my Local - John Cecil
I’m broke and I want a pack of cigarettes. I spent all my money getting drunk at Rudy’s Bar and Grill on 9th Ave earlier in the afternoon. It occurs to me that I have a bag of quarters I use for laundry. I can bring that to the corner store and easliy buy a seven-dollar pack of smokes.
So I grab the bag of quarters, about the size of a small sock, and I shove it into the pocket of my coat. I’m walking down the street when I see, off to my left, a guy in a parka with his back to me. There’s a woman in front of him, and it looks like he’s holding her, wrestling with her. She’s saying, “Stop it, stop it!”
I look around. There’s no one out here on West 43rd street except me and them. No cops to call, no one to help. No one but me. So I run up to the son of a bitch and I hit him in the back of his head, as hard as I can. Trying to be a hero.
It was a guy with his wife. The wife was holding their two-year-old. The dad was tring to put the kid’s shoe on. The mom had been telling the kid to stop fighting. The dad wasn’t hurt at all - I imagine because of his parka’s protective coating - but now he’s pissed off.
The mom is screaming at me, the dad wants to kick my ass, and the kid is laughing. Out of nowhere a beat cop shows up and I’m on my way to jail for assault. The dad wants to press charges.
I shoulda hit him with the bag of quarters.
- John Cecil, Hell's Kitchen, NYC