NYU Black Renaissance Noire Fall 2013 - Page 93

2 My Left Arm “We’re not open yet,” I said. Fish flashed his shield and introduced himself and his partner. McCreedy had on a black shirt, black pants, black sneakers and an extraextra-extra-large black satin baseball jacket that was bursting at the seams around his hideously swollen biceps. He gave me that ‘you are a bug I won’t hesitate to squash’ look loved by cops the world over but raised to new heights (or should I say depths) by New York’s less than finest. With his size, ugly pockmarked face and missile shaped baldhead, McCreedy doesn’t have to do much to look mean. I think he tried a little harder for my benefit. But maybe I flatter myself. “What was that?” said McCreedy. This time I took the Fifth. Better late than never. I leaned the mop against the wall and wiped my hands off on my shirt. But McCreedy wasn’t having it. He came at me like a crack-crazed rhino. If he had gotten any closer I would have shot him in the face. It had been that kind of day. Fortunately Detective Fish skipped down the last few steps and slipped between us. “Whoa. Easy now,” Fish said. “We just want to talk. I think it’ll be more comfortable upstairs, don’t you?” “Yeah sure,” I said. “Of course. After you.” Fish turned around and trudged back up the steep, concrete stairway. “Why? What did I do?” I extended my hand towards McCreedy as if to say: ‘After you too.’ But McCreedy shook his head, which can’t be easy for a man with no neck. “Somebody’s got a guilty conscience,” said McCreedy. I shrugged and followed Fish up the stairs, with McCreedy right behind me. “Let’s go upstairs,” said Fish. BRN-FALL-2013.indb 91 The .25’s not much of a gun in terms of firepower, but on the plus side it’s small and easily concealed. My blue sleeveless bowling shirt hung down just far enough to hide the nut-brown plastic grip, and my jeans and leather belt hid the rest. Nevertheless I walked up the stairs sideways, constantly warning McCreedy to mind his step here or watch his head there. It was simple misdirection really. He never noticed the gun because he was too busy staring at my arm. My left arm is completely tattooed from wrist to shoulder. The designs include a sunrise over a tsunami, a cat’s eye, a Celtic cross, the milky way, a shapely vamp in a tight blue dress, a colorful cartoon character, a tiki totem, a few choice words, a bald eagle, a black panther, a coiled king cobra, a yin yang, the lazy eight symbol for infinity, a crowned lion of Judah and a Native American warrior astride a bony palomino. “Nice eh?” I said to McCreedy once we got outside. “Yeah, if you want to join the circus,” he said. Everybody’s a critic. Have you noticed? BLACK RENAISSANCE NOIRE I dunked the mop in the bucket and splashed more water on the floor. Sweat trickled down my spine. I had a .25 caliber semiautomatic tucked in the back of my jeans. “You should talk.” Be still my mouth! 91 ?q5???]???????t?????????!????)??????????????????????????((????????????4((0