I Remember Part II
by Michele Christopher
Or least it felt that way at that point…. John and I hung out for a bit but we really wanted to find CJM. “He was hanging with Ickie and Justin last night when we left,” John looked at me like I was some kind of detective, “Well, Ickie lives in Norristown, so that’s out, Justin lives in West Philly, so that’s out….. Any other ideas?” “Fuck it.”
We walked around South Philly for hours stopping at all the spots where CJM and Jane might go. “Maybe they went home…” CJM lived right around the block from my house but I knew if I went back home now my mother would either lock me in my room or have my bags packed on the front step, “I can’t go home right now dude…..Yo, is that Ickie?”
Ickie’s expression said it all, “You know what happened right…. Me and CJM left Brody’s to meet Justin-“ “I thought you were with Justin at Brody’s?” “-No, listen dude, so we see a bunch of guido’s at the corner of 6th and Pine… They start saying shit so I told CJM not to say anything stupid-“ “So what’d he say?” “-Your mamma.” I can only imagine the scene…. Here you have a couple young drunk skins walking past a bunch of low-life wanna-be mob club boys with nothing to do. “Fuck….” Ickie shaking his head he goes on, “One of them walks up to us, CJM of course gets right in his face and says it again – I’m ready to take off but I can’t leave him there you know?” I can see John’s fist clenching…. “So then what?” “-The rest of them walk up, slam me to the sidewalk, one of grabbed CJM by the neck, held him up on the wall and pounded him in the eye….”
John is turning red now, “John, relax dude…” “Then what?” “-I fuckin’ ran!” John grabbed Ickie like he was a rag doll, “You left him there!!” Ickie was shitting himself, “Dude, what could I do, there was like six of them.... I ran back to Brody’s house, Justin was there with Adam, Mark and Ivan, they all came back with me…..”
I thought John was going to kill him right there. I could tell by the anger in his eyes that he didn’t really need to hear anymore. The thought of CJM getting beat to shit while Ickie ran from the scene was a bit too much to take…Ickie would soon be a beaten, bloody mess on sidewalk – I figured I’d better speak up, “Then what?” Ickie replied to me while keeping an eye on John, “Ivan was pushing me the whole way back saying I was a dead skin if CJM is fucked up… Adam and Justin were running way ahead of us-“
Adam and Justin were two skins you needed on your side; they had so much loyalty they would kill anyone who fucked with one of their own. Justin, a tall good looking skin of obvious Nordic decent, always wore a black U.S. Army beret and carried a cane. The cane didn’t help him walk, it helped him beat people. Adam was a real ‘clean cut’ skin; all about the Fred Perry’s and polished 14 hole Ox Blood Doc’s. He was a union steel framer in the city who very much looked like he threw steel around all day. Justin initiated CJM a few years before so he kinda treated him like a younger brother.
Ickie continued, “-Some asshole in a beamer (BMW) started pointing at us as him and his girl were laughing, Justin jumped up on the roof of the car, and smashed the windshield with his cane-“ neither John or I flinched at this little addition to his story, Justin was known to flip out when he was even slightly provoked, “-By the time we got back, CJM was gone, the guido’s were gone….” Ickie looked like he was too nervous to go on; John was right in his face waiting for him to say the wrong thing…. “-Ivan slammed me to the ground, I heard Adam say he was gonna beat down every wop in the city until he finds CJM……” I could smell the fear…… “…..Then I got up ran-“
Before he even got all the words out, John had him on the sidewalk beating him on the side of his face until blood was pouring from his mouth. I knew if I didn’t stop him, he would kill Ickie. As I said earlier, John was like a vicious Pit-Bull….. And I would never try to pull a Pit-Bull from a fight. I had to do it, Ickie surely would be dead if I didn’t. No sooner did I pull John away…. You guessed it, Ickie ran.
“So now what?” John asked me, without a bit of remorse for what just happened, “Dude, you almost killed him!” John looked at me, “Fuck him – we’ve gotta find CJM.” I looked past him to see the TLA Video sign flickering on. “What time is it?” We kept walking around….. Down Fifth street to Christian, back up Eighth street to Bainbridge….. It seemed we covered all of South Philly! “What the fuck is going on up there?!” John saw them first and took off towards them… I still couldn’t really tell who it was.
As we got closer, I recognized Butcher but I couldn’t tell who he was beating – “Hurry up dude!” John could run like hell. I guess it was because he was a skater and I was a lazy lump of cigarette smoking trash! By the time we caught up, Butcher stood over his victim…. “India?!” I was shocked, she must have been alone. “What happened?” I was almost afraid to ask….
Butcher looked right at me, “Fuckers tried to take my boots! They’re not even Docs!!” He kicked India’s still, bleeding body, “Fucking whore….” John had no problem trying to get the rest of the story, “How did you find her alone….Where are her boys?” Butcher looked at John like he was next, “Fuck you John, you think I can’t handle a couple of pussy DC skins?” John actually looked worried, “No dude, I just don’t see-“ Butcher cut in, “I’ll go the fuck down there right now and kill every fucking one of them!”
Butcher was scary enough when he was calm, but right now, I don’t even want to look him in the eye. “Her two faggot boys kicked me down from behind, I got right up, ripped one of them, he ran, the other one ran so I beat the fuck out of her!” ‘Ripped’ meant he slashed him….. Hence the name ‘Butcher’. “She’s not moving dude” They both looked at me like I was an asshole, “She’s not dead,” John assured, “she’s just out.”
I couldn’t help but think that Butcher may have solved our DC infestation… They picked the wrong punk to jump. Come to think of it, I don’t recall any more ‘boot stealing horror stories’ since. “You two need somewhere to stay?” Here we are standing above this beaten, unconscious chick talking like it never happened – “I’m going back to Brody’s” We started walking, I looked at John, then to Butcher, “We’ve gotta find CJM.” “Oh shit,” Butcher stopped, “Brody told me he went home, I forgot to tell you….”
I was kind of relieved, a little pissed but not that I would show, not to him – “Let’s go get the train.” John spoke right up, “Later Butcher….” There was always this warm feeling when you walked away from Butcher, almost like you were walking away from Satan. We started walking back to Market East.
Tesco still lives just outside of Philadelphia and has walked away from Satan numerous times, usually after having coffee with him.