Before I go on, the term loyalty is often relative. The honor amongst thieves is seldom as strong as the bars that cage them. And furthermore, a man’s word is only a man’s word.
A man’s word is the same as his checking account at the bank. So long as the funds are valid; his check is good. But let him overdraw and the check bounces.
I sat with my back against the wall and my left wrist was cuffed to a steel bar that ran beneath a long wooden bench. I thought to myself, “I can’t believe they knew everything.”
I am not proud of the marks on my record. But I never bent. I never spoke out or dropped a name. The only name I used was John Lindquist.
John Lindquist was a made up name that I used around town.
“Who did it?” John Lindquist
“What’s your name? I want to call your parents!” John Lindquist.
I had used that name since grade school. I was not the one who created it, but I used the name more often than most.
When the police asked about a satanic poem written on the door of a local Church: John Lindquist did it.
When asked about the broken windows in the Crystalbrook Caterer’s on East Meadow Avenue: John Lindquist did it.
When I grew older, and the charges were more intense, I was sat down in the precinct and asked about the people in my neighborhood. That’s when I told them all about John Lindquist.
In fact, I tried not to laugh when one of the detectives stood back and said, “Lindquist….I’ve heard about that guy.”
Nevertheless, the detectives knew all about me. They knew where I was the week before they picked me up. They knew what I was doing, who I was with, and the only way they could know these things were if someone told them. And someone did.
But I signed up for that…
As long as there is an angle, there is a risk. And I accepted that risk.
I took the chance, and whether I was caught because I could not run fast enough or because someone fingered me; I was still caught. I entered into the contract and I lost—end of story~
There once was young man from a Long Island town. He was not tough, but he wanted to be. He was not wealthy, but he acted as if he was. He pretended and he posed, but he rarely fooled anyone.
He began to sell marijuana and the occasional pills. He worked his way up to small, but decent clientele, which led to a bigger reputation.
Then he found a better connection for cocaine. Only, the young man was flashy. He was outspoken and always bragging.
Inevitably, the young man was arrested. He was sat down in front of several detectives and asked about his friends and their sources.
“You jackass,” they told him.
“How do you think we knew about you? What, did you think we found out about you by accident?”
After learning about the charges against him and the sentence behind them, the young man flipped.
He signed a deal with the District Attorney’s office and he never served so much as a night in jail. Consequently, several arrests were made after his, and needless to say, the young man had to find another neighborhood to spend time in.
He eventually settled into a different town with different people. However, he was still the same person. He still needed the hustle; he needed the attention, and he still bragged about himself.
The young man was able to convince a few people that he knew how to make money. They started with small burglaries and break-ins. They had a market for car stereos, speakers, and different audio equipment.
After a string of break-ins and minor payouts, the small crew broke into the basement of a local diner, and came out with a lot of cash. This pleased the young man. He could brag again. And so he did
He bragged about the score to a girl. However, the young man was unaware that the girl he tried to impress was a family friend to the owner of that diner.
When the officers picked him up, he was frightened. Perhaps the young man figured, “If it worked once, then maybe it can work again.”
So he flipped.
He admitted to his involvement and named the people he was with. Except this time was different; this time he was not accompanied by a lawyer. He did not sign a deal with the district attorney’s office, and this time, he had to go in.
“But I told you everything you want to know” defended the young man.
The detective smile, “That doesn’t mean you’re getting away with it.”
I often wonder what happened to the young man after that. I wonder what happened when they marched his so-called friends passed him in the holding cells. I wonder what went through his mind when he saw the look on their faces, passing him in a cage, and knowing he is the reason why they are going in a cage. I suppose he felt shame. But supposedly, rats do not feel shame.
They only feel fear…
It took years and awareness, but I no longer blame the rats for what happened to me.
I blame myself.
Sure, they gave me their word. But I took it. I took the angle.
Therefore, I took the risk, which means I had no one else to blame but myself.