament House. They were recognized on television by a young man they had group sex with twelve years earlier who passed the information on to his activist boyfriend. A plan was made to photograph the men on their next dive into debauchery. Many photos were taken of the men partying, having cocktails with young hustlers and having sex with the other guest at the resort.

“Those hypocritical queens! I could tell by the way he switched his little ass on stage that he was family. I can’t wait to get these photos to the papers.”

Chance Coward squealed from behind the camera lens as he snapped compromising photos of the four politicians. Unfortunately none of the four men could face up to the shame they caused their families or themselves so they each took their own lives within days of the breaking news. A poisonous punch was made and consumed by all four one windy Wednesday afternoon. Hypocritical insincerity can sometimes kill.

Rainbow Politics

 

Abhorring Aaron’s Ability

aaron

“I hate her; she gets on my damned nerves.”
“Who you talkin’ ‘bout Carol?”
“My little sister Erin, she always gets her way.”

The two girls sat down on a mat in the corner of the gymnasium as Carol continued to gripe about her talented younger sister.

“My mom and dad are going to buy their little princess a car and she’s only fifteen. Just because she sings those corny songs don’t mean they have to give her everything. I didn’t get a car until I turned sixteen and it wasn’t a new one. My father just gave me his old BMW. They can’t make it to our volleyball game tonight because Aa-rr-oon has a show. They always go to all of her damned shows. Aaron, I don’t know why she spells her name like a boy. It’s Erin, E-R-I-N; she thinks she’s so cool.”

Jill struggled to understand why her friend hated having a famous little sister so much.

“It must be cool sometimes to have a famous little sister though?”
“Well if you like her so much you can have her!”

Carol snapped at her teammate for her lack of moral support then continued on her rant.

“Every since she was a baby they’ve been dragging me to contests, photo shoots and shows. Her agent, managers, lawyers, accountants and publicist call all times of the day and night. My parents never took that much interest in anything I ever did in my whole life. They were always too concerned about their golden child. They were even out of town with her on my birthday two years in a row. Sure they threw me big parties when they got back but it was still after my birthday. She even got a bigger bedroom than me when we moved into the new…”

Carol’s complaining was suddenly interrupted by a teammate and fan of her younger sister.

“Hey Carol, I didn’t know that Aaron Alise was your little sister. Do you think you could get me an autographed picture?”

Carol, extremely irritated by the interruption, replied to Janice in a sharp harsh manner.

“My sister’s last name is Novak just like mine and I don’t handle her groupies, you might want to see her publicist for that. Now, if you’ll excuse me I was having a private conversation.”

Carol turned her back on Janice as she stood astonished by her rudeness. Carol turned again to see the stunned girl still standing there and then waved her hands in the direction of Janice as if to tell her to shoo. She then turned back to Jill again and continued bellyaching.

“Can you believe that girl Jill? I get so tired of that. People think that we are all here just to serve Erin. My parents may be but I’m not!”

Jill sighed at Carol’s negative comments and Carol, ever confrontational, quickly picked it up.

“What do you know Jill?! You’re probably just another one of those mindless drowns that walks around following the heard. You probably like Erin’s crap too, figures. You seem the small minded type.”

Jill had run out of patience. Being a kind Christian girl, she volunteered when the head coach of the volleyball team asked if one of the players would take the time to reach out to the team’s malcontent. Carol isolated herself from the rest of the girls and rarely got the opportunity to play because of her lack of enthusiasm. Jill took a deep breath to calm her self before making a frank and insightful assessment of her teammate’s problem.

“You know Carol, most people would be proud to have a little sister who is so talented but not you. You’re too busy being jealous of her to be happy for her. You envy her so much that you dislike anyone who likes her. If you were more positive and tried harder at what you do, you might be happier. You push people away with your negativity; you might want to try to change that. I’ll pray for you.”

With that being said, Jill got up from the mat and joined her teammates warming up before their game. Carol sat and sulked as she allowed Jill’s words to sink into her thick skull. She slowly rose from her place on the mat. Put a nervous smile on her face and joined her teammates in warming up. Her teammates’ faces showed welcoming smiles and Jill walked over and patted her on the shoulder and whispered in her ear.

“Welcome back to the team Carol.”

Jill handed Carol the volleyball. Carol smiled an appreciative smile then sent the volleyball sailing over the net.

Abhorring Aaron’s Ability

Peter, Pat and Paul

peter-pat-paul
This is the story of Peter, Pat and Paul; three brothers, one short, one medium one tall. They all got a real rise from committing crimes, eventually causing their fall. Poor planning led to asinine adventures; now they’re incarcerated one and all. Pitiful pondering, self produced powerlessness and pure peril, plague the three, spring to fall. This is a tale lacking logic, loose lunacy and large laughter for all. In the youth we must encourage and educate to evoke excellence in their events and call. Let this be the last of the sorrowfully sad stories of shameless sullied siblings taking short cuts to glory only to stall. People I present to you the prose of Peter, Pat and Paul.

“Yo Pete, you call Tommy yet!”
“Yea Paul, I called him.”
“What’d he say?”
“He didn’t answer!”
“Shit!”

Paul paced his brother’s bedroom floor scratching his arm.

“You’re gonna scratch blood out of your arm dumb ass.”
“Shut up Pete, where’s Pat at?”

Pete stood up and looked up into his younger brother’s eyes.

“You better watch your tone with me boy, I don’t think you’re ready for this.”

Paul turned his back on his brother and walked over to the window. He mumbled “fuck you” as he gazed out still scratching. Just then their middle brother Pat opened the bedroom door with a smile on his face. Paul quickly turned around and questioned his brother.

“Did you score?”
“Calm down dude and stop talking so loud. Yea I scored.”

Then older shorter brother Pete chimed in.

“Good, please give this kid a bump before he loses his damn mind.”

Pat smiled then handed the small bag of white powder to his lanky younger brother. Paul wasted no time in diving in. Pete laughed at the severity of his brother’s addiction.

“Take it easy man, it ain’t goin’ no where.”

Paul sat back on the bed then passed the bag back to Pat. His eyes were now glassy and his body relaxed; Paul let out a sigh of relief. He hadn’t gotten high since early in the morning and it was killing him. Pat passed the bag to Pete and then asked the time. Pete responded.

“It’s 2:30pm and I’ve got everything we need. Ya’ll still ready?”

His two younger brothers responded affirmatively in unison. Then Paul sat up as the initial wave of his high became less intense.

“Hey, how much money we got left?”

Pete reached into his top draw and pulled out several small bills.

“It looks like we got about thirty-seven dollars. We need more money, this shit we got ain’t gonna last long.”

Then Pat spoke up interrupting his brothers.

“Hey when we make this score I wanna get some “H” too. I been hurtin’.”

Pete sucked his teeth and then walked over to Pat looking up into his young tired face.

“I told you to stop fuckin’ with that nigger Luscious and those junkies. It’s alright to do smack every now and then but you can’t be doing that shit everyday. It’ll fuck you up.”

A nasty scowl covered Pat’s face.

“Fuck you dude, I do whatever the fuck I want to and if I help to get the money, I’ll spend it however the fuck I want to.”

Pat then snatched the bag from Paul as he handed it to him. Paul responded to his brother’s anger.

“Don’t take it out on me man. Shit, I don’t give a fuck what you do.”

Pete started back in on his younger brother.

“Well you go ahead and be an asshole Pat. I was just tryin’ ta tell you somethin’ for you own damned good.”

Pat inhaled the light dust and then responded.

“Well thanks big brother, but I think I can’t take care of myself.”
“Fine be stupid, I’m done with it. Paul, you got some smokes?”

Paul stood and dug a hard pack of Marlboros out the right front pocket of his Wranglers. He took one and then tossed the pack to his brother. They both lit up and inhaled deeply. Pat sat in the corner wishing he had his narcotic of choice; he took another bump to ease his cravings, it didn’t work. The three brothers then huddled up to discuss the criminal plan they were to put into motion in less than two hours. After finishing their drugs and a whole pack of cigarettes the boys were off to commit a crime that would support their habits for quite a while. This was far from the criminal mischief that they were normally involved with. This would be a fateful day in the lives of the three brothers; a lot would change for them and then some things wouldn’t change at all.

Peter, Pat and Paul piled into Pete’s ’78 Cordoba and rode towards down town. Pete let his brother Paul out on the corner of Pine and Orange and then sped up the block and parked.

“Paul, get behind the wheel and watch for me to come out. Keep the car running and listen out for Paul’s whistle if the cops come. You got it?”

Pat answered with an irritated look on his face.

“Yea dude I got it, just hurry up.”

Pete got out of the car and walked briskly into the bank. Unfortunately Paul was positioned too far away for his brother to hear his whistle if the police did arrive on the scene. Once inside the bank Pete walked over to a podium and wrote his demands on the back of a deposit slip. The slip read… “Thiz iz a stick up!!! Give monie.” Pete’s lack of education was evident in his writing. He never finished the sixth grade and had never so much as written an essay. He became jittery and paranoid as he stood in line awaiting the opportunity to speak to the teller. His paranoia was a byproduct of his drug abuse. He suddenly started to believe that the people in line behind him may have seen the message written on his deposit slip. Pete bolted from the line and out of the bank. Looking disoriented, he hurried across the street to the Wells Fargo with the note in hand.

“What the hell is he doing?”

Pat thought to himself as he watched his brother walk into the Wells Fargo. When Pete finally reached the teller window he presented the slip to the bank teller. The lady looked down at his note and let out a slight chuckle at the Pete’s poor grammar and handwriting. She then responded quickly to the aspiring bank robber.

“Sir, I am terribly sorry but we can’t accept this deposit slip, you’ll need to take it across the street to the Bank of America. Is there anything else that I can’t help you with?”

She asked Pete as she handed him back the slip. Pete looked dumbfounded as he took the note back and turned to walk back across the street to the Bank of America.

“What the hell is he doing?”

Pat again said to himself as he watched his inept older brother walking into the first bank once again. The crafty bank teller called the police and they were already in route before Pete reached the front of the bank line in the Bank of America Branch. As police cars barreled around the corner Paul began to whistle. He whistled and whistled but Pat hadn’t heard a note of it. After realizing that his brother couldn’t hear him, Paul turned and ran down the block in the direction of his neighborhood. Pat looked into his rearview mirror to see the police racing up the street towards him and his younger brother running in the opposite direction. Pat laid low in the in the driver’s seat and killed the engine as police converged on the scene. As they entered the bank, he quickly cranked up the car and crept down the street. He looked to his left into the bank to see his older brother’s short stocky frame being tackled to the ground and cuffs being placed on his wrists. Pat turned the corner and drove down two blocks to spot Paul running at top speed. He pulled up next to him.

“Get in asshole!”

Paul jumped into the front passenger seat and quickly asked of his brother’s fate, only to learn that he had been captured by the authorities.

“Damn due, what the fuck are we going to do?”

Paul asked of his big brother. Pat responded simply.

“I don’t know what you’re gonna do but I’m going to take twenty of these thirty-seven dollars in Pete’s wallet and but myself a balloon.”
“Is that all you can think about right now is getting high? Our brother just got arrested.”

Pat cut his eye at his brother and then answered sharply.

“No matter if I get high or not, Pete is still going to be locked up so I’m gonna go get me a fix. You got a problem with that?!”

Pat‘s eyes now held a sick look of excitement at the thought of getting his drug combined with hatred for anyone who tried to keep him from it. Paul sat quiet as Pat sped to his pusher’s house to get his fix.

Later that evening Mr. and Mrs. Romano received a call from their incarcerated son and immediately called a family meeting. Pete didn’t tell of his brothers’ involvement in the crime he’d committed. Pat and Paul pretended to be shocked at the news and genuinely concerned for their beloved brother’s well being. Father demanded that sons become employed and they readily agreed. Later the boys discussed where they would apply while consuming the last of their drugs.

“Paul, I’m gonna go down and fill out an application at the Quick Mart.”
“Oh yea, I’m gonna talk to old man Fulton to see if he’ll give me a job at his body shop.”

Pat plopped down in the chair at the desk across from his brother’s bed with a sly grin covering his face.

“I’m gonna case the joint while I’m filling out the application.”

Young Paul began to smile at his brother’s devious intentions.

“You gonna try and rob the Quick Mart?”
“I ain’t gonna try and rob shit! I gonna rob the Quick Mart!”

The brothers broke out in laughter.

“You know what Pat, I’ll do you one better. I’m gonna rob Mc Getty’s after I talk to old man Fulton.”

The boys laughed harder.

“That’s what I’m talkin’ about little Pauly. We’ll both go at seven and meet back here.”

The next day the two brothers met in the garage of their parent’s home after their interviews; unknown to Mother and Father Romano were their sons’ unlawful plans. Pat’s interview with the convenience store manager went well and he was told to expect a call back for a second interview. While in the store Pat checked for security cameras and routes of escape. Paul inquired and was turned down for employment by Mr. Fulton. Paul wasn’t terribly concerned because he had plans of making a big score later that night. The boys parted ways after brief conversation armed with 38 specials left to them by their uncles. The uncles who proclaimed to be Mafia gangsters had influenced the boys into lives of crime through their fictional exploits. The two men were currently imprisoned in upstate New York. In actuality they were just petty criminals who spent their days committing petty crimes with low level gangsters. The “made man” they proclaimed themselves to be couldn’t be further from the truth. In their nephews’ young unsophisticated minds their stories rang true. The boys entered each establishment three minutes apart. They used the same approach and method of convincing the cashier to surrender all currency, sticking the barrel of the gun in the face of their robbery victim. Minutes later they met back up at their parents’ loving home feeling triumphant and victorious. Pat and Paul boasted to one another about the night’s exploits.

“Paul, when I put the pistol in that old bitch’s face, she almost shit a brick. She was like please, please don’t hurt me; here, here take the money. When I was leaving I could hear her praying out loud to Jesus, dumb old bitch.”

The boys doubled over with laughter as Paul started in about his successful stick up.

“You know that old fag David?”
“Yea, I know who you’re talking about.”
“Well he was behind the register when I burst through the doors. Pat you should have heard that sissy scream.”

More laughter followed as Pat tried to imagine the middle aged gay man in a panic.

“Oh please, please don’t harm me. We ain’t got no safe and all the money is here in the register.”

“Before I could even say this is a stick up, he had all of the money out of the register and into a brown bag for me. He pissed me off for being such a coward and a fagot so I reached across the counter, snatched him to me and slapped the shit out of him with my 38. Blood was pouring all down the side of his cock sucking face. ”

The boys could barely contain themselves as the leaned on their father’s work bench for support, their guffawing almost caused them loose their balance and fall down on the garage floor.

“Paul what’d the fagot say when you hit ‘em.”
“He didn’t say shit; he just screamed real gay then passed out. He was like, oh!”

Paul mocked poor David’s unmanly voice and effeminate mannerisms as he fell unconscious to the floor. The two brothers howled once more.

“Paul, I’m going over to Tommy’s to get some coke, you wanna come?”
“Hell yeah, let’s go.”
“I just gotta make a stop by Luscious’ house first.”

Pat needed his heroin fix and he really enjoyed “speed balling”. Paul didn’t like to do heroin too often because of how sick it made him, but tonight was a night of celebration.

“Sure dude, I’ll ride with you to Luscious’ house. I wouldn’t mind a little H today myself.”

The boys quickly exited the garage and jumped into the Cordoba. Neither Romano son was aware that their crimes hadn’t gone undetected; they each left behind major clues that would lead to their arrests. The old lady clerk at the Quick Mart recognized Pat’s footwear from when he filled out an application earlier in the day. He was wearing a mask and had changed his clothing but his ratty old boots gave him away. Later she gave a description to the police.

“Officer, I always believed that you could judge a man by the type of shoes he’s got on his feet. When I saw that boy come in here earlier in the day with those nasty boots on, just a wipin’ at his nose every three seconds; I knew he was trouble. Then when he come back here and robbed me the first thing I noticed was them same dirty old boots. I told my manager George to stop interviewing and hiring these hoodlums. They ain’t nothing but trouble. It’s only by the grace of Jesus that fool boy didn’t do somethin’ to hurt me. Jesus saves honey, and he answers prayers too. I was prayin’ that boy don’t shoot and the Lord answered my prayer.”

The detective quickly interrupted the elderly cashier when she began to speak freely about her faith, he being a man of none.

“Well ma’am you can go over and give your full statement to Officer Freeman, oh and I’ll need that boy’s application also.”

With that the detective turned and walked back to his car only to be called to the scene of another local convenience store robbery. In this robbery the cashier had been pistol whipped and was en route to the hospital to receive treatment for his injuries. At the scene of the robbery a peculiar thing was found, a wallet. The wallet contained a driver’s license but it was a fake. Prints were lifted from the wallet but they weren’t in the system. David was interviewed but couldn’t give an accurate description of the assailant because of the mask the man was wearing and the great level of stress David experienced at the time. The police would need a break to solve the second case. That break would come soon enough. Meanwhile the boys were in their parents’ garage getting high, drinking beer and listening to records without a care in the world. Not a moment’s thought was giving to Pete’s plight. Only incarcerated three days and already forgotten by his brothers. Pat and Paul were engulfed in the temporary feeling of euphoria provided by their drugs of choice. They felt as though they had committed the perfect crimes but that couldn’t be further from the truth. They even made plans to continue their crime spree.

“Paul there’s a store in Apopka that would be an easy score. The old man who owns the store works behind the register, we could take him easy. This time we should go together, you be the wheel man and I’ll go in and rob the joint.”

A wide lazy grin covered Paul’s face.

“It sounds good to me, let’s do it.”

The boys both fired up cigarettes then sat back and let the fantasy of another robbery wash over them. Their senses and sensibilities were numb, eyes half open and blood shot. Smiles still covered their faces; they were just where they wanted to be.

The following morning police cars converged on the Romano home in search of their suspect in the robbery of the local Quick Mart. Mr. Romano readily agreed to allow the police to enter his home and detain his son for questioning. He had long grown tired of his sons’ foolish illegal activities and was intent on showing tough love in any further scrapes his boys’ found themselves in with the law or otherwise. Pat was found in his bedroom passed out from a long night of getting loaded. It took hours before he could be interviewed about the robbery; Pat needed time to sleep off the night’s bender. When finally awake and in front of authorities answering questions, Pat denied everything and then asked for a lawyer. He was detained and provided with a public defender. Paul slept through the entire ordeal. He had no idea his brother had been arrested until he spoke with his parents later that afternoon. His father was angry but calm in questioning him about his involvement.

“Paul we have been trying to wake you up all day. Do you know where your brother is?”
“No Dad, where is he?”
“He’s in jail Paul. He’s in jail for robbery. Do you know anything about it?”
“No Dad, I don’t know nothing about it.”

He then looked to his dear mother and addressed her as well.

“Mom, I wasn’t involved in a robbery with Pat, honest.”

Mrs. Romano walked over and hugged the boy with tears streaming down her cheeks. She released her embrace and then looked up at her youngest son.

“Paul your father and I have always worked so hard to give you boys the best and to teach you right from wrong. We tried to instill the right morals and values in you boys but you all seem to have gone astray. I believe you when you say that you weren’t involved in this but I know in my heart that you have been out doing wrong too and you will also have to pay for your crime one way or another. I am praying for you son, I am praying for us all.”

She turned and walked briskly out of the room and up to her bedroom. Mrs. Romano needed time to grieve in private for what had become of the loving family she tried to raise. His wife’s sorrow angered Mr. Romano and he turned to his son with a stern look in his eye.

“Look, I’m gonna tell you this one time and one time only. You better not bring anymore grief into this house through your foolishness. If I see your mother in distress anytime soon because of your actions, there will be hell to pay!”

Mr. Romano gave his son one last serious look of warning and then went to his bedroom to comfort his beautiful wife of thirty-two years. Paul thought to himself how suddenly he had found himself all alone. Both his older brothers had been incarcerated in less than a week and were probably going to do some serious time for their crimes. These thoughts of contrition quickly escaped him as the urge to get high took over. Paul went into his bedroom; pulled a plate filled with cocaine from under his bed and then inhaled a long thick line of the poison. His brothers’ troubles no longer seemed so serious; Paul’s mind was now miles away from reality. He wanted to avoid any further questioning from his parents so he bagged up half of his drugs and hid the rest. He crept out of the house without saying goodbye to his parents. They were in their bedroom with the door closed discussing in length the plight of their family. Paul drove to Tommy’s house to lay low and tell what happened to his brothers. While there, Tommy informed Paul of a scam he had to make some money and how he could get in on it too. Paul listened intently with no reservations about committing another crime so soon after his last and his brothers being jailed.

“Paul, you remember that chick I used to date from Winter Park right?”
“Yea Tommy, uh her name was Sarah, right?”
“Yea, that’s her. Well she works for a friend of her father’s construction company and she got a hold of some payroll checks. The account is good and nobody knows that the checks are missing yet. She pulled them out of the middle of one of those big books of checks so they won’t find out for a while. All I need is for a few fine upstanding young people like yourself to cash them around the state. You got a fake ID right Paul?”
“Yea I got a fake ID. I keep it in my wallet.”

Just then Paul started to pat his pockets realizing he didn’t have his wallet on him. As he listened to Tommy talk he started thinking about where the wallet could be. Calm wondering turned to frantic, frenetic thinking as Paul recalled his act of brutality committed on the homosexual older man.

“Could I have left my wallet in that store? Naw, it’s probably in my junkie room somewhere.”

Paul thought to himself as he finished listening to the details of Tommy’s plan.

“So you gonna come by here tomorrow around 2:00pm right Paul?”
“Yea, I’ll be here Tommy.”
“Hey and again man I’m sorry ta hear about your brothers getting’ busted. I wish ‘em the best man.”

Tommy patted young Paul on the shoulder and as he sat at the kitchen table racking his brain about exactly where his wallet might be. Paul eventually rose from his seat, said goodbye and exited the man’s home still unnerved. When he returned home he found his parents gone. They went to the police station to get more information on Pat’s charges. Paul was happy to be alone in the house so that he could thoroughly search for his wallet without being disturbed. After more than an hour of searching and four more huge lines; Paul thought that it might be a good idea to pose as a customer and call down to the store inquiring about a lost wallet. That was just the break the police were waiting for.

“Mc Getty’s, how can I help you?”
“Hi ma’am my name is Paul Walker and I’ve lost my wallet. I was wondering if any of your employees or customers had found a wallet and turned it into you.”

Mrs. Mc Getty smiled to herself as she realized that this was the call she and the police had been waiting for.

“Why yes Mr. Walker we have your wallet locked up in the office. The manager will be in tomorrow morning around nine so you can pick you wallet up then.”
“Thank you so much ma’am, you’re a life saver. I’ll see you tomorrow morning a little after nine.”
“You’re very welcome Mr. Walker and you have a good day now.”

Mrs. Getty hung up the phone and immediately called the lead detective on the case and informed him that the owner of the wallet would be coming to the store the next morning.

“Good work Mrs. Mc Getty, we will have officers posted at you store at eight o’clock. If you need me anytime before that, please feel free to give me a call.”

Mrs. Getty sat down in her office chair, peeled open a can of Schlitz and took a long swig feeling thoroughly satisfied with herself. She was anxious to see the culprit brought to justice. Paul sat down and did another line feeling satisfied that he had solved his problem and would soon have a new source of illegal income. He called Tommy to remind him that he would be there the next afternoon to help in his check cashing/ kiting scheme. After there brief conversation, Paul did another line and then he heard his parent’s car pulling into the driveway. He ran to the refrigerator, grabbed three beers, ran back into his bedroom and locked the door before his parents had even gotten out of the car. He would pretend to be asleep two hours later when his mother called him for dinner. Paul was already consuming his meal for the evening; an untamable toxin, fueling his ill, self injurious thoughts.

The next morning Paul was at Mc Getty’s at nine sharp; he wanted to get his wallet as soon as possible so that he could commence his new illegal business. When he arrived he found a very nice and helpful middle-aged man behind the counter.

“Hello sir, how are you today?”
“I’m doing ok, my name is Paul Walker and I’ve come to pick up my wallet.”
“Oh yes, Mr. Walker; we’ve been waiting on you sir.”

Just then three officers entered the establishment and tackled Paul to the ground, placing him in handcuffs. Paul struggled then pleaded to no avail. He soon found himself in the same Orange County Jail as his brothers. It was a sad but liberating day that Mr. and Mrs. Romano had to visit all three of their sons separately as incarcerates. Embarrassing and cheerless was their time spent in visitation but relief and a release of stress was felt once they arrived home. The couple realized that for the first time in years they would sleep easy knowing exactly where their sons were and exactly what they were doing. Mr. Romano awakened in the early morning hours to use the restroom and get a drink of water. He became ashamed of the slight joy he felt for the peace in his home in the absence of his sons. He dropped to his knees and prayed for forgiveness and the well being of his children then rejoined his wife in bed. The boys all took different approaches initially to the difficult predicaments they found themselves in. Peter was the first to acknowledge the part he had played in his own life’s failures and face his drug addiction. He avoided a trial by pleading out and was sentenced to a far shorter term for his cooperation. Pat eventually fired his court appointed lawyer and decided to defend himself at trial. This decision was made under the duress of the pain he felt from withdrawal. His mind and body were sick and he thought that he could some how get out sooner and back to his beloved smack if he defended himself. The exact opposite proved to be true; a man that has himself for a lawyer has a fool for a client. Mrs. Johnson, the store clerk, was in court and ready to tell her story again at Pat’s trial. She wasn’t the least bit intimidated by her attacker’s barrage of questions; she stood her ground and stuck to her story.

“Again, like I said young man, I know it was you because of them nasty old boots you wore. They were the same ones you had on when you came in for your interview. I remembered them because of how disgusting they were. Why you come to an interview with them dirty things on your feet anyway. Were you even trying to get a job or just casing the store?”

Pat became frustrated at her questioning.

“Ma’am, I’ll ask the questions here. Now are you sure that without a doubt you can identify these particular boots as the one you saw me wearing the night of the robbery?”

Mrs. Johnson pushed her glasses back up the bridge of her nose and answered in a staunchly unwavering tone.

“How many times are you going to ask me the same question? As God as my witness I am absolutely 100% sure that you are the one who came into that store, waved a gun in my face and demanded all of the money. It was you and only you! You robbed me young man and now it’s time for you to pay for your crime. Now stop wasting all of these good folks time with this foolishness and go on and take your medicine.”

The judge enjoyed the elderly woman’s frank commentary and reprimand of the defendant’s actions so he allowed her great latitude in answering his questions. Pat was feeling the pressure and the realization that he was about to do some serious time was helping him to loose control as Mrs. Johnson continued on.

“If I had to judge, I would say that you would have to be the most inept criminal and defense attorney I have ever seen in my life. You might want to find something better to do with your life son because this crime thing is just not working out for you.”

With that last comment, the courtroom erupted in laughter and the judge brought them back to order. Pat snapped.

“You old bitch, I should have blown your head off when I had a chance.”

Pat caught himself before he could continue but it was too late every word was heard clearly by everyone present in the courtroom, even his family. The judge was more than happy to hold him in contempt for threatening a witness and Pat eventually received a hefty sentence and tongue lashing for his crimes against the community and court.

Paul, like his brother Pete, plead out to receive a lesser sentence. An apology, oral and written, to poor David was also part of his deal. He would be paying restitution to the man as well for the injuries he incurred during the attack. Paul was almost relieved that it was over; he was tired of running the race of routine addiction. In his cell things were simplified. Out of sight and eventually out of mind were his vices. He was beginning to learn that his life could be lived without the fleeting rush drugs provided him. Mr. and Mrs. Romano went to mass and prayed for their sons. Again they were saddened by their sons’ incarceration but happy that they would now receive the help they all desperately needed. The simplification of their lives would be beneficial to them in the years to follow. Each of them learned slowly to be virtuous, blameless and almost noble before their release many years later. They all reconnected with their faith and creator allowing them the room and light to grow. Sometimes we get out of ourselves, our outstanding; only after experiencing or witnessing our wretched worst.

Peter, Pat and Paul

Epilogue:

Brothers Peter, Pat and Paul were each born two years apart into a strong and close knit Irish-Italian family in the suburb of Pine Hills Florida in the mid to late 1960’s. Pine Hills was a much different place then, lacking in the criminal presence many cities across the south were experiencing at the time. The Romano Family was of Catholic faith and attended mass as every Sunday. Mother Sarah was an Irish American born and raised in upstate New York. Her husband Sal was born and raised in Brooklyn and was appalled at what was becoming of his beloved city and neighborhood. The decision was made to move to the south and raise a family. The family owned a diner and worked day and night to scratch out a living. The Romano’s had four children in all. Patty was their youngest, three years Paul’s junior. The Romano’s were well respected in their small community and always attempted to instill proper morals and values in their children. Patty always listened and made every attempt to please her parents and God. She would marry, have a successful career as the small town’s first female pharmacist and raise a family of four children of her own. To the family’s angst, her brother’s lives would be quite different from hers. The boys were fascinated by their family’s rumored business. Not the diner but the business that their uncles Benny and Larry always spoke of when having a few drinks. Most of their uncles’ stories were fabricated or exaggerated; neither man was a “made man”. They just hung around with a few low level gangsters and “cracked a few heads” in their youth. Benny and Larry’s older brother Sal would chastise whenever he overheard them spinning wild tales of a gangster’s life to his impressionable sons. Eventually the brothers found themselves back in Brooklyn and then in prison for a multitude of petty crimes associated with their chosen lifestyles. Their negative presence was gone from the boys’ lives but their criminal fables and fantasies lived on in the boys’ hearts and mind. They encouraged each other in living up to the mobster personas their uncles set out for them. By the early eighties the boys had viewed every Mafia movie ever made several times over. Thefts and burglaries were committed and kept hidden from their hard nosed father. As the boys entered their early and mid twenties they had developed vices and habits that needed to be tended to several times daily. Some of these habits cost the boys in excess of $100.00 a day. The Romano boys were becoming more creative and brazen in their illegal activities. Brazen gave way to idiotic as the vices and habits became of central importance in the trio’s lives. Sal, father of three junkies, severely hurt and confused. Tension rouse between spouses, a mother’s love caused her to make unsound financial decisions. Kindness is taken for weakness for a short time but tough love prevails. Spouses once again united, the boys were forced to find a new way to feed the beast. From their hunger developed comical criminal activity for the ages. More content and productive were the three brothers in prison than they had ever been in their lives. They all practice their faith and serve their God daily. Knowledge and degrees of education were earned during their long years as state property. Released in their mid and late thirties, the men raised families became active in their church, took over and expanded the family business as well as cared for their elderly hardworking parents. We can all change! Through Christ We Can All Change!

 

Celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

christ-on-the-cross

Celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; the date may be debated but our God’s selfless acts cannot. This is the reason for the season for believers, for the retailers not so much. To them it’s all about getting as much cream out of the cash cow that is now the pagan holiday we call Xmas. We are duped into thinking we need to buy many extravagant gifts to show and prove our love. Happy Holidays? As we gather together under the tree this year let’s not lose sight of what brought us all together, The Gift! The gift of our sins being washed away by the Blood our loving and benevolent Jesus, shed to save us so that we may spend eternity in heaven alongside our Father. If you are a believer, you have a whole lot more to be thankful for than any of the little trinkets this world has to offer. Have a Blessed and Merry CHRISTmas everyone.