Enter the Turbans.
They, at first enjoyed my naiveness. They were constantly playing tricks on me. We were all role playing unawares.
They hit me up with stories that I would believe. The twins (Angel and Hector) along with five other members had a gig at the Colgate Gardens. Supposedly they played Timbales and other instruments. I got dressed up to go there. We all trudged up to the Colgate Gardens. Made no attempt to cross the street to it. I hadn’t noticed that I was the only one dressed up. I was really expecting a intro to something nice in life.
That’s when they let the cat out the bag. Laughing and laughing. Because it was them I didn’t mind so much. They bought me a beer. My first beer. I enjoyed the beer. I had, towards the end sensed that they were manipulating my naivety, and was the reason why they laughed and came out with it, for they had been walking me in circles, and it was this that I kept pointing out.
I enjoyed that small episode, we bonded. We were becoming like family. That’s what gang membership is. An oasis. A separate reality. Because there is no reality. Man is constantly setting up ideals, and goals, plateaus of achievements, conditions, stipulations and calling such bequeathments reality.
Next came the basements. We called it our club. Our hangout. Dugga’s and Jeffrey’s Ma was a Super of two buildings. She gave the gang a basement apartment to hang out in. We kept it nice and clean. A living room, one bedroom (three beds), bathroom and kitchen.
We threw sets (the term was used for parties at the time). We had a five inch TV which we watched religiously. You likely would not be surprised at the still heads, somehow clustered in close proximity focused on such small imagery yet lost, as if we were not in this world. We were inside such an improbable tiny screen.
I wasn’t gay. But the guys wandered about me, because I didn’t pursue the girls. At one point they obtained this woman. We were at her house. They were pushing me on her. She had plenty of kids there but no husband. She was ugly as sin. They forced me with ridicule to dance with her. She was more than willing but I was totally not. Manny, not my brother, came to the rescue, scrambling the place saying that the cops were coming. The main body of us went out the front door, Manny grabbed me and hustled me out a back window. Manny had a crutch on my Sister Gloria who was going with Big Hector at the time. He was always rescuing me out of stuff.
Big Hector was so called because we had too many Hectors in the Turbans.
To Be Continued