Edward Meyers

My Bad Memory

It was a cold morning when I rolled out of bed; my feet were scared to touch the hardwood floor beneath them.  I thought about staying in bed, sleeping in until one of my buds came to wake me up.  I realized that this was only a dream, for I had a long day ahead of me.  I got out of my king size bed, covered with furs of bear that I had just recently killed on my hunting trip in up-state New York, to keep me warm at night and I made my way slowly over to the bathroom.  I walked as if I were drunk.  My balance was poor and my head was throbbing.  I felt a large bump on the back of head near my neck.  I made my way to the shower and hopped in.  I turned on the water only to forget to let it run for a minute. Freezing ice cold water came out of the old rusty shower head and sprayed onto my body.  I screamed.  I could not describe how cold I was, shivering even after the water had warmed up.  After my shower I got dressed and as I went to reach for my hat I saw a note I had left myself.  This small piece of wrinkled paper with faded ink said that I knew what had to be done today.  It took some time but I finally realized what I had to do.  I grabbed my jacket and walked out the door.  I headed down to the first floor of my apartment and strolled through the revolving doors tipping my hat to the doorman.

As I walked down Thirtieth Street, I checked to see what time it was.  It was 6:30 AM and I was right on time.  I needed to make it down to South Philly by the Italian market for a meeting.  I hopped on the Thirtieth Street Station train and made my way to the Liberty Bell stop, I had a ride there to take me to the market.  As I jumped off the train, I notice a dark colored car and a tall, well built man standing by it; this was my ride.  I made my way over and jumped into the car.  The driver revved up the 32’ Ford. What a sweet ride this was, putting out 400 horsepower on a new Chevy big block crate engine, and we sped off into South Philly.  On the ride to the market I kept trying to remember what it was that I had to do, but I was bothered the whole time by the throbbing lump on the back of my head.  My memory had evaded me and I could not remember what to do.  The car stopped and I got out of it.  The driver told me that that was the building.  This was one of those buildings that the city had built back when Ben Franklin was alive.  These were tenement buildings, and they all looked the same; red bricks and a white and black door.  I walked suspiciously up to the building and made my way in.  There was a mobster standing by what appeared to be the entrance to the cellar.  As I made my way closer, he said to me that I was late.  I quickly glanced at my watch and it was 7:01 AM.  I thought to myself, "Who really cares about being late over one minute?"

Meanwhile the mobster opened the door and I made my way down the old creaky wood stairs; these must have been as old as the Liberty Bell itself.  It was very dark and dimly lit.  All I could make out was a very rotund man sitting in a chair with what were probably two more large mobsters standing next to him.  The rotund man spoke to me and said

“Have a seat”

As I made my way closer to the desk, things became more visible, I could also hear some old Italian opera music. In fact it was a women crying over  her husband having left her for another women, in the back on one of those new record players.

I took my seat and the fat guy said, “I’m glad that you could make it here.  Did I tell you that you are the perfect guy for the job?”

I thought to myself, “What job is he talking about?”

“So you know what you have to do today, right?  You're going down to the docks to meet up with a couple more of my guys, remember?” Tony said.

“Oh yeah now I remember.” I said as if I knew what he was talking about.

I made my way back up the old creaky stairs and past the first mobster and then out the front door.

It was now 7:15 AM.  Tony told me that I had to be down by the Delaware River by 8:00 AM at Pier 16 for my job.  I climbed back into the Ford and the driver made his way to the docks.  As I arrived I noticed some blurry figures standing on the docks.  They looked like they were waiting for something.  I got out of the car, and as I started to make my way toward the pier, the driver told me that I was not going empty handed.  The driver popped the trunk and told me to pick one.

“Why do I need one of these?  I’m just meeting some of Tony’s guys.” I asked him

“Look just pick one okay, this isn’t my job, I’m just the driver.” he said

I chose the first thing that I saw.  It was a Tommy gun.

I made my way onto the pier and the people who were previously blurred images became clearer; they were all holding guns as well.  I walked up and they all greeted me but then put a gun to my head

“Who sent you? You better start talking or we're goanna blow your head off!" threatened the other mobsters.

“I was sent by Tony. He told me to come here and meet you guys.” I replied.

After about five minutes of interrogation they put down their weapons and told me that we were going to be killing everyone on a cargo ship which was slowing making its way to the pier.  The shipped docked and we were waiting in our positions.  The crew members got off the old rusted ship and made their way to the road.  All of us jumped out and started to fire at the crew.  I, however, ran and jumped into a big barrel and just hid inside it as if this barrel was my wall from the invading Germanic tribe at Rome.  The rest of what happened was a blur.  I found myself groggy and still having the throbbing lump on the back of my head.  It was now late at night and I found myself handcuffed and at my favorite diner, Phillies.  The soda jerk said that two large men had dropped me off about an hour ago.

I kept thinking about what could possibly have happened, what someone could have done to me.  The soda jerk gave me a cold chocolate milkshake.  As I took a sip of my drink,  I saw one of the mobsters that I had seen earlier with some girl and he told me,  “Tony says you don’t have to worry about what happened; it’s been all taken care off.  In fact Tony was so pleased with you that he wants you to take another job for him.”

I looked back at my drink and then wham!  All I could see what was probably a baseball bat out of the corner of my eye.  After that I woke up tied and bound, feet and legs.  I looked up and saw Tony.

“I’m disappointed with you; you failed and made of fool of my name.”

I felt the cold metal object up against my head and then POW!


Copyright 2002-2006 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose 2002-2006 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission. SPP developed and designed by Strong Bat Productions.