Googie couldn’t believe it was this cold. So cold his skin stung like red ants were attacking him. So cold his hands ached and he could barely hold on to the clipboard. Googie’s gloves were cheap—leather shit that he wore to school when he wanted to look “knock-a-nigga-out” menacing and all that. Simon walked alongside of him, laughing while smoking a Kool, fronting like the cold didn’t fuck with him at all.
So far, Simon had sold damn near a dozen subscriptions. Simon’s receipt envelope, bulging with checks and cash, made Googie feel more miserable. He wanted to snatch it out of his hand and say, “Big bank take little bank,” or, in this case, the reverse. But he couldn’t do that now, since he and Simon were down, and a down brother don’t go back on his word unless he had a really good reason, or maybe a half-assed one. Plus, well, if he jacked Simon, he’d have to find his own way to the bus and there was no telling he could do that before he died of exposure.
“You gonna do this one?” Simon asked him.
“You think I should?”
“Well, yeah, ’cause you want to make some money. They do be paying. It ain’t much of nothing, but you gonna want your cut when Buelia Mae be handing out the cards.”
“I do like money.”
“Well, it ain’t actually money.”
“It gift cards.”
“Gift cards? What kind of gifts?”
Simon explained how if you sell enough subscriptions, you can get gift cards to Starbucks and Boston Market, and even Disneyland if you sell 200. “If you go for the cash, you might as well collect cans.”
“Damn. You need a gang of cans to make anything, and them people with the shopping carts got it all wired.”
Simon nodded and they bumped hands.
“Okay, so knock on the door and just say your script, and try not to scare them.”
“I’m good. I know what to say. I ain’t gonna be scaring anybody.”
The snow had lightened a bit, but Googie’s beanie was still peaked with white and his big, wool coat had white ridges riding his shoulders. He thought that if he were really smooth, whoever opened the door might be kind and let him inside so that he could get warm and his nuts could descend and shit. The neighborhood was sweet; big houses that looked like they cost a grip, with big driveways and big-ass cars in them. He ran through the hustle as he walked to the door. The doorbell chimed so loud he flinched. This whole thing suddenly seemed pretty stupid—what was he doing out in white-boy land hawking magazines?
He heard footsteps and a second later the door opened and he was looking into the eyes of a blue-eyed blond woman, the kind of fine-ass white woman with tatas like he saw on television, not like the skinny, dried-up teachers at school. She must not have seen anyone like him before either, a massive boy whose head seemed to be a beanie-covered soccer ball with snow on top of it and a carnivorous-looking smile.
“Yes?” she asked nervously.
“My name is Googie—no I mean Joseph. I’m here raising money for drug-using teenagers who got to get in college before they go to jail. See what I’m saying? I’m asking you for magazines so I can get money in college.”
“Oh!” she said. “You should go.”
“You wanna see my magazine shit—I mean list?”
“I’m getting my husband,” she said.
Googie got in an “Okay” before she slammed the door.
Simon waved his arms, drawing Googie’s attention.
“Dude! What happened to the woman you was talking to?”
“I don’t know.”
“We should bail.”
“She’s getting her husband.”
“We need to get on up. No reason to be waiting for shit.”
The door swung open and Googie saw Simon turn and run fast like he was trying not to get shot.
Googie shook his head, thinking that there was no way he was gonna try to keep up with his ass. Running wasn’t something he did lightly.
“You!” Googie heard a deep voice shout from behind him.
Googie turned to see a big white man in a business suit with a shotgun in his hands pointed at the ground in his general direction.
Oct 25, 04:46 PMPurchase or Subscribe to Slake: Los Angeles
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