November 29, 2016: Money Makin' Manhattan - Somewhere between West 48th St and 5th & 6th Ave down the street from a couple of bums and a gimpy hooker...
So Ray. He looks like a Ray so let’s just call him Ray. Ray is just walking down the street minding his own fucking business like any good citizen of the Big Apple. For those of you who don’t know because you’re a potato person from the Midwest with eyes all over your lumpy russet head and you’re used to awkwardly rolling down the street at a leisurely pace, that’s not how civilized people walk. Keep those beady eyes straight ahead, put a kick in your step like the cops are after you, and most important of all mind your fucking business, and if anyone asks, you didn’t see nothing, and you don’t know nobody.
So back to Ray. Ray is a good New Yorker. He’s minding his P’s and Q’s with his mind on his money and his money on his mind. Ray is always on the hustle. He’s got to get to his under-the-table job in twenty hot New York minutes. (That’s five for you Mr. and Mrs. Potato head.) It’s a nut – freezing day, but he’s no tourist so he’s rockin a fugazee Northface bubble jacket sans sleeves. His fine head of sorta-Italian hair is strapped tight to his dome piece so he’s good. He’s got enough time to pop into the bodega to grab a blue cup coffee like a real American, not like those communists at Starbucks. He’s happy as fuck. It’s a good day to be Ray.
Oh and there’s one more thing about Ray. You know that friend that you have who knows a guy, who knows a guy, whose boy finds stuff that falls off the back of trucks? Well Ray, our man Ray, he’s the truck whisperer. Ray has a knack for finding trucks in distress and in dire need of someone to unburden them from their unreasonably heavy loads. Ray is a good guy. He’s also a strong guy since he’s always lifting things. He lifts heavy, sometimes light. Ray is alway mixing it up depending on the day. He likes to keep you guessing. He hates to plateau. Remember Ray is always on the hustle. Besides whispering trucks, Ray is a pillar of the community. He loves to give back, in his own way, by way of steep discounts on new and slightly used merchandise. Half-off Revlon mascara? Don’t worry Ray’s got you. Wholesale price on lumber? Ray’s got a stack nearby. An industrial – size box of Trojans? Ray’s got that pipe covered. Ray was Johnny-on-the-spot before John, Sr. had a twinkle in his eye. Ray was Charlie Hustle before Pete Rose bet a nickel on the Reds to cover the spread.
So Ray is making good time. He’s a few blocks away from work on West 48th with his money on his mind at this point. (His mind was on his money a block back.) He crosses the street and lo and befuckinghold a poor, weighted down truck in serious need of being whispered is idling in front of him. Its doors are wide open. It’s begging to be saved. Ray walks up real casual like and from this angle it looks like a 5gal bucket of paint is sitting in the back with nobody to care for it. The bucket is black, weird color for a bucket of paint, but what the fuck ever.
Ray swoops in and lifts the bucket. This thing goes for $140 at Home Depot if it’s the good stuff so he’ll do someone a favor for $80. He’s looking at a quick $60 from the score. That’s 6 hours of work… no taxes. Ray’s also a street mathematician. The bucket feels a bit heavy, but like I said Ray’s in shape on the count of his lifting regimen….
TO BE CONTINUED….
(c) J. Manuel