My Name is Jason Teller. That's what my parents call me anyway. Everyone else that knows me calls me Boots, or Bootsy. The origin of that name has been basterdized for years.
I own a record store, Orginal 6 Records. It's in the shittiest part of St. Walburga's. Everything around my store get's knocked off on a regular basis. Businesses normally don't last around here. But mine does. And I have Dee Dee Slayde to thank, or to blame for it.
Dee Dee, to the uneducated eye, is a stripper. She makes her living shaking her ass for tourists, businessmen away from their wives, college kids, and lonley old men. If you scratch the surface a little deeper, well, you won't like what you find. If you need something in St. Walburga's, Dee Dee can get it. Guns, dope, cars, women, "accidents"...nothing is an unreasonable request to Dee Dee. If you can get to her. She always got her "boys" as she calls them. Blaze, and Voodoo. Joseph Dunn, and Shane Stanley respectevly. I went to school with these guys. I used to get into fights with these guys. I used to kick the shit out of these guys. Nothing serious, basic high school shit, you looked at my girl the wrong way...you stole my cigrettes...I stole your girl...bla bla bla. I stole Dee Dee from both of them.
We dated for about two years. They didn't like that, but there wasn't alot they could do, just follow her around like a couple of lost dogs, looking for a scrap of food. One weekend Dee Dee had a party at her parent's house. She broke into her dad's gun cabinet, and offered Joe, Shane, and myself a gun each. Said some shit like the four of us could run this town, bla, bla, bla. I said no. They won her back, and she took the town, Joe and Shane became Blaze and Voodoo and got to play gangsta, and I got my record shop.
If you don't have someone to watch your back in St. Walburga's, you're as good as dead. I got J.B, and Mac. We did some stupid freshman shit. Ran a little dope, boosted a couple of cars, nothing serious. But then Dee Dee noticed. Saw we had some talent. Used our history, her power and my store to get what she wants. She had some weed she needed moved. Fine. Did it before. Quick one days work. Easy money. Made a couple of calls, and some motherfucka ratted me out.
Two years in prison can fuck with a guy. Don't seem like alot. But people are born, people die, Old business moves in, old ones die out. And every day this fucking cop McPherson telling me, all I gotta do is give her up. "Tell me it was Dee Dee who needed the dope moved. Tell me and you're free..." Every fucking day for one year, nine months, two weeks, one day. Problem is, if I talked...well...I'de be dead. So, two and a half months left on my sentence, I get out on good behaviour. Two and half fucking months, a fucking joke. But here I am a free man.
I think that brings us up to date.
Mac picked me up from prison. It was good to see him with fresh air around us. Still driving a piece of shit '88 Cadillac El Delrodo. Good to see some things don't change. In the drive back to town, I found out I still had my shop. Mac and J.B ran it for me until I got back. I also still had my apartment. Mac dropped me off, and said we'de hook up later. Funny. I never paid rent in almost 2 years, and I'm turning the key, and it's just like I left it. Maybe a little cleaner. I know damn well my guys didn't pay my bills. Turn on Sports Center just in time to see the Leafs just got put out in 4 straight against Philly second round. Fuck. Some things never fucking change. I turned off the television and all of a sudden, it hit me like a bag of hammers right in the face. The smell of Jack Daniel’s mixed with cigarette smoke, with a little Channel No. 5.
This was one of those moments that can define the rest of your life. I was about two steps away from a 9mm that I know I used to keep in the pencil drawer of my desk. Almost within arms reach of a baseball bat standing in the corner. Unless a gun was already pointed at me, I had a chance. Than I heard that all to familiar sound of the hammer being pulled back, and I could almost feel it being pointed at my head.
That moment that could have defined the rest of my life was now over, as I slowly raise my hands, and turn around. Here's Voodoo, looking as smug as he always did.
"Looks like my gun"
He responded with the same stupid smug grin he had since high school. And than the sound of a lighter firing up drew my attention towards the bedroom door.
"Dee Dee. Somehow, I'm not surprised."
She looked good. She always does. If you saw her on the street, she’d turn heads, no doubt about it. But nothing gave away her night job, or her day. Wearing a pair of low rise Levi jeans, a black O.C. Choppers T shirt, and a leather jacket, with matching leather motorcycle boots. She looked like a badass, but yeah, she was fine.
"Voodoo, wait outside."
What Dee Dee says, goes. Lowering his/my gun slowly, Shane started to turn towards the door. Almost two years of prison really started to frustrate me. Two years of thinking who did this to me. Dee Dee was the obvious first choice, but, it didn't feel right. It was her dope, her money. That left two other options. And one of these motherfuckin' options had just pointed my own fucking gun at my face. Without alot of warning, a right roundhouse connected with Voodoo's jaw, and I sent him spinning to the floor, and my gun sliding across my floor.
Recognizing a potential problem, and fixing it right away was one on Dee Dee's greatest talents. Stepping in between the both of us, back on to me, she ushered Voodoo out of my apartment, soothing his ego, and the promise to lick his wounds later, he obeyed, as a good lap dog should.
Lighting a cigarette, I was feeling as good as I had in two years. Picking up my gun, I tossed it on my sofa, I grabbed a beer from the fridge as Dee Dee re-emerged.
Taking a deep inhale,
"it wasn't loaded."
"I know" she purred confidence. "I took the clip out before you got here. Not that I don't trust Voodoo, but, well those feelings are quite old now aren't they."
Never thought I would ever hear the hatred Shane had for me described simply as a feeling.
"What have I done to receive such an eventful homecoming?"
"I just wanted to see how you looked after being inside." A small smile started to make an appearance, "and to offer a token of thanks."
"For what?, not selling you out like one of your boys did to me?"
"For starters...yes, and to make sure you know who has helped you while you were away."
Crushing out my cigarette, guzzling half my beer,
"and just how have you helped me out? Paying my rent? Keeping my cable plugged in? Thanks...now get the fuck out of my face."
"Well", lighting her own cigarette now, " I have to admit, I thought you’d me much more angry." Walking towards the door, she off handedly quips, "In your bedroom closet, there's a couple of things I managed to keep out of the evidence locker.", and just before she leaves, she tosses me the clip from my gun. "be careful now...ok?"
The next half hour, I had the most stress free shower I had in two years, and I also managed to get Dee Dee's stink out of my nose. It was then that I realized that I had better start taking pleasure in the much smaller things, like a hot shower, because taking pleasure in larger things...well, those days are done.
J.B. called later in the evening, if nothing else to gloat over Philly, and to take my time getting back to the shop, things were under control, and to come back when I was good and ready. I have known J.B. for a long time, and a tell tale sign of things out of control, was J.B. telling me things were under control.
9:15 p.m. Store closed 15 minutes ago. Guess I'll check it out now. Heading into the bedroom, I suddenly realize that I had forgotten to check what was in my closet. Half expecting an explosion, I was relived to find an opened cardboard box. The contents were a leather jacket, about 10 grand, a small jewelry box, and a pair of boots. Opening the jewelry box was a slip of paper, and a key. The paper read simply, "just to help you re-adjust, all my love D."
I get dressed. My normal uniform. T Shirt, jeans, and for the hell of it, the boots, and jacket Dee Dee gave me. Inside the pockets of the jacket, were my watch, a couple of rings, and my wallet. The gift that keeps on giving. I grab about half of the cash, the key, my cigarettes, and my loaded gun. 9:45, I'm out the door.
Almost half past 10 by the time I get to the store. At that time, this run down piece of shit building is the most beautiful fucking thing I have ever seen. I do wonder why the lights are still on. I get to the front door, and look through. Mac, and J.B. sitting down behind the cash counter. I open the door.
"Fuck off, we're closed"
"Mac, I'm gonna have to work on your customer service skills."
I have never seen a look of horror like I saw from these two motherfuckers. I caught them doing something, and I had an idea I was about to find out what, and why.
J.B. Hopped over the counter forcing a smile, "Boots, I thought you were gonna take a couple of days off...you know...to get..."
"If you say re-adjusted, I'm gonna shoot you. What's goin' on? Mac?"
Mac started to speak, quietly at first. "Look man, we tried to keep this place goin' for you. But some nasty shit was happening all around us. We showed up one morning, and we were robbed. Not a penny in the fucking place. Insurance wouldn't touch it, because it hadn’t been paid. You took care of all that, and then..."
It hit me. Dee Dee wasn't talking about paying my rent, She "saved" my store.
Walking to the counter, I see what was all the fuss was about. 3 bricks of weed, and about 50 G's in cash.
"WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT? 2 Motherfucking years inside for a third of what you got here! IN MY FUCKING STORE?!? What the Fuck are you thinking?
Mac was the first to speak. Slowly tearing his eyes away from the floor, "well...it's not...well..."
"For fuck's sake Mac...Fucking speak!"
J.B. picks off where Mac tried to go. "Well, listen. When you went in, we tried. We're your boys...right??? But we didn't know what the fuck we were doing. And one night, a couple of punks robbed the place. We had nothing, And..."
"Dee Dee" I said.
"She gave us the money we needed to get this place goin' again."
Mac was nervously lighting a "j" as he spoke.
"But then, she needed us to re-pay the debt."
"And you never had the money. And she took over the shop as payment."
They both nodded their heads in unison.
I turned on my heel, and left without saying a word to them. I few minutes ago, this place was the most beautiful thing I had seen in 2 years. Now, I'de love to see it up in flames.