the short story project


Tommy Friend

California Dreamin’

  It was on July 12, 1990, I had always dreamed of going to California since I was a little kid. Most of all the TV shows & movies were from California, Palms trees and awesome beaches. Even David Lee Roth sang “California girls were the best in the world”. I just moved to San Diego, California with a long time friend from Chicago. My friend tells me tonight we are going to Tijuana Mexico. He tells me there’s going to be a lot of senoritas there. I said beautiful girls with long black hair and hot tans. DUDE you don’t have to talk me into it. Let’s Go! We were at one of your friend’s house. He was telling us about the Mexican Police in you get in trouble you’ll need $100 dollars to get home safe or you’ll be beaten & stuck in jail. He said trust me you need to be careful in Mexico. So I start weighing stuff in my head, on one hand, stuck in jail & beaten and on one the other hand hot sexy babes that might really drunk. My friend from Chicago says do you still want to go? I said OH YEAH Were going. so I’m counting my money I stick $400 in my Reebok (I was planning on getting into a lot of trouble lol) and put it on. I stick $700 in my pocket and hide $1000 in the van.

  We go downtown to take the trolly to Tijuana and standing at the by stop. I was telling my friend how great living in San Diego was. I told him when I was a kid growing up on welfare and living in some really poor neighborhoods. I always dream of living by the oceans with white sandy beaches palms trees and it never snows and I also dream of seeing the world & going to another country. We going to Mexico today is going to be a great day I can feel it. So we’re standing at the stop for the trolley and I looked down at the end of the block and at the corner is probably around 15 black guy standing there. I and my friend talking and I noticed the black guys walking down the street headed in our direction. They look like they were going to come to wait at the trolley with us but then they started walking right by us. A few of them walking behind me a couple in front of me.

 I felt some really hard hit up against the back of my head and I didn’t care what it was now I was looking down the barrel of a 9 mm. As I look at my friend I see he’s got a chrome revolver up to the side of his head and at the of the bottom of his chin up against his throat it was chrome blade. The guy says give us all your fucking money, I will fucking kill you. And I look at my friend and the guy with the gun up against the said his telling him he’s going to fucking kill him too. I see somebody ripping a silver chain off his neck. And at the same time, somebody’s ripping my goal chain on my neck and I heard this one guy say take his shoes. I had this pair Reeboks there are probably a couple of months old but I didn’t wear much. So they look brand-new and is the guy lifts up my leg to take my shoe off I’m thinking fuck that’s the shoe with the $400 underneath it.

 And I go to look down at my shoe. I’m looking down the street there a nobody on the street driving and then from behind the building comes this one car into the middle of the big intersection and it’s got its left turn signal on. And this car now has everybody’s undivided attention and I’m thinking wow I have seen that car on TV before. The guy who had my leg lifted up in the air. His put my leg back down and he doesn’t want to steal my shoes anymore. I think he just had a change of heart. This car slowing down in the intersection and get ready to make that left-hand turn that means it’s going to turn coming right towards us and will drive right past us. I know what you’re thinking right now. It’s KITT from Knight Rider no it’s a brand-new 1990 FORD Crown Victoria is black and white and what? is that on the hood? are those fucking DJ lights? NO those are police lights. I’m thinking like in that show “CHiPs” from the 70s. That’s California Highway Patrol and yeah he did turn coming our way so I turned my head and I look to see my friend and I look and I can see 8 to 12 feet away are all those black guys there it in a fast-paced to get back to the corner and go around the building quickly.

 We just start walking towards the police car and I know they said they were going to kill us but would they really gun us down on the same street as a Highway Patrol car driving right towards us??? This police officer doesn’t know that we just got rob. So he takes a quick right into the 711 and he pulls up to the front doors and puts it in part. He opens his door and soon as he does me and my friend are right there telling him what just happened. We get into the patrol car and with no lights on, no headlights on, no sirens on we go driving around the block looking for them. He tells us well were probably not going to find them and your money is probably already smoked up in crack by now. We cruise around in the Patrol car for 10 or 15 minutes. So we drive back to the 711 the police officer tells us that we have to fill out a police report.

 My friend goes first and then is my turn. So you know what they say. Name? Address? Age? Date of birth?. So I tell him and he turns around right away and he says you got a be fucking kidding me? I was like what that’s my real name and then I thought about it and I said oh yeah and today’s my birthday. Yeah! Happy Birthday to me. I started laughing. Not the worse birthday ever had but definitely on the top five. The officer is now shock and shaking his head. He tells me well the still live to see another one and if I knew what I do now I would’ve told him I am going to get more than nine lives in this lifetime and I’ll have a big smile on my face. God never answers when I call, but I know he got bigger plans for me. So we go back to my friend’s house. He says did you guys have a great night? how was your birthday? Yeah, we had a pretty crazy night. We tell him the story he replies “that’s fucking crazy”. So we’re sitting on the couch. I & my friend were drinking some beers. My friends tell me how fucking piss he is about his chain been stolen. I said, “It’s a was only silver probably only worth $50 bucks mine was a gold chain that was worth $360”. I never forget what he said that night, it tore me up. He said, “That’s not the point someone, gave me that chain that loved me when we were together and now we are not together anymore and I can’t replace that chain ever”. I bought mine myself. I said, “yeah dude, your right! Your chain was worth way more than mine”. Man, that would fucking suck too die on your birthday it would be on the tombstone everybody looking and saying. look at this, he died on the day he was born. So whenever I hear someone say remember your 18 birthday I’m thinking I remember mine. In a police report back that story up 100% and the other guy still alive. And he will say yeah that’s what happened.

 I think I was 11 or 12 years old. It was my birthday and we live on 3118 N Clinton Ave. in Chicago IL, In an apartment building right behind another apartment building. There was no front lawn just a 12 x12 concrete sidewalk and my mom was sitting in a chair getting drunk with her feet in the small 4 or 5 foot around swimming pool about a foot high made of vinyl, she was filling it up with water and being a bitch that day, some of my friends that I knew from school stop by, I was telling everybody it was my birthday. My mother started bitchin & yelling at me, She grabbed me by the neck and was trying to drown me, she was forcing my head under the water, I was trying hard the get away but I couldn’t, I start to push down the sidewall to let the water out, I broke free and got away from her and all my friends were laughing and I left. I remember the first day of school at Robert Morris in Chicago IL. Everybody in my class was telling a story about how much fun they had over the summer things they did with their family’s and vacations they went on and one my friend at my house that day told everybody Tom’s mom tried to drown him on his Birthday and everybody started laughing and the teacher walks by she looked right into my eyes as they were talking about it and she turned her head and keep on walk to her desk, Like she didn’t even hear that but I know she did. A couple of months later we would move to Rutherford and I would go to Locke School, I was glad cause nobody there would know that story. I remember the fight to break free and the water going up my nose and trying hard breathe underwater and breaking free, I was so fucking mad but I couldn’t fight back I was too young too small & too weak. but I would always be too young too small & too weak. One day I would give my mother a taste of her own medicine and she would NOT LIKE IT, and she would never lay a hand on me again.


A Tommy Friend Story

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