Puerto Rican Archive

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JIM IN BALTIMORE

Jim sat on his stoop. The gun that he bought from the Puerto Rican was in his pants. Man is it hot. The tar in the street was sticky and the air was humid and added to his confused state, the confusion of his simple mind, the hot whips of panic that made him feel insecure and violated as events slipped precipitously from his control as his instinct accelerated without purpose, speeding like an insane poem written in a fever dream, his thousand little malignant thoughts unrealized like paltry rain on a hot day.

Broken sunlight. Leaving this town will be easier than living in it. I feel like a man playing an out-of-tune piano through a radio. My life has said very little.

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JIM IN EL PASO

Jim sat on a bench against a hot white wall outside the bus station. He couldn’t stop sweating. He wished the sun’d hurry up and set so dusk would quench its fire. But it was still late morning, and the heat was yet to peak. Jim hated this town; hated everything about it, its cheapness and phoniness and pettiness. It seemed like the relentless fever of this insane heat fused this unholy trinity into the same element, absurdly reverse engineering the cheapness and phoniness and pettiness that oozed from the town like a chancre into something demonic and unclean, a screeching banshee of limitless horror and ceaseless pain. Ten minutes passed. He thought about how the Puerto Rican ripped him off. The violent, sadistic fantasy of what he’d do to the prick if he ever caught up to him passed through his brain like an inchoate freight train, untidily bucking along, screaming sparks and the smell of burning plastic.

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JIM AND I TRY TO ROB A BANK

Jimmy did let on that he didn’t always tell the truth and I have to hand that to him but I trusted him anyways and afterward I felt like a lamb being taken to slaughter who’s been warned ahead of time that his throat is gonna be slit but goes anyway. Anyways, Jim talked me into that goddamn bank scheme. I should’ve split right then and there. I knew it was trouble right away. You see, the wheel man, a Puerto Rican junkie named Rico, was obviously unreliable. He bullshitted us into believing he could drive getaway, and like slobbering fools addled on cough medicine we took his stupid bait. You know me. I have a weak spot for both junkies and Puerto Ricans so I was shamed – if that’s the right word – into giving old Rico a big fat pass. Now, here in San Quentin, the true minds of both Jim and this whole rotten heist are revealed in a shitstorm of nauseating – and I mean nauseating – clarity.

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