It was late and it was cold, somewhere on the south side of Milwaukee, 2014. I was set to meet with a a gentleman who asked me to call him Black; and so I did just that. He was late, but he was consistently late. I sat in my car for 15 minutes and twiddled my thumbs to a beat. When he finally did arrive he acted an asshole towards me, but he didn’t make any effort to rip me off. Whatever, the guy probably lives a stressful life, I’ll let him be an asshole to me. We both left the scene immediately. I didn’t make it too far, pulled off to somewhere (else) that looked sketchy on the Southside, and parked. I untied an extraordinarily tiny knot knit from the corner of a plastic bag. I crushed up some powder and then decided to see what it smelt like. About right. Back on the road again, music blasted, I headed for home and made it in one piece. A fairly typical day for one portion of my life.
Several hours later Black texted me from a different phone number than I was accustomed too. It has been a long time since I have spoken to this man, and I won’t admit to remember the nuances of his communication, but the gist of his message was “Chris call me, someone stole my phone, and I want you to set up a meeting with them cuz they’re serving my customers.” My initial reaction to that was “Absolutely fucking never would I consider doing that for you Asshole.” And that’s how it ended up being. He tried calling me several times, and it’s not impossible I answered, but I certainly don’t remember it. He sent me many more messages, all quite jumbled; grammatically they just made me cringe. He wanted me to ring his stolen phone and arrange for a meeting on 86th and Silverspring. Eventually I fell asleep.
I awoke to more messages still. It turned into Black just updating me on the situation, and I wasn’t even the least bit interested in the happenings of him. drudgingly I walked upstairs and said hello to my grandmother. I was probably high, and she is dead now. She was watching the news, which is what she watched everyday, so I fell into the groove of listening quite easily. I saw information of a homicide on 86th and Silver Spring and felt immediate dread for the knowledge I was about to gain. A child, a literal baby, was the victim of a shooting. A young man had apparently fired into the wrong house, shooting the neighbors house instead of their intended target. The last time I ever saw Black was on the TV that morning. I meant to keep up with his trial, but more so I was hoping to just catch it on TV. I never did catch it. I do know he went away though, and he is probably still in prison. I told my grandmother I knew the man, and unfortunately he was just an angry asshole, I wasn’t surprised he totally lost it.
“While I’ll say he lost it! Who does he think he is?! Just going around shooting people!” My grandma understood me better than anyone, and therefore she never never pussyfooted around the meat and potatoes of a situation.
“I don’t know. But he won’t be doing it any more. He’s gonna go away for, relatively, ever. At this point I practically feel bad for him. I know a lot of assholes, but I would bet that man did not become a murderer on his own.”