Kenneth West

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TAGGER

A Novel

By Kenneth West

Southern Classic Publishing, LLC

Mansfield, Texas

 

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Southern Classic Publishing, L.L.C.

990 Hwy 287 N Ste 106 #298

Mansfield, Texas 76063

Office:682-587-9818

www.southernclassicpublishing.com

Copyright 2014 ©

All rights reserved. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form whatsoever without permission.

 

Graffiti

  1. Unauthorized writing or drawings on a public surface
  2. The signs, symbols and art often associated with gang culture
  3. A form of art affiliated with urban blight

 

Tagger

One who paints graffiti, usually illegally

BA — Burning America, Baltimore Alcoholics

BAD — Boys Are Down

BH —   Bounty Hunters

BNS — Bombing Never Stops

CAC —   Crazy Ass Criminals

CNS —   Checking Nuh Skills

FUH —   Fuck Ur Hood

GM—   Going AWOL, Ghetto Art, Gods at War

GB   —   Ghetto Blasters

GCS —   Graff Can Sorcery

GFM —   Great Fucking Moments

GK   —   Ghetto Kings

IBS —   International Bomb Squad

KD —   Kings Destroy

LT —   Latin Terrorist

NG —   Nitty Gritty

OBW — Only 4 Best Writers

PG — Planet Green

ROT — Reign of terror

SF   — Sticky Fella

SPL — Spray Platinum Love

TDS — The Death Squad

TKO — Taking Over, Taking Crew Out

TLV — The Latin Vandals

VIC — Vandals In Control

WDS — We Destroy Shit

WGS — We Got Style

WK — We Kings

 

“The rebels of one generation are the culture heroes of another.”

 

 

 

Chapter one

An exhaustive study published in The Journal of Human Copulation, and picked up by the LA Times for the vertical masses found that artist and creative types had more sex than the general population. Too bad for the horizontally challenged “experts”, who actually had time to study bullshit like that while the rest of the world was busy working and knocking boots.

The study didn’t say whether the right brain individuals were in monogamous relationships, married or still playing the field. That was for another group of intellectuals to ponder in between spanking the salami.

Loud thump.

“Calmado.”

Another thump.

I agreed with the study. After all, I was an artist. Just the way most writers are writers.

Broke and unpaid.

Sacrifice I made for favoring concrete over canvas.

Thump.

“Calmado.”

But I did have a ton of sex, which could be attributed to the fact that I was healthy, married and had a wife that equally loved the horizontal tango. Then to the fact that I was an artist per se.

Thump.

“Calmado.”

Just as politics was the rich man’s sport, sex was the poor man’s pastime, recreation, and retreat, even if it was sometimes complicated by kids. Wanted and unwanted. STDs and headaches. It was still Bally’s without the membership fee.

The particleboard headboard hit the wall again.

Thump.

Besides being another struggling artist (exactly what the world needed), I was equally good at multitasking, like thinking about bullshit studies while ignoring, or at least trying to ignore, the latest addition to the symphony of percussions already filling my ears.

Then my lead Soprano had to go and add an off-key note, totally disrupting the harmony of my inner lecture/outer concert. “Facil, Papi, calmado”- Easy daddy, settle down.

With our two daughters asleep in the next room of the cardboard apartment, if they didn’t hear us, the neighbors definitely would, the way we laid in bed and snickered when we heard them, especially since the couple next door were in their early sixties. Gloria said it was impossible for her to look the sweet, grey-haired, grandmotherly Mrs. Rodriguez in the eye the next day, after having heard her husband repeatedly ask, “Whose is it,” and hearing Mrs. Rodriquez shriek his name for ten minutes in reply.

It didn’t bother me. Gloria better get hip to the Viagra age. Fast-forward forty years, that’s her butt. She better hope we’d have a house by then, so no one can hear her.

Chastened, I slowed my pace, thinking how the first thing I was gonna buy when we did get our house was a real bed, a solid oak one and bolt that sucker to the floor. I might even soundproof the walls, recording studio style. Then go off the goddam chain.

Soon as I let up, Gloria tightened the vice-like hold she had me in. Arms locked around my shoulders, legs clasped tightly behind my back, then increased her own movements, writhing and moaning, creating her own reverse thrust – revealing the wide gulf between what she said she wanted, and what she actually did. Women.

She cooed, “Ohh, aiii, mero Papi, no pares, aiii mero.” – Don’t stop, right there.

Gloria spoke Spanish the most when we made love, or when she was upset. Whenever her brain was overwhelmed by pleasure or anger, the Spanish poured from her like a faucet.

The bed hit the wall again. Gloria swore.

By now her hundred and ten pound body-lock had started feeling like a WWF hold. I flexed my muscles, broke free and folded her up into a human pretzel. I know how to bring it. She knew that.

Soon as the jackhammer came on, her eyes opened as wide as her Spanish features would allow. She moaned and squirmed, tried to scoot away up the bed, like a crab on its back.

The headboard made contact with the wall again.

Hard.

But this time I heard a stir in the other room, even though it was late. Past two in the morning. To be on the safe side, I had to change plays. Reluctantly, I did before the game ended without a touchdown or even a punt.

Easing off my wife while listening for sounds from the other room; she gave me a devilish smile that said, “Won that one.”

But the game wasn’t over yet. Slowly and tenderly, I dried the sweet perspiration from her steaming skin with my tongue, continuing until I reached her moistest point.

Whereupon she quickly reestablished her vice-like grip. Only this time it was my head that she attempted to crush. “Asme eso, Papi.” – Do that shit, daddy.

Over Gloria’s attempts to sing, I heard the curtain fall. Three little taps against the door, followed by Maria’s tiny six-year-old voice, tight with fear “Mama.”

Gloria was so busy moaning and trembling, trembling and moaning from my tongue-lashing that it took her a few seconds to regain her facility for coherent speech. When she did, she sounded like a dragon spitting fire, “Vete a dormir. Lo que Te digo, estoy bien. Si no Te regresas a la cama para dormirte, Te voy a dar.” Go back to bed. What I tell you, I’m fine. You don’t get back in that bed right now and go to sleep, I’m gonna whip your butt.

I could almost see Maria with her big oval eyes and long black hair jump, see the tears forming at the corner of her dark brown eyes. “Stop hollering at her.”

“Don’t tell me what to do with my child.”

“She’s mine too.” Gloria pissed me off when she said bullshit like that.

The implication was that since Maria wasn’t my daughter as far as DNA was concerned, I had less say so concerning her. Yet I was the only father she had since she was two and she called me daddy.

Her biological father Cesare was serving a twelve to twenty in Pelican Bay for robbery and attempted murder. Not that he was much of a father when he was out.

Before me and Gloria got together and had our DNA daughter Sultana – since she wanted to be all-technical – Gloria and Maria’s father had an Ike and Tina-type relationship. With lots of fighting, hollering, cursing and calling the police, who alternated between who they took to jail.

Cesare this time. Gloria the next one.

Although Cesare was long out the picture, all the drama at such a young age had scared Maria. She slept like a feather and was subject to cry at the drop of a hat, over any- and everything. An argument, a dead bird, actors fighting on TV, any type of conflict. And after seeing Gloria with bruises and black eyes, she was extremely protective of her mother.

A major source of contention between us concerning Maria was that Gloria felt like I spoiled and babied her and Sultana too much. In her book, life was hard and our daughters needed to know that the world wasn’t going to cater to their whims, nor to Maria’s sensitive feelings.

She wanted them to know that the world and sometimes even your family would rather kick you when you down than give you a hand up. That the only time most people would reach out their hand to you was to hit you with it.

She was raised in a two-bedroom apartment with twelve brothers and sisters in Aliso Village housing projects, right in the heart of East LA, by her single mother after her father got deported when she was still little. Hence, she was used to fighting for everything she got, from her mother’s over-taxed affection to a simple slice of bread. Some people saw life as a game, but Gloria approached life as an all-out war, and believed that sensitive souls like Maria didn’t stand a chance. Especially not in the barrio of East LA that we called home.

Still I had a different worldview. I didn’t see the cup as half empty. And certainly didn’t believe that the best way to prepare your children for the harshness of the world was by being equally harsh.

The home was supposed to be a sanctuary where you could go to lick your wounds and be healed, not be reinjured. If my desire to create an oasis for my family in the middle of an urban desert meant I spoiled or over-indulged my daughters, so be it.

I slid out of bed and began pulling on my boxer shorts. Gloria grabbed my hand, “I’m sorry baby,” she said. “I’ll check on her in a minute.”

I hesitated, certain Maria was already in bed crying her eyes out. In my moment of indecision, Gloria saw the opportunity to enforce P-power, being an expert at controlling the big head via the less formidable one.

She slid to the edge of the bed and sat in front of me. Without giving me a chance to protest, she started communicating non-verbally with me.

Thirty seconds after the conversation began, I had lost all desire to protest, and couldn’t even remember why I had gotten out of bed to begin with.