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My Dirty Hot Angel

Episode 9

“I understand.”

Magic walked over to his desk and casually took a seat in his plush recliner. He reached into his drawer and pulled out a long, hand-rolled cigar. He cut it, lit it and inhaled deeply. He thoroughly enjoyed the flavor of a fine Vegas Miami. In a more relaxed mood, he looked over at YB and asked, “How your peoples doing?”

“My mom’s good. She asked about you the other day.”

“Tell her I said hi.”

Magic took another pull from the pricey cigar and studied YB from his chair. He liked YB and he was one of the few niggas coming up in Philly that Magic had love for.

Magic grew up with YB’s father, Smoke, and they were crime partners from that era of Superfly and Shaft. They wore Afros and bellbottoms and drove trendy, high-post Cadillac’s. Smoke and Magic were infamous for their violence in South Philly, where they did drugs together and ran wild with women, money, and cars.

Smoke schooled Magic in the ways of the streets and the hustle. He took Magic under his wing. Since Smoke had been dead for over twenty years, Magic took interest in YB and, on occasion, looked out for YB’s mom when times got hard.

“Y’all little niggas today don’t even know the meaning of being a true gangster. Back in my days, nigga, when we did shit, we shut the fuck up about it. Y’all niggas today wanna shoot guns and then toot your own horn for doing so,” Magic proclaimed. “Your reputation was everything back then. And your fashion sense too! Fuck you got on, YB?”

“Yo, this jersey cost me $200, Magic,” YB said proudly.

“Two hundred for that shit? Muthafucka, you look like a fuckin’ clown in it,” Magic stated harshly. “You got your hair braided like a bitch, pants off your ass, and you expect a woman to respect that image? A real nigga dresses with style. Coming up, we wore tailored suits, polished shoes, and derbies. Our clothes said something about us, and we were respected because we dressed a certain way. Y’all niggas now look like Ronald McDonald on crack. That ain’t how a man is supposed to dress when he’s out in the streets.” Magic’s words shredded YB’s image apart.

“Well, times done changed, Magic,” YB said in his defense.

Magic chuckled. “For the worse, I see.”

YB sucked his teeth.

“I hurt your feelings, nigga?” Magic grinned.

“Nah, I’m good.”

“I’m just tryin’ to school you YB . . . like your father once did to me”

“I know. I understand.”

“You sure, nigga? I keep hearing about you and your cousin in these streets. Your name is ringing out but be careful ’cause soon, you’ll have the wolves at your door,” Magic cautioned.

“I know how to handle the wolves, Magic. It ain’t the first time niggas tried me and I’m still here,” YB bragged.

Magic took another pull from his cigar. “The wolves will always be at your door in this game. You just gotta know when and how to tame them.”

YB nodded.

“Now, this beef you got with Crown; don’t let it happen up in my place again. You beef with him outside this muthafucka and when you do, watch your back, YB. Crown is a dangerous man.”

“And what am I, Mickey Mouse?” YB was indignant. “Magic, I know how to handle that nigga.”

Magic took another pull from the cigar and eyed YB while still reclined in his chair. “You are your father’s son.”

YB went back upstairs and was more at ease after his talk with Magic. In his eyes, Magic was like a father to him. Since he was young, Magic had been around, guiding him and taking care of home when shit got rough. When there was beef, Magic supplied the guns and tools so that YB and Rufus could defend themselves. Magic even taught YB how to shoot his first gun.

YB walked back into the club and saw his cousin at the bar, drinking a beer. Neither Crown nor any of his chicks were around. He was disappointed since he had not seen Chaos, but he knew he would run into her again.

He tapped Rufus on his back. “C’mon, nigga, let’s go.”

Rufus turned to YB and he noticed that the alcohol had begun affecting his cousin already. When Rufus got drunk, his temper and his wild ways were even more extreme. He could easily become a loose cannon ready to blow, and YB knew it was time for them to leave before Rufus did something stupid.

“Let me get another drink, YB,” Rufus slurred.

“Nah, nigga, you good. Let’s go.”

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