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My 1st bust



A little later as I cruised past Pep Boys near the intersection, I felt my bowels churn as I recalled this as the ‘site of my very first bust’. At nine, I had jumped out my bed like a chocolate Jack-In-The-Box and had thrown on my clothes, not caring in the least that my socks were mis-matched. Out in the front yard, I had hopped on my bike, a fading green English Racer, and had pedaled like hell up and out of First Ward to Pep Boys.
Having already worked out the details of the ‘heist’ in my head, I had entered into the store from a back entrance. I then sneaked down a narrow hallway where the pungent fumes of spray paint attacked my nostrils while the sickly smell of new bicycle tires made my eyes water.
At the end of the hallway that now felt like a tunnel, I had paused just inside the opening that would lead directly into the main interior of the store. Earlier reconnaissance missions of the store had revealed that to the left would be a cashier’s desk. To the right would be where I needed to get to. Sticking my head out like a turtle, I had stared to my right and the shiny horn beckoned to me as though it was the Hope Diamond. I had to have that motherfucka!
For the first time since I had started believing in luck, the bitch seemed to have been smiling on my ass that morning. The clerk was not at the counter! As far as I was concerned, that was a divine mandate for me to go get that motherfucking horn. And that is precisely what I had done. I had boldly sauntered over the row of bicycle horns and had snatched the one I had wanted off the rack and had then stuffed the motherfucka under my shirt.
Inside my head, I had also followed my exclusive, paint-by-number getaway and as planned ended up by the front door without a hitch. I was scot free. Almost.
“Put that damn horn back, nigga.”
I had burst out of the front door. The clerk gave hot pursuit. I ran fast.
Suddenly aware that I may have misread the happy ending part of my plan, I had scurried around the corner and had dashed down the backside of East Ninth Street, running into the parking lot behind Robert Hall’s Clothing Store.
By and large, I should have gotten away and it is very likely that I would have had it not been for that damned fence.
I hadn’t even had time to wonder when the motherfucka had been put up before the store clerk was on top of me.
“Man, you crazy or something,” I had said. “You done run me down heah all ‘cause of a damn horn that ain’t even yours. Better look around. You in nigga-town now and all I gotta do is whistle and all my cousins and them gonna come running. You’ll get fucked up pretty bad. I wouldn’t be able to stop them even if I wanted to ‘cause them niggas tough and they don’t like no crackers.”
“You gonna give me the fucking horn or do I have to take it?”
“White boy, what the fuck wrong wit’ you? Didn’t you just hear what I just tole’ you ‘bout my kinfolk stomping a mudhole in yo’ ass.”
“I heard, but I think the police know what to do with tough niggas.”
Then the cops were there and off I went to the police department. That morning I had came to know that Lady Luck was indeed a bitch. In later life, I would come to realize that Justice wasn’t that blind after all. Ho always saw me coming.


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