Accidental Hate Crime

The team waited at The Red Lion on Bleecker Street.

We quenched our thirst waiting on RAMS and Lisa to arrive with OG Larry, a friend of a friend from Finglas. We had a little network of pals, some we had never met in person, but spoke to regularly in group chats, and all through our old friend, PMC. It was reciprocated. Both times I crossed the pond to Ireland, spending most of my time mainly in Dublin, I was received with open arms and perfect pours.

The bartender was an Irishman named Ronan, who was also waiting for OG Larry, so now we were including friends of friends of friends to the roster. C-GUL, TRATOR, SALUTE, FM, YIKES and myself got acquainted with Ronan over pints and shots, immediately he clicked with the team.

OG Larry once told a judge after an arrest, that the scale found in his house was only there so he could weigh the drugs he bought and did recreationally to ensure he wasn’t being cheated by dealers, and absolutely not for bagging and distributing. Brilliant.

We wandered to Lit Lounge. A place I used to frequently get shitty at with the team especially Factor, Trator, and Ragu. A dimly lit bar located at 93 2nd Avenue in the East Village that slung drinks for thirteen years before closing in 2015. It was a fun place to get a little wild. My old band played the basement once, Precious Metal on Monday nights, which was a cool event while it lasted, and a ton of rad bands ripped that little stage during its duration. We played with Ashes Within and Sydbarret, if memory serves. Toss them a stream.

We caused our fair share of trouble there and I have definitely been ejected on more than one occasion. I saw SATE throw a bottle that might as well been a floating sphere in Don Coscarelli’s Phantasm, as it bobbed in and out of the path of wasted patrons, until connecting with the intended target, right in the kisser of some herb who beefed with Factor. I wanted to beat up an actor one night who got cross with me, but I let it go, and I have disliked the man ever since. I met Kerry King there, and he was cool to briefly speak with. Fucking Slayer, dude. He had a red drink with an umbrella in it, which seemed out of character but also oddly normal, I presumed the contents were blood. I missed out on a rager with the boys and Sebastian Bach. Youth gone wild, indeed.

I asked the Dj to play something, probably a tune from Ghostface Killah or Glassjaw, or maybe Cage. The Dj looked strangely familiar to me, as if I knew him through a mutual friend or something, and I asked him, “How do I know you?”

The man was affable and super down to earth. He said, “I’ve done a little acting.” He mentioned The Wire, which I fucking loved, and it all came together. Oh, shit. It was a slight Wee-Bey moment. Leo Fitzpatrick. He played Johnny Weeks, Bubbles’s homeboy who OD’s in season three. A little acting, he said. Leo downplayed the 64 acting credits to his name on IMDb with his debut in 1995, starring in the film, Kids. Humble dude. Humility is a good quality that not many people have anymore.

We self medicated, feeling no pain and were having a splendid evening being our usual idiotic selves. C-GUL told me some dudes were grilling him and I shrugged it off, fuck them. I didn’t sense a threat but I could understand how that could be annoying. We were raised in a volatile era where a simple stare was more than enough to justify a donnybrook. Who cares? We had a good squad if something were to go down but I thought it better to leave it be. For us, it was never about trying to come off tough, if anything most of us looked like dorks, sure we tended to get aggressive but we sought fun more than we sought fights. Fighting was a normal part of life then, but we just didn’t care and when challenged sometimes we took our lumps and other times we surprised some loudmouth pieces of shit.

Everyone has a breaking point and I guess C-GUL had reached his and said, fuck it. He ran toward the group and used the bench across from the bar and pictured above as a springboard and soared through the darkness, with outstretched arms like Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, clotheslining two of the men on his descent. It was a sight to behold. Such height. Great form. Had he practiced this move as a child in his parents living room? The move was executed to perfection. Score card read ten. I wonder if Leo got that visual from the Dj booth. I hoped he had.

C-GUL was quick to his feet and quicker throwing hands. He was surrounded and one of the young men he took down popped up and my assumption was he would help his buddy whom C-GUL was currently lighting up, so before he could get a shot off I punched him in his face. His head snapped back, and he brought his hands to his face, and whimpered. He said something to effect of, “Why the fuck are you hitting me?”

Oh, shit!

“Bro, you just committed a hate crime.”

It was full on Wee-Bey. In that sobering moment of clarity it became obvious that yes, they might have been staring at C-GUL, and maybe they wanted to do something that started with the letter F but it wasn’t fighting they were interested in. Sorry fellas. Our bad.

The focus shifted to the bouncer, who threw his hands up in surrender and walked away. It ended there and we knew better than to stick around so we jetted before the possibility of police to arrive. It was clearly a misunderstanding, and though there was a little scuffle, no one was seriously injured, and we got to witness a sick signature wrestling move and I stopped caring about WWF when I was twelve. It was that rad.

I’m certain if we stuck around we could have explained ourselves better but we didn’t. I did apologize on the way out. A hate crime is defined as a traditional offense motivated by bias and this was not the case, though laws can be tricky, and cases can be caught for less. Our prejudices were insular, geared toward specific parks and neighborhoods full of diverse assholes.

Contrary to what is shoved down our throats constantly by the media, and keep in mind I dislike most people, though based on shitty behavior and nothing else, but I believe that majority of humans don’t care what color a person is, who they sleep with or who they worship. Most people want to be left alone without other people imposing their shit upon them. It is strange times, for sure, you can be a piece of shit in real life but if you’re up to date with whatever current bullshit trends in your instagram bio then you’re good. I’d much rather be judged for my character and how I treat someone on a personal level than what I decide or not decide to post on twitter. There appears to be a shortage of decency and that transcends nationality and generations and maybe I’m hypersensitive to it because I’m no longer a young knucklehead out and about raising hell. Now I’m a grumpy older version of myself with three kids existing in a hypocritical and corrupt world that I’m not always fond of. I’m tired. I’m impatient. Keep it moving.

We hung out with OG Larry every night on his visit to NYC which meant I was late to work every morning. No innocent bystanders were harmed during the remainder of his vacation. I never did see C-GUL perform a Superfly Splash on anyone ever again. It’s not completely impossible that I will never see it again, but highly unlikely, and although it was wrong, if you were present, consider yourself lucky, you witnessed magnificence.

4 responses to “Accidental Hate Crime”

  1. Not a hate crime! I do love your friends’ names. I never did hang with the cool people so none of us had good nicknames. Great story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! You got a pretty cool last name, dude.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your writing is so real, like we’re right there with you guys. Love that, great story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Stella! I’ll take that! Thank you for reading!


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