It was night, just the deep of it. I sat in a high back chair; my legs up, resting them on a window’s ledge….The sound and smell of Manhattan lazily stirred in, beyond and above up to the 14th floor where I sat, where my suite was…. Near my right hand, on a night-table, was a glass of Dewar’s Scotch, straight and half full.
I’ve been sitting there some time, so I felt relaxed, well, maybe a bit more than relaxed. After all, it was a long day, a crazy day. Days of that sort I couldn’t seem to get away from.
Speaking of getting away, is the reason I was in New York.
I’m Italian, maybe a bad one and away from the city I was born in Philadelphia.
My name’s Eddy and we’ll leave it at that. There’s a Mob war going on there, Philly, I mean. Was I active in it? Who knows. Was I here in New York waiting for the last act, acts of violence to cool off? Who knows. Does anybody in this town, at least where I’m lying low, know who I am? No!
You’re asking yourself, what’s this guy trying to say or does he have to talk about?
So I’ll answer that, and since I’m sitting here a little boozed up….I’ll start from he beginning.
Since I was a teen, I’ve been coming the hundred miles across New Jersey to Manhattan….Why….? What else, to party. Ain’t no city on earth like the Big Apple as long as you got dough and know how and where to spend it.
Oh, when I was a kid, it was coming here with a couple hundred bucks. A cheap room off of Forty-second Street. A buddy and I would stay a few days, wind up partying with some older, burned-out-broads, then head back home to the hard-working jobs we had.
Now, and of course the years flew by, I ain’t no kid and I ain’t broke either.
But a smart guy like me doesn’t bother with a car. No, you take the train here or have your limo pick you up, if your driver ain’t out turning dollars with it at the time your in need or when you hit town for that matter.
My driver, Danny, a Greek guy, born and raised in Manhattan, was a good hustler. Danny could turn profit of a couple grand a week, in his pocket take-home pay for him and his family. Wasn’t a bad-looking guy, dressed in black all the time….And guess what, even after I laid out twenty-five grand for the almost-new limbo; a limo that we kept parked for free in front of the hotel lobby; I’m sitting high above of…. neither Danny nor the hotel’s exec’s know who I am. Oh, they surmised I might be connected in some sort of way, but what gets them confused is I never go across town to Little Italy in downtown New York to eat. No, I stay away from other Mob guys for a reason. When you’re laying low, it is best.
Anyway, I let Danny and a couple of the hotel’s doormen work the limo when I’m not in town. When I’m around, especially at night, I need it. But at times when I am in town, I gotta work around the steady customers Danny’s got. It’s usually in the late mornings, so’s it don’t hurt much.
Oh, one more thing I should include in this story that is unfolding. I ain’t a bad-looking guy, really. Got the brown hair and eyes most guys from the boot got, but I got that special look, if you know what I mean.
Getting on with the tale….Danny tells me one day that a lot of the limo customers want broads. I tell him straight out I ain’t no pimp. Danny knows not to ask me twice when I answer something straight and hard. So’s he asks me another one in a day or two, asks me about coke, you know the drug. I did move pot back in my day, but no coke. I didn’t like the added violence that came with it. Lord knows I was up to my eyeballs in serious violence with guys just as tough as me.
But Danny kept at me about the coke, says he only wanted to sell grams, says he and the doormen could bring in extra money ’cause they all have families, kids going to college and all that stuff.
So’s I hooks ’em up with one of the guys back home in Philly. Tell this guy to go see so-and-so and then go to New York, see Danny. Tells ’em nothin’ big, stay small, cause I’m in New York to lay low. Don’t need any of the New York guys getting wind I’m moving drugs in New York. Christ, another war will break out, me against a fuckin’ army in that town.
So that done and more heat from the on-going war in Philly, I decide to fly to northern California to check out the high-grade pot they grow up there. Knew an old hippie from when I was a kid bouncing around in L.A.
I stayed out there a month lining a couple of things up. When I get back to New York via a short stay in Philly, Danny looks nervous, even has to have a drink with me before he spills the beans. He goes and tells me that the gram business went good, so good he went to selling ounces to a lot of Wall Street types, getting twenty-two hundred a pop.
“….and?” I says.
“Well, boss, seems I got a hundred and eighty grand in the safe up in your suite.”
So, my hard-working family man, Danny the Greek, got me in something I was totally trying to avoid, turning serious dollars in a town I ain’t supposed to, let alone be in.
Quickly, I shut Danny down, but not before he tells me my Philly guy just left here, leaving him a lot of coke, stuff he can’t just give back and take the chance of it getting busted.
To make a long story short, Danny had to sell what was left.
In two weeks, my hotel room safe had close to half-a-mil in it, and that was only my end.
But after those two weeks, Danny was truly out of the drug business. Me, I took to looking over my shoulder now in Manhattan, as well as Philly.
Well, now I had money to burn, but I wasn’t a guy who gambled or even got high.
[ to be continued ]
By: George Martorano