Intro pt. 2
It was a clear winter’s night, just a few days after New Year’s 1997, when I made the decision to blow something up. Me, Josh (my perennial brother in Chaos), and our/my mentor Jeff, were riding deep into the Southside of Winston-Salem. Jeff had picked us up from the Curb Kid house we were living at on Sprague St. He did this often, showing us corners of our town we were unfamiliar with, cracked out, run down sections where time stopped somewhere between 1964 and 1972. Places only a crazy ex-cab driver would know. That night as we tooled around in the “Scout” (as he called it), Jeff’s arm hanging out the window letting in the cold night air, he drove us out to what was once the pride of Winston’s young underground scene. An abandon skate park, once owned by town punk legends, it had long since been overrun by weeds and crack heads, so Jeff brought his gun. We did not run into any crack heads or find some lost spirit of our towns past, but we did find something else. Rummaging through the garbage of what was years gone by, a flea market, we came across an old car amplifier. A useless black box to two kids with no car and a man with a 73 Jeep Scout, but we kept it for some strange reason.
After a brief wrap up of our tour, we headed back into our familiar section of town. We went and ate at our old favorite Mr. Waffle. At the time, it was a greasy 24-hour hole in the wall, where Winston’s finest drunks, hookers, and crooked cops came to end the night. As we stood in the parking lot after our meal, finishing conversations and staring up at the stars in the North Carolina sky, Jeff grew still, he cocked his head back as if he were a dog or wolf hearing something we could not. I asked him what was wrong, only to be silenced with a “shh”. Then looking both Josh and me square in the eyes, somehow simultaneously, he said, “You hear that?” Looking at each other, we shrugged.
“No” I said, “Hear what?”
“Exactly”, he said, with this maddening gleam in his eyes. Then placing both hands on the roof of the Scout he said, “There’s nothing. You know why that is?” Perplexed we shook our heads no. “It’s because of the mall!”
We did not really speak much after that, Jeff dropped us back off where he had rescued us. By then my wheels were turning. A week later as we sat in the living room staring at the static on the television I knew what needed to be done and by providence, I had prophesied on New Year’s Eve that 1997 would be the year we (my clan) would “blow-up”. I had at first meant get popular and I was not far from the truth. As I sat there in the living room on the afternoon of January 7th, staring at the black box Josh had constructed, using some black electrical tape and the car amp from that fateful night. Jeff’s words rambled through my head. His voice, his eyes, his dead pan since of twisted humor will forever be a part of me. The idea began to unfold and take shape in my mind. I instructed Amber (my first love and Letter A. Virgo number one) to start cutting up magazines for a note. Josh and I began making shrapnel while static rolled over the television screen.
The crime itself was perfect. There were no witnesses, no evidence, and no motive. It took three hours from concept to execution. The clothes we wore to commit it were tossed in dumpsters on the way home. We wore gloves and wiped everything clear of prints. No one saw Josh make the drop or I place the calls. However, childish pride and foolish arrogance trapped us. I could not keep a secret. I could not wait a while and then confess I wanted everyone in town to know it was we that had balls this big. I had no regard of consequences. Therefore, I got my wish.
We were caught, just three days later, turned in by a girl whose hair Josh and I had once masturbated in because, she foolishly fell asleep in the wrong chair. After the ATF came and took us, and our Militia video tapes away, and the 6 o’clock news had interviewed me I had truly “blown-up”. My pride got me on CNN Headline News by the time I was 19, a growing criminal record, five months in a federal halfway house, on top of 45 days in jail. This was followed by three years of probation, four months house arrest, and eight months in a Federal prison.
I sit here now wondering, was it all worth it? All the highs and lows, ups and downs, all the tears shed, drama created, and heartache felt, by me, by those around me, and more importantly my grandmother and sisters. My grandmother passed before I could be truly free again, and my youngest sister, robbed of a big brother for no good reason. I cannot help be reminded of Homer’s epic “The Odyssey”. In many ways the bomb we planted was my Trojan horse, and I have been (and possible still) lost for years, because I did not pay homage to the Gods. I have lost my mother while at sea; my sister like my child has grown older without me. My love has grown old without me, while I have shared the bed of a witch/bitch, and a Goddess who loved me but had to let me go. I have lost most of my crew, but not all (which is why I feel I am not done). I feel as though now I have been to the pit of the underworld now I must survive the last voyage home. This is how my journey began on that winters night so long ago. I think of Jeff often now. He moved off to Puerto Rico to live out his journey. I have no doubt our paths will cross again. He visited me once while I was on probation, though much has transpired since then. He was a good man-best I ever met. I only hope that someday I can make him proud.