December 23, 2016: Hot off the presses! Update! Nowadays everybody wanna talk but nothing comes out when they move they lips, just a bunch of gibberish. And mofos wanna act like they forgot about Ray!
So first off, I just want to correct the record. The news is reporting that the cops have identified our man Ray the “Manhattan Bullion Snatcher”, aka “Gold Dust”, aka “Lucky Leprechaun”, aka “The Westside Bucket Bandit”, as a dude that goes by the name of Julio some-shit-or-other. Well let me just say this: Fuck you Ray! We know it’s you, you gold grabbing fuck. You may have everyone fooled, but we got you Ray! Alright now that the PSA is out of the way let’s get back to our story.
So we last left our protagonist Ray somewhere on the Westside of Money Makin’ Manhattan. He’s got a bucket of gold in his paws, but he doesn’t know it yet at least not till he gets home. For a quick $60 maybe even a solid bill he’ll show up to work a half hour late so whatever. Ray loops around the next block, and heads back to his apartment. He keeps an eye out for the Russian Super, Vlad whatever-the-fuck. Ray’s a couple days late on the rent so he’s got to come in and out ninja-style like a Chinese cleaning crew. Ray makes it up to his crib up on the 5th. It’s quiet. Nice. His old lady is already gone for the day to make an honest living as a hairdresser. She, Miriam, does nails too. She’ll do a number on your cuticles for a dime. She’s cool with Ray’s line of work just as long as he sticks to high-end items like makeup, perfumes, handbags, and anything that would complement her off-the-rack, five-finger-discount wardrobe. (A bucket of paint ain’t gonna get her excited.)
Ray brings the bucket into the kitchen to check his score. He’s hoping for some paint-primer 2-in-1 combo. That’ll fetch a premium. Then he opens it up. Holy fucking shit! It’s the mother load. Ray brings his street math skills to bear. A million easy! But it’s in flakes. Who fucking has gold flakes? (Seriously who? Some rich fuck that’s who!) Ray shoots his eyes around the kitchen. Where the…? He stops and stares at the stove. Could he melt it? Where’s that annoying, heavy ass, cast iron pan that Miriam bought last week? Crap! Which will melt first, the gold or the pan? That ain’t gonna work. Maybe Jew Jesus knows a guy that could help him out? (Jew Jesus is really Half-a-Jew Jesus, a Puerto Rican Jew who lives on the block. Ray doesn’t trust him on the count of his Puerto Rican side might steal the gold, and his Jew side might gyp him, but either way he’s gotta take a chance.)
Ray mulls it over a bit and decides against calling that cocksucker. Ray goes down to the basement where he’s got a stash. There are others, but he ain’t telling nobody. (Not even Miriam.) He pulls out two empty paint buckets and pours half the gold flakes in each. The black bucket will disappear tonight when the trash gets picked up at the Chinese restaurant across the street. Ray walks out of his building, ninja-style, crosses the street and drops the black bucket off after wiping his prints off it. He climbs down into the subway with one bucket in hand. (The other is already stashed in another stash. He ain’t telling you either.) He’s soon on the quickest train to Queens. Everyone in the gold and jewelry district in Manhattan will be on the lookout for the gold by now, plus the cops and feds are always crawling around that spot. Nope. He’s heading to Queens to talk to his favorite pawn Hiran the Swami. Indians (dots not feathers) love gold, and Queens has lots of Indians so it’s the DL spot to make some quick cash on your dead mother’s jewelry. (Especially when she’s been buried five times in the last month. May she rest in peace.)
Ray pops out of the subway thirty minutes later and heads to Hiran’s pawn shop. In the back he shows him the bucket. “What can you do for me? I’ll cut you in for a quarter.” Hiran wants half. They settle on a third. Hiran bobs his head and waves him into the way back. Old man Hiran is back there sitting over a smelter, inhaling all sorts of fumes, and making jewelry. The old man weighs the flakes, bobbles his head, and mumbles to Hiran. They mumble and bobble back and forth before Hiran turns to Ray. 100k cash and the rest in trade. Ray’s not so sure, but Hiran prints good paperwork for all his pieces so that it keeps resale value on re-pawn at another shop.
To be continued…
© J. Manuel