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Bendy Carwash
Can #2
© 2023 James LaFond
The subject appears to be in her mid thirties, a light-skinned mixed girl with a loose kink of hair rather than a straightened coif. One front tooth is gold, next to the right eye tooth. A ruby post studs her nose on that same right side. She wears no earrings in her visible right ear, which has the lobes shredded into three dangling tan curtains, from earrings being pulled out in bitch fights. Her barely maintained curvature of figure is stretched into white spandex, matching her white sneakers. Her eyebrows are unconvincingly painted on with two much of an arc, giving her expression one of perpetual surprise. Her lower lip tends to a petulant curl of disapproval.
“It’s your money, so you can call me whatever you want, Handsome.”
The voice of the interviewer cuts in, “For the record, I am not interested in your government name. Your street name will do.”
“Bendy, I’ve been called Bendy since I was three years old, could always do any tumble, and stretch, was into creative dance, cheer, ballet, eventually exotic dance when daddy died and shit got real… The Carwash part comes from when Covid hit and the club had us girls doing car washes on the lot, deliverin’ food in our outfits, and well, until that Pennsylvania State Trooper did what he did at that traffic stop, which they took down off their channel, since that shit was wrong, I could bounce form a split to an American split while doing white walls—so what you really wanna know, Handsome?
“Best man I ever knew was Can. And he was not no crackhead, not no pimp, he was a friend, looked out for me after ma daddy died. So, the name is simple. Something would go wrong and he’d offer up the help out of the goodness of his heart, and you might ask, ‘Are you sure, can you take care of that,’ and he’d just say, ‘Can,’ pointed at his heart with his thumb.
“He would do anything for you, give you the shirt off his back. When I knew him he did not smoke no crack. Until, that day. The man I worked for, the man with the car wash, who before that had the club and after that threw a party for the Fraternal Order of Police. I did not trust no cops, was not goin’ to be dancin’ for no piggly wiggly convention of perverts with guns.
“Buuuut, I had a bill en the money was good, what was promised anyhow, not to say it didn’t fall short of what was delivered. Well, I needed guarantees—I’m mean you talkin’ a bachelor party with guns, right. So, I said to the Bossman, ‘Okay, but I need Can for my bodyguard.’
“Can, he’s a skinny dude, really, not too tall either, not a kind a guy that ever looked for a fight, though he did finish a few of them to the detriment of them that started them. So, I’m good, golden, I’ve got my big skinny brother there and I’m the only dancer on the card, and there’s no stage, not even a bar. It was just all around sketchy, an empty room with a circle of folding chairs and a couch with a sheet thrown over it—Oh, hell no, we were out of there. I made it to the car, but Can, was fightin’ a mob of off duty cops in the doorway.
“Look, weren’t shit I could do. He told me to drive, and I drove. They were slinging shoe leather into him when I pulled off.
“I asked him to protect me, he said he could, I said, ‘You, sure, Baby’—I meant to say brother, he was like a big brother to me, and he gave himself that thumb and said, ‘Can.’ Well he did, kept me from harm and humiliation.
“They sure enough gave him some lumps, but he was good, made it back to ou... ah, his, HIS place, ‘cause my place was no longer safe.
“So, the cop come lookin’ to serve up a warrant en figure I’m with Can. I suppose because the car belonged to Can, and the cops knew, ‘cause they had joked about my suspended driver’s license when they checked my I.D. at the so-called party. That’s when I knew shit was gone wrong ‘cause they were calculating extra activity based on...and besides, it weren’t really Can’s car either.
“Oh, it belonged to dat ni… A, Russel, Russel was his name, dude up from Baltimore knew Can from wayback…
“Look, wherever da hell wayback is, okay! They knew each other, somethin’ about the Baltimore Rising in 2015, the motherload, whatever that was. They were tight, knew each other better then I knew Can, and I didn’t know Russel from, Batman, you feel me?
“Oh, here we go, either you edit this to a lie to the detriment of the man you are so-called concerned about, or you let the truth be told and get deplatformed: huh? Am I right?”
“Here it is Mister Truth to Power, then. Come on, let me see it, fist in the air, bump the air, woo-woo!”
“They can’t see that.”
“That is the point exactly: one, that you are not taking the risk here—your black ass is not on camera. I’ll bet you’ll even erase your voice from the recording! Now, while this set up looks all good in here, in the Incognegro Studio, I couldn’t help but notice the place could use a lady’s touch. Those kids of yours sure aren’t cleaning the place—I assume those kids slaving away on this embroidering machines in the other room, who have to ask permission to get a water break, I assume they your kidz, right?”
Video and audio cuts.
The subject is now dressed in a white hoody and sweat pants, embroidered with boxing logos and portraits, pouring herself a glass of whiskey from a decanter, her formerly glossy clear lipstick now a deep red and a bit overdone…
“Can, was my savior man, just a kind dude from down the street whose mamma was a bat shit crazy middle eastern and his aunt was an evil junkie bitch kept him in trouble with the police. So, Russel, ‘Bodymore’ we called him, was in town, which is how we had the car and the cops were commin’ to lock my ass up for driving on a suspended license, but really for not pulling their nasty train. Russel is like, ‘Can, we needz ta roll!’
“So Russel rolls out back and a knock comes on the door and its off duty police, not even on duty police, two of them in plain clothes yet, the one actually wearing his Walmart security badge…
“Russel is out back, cops on the porch come to get me…
“I said, ‘Baby,’ I mean Can, you don’t have ta do this, dis shit won’t stick not even in dis corrupt-ass town.’
“He thumbed his chest and said, ‘Can,’ then pulled out—first time I ever saw it, a can of Mountain Dew, Diet Mountain Dew, empty, which I bet that nigga Russel had loaded up with ready rock to help overcome the pain of that ass-whoopin’ he took the night before when he did would he could…
“I was certainly surprised. I never knew this dude to smoke anything, not even weed, not even a cigarette. And there he is, police a knockin’ on the door, holding a lighter under this can stuffed with choreboy pads—en he’s suckin’ en suckin, en coughin’—and boom! He was gone, right out the front door, ran those two police over, tumbled them like bowlin’ pins…
“Oh, you didn’ know I was old enough to know what bowlin’ pins were, huh. Lookin’ pretty good, the old girl is, huh? She cooks en cleans too if the scratch is right…
“Oh, okay, Mister Pro-fesh-yun-all! Yeah, the one blue fаggot broke a hip on the front stoop—he suin’ his own police department as we speak. The other one got up en run after, and then twisted his ankle. He had the Walmart badge on. I think he went back to work and staged a slip and fall. Point is, nothin’ came of the situation other then the Wilmington police filing a shoplifting and resisting arrest warrant on the only decent man in town.”
“Oh, that’s all. We’re done, less you got any more of this smokey whiskey…”
The subject winks at the camera and smiles crookedly as she drains the glass.
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